Published On: Fri, Sep 14th, 2012

World’s Greatest Conqueror: Temur the Lame aka Tamerlane

I didn’t know. I’ve heard of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar. Ghengis Khan. The Ottomans and the Huns. World conquerors. Empires. Lords of the World. But one person slipped through the cracks, and I just learned about him.

Amir Timur.

Also known Tamer the Lame, Tamerlane or Tamburlaine.

I don’t even know where to start. From a man I never heard of to one of the world’s greatest conquerors, I’m amazed he’s not mentioned with the other world conquerors. Tp put it in perspective, he led his army or Tatars to kill five percent of the world population, over 17 million people. That’s a lot of slaughter!

Timur beat up the Mongols. He beat up the Mamluks of Egypt. He beat up the Ottomans under Bayezid. He sacked Delhi in India. He took out Syria, Iraq, Georgia [several times], Persia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and all of Central Asia. He was literally undefeated in battle after decades of warfare. His empire was so large that it’s unbelievable that his name isn’t as well known as other conquerors.

And to think, he did this with a bad right arm and leg. He dragged his foot and couldn’t effectively use his right arm, results of being shot by arrows when he was younger, hence the name Timur the Lame or Tamerlane.

But he did more than send people to their maker. He was a collector of great minds — artists, architects, philosophers, religious leaders and so forth. After the sacking of many hundreds of towns and kingdoms, he’d have the learned men sent back to Samarkand in present day Uzbekistan where the cosmopolitan city was one of the world’s greatest and enlightened cities.

Reading Temur’s life story is like reading a Hollywood script. They have to make this movie one day. Temur’s life was one long, decades-long, action scene. Violence, history, politics, seriously big named actors, violence, women, betrayal, adventure, religion, money, royal families, violence and more violence. The Tatars would build towers using their enemies’ skulls and bones. They even put human beings in the wall as it was setting, while they [the victims] were still alive.

If you think you know world history, read this book and tell me if Temur doesn’t change your views of the world’s greatest conquerors ever.

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About the Author

David Gaines

- David Gaines is a Washington, DC, resident transplanted from North Carolina whose dream career was a newspaper writer but settled for the recruiting industry and simply blogging about whatever thoughts crosses his mind.



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