Amir Timur monument, Samarkand

Opposite the Guri Amir Mausoleum at the intersection of major city roads there was erected the monument of Emir Timur (Tamerlane). He was a great conqueror of the Central Asia who lost no battle and subjugated the lands from Turkey to India.

Timur was born near the City of Kesh, now Shakhrisabz, in 1336. He was a son of the chieftain of a powerful barlas tribe. By 1370 Timur defeated all his adversaries in-between the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya. He didn’t belong to the Chingisids and couldn’t bear the title of the Great Khan, so he always called himself the Emir, that is chieftain, but in 1370 he became related with the descendants of Chingishan.

The first great victory of Timur, who was known as Tamerlane in Europe, was seizure of Khorezm and Kashgar in 1380. The Golden Horde so far remained an independent state, but Timur helped the Khan Tokhtamysh to overthrow Mamay and took the throne. In the following year he captured Herat and subjugated the whole Persia.

The Golden Horde was finally conquered and included in the empire of Timur only by 1395. That time Timur following the troops of Tokhtamysh came to the borders of Russia and planned to invade it but riots in Persia forced him to come back.

In 1399 Timur completely conquered India. The city of Delhi was destroyed with especial cruelty, as most other cities, which resisted the troops of Timur. Generally, Timur treated the defeated and prisoners with extreme cruelty, which is expressed in the picture «Apotheosis of War» by the Russian painter Vereshchagin. The picture depicting the mound of skulls of the defenders of the defeated city is kept at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

The last significant campaign was that of the Minor Asia, during which Tamerlane defeated the troops of the Sultan Bayezid during at Ancara in 1402. At that time he beseized Constantinople but was completely routed and taken prisoner where he died there having spent several years in the iron cage. This delayed the fall of the Byzantine Empire for over 50 years, and the Turks finally conquered Constantinople only in 1453. During the campaign Timur captured and burnt down many cities of the Middle East.

In 1405 Timur embarked on his remotest campaign against China, but almost at once he got ill and died on January, 19 of 1405. Timur was buried in the Guri Amir Mausoleum located not far from his monument. Also, within a walking distance of it there are located the Rukhabad Mausoleum and the Registan Square.

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