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Timurid Empire’s Arts and Culture Influenced Much of the Known World

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When people think of the Mongol warriors of the Middle Ages, they might imagine wild, bloodthirsty savages marauding across Eurasia dealing slaughter from horseback with arrows, spears, battle axes, maces and swords. Such is true, but there was one Mongol state, the Timurid empire of the 14th and 15th centuries that was known for its arts and oversaw what is known as the Timurid Renaissance.

And while the warriors of the Timurid empire were marauders, they also patronized and influenced subsequent culture and arts in the large territory they controlled and beyond. Timurid territory stretched across Persia (now called Iran), and much of central and western Asia. The Timurid empire was large, but even so was just a fraction of the land controlled by Genghis Khan.

The last nomadic Mongol conqueror

The first khan of the Timurid period was Timur or Temur, one of the last nomadic Mongol conquerors to rule. Timur was of Mongol-Turkic descent. The term “Timurid empire” is derived from his name. He took over part of the empire established by Genghis Khan and his descendants. Timur, also known as Timur Lang or Tamerlane, lived from 1336 to 1405.

He ruled and reshaped the politics and culture over his empire from the Caucasus to northern India. Timur emulated Genghis Khan but did not rule so vast a territory. And he claimed descent from Genghis Khan, but that claim was a false.

Timur got his European name Tamurlane or Timur the Lame from when he was in a battle in which his leg was injured. – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past

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