Timur the Lame
Timur Tamerlane, or Timur the Lame, was the founder of the Timurid
dynasty that lasted until 1506. Under the reign of the Timurid dynasty,
culture, art, and trade experienced a successful revival and flourished in the
region now known as Central Asia. During his military career of about 50
years cut short by his death by pneumonia in 1405, Timurlane’s empire
spanned most of Central and South-west Asia, from the Indus River valley to
the Black Sea.
    On April 11, 1336, Timur was born in Kesh, situated south of Samarkand,
which would be the future capital of his empire. He was the son of a Turko-
Mongol tribal leader of Barlas. His father was the first of his tribesmen to
convert to Islam, and the young Timurlane, a Sunni Muslim, learned how to
read the Qur’an.
    In fact Timurlane often attacked the lands of infidels or other erring
Muslims under the pretext of Islam, but this was only to justify his excesses.
Similarly, he maintained good relations with other Muslims for purely
political reasons. His treatment of Muslims and non-Muslims who opposed
him was similarly pitiless and brutal.
    He earned the title Timur the Lame because of an injury in the leg
sustained early in his life, either during a local rebellion, or by an arrow in the
thigh shot by a farmer whose sheep Timur had stolen. Timurlane was very
much inspired by another great        leader and conqueror, Genghis Khan, the