Timurid Dynasty

Timurid Dynasty

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Encyclopedia
The Timurids self-designated Gurkānī , were a Persianate, Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

n Sunni Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 dynasty of Turko-Mongol descent whose empire included the whole of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, modern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, and modern Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

, as well as large parts of contemporary Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, North India
North India
North India, known natively as Uttar Bhārat or Shumālī Hindustān , is a loosely defined region in the northern part of India. The exact meaning of the term varies by usage...

, Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

, Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 and the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

. It was founded by the militant conqueror Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

 (Tamerlane) in the 14th century.

In the 16th century, Timurid prince Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

, the ruler of Ferghana, invaded North India and founded the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

, which ruled most of the North India
North India
North India, known natively as Uttar Bhārat or Shumālī Hindustān , is a loosely defined region in the northern part of India. The exact meaning of the term varies by usage...

 until its decline after Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

 in the early 18th century, and was formally dissolved by the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 after the Indian rebellion of 1857
Indian Rebellion of 1857
The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Company's army on 10 May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon escalated into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to...

. Later princes of the dynasty predominantly used the title Mirza
Mirza
Mirza , is of Persian origin, denoting the rank of a high nobleman or Prince. It is usually translated into English as a royal or imperial Prince of the Blood...

to show descent from the Amir.

Origins



The origin of the Timurid dynasty goes back to the Mongolian
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 nomadic confederation known as Barlas
Barlas
The Barlas were a Mongol - later Turkicized - nomadic confederation in Central Asia and the chief tribe of the Timurids who ruled much of Central Asia, Iran, and South Asia in the Middle Ages.- Origins :According to the Secret History of the Mongols, written during the reign of Ögedei Khan, the...

, who were remnants of the original Mongol army of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

. After the Mongol conquest of Central Asia, the Barlas settled in Turkestan
Turkestan
Turkestan, spelled also as Turkistan, literally means "Land of the Turks".The term Turkestan is of Persian origin and has never been in use to denote a single nation. It was first used by Persian geographers to describe the place of Turkish peoples...

 (which then also became known as Moghulistan
Moghulistan
Moghulistan or Mughalistan is a historical geographic unit in Central Asia that included parts of modern-day Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and the Chinese Autonomous Region of Xinjiang...

- "Land of Mongols") and intermingled to a considerable degree with the local Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 and Turkic-speaking
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

 population, so that at the time of Timur's reign the Barlas had become thoroughly Turkicized in terms of language and habits.

Additionally, by adopting Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, the Central Asian Turks and Mongols adopted the Persian literary and high culture which had dominated Central Asia since the early days of Islamic influence. Persian literature was instrumental in the assimilation of the Timurid elite to the Perso-Islamic courtly culture.

Founding the dynasty


Timur conquered large parts of Transoxiana
Transoxiana
Transoxiana is the ancient name used for the portion of Central Asia corresponding approximately with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, southern Kyrgystan and southwest Kazakhstan. Geographically, it is the region between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers...

 (in modern day Central Asia) and Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

 (parts of modern day Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

, Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 and Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

) from 1363 onwards with various alliances (Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

 in 1366, and Balkh
Balkh
Balkh , was an ancient city and centre of Zoroastrianism in what is now northern Afghanistan. Today it is a small town in the province of Balkh, about 20 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, and some south of the Amu Darya. It was one of the major cities of Khorasan...

 in 1369), and was recognized as ruler over them in 1370. Acting officially in the name of the Mongolian Chagatai ulus
Chagatai Khanate
The Chagatai Khanate was a Turko-Mongol khanate that comprised the lands ruled by Chagatai Khan , second son of the Great Khan Genghis Khan, and his descendents and successors...

, he subjugated Transoxania and Khwarazm in the years that followed and began a campaign westwards in 1380. By 1389 he had removed the Kartids from Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

 and advanced into mainland Persia from 1382 (capture of Isfahan
Isfahan (city)
Isfahan , historically also rendered in English as Ispahan, Sepahan or Hispahan, is the capital of Isfahan Province in Iran, located about 340 km south of Tehran. It has a population of 1,583,609, Iran's third largest city after Tehran and Mashhad...

 in 1387, removal of the Muzaffarids
Muzaffarids
The Mozaffarids were a family that came to power in Iran following the breakup of the Ilkhanate in the 14th century.-Rise to Power:The Mozaffaris were a family that settled in Khorasan from the beginning of Caliphal rule there. They stayed in Khorasan up until the Mongol invasion of that province,...

 from Shiraz
Shiraz, Iran
Shiraz is the sixth most populous city in Iran and is the capital of Fars Province, the city's 2009 population was 1,455,073. Shiraz is located in the southwest of Iran on the Roodkhaneye Khoshk seasonal river...

 in 1393, and expulsion of the Jalayirids
Jalayirids
The Jalayirids were a Mongol Jalayir dynasty which ruled over Iraq and western Persia after the breakup of the Mongol Khanate of Persia in the 1330s....

 from Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

). In 1394/95, he triumphed over the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

 and enforced his sovereignty in the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, in 1398 subjugated Multan
Multan
Multan , is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about from Islamabad, from Lahore and from Karachi...

 and Dipalpur
Dipalpur
Dipalpur is a town in Okara District of the Punjab and headquarters of Depalpur Tehsil, assumed to be largest tehsil of Pakistan. It is situated 25 kilometres from the district capital Okara on a bank of the Beas River in Bari Doab...

 in modern day Pakistan and in modern day India left Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 in such ruin that it is said for two months "not a bird moved wing in the city".
In 1400/01 conquered Aleppo
Aleppo
Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and the capital of Aleppo Governorate, the most populous Syrian governorate. With an official population of 2,301,570 , expanding to over 2.5 million in the metropolitan area, it is also one of the largest cities in the Levant...

, Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 and eastern Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

, in 1401 destroyed Baghdad and in 1402 triumphed over the Ottomans at Ankara
Battle of Ankara
The Battle of Ankara or Battle of Angora, fought on July 20, 1402, took place at the field of Çubuk between the forces of the Ottoman sultan Bayezid I and the Turko-Mongol forces of Timur, ruler of the Timurid Empire. The battle was a major victory for Timur, and it led to a period of crisis for...

. In addition, he transformed Samarqand into a major capital. An estimated 17 million people may have died from his conquests.

After the end of the Timurid Empire in 1506, the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 was later established in Afghanistan and India by Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

 in 1526, who was a descendant of Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

 through his father and possibly a descendant of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 through his mother. The dynasty he established is commonly known as the Mughal Dynasty. By the 17th century, the Mughal Empire ruled most of India, but later declined during the 18th century. The Timurid Dynasty came to an end in 1857, after the Mughal Empire was dissolved by the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 and Bahadur Shah II
Bahadur Shah II
His Royal Highness Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar , also known as Bahadur Shah or Bahadur Shah II was the last of the Mughal emperors in India, as well as the last ruler of the Timurid Dynasty.He was the son of Akbar Shah II and Lalbai, who was a Hindu Rajput...

 was exiled to Burma.

Due to the fact that the Persian cities were desolated by previous wars, the seat of Persian culture was now in Samarkand and Herat. These cities became the center of the Timurid renaissance.

Culture


Although the Timurids hailed from the Barlas
Barlas
The Barlas were a Mongol - later Turkicized - nomadic confederation in Central Asia and the chief tribe of the Timurids who ruled much of Central Asia, Iran, and South Asia in the Middle Ages.- Origins :According to the Secret History of the Mongols, written during the reign of Ögedei Khan, the...

 tribe which was of Turkicized Mongol origin, they had embraced Persian culture, converted to Islam and resided in Turkestan
Turkestan
Turkestan, spelled also as Turkistan, literally means "Land of the Turks".The term Turkestan is of Persian origin and has never been in use to denote a single nation. It was first used by Persian geographers to describe the place of Turkish peoples...

 and Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

. Thus, the Timurid era had a dual character, which reflected both the Turco-Mongol origins and the Persian literary, artistic, and courtly high culture of the dynasty.

Language


During the Timurid era, Central Asian society was bifurcated and had divided the responsibilities of government and rule into military and civilian along ethnic lines. At least in the early stages, the military was almost exclusively Turko-Mongolian, and the civilian and administrative element was almost exclusively Persian. The spoken language shared by all the Turko-Mongolians throughout the area was Chaghatay
Chagatai language
The Chagatai language is an extinct Turkic language which was once widely spoken in Central Asia, and remained the shared literary language there until the early twentieth century...

. The political organization hearkened back to the steppe-nomadic system of patronage introduced by Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

. The major language of the period, however, was Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, the native language of the Tājīk (Persian) component of society and the language of learning acquired by all literate and/or urban people. Already Timur was steeped in Persian culture and in most of the territories which he incorporated, Persian was the primary language of administration and literary culture. Thus the language of the settled "diwan
Divan
A divan was a high governmental body in a number of Islamic states, or its chief official .-Etymology:...

" was Persian, and its scribes had to be thoroughly adept in Persian culture, whatever their ethnic origin. Persian became the official state language of the Timurid Empire and served as the language of administration, history, belles lettres, and poetry. The Chaghatay language was the native and "home language" of the Timurid family while Arabic served as the language par excellence of science, philosophy, theology and the religious sciences.

Persian


Persian literature, especially Persian poetry occupied a central place in the process of assimilation of the Timurid elite to the Perso-Islamic courtly culture. The Timurid sultans, especially Šāhrukh Mīrzā
Shah Rukh (Timurid dynasty)
Shāhrukh Mīrzā was the ruler of the eastern portion of the empire established by the Central Asian warlord Timur - the founder of the Timurid dynasty - governing most of Persia and Transoxiana between 1405 and 1447...

 and his son Mohammad Taragai Oloğ Beg
Ulugh Beg
Ulugh Bek was a Timurid ruler as well as an astronomer, mathematician and sultan. His commonly-known name is not truly a personal name, but rather a moniker, which can be loosely translated as "Great Ruler" or "Patriarch Ruler" and was the Turkic equivalent of Timur's Perso-Arabic title Amīr-e...

, patronized Persian culture. Among the most important literary works of the Timurid era is the Persian biography of Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

, known as "Zafarnāmeh" , written by Sharaf ud-Dīn Alī Yazdī, which itself is based on an older "Zafarnāmeh" by Nizām al-Dīn Shāmī, the official biographer of Timur during his lifetime. The most famous poet of the Timurid era was Nūr ud-Dīn Jāmī
Jami
Nur ad-Dīn Abd ar-Rahmān Jāmī also known as DJāmī, Mawlanā Nūr al-Dīn 'Abd al-Rahmān or Abd-Al-Rahmān Nur-Al-Din Muhammad Dashti who is commonly known as Jami , is known for his achievements as a scholar, mystic, writer, composer of numerous lyrics and idylls, historian, and one of the greatest...

, the last great medieval Sufi mystic
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 of Persia and one of the greatest in Persian poetry. In addition, some of the astronomical
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

 works of the Timurid sultan Ulugh Beg
Ulugh Beg
Ulugh Bek was a Timurid ruler as well as an astronomer, mathematician and sultan. His commonly-known name is not truly a personal name, but rather a moniker, which can be loosely translated as "Great Ruler" or "Patriarch Ruler" and was the Turkic equivalent of Timur's Perso-Arabic title Amīr-e...

 were written in Persian, although the bulk of it was published in Arabic. The Timurid ruler Baysunğur also commissioned a new edition of the Persian national epic Shāhnāmeh
Shahnameh
The Shahnameh or Shah-nama is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c.977 and 1010 AD and is the national epic of Iran and related societies...

, known as Shāhnāmeh of Baysunğur, and wrote an introduction to it. According to T. Lenz:

Chagatay


The Timurids also played a very important role in the history of Turkic literature
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

. Based on the established Persian literary tradition, a national Turkic literature was developed in the Chagatay language. Chagatay poets such as Mīr Alī Sher Nawā'ī
Mir Ali Shir Nava'i
' was a Central Asian Turkic politician, mystic, linguist, painter, and poet of Uyghur origin who was born and lived in Herat. He is generally known by his pen name Navā'ī...

, Sultan Husayn Bāyqarā
Husayn Bayqarah
Husayn Bayqarah was a Timurid ruler of Herat from 1469 to 1506, with a brief interruption in 1470. His father was Mansur, a great-grandson of Timur...

, and Zāher ud-Dīn Bābur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

 encouraged other Turkic-speaking poets to write in their own vernacular in addition to Arabic and Persian. The Bāburnāma
Baburnama
Bāburnāma is the name given to the memoirs of Ẓahīr ud-Dīn Muḥammad Bābur , founder of the Mughal Empire and a great-great-great-grandson of Timur...

, the autobiography of Bābur (although being highly Persianized in its sentence structure, morphology, and vocabulary), as well as Mīr Alī Sher Nawā'ī's Chagatay poetry are among the best-known Turkic literary works and have influenced many others.

Art



During the reign of the Timurids, the golden age of Persian painting was ushered. During this period — and analogous to the developments in Safavid Persia
Safavid dynasty
The Safavid dynasty was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran. They ruled one of the greatest Persian empires since the Muslim conquest of Persia and established the Twelver school of Shi'a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning...

 — Chinese art
Chinese art
Chinese art is visual art that, whether ancient or modern, originated in or is practiced in China or by Chinese artists or performers. Early so-called "stone age art" dates back to 10,000 BC, mostly consisting of simple pottery and sculptures. This early period was followed by a series of art...

 and artists had a significant influence on Persian art. Timurid artists refined the Persian art of the book, which combines paper, calligraphy, illumination, illustration and binding in a brilliant and colourful whole. It was the Mongol ethnicity of the Chaghatayid
Chagatai Khanate
The Chagatai Khanate was a Turko-Mongol khanate that comprised the lands ruled by Chagatai Khan , second son of the Great Khan Genghis Khan, and his descendents and successors...

 and Timurid Khans
Khan (title)
Khan is an originally Altaic and subsequently Central Asian title for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Turko-Mongol tribes living to the north of China. 'Khan' is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289...

 that is the source of the stylistic depiction Persian art during the Middle Ages. These same Mongols intermarried with the Persians
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 and Turks
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 of Central Asia, even adopting their religion and languages. Yet their simple control of the world at that time, particularly in the 13–15th centuries, reflected itself in the idealised appearance of Persians as Mongols. Though the ethnic make-up gradually blended into the Iranian
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

 and Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

n local populations, the Mongol stylism continued well after, and crossed into Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

 and even North Africa.

Architecture





In the realm of architecture, the Timurids drew on and developed many Seljuq
Great Seljuq Empire
The Great Seljuq Empire was a medieval Persianate, Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks. The Seljuq Empire controlled a vast area stretching from the Hindu Kush to eastern Anatolia and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf...

 traditions. Turquoise and blue tiles forming intricate linear and geometric patterns decorated the facades of buildings. Sometimes the interior was decorated similarly, with painting and stucco relief further enriching the effect. Timurid architecture is the pinnacle of Islamic art
Islamic art
Islamic art encompasses the visual arts produced from the 7th century onwards by people who lived within the territory that was inhabited by or ruled by culturally Islamic populations...

 in Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

. Spectacular and stately edifices erected by Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

 and his successors in Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

 and Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

 helped to disseminate the influence of the Ilkhanid school of art in India, thus giving rise to the celebrated Mughal (or Mongol) school of architecture. Timurid architecture started with the sanctuary of Ahmed Yasawi
Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasavi
The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is an unfinished mausoleum in the city of Turkestan, in southern Kazakhstan. The structure was commissioned in 1389 by Timur, who ruled the area as part of the expansive Mongol Empire, to replace a smaller 12th-century mausoleum of the famous Turkic poet and...

 in present-day Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 and culminated in Timur's mausoleum Gur-e Amir
Gur-e Amir
The Gūr-e Amīr or Guri Amir is a mausoleum of the Asian conqueror Tamerlane in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. It occupies an important place in the history of Persian Architecture as the precursor and model for later great Mughal architecture tombs, including Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and the Taj Mahal in...

 in Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

. Timur's Gur-I Mir, the 14th-century mausoleum of the conqueror is covered with ‘’turquoise Persian tiles’’ Nearby, in the center of the ancient town, a Persian style Madrassa (religious school) and a Persian style Mosque by Ulugh Beg is observed. The mausoleum of Timurid princes, with their turquoise and blue-tiled domes remain among the most refined and exquisite Persian architecture. Axial symmetry
Axial symmetry
Axial symmetry is symmetry around an axis; an object is axially symmetric if its appearance is unchanged if rotated around an axis . For example, a baseball bat or a tea saucer looks the same if it is rotated by any angle about the line passing lengthwise through its center, so it is axially...

 is a characteristic of all major Timurid structures, notably the Shāh-e Zenda
Shah-i-Zinda
Shah-i-Zinda is a necropolis in the north-eastern part of Samarkand, Uzbekistan.The Shah-i-Zinda Ensemble includes mausoleums and other ritual buildings of 9-14th and 19th centuries. The name Shah-i-Zinda is connected with the legend that Kusam ibn Abbas, the cousin of the prophet Muhammad was...

 in Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

, the Musallah complex in Herat, and the mosque of Gowhar Shād
Goharshad
Goharshād was a wife of Shāh Rukh, the emperor of the Timurid Dynasty of Herāt. She was the daughter of Giāth ud-Din Tarkhān, an important and influential noble during Tīmur's reign...

 in Mashhad
Mashhad
Mashhad , is the second largest city in Iran and one of the holiest cities in the Shia Muslim world. It is also the only major Iranian city with an Arabic name. It is located east of Tehran, at the center of the Razavi Khorasan Province close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its...

. Double dome
Dome
A dome is a structural element of architecture that resembles the hollow upper half of a sphere. Dome structures made of various materials have a long architectural lineage extending into prehistory....

s of various shapes abound, and the outsides are perfused with brilliant colors. Timur's dominance of the region strengthened the influence of his capital and Persian architecture upon India.

Rulers of the Timurid Empire

  • Timur
    Timur
    Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

     (Tamerlane) 1370–1405 (771–807 AH
    Hijra (Islam)
    The Hijra is the migration or journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. Alternate spellings of this Arabic word are Hijrah, Hijrat or Hegira, the latter following the spelling rules of Latin.- Hijra of Muhammad :In September 622, warned of a plot to...

    ) – with Suyurghitmiš
    Suurgatmish
    Soyurghatmïsh Khan was Khan of the Western Chagatai Khanate . He was the son of Danishmendji, of the House of Ogedei.When Timur gained control of the territory of the western Chagatai Khanate in the 1360s, he did not abolish the office of khan...

     Chaghtay as nominal overlord followed by Mahmūd
    Sultan Mahmud (Chagatai)
    Sultan Mahmud Khan was Khan of the Western Chagatai Khanate . He was the son of Suurgatmish.Upon his father's death in 1384, Sultan Mahmud was made khan by Timur. Like Suurgatmish, Sultan Mahmud was completely powerless, and served as a puppet for Timur. Coins in his name were produced by Timur...

     Chaghtay as overlord and finally Muhammad Sultān as heir
  • Pir Muhammad
    Pir Muhammad
    Pir Muhammad was a grandson and appointed successor of Timur. He was the son of Jahangir.In 1392 he received the governorship of Qandahar. His territory extended from the lands west of the Hindu Kush to the Indus River...

     bin Jahāngīr 1405–07 (807–08 AH)

Rulers of Herat

  • Shāhrukh
    Shah Rukh (Timurid dynasty)
    Shāhrukh Mīrzā was the ruler of the eastern portion of the empire established by the Central Asian warlord Timur - the founder of the Timurid dynasty - governing most of Persia and Transoxiana between 1405 and 1447...

     1405–47 (807–50 AH; overall ruler of the Timurid Empire 1409–47)
  • Abu'l-Qasim Bābur
    Babur Ibn-Baysunkur
    Babur Ibn-Baysunkur , also known as Abu'l-Qasim Bābur, was a Timurid ruler in Khurasan . He was the son of Baysunqar, and thus the a grandson of Shāhrukh Mirzā....

     1447–57 (850–61 AH)
  • Shāh Mahmūd
    Mahmud (Timurid Dynasty)
    Shah Mahmud was briefly a Timurid ruler of Herat. He was the son of Babur Ibn-Baysunkur, who was a great-grandson of Timur.Shah Mahmud succeeded his father upon his death in 1457 at the age of eleven. Only a few weeks later, his cousin Ibrahim, a son of 'Ala' al-Daula, expelled him from Herat...

     1457 (861 AH)
  • Ibrāhim
    Ibrahim (Timurid Dynasty)
    Ibrahim was a Timurid ruler of Herat in the fifteenth century. He was the son of 'Ala' al-Daula, a great-grandson of Timur.Ibrahim came to power in Herat in the aftermath of the death of Babur Ibn-Baysunkur. Babur's son Shah Mahmud had succeeded him but, as he was still a boy, his hold on power...

     1457–1459 (861–63 AH)
  • Sultān Abu Sa’id Gūrgān
    Abu Sa'id (Timurid dynasty)
    Abū Saʿīd b. Muḥammad b. Mīrānshāh b. Timūr , was a Timurid Empire ruler in what is today parts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Afghanistan and member of the Timurid dynasty....

     1459–69 (863–73 AH; in Transoxiana
    Transoxiana
    Transoxiana is the ancient name used for the portion of Central Asia corresponding approximately with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, southern Kyrgystan and southwest Kazakhstan. Geographically, it is the region between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers...

     1451–69)
  • Yādgār Muhammad
    Yadigar Muhammad
    Yadigar Muhammad was the Timurid ruler of Herat in opposition to Husayn Bayqarah for a portion of 1470.Yadigar Muhammad was born to Sultan Muhammad, who was a grandson of Shah Rukh. It was his family ties that caused Uzun Hasan, sultan of the Ak Koyunlu confederation, to hand over to him Abu...

     1470 (873 AH)
  • Sultān Husayn Bayqarah
    Husayn Bayqarah
    Husayn Bayqarah was a Timurid ruler of Herat from 1469 to 1506, with a brief interruption in 1470. His father was Mansur, a great-grandson of Timur...

     1470–1506 (874–911 AH)
  • Badi ul-Zamān 1506–07 (911–12 AH)
  • Muzaffar Hussayn 1506–07 (911–12 AH)

Herat is conquered by the Uzbeks
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

 under Muhammad Shaybani
Muhammad Shaybani
Abu 'I-Fath Muhammad , known in later centuries as Shaybani Khan , was a khan of the Uzbeks who continued consolidating various Uzbek tribes and laid foundations for their ascendance in Transoxiana. of Genghis Khan through his grandson Shayban and considered the Timurids as usurpers of the...


Rulers of Samarkand

  • Khalīl Sultān
    Khalil Sultan
    Khalil Sultan was the Timurid ruler of Transoxiana from 1405 to 1409. He was a son of Miran Shah and a grandson of Timur.-Biography:During Timur's lifetime, Khalil Sultan gained the conqueror's particular favor. He distinguished himself during the campaign in India and in 1402 was given rule of...

     1405–09 (807–11 AH)
  • Mohammad Taragai bin Shāhrukh
    Ulugh Beg
    Ulugh Bek was a Timurid ruler as well as an astronomer, mathematician and sultan. His commonly-known name is not truly a personal name, but rather a moniker, which can be loosely translated as "Great Ruler" or "Patriarch Ruler" and was the Turkic equivalent of Timur's Perso-Arabic title Amīr-e...

    -I 1409–49 (811–53 AH; overall ruler of the Timurid Empire 1447–49, also known as Ulugh Beg)
  • Abd al-Latif ibn Muhammad Taraghay Ulughbek 1449–50 (853–54 AH)
  • ‘Abdullah 1450–51 (854–55 AH)
  • Sultān Abu Sa’id
    Abu Sa'id (Timurid dynasty)
    Abū Saʿīd b. Muḥammad b. Mīrānshāh b. Timūr , was a Timurid Empire ruler in what is today parts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Afghanistan and member of the Timurid dynasty....

     1451–69 (855–73 AH; in Herat 1459–69)

Abu Sa'id's sons divided his territories upon his death, into Samarkand, Badakhshan and Farghana
  • Sultān Ahmad
    Sultan Ahmad
    Sultan Ahmad ibn Abu Sa’id was the Timurid ruler of Samarkand from 1469 till 1494. During his rule he successfully repelled at least one invasion attempt by the Kara Koyunlu, and failed in an attempt to conquer Herat from the land of Khurasan from its ruler Husayn Bayqarah. He was succeeded by his...

     1469–94 (873–99 AH)
  • Sultān Mahmūd ibn Abu Sa’id 1494–95 (899–900 AH)
  • Sultān Baysunqur 1495–97 (900–02 AH)
  • Mas’ūd 1495 (900 AH)
  • Sultān Alī Mīrzā 1495–1500 (900–05 AH)

Samarkand is conquered by the Uzbeks
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

 under Muhammad Shaybani
Muhammad Shaybani
Abu 'I-Fath Muhammad , known in later centuries as Shaybani Khan , was a khan of the Uzbeks who continued consolidating various Uzbek tribes and laid foundations for their ascendance in Transoxiana. of Genghis Khan through his grandson Shayban and considered the Timurids as usurpers of the...


Other rulers

  • Qaidu bin Pir Muhammad bin Jahāngīr 808–811 AH
  • Abu Bakr bin Mīrān Shāh
    Miran Shah
    Miran Shah was a son of Timur, and a Timurid governor during his father's lifetime.Miran Shah's first charge was a vast region centered around Qandahar, which he was granted in 1383. That same year, he destroyed a rebellion against Timurid authority by the Kartids, then vassals of Timur in...

     1405–07 (807–09 AH)
  • Pir Muhammad bin Umar Sheikh 807–12 AH
  • Rustam 812–17 AH
  • Sikandar 812–17 AH
  • Alaudaullah 851 AH
  • Abu Bakr bin Muhammad 851 AH
  • Sultān Muhammad 850–55 AH
  • Muhammad bin Hussayn 903–06 AH
  • Abul A'la Fereydūn Hussayn 911–12 AH
  • Muhammad Mohsin Khān 911–12 AH
  • Muhammad Zamān Khān 920–23 AH
  • Shāhrukh II bin Abu Sa’id 896–97 AH
  • Ulugh Beg Kābulī 873–907 AH
  • Sultān Uways 1508–22 (913–27 AH)

Further reading


External links