It’s @fran__olmos again. Today get ready for battles, blood and severed limbs: it’s Tamerlane’s turn! One of the most notorious conquerors in history, a military genius who also was, let’s admit it, fairly ruthless. This thread will cover his conquest of Eastern Iran fo/1
Timur (aka Tamerlane) was a persianised Turco-Mongol conqueror who built the largest Eurasian empire since Genghis Khan and his Mongols. Known for his skull pyramids and razing of cities, he also favoured artists and artisans and embellished his capital of Samarkand fo/2
Before starting with his conquests, it’s worth noting that Timur had to (re)conquer territories multiple times, as he made no dispositions for the control of the occupied territories. He was a conqueror, not a state-builder (something which his successors had to deal with) fo/3
After establishing himself in Transoxiana, with Samarkand as his capital, and conducting campaigns in Mogholistan and Uiguria against the Eastern Chagatai khanate, Timur turned west towards Iran fo/4
Before Timur’s conquest, post-Ilkhanid Iran was fragmented territory with multiple dynasties: Kartids (capital Herat), Sarbadars (Sabzevar), Muzaffarids (Shiraz), Jalairids (Tabriz)… And, as expected, they hated and fought each other. Iran was ripe for the picking fo/5
Timur first set his sights on the Kartids. This dynasty had ruled parts of Khorasan for +130 years, astutely surviving the Mongols, navigating between the Ilkhans and Chagataids. However the Kartid ruler during Timur’s time, Giyath ad-Din II, lacked his ancestors' ability fo/6
The Kartid ruler, at war with the neighbouring Sarbardars, reluctantly submitted to Timur but delayed visiting the conqueror when summoned. Big mistake. One does not keep Timur waiting. In response, the conqueror proceeded to occupy Herat in 1381 fo/7
Giyath ad-Din II saw how the Timurids demolished Herat’s walls and he was sent in exile to Samarkand. After this Herat rebelled but the uprise was crushed (towers of human heads anyone?) and the Kartid rulers were executed just in case fo/8
Timur then proceeded west (1381), where the Sarbardars were at war with the ruler of Mazanderan. The leader of the former, Ali Mu'ayyad, appealed to Timur for help and declared himself his subject. He would remain loyal to Timur and would later die in battle for him (1386) fo/9
Timur conquered (and destroyed) Esfarayen from Mazanderan’s Amir Wali in 1381, beating him repeatedly until the final conquest of his capital Astarabad (1384), modern Gorgan, where everyone was killed (“even infants at the breast”) fo/10
In 1383 Timur had to put down an uprise in Sabzevar, where “nearly 2,000 prisoners were piled alive, one on top of the other, with mud and brick to form towers”. The people of Sabzevar should have known by then that one does not rebel against Timur and gets away with it fo/11
Finally the conqueror laid waste to the dominions of the rebellious Mihrabanids of Sistan, massacring the inhabitants of its capital (Zaranj) and, perhaps more importantly for the longer term, ruining its irrigation system fo/12
Alternating these conquests with others, riding from one border to another, Timur subdued Eastern Iran between 1380-1384. Had the Muzzafarids and Jalairids learned their lesson? Join us tomorrow to find out! fo/13
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