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Timur takes Damascus

Posted in Anniversary, Famous battles on Sunday, 13 March 2011

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24 March marks the anniversary of the capture in 1401 of Damascus by Timur, the fourteenth century warrior who conquered much of western, south and central Asia.

picture, Timur, Tamerlane, Tamburlaine, conqueror, empire

Timur putting a city to the torch. Illustration by Gerry Embleton

Timur (meaning “iron”) is also known as Tamerlane (from Timur-e Lang, Timur the Lame) and Tamburlaine (used by Christopher Marlowe in his 1590 play loosely based on Timur’s life). He sought to re-establish the Mongol empire after gaining prominence as a military leader in around 1360. His conquest took him as far west and northwest to the Caspian Sea and the banks of the rivers Ural and Volga; to the south and southwest he conquered almost the whole of Persia. Even after forty years of fighting he launched into campaigns in India, Egypt and against the Ottoman Empire. He was planning the conquest of China when he died in 1405.

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