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Timurids

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Timurids

Timurid Dynasty
تیموریان

 

 

 

1370–1507
 

 

 

The Timurid Empire in 1405.
Capital Samarkand
(1370–1505)
Herat
(1505–1507)
Languages Persian (official)[1]
Chagatay Turkic
Religion Sunni Islam
Government Feudal monarchy
Emir
 -  1370–1405 Timur (first)
 -  1506–1507 Badi' al-Zaman (last)
Historical era Medieval
 -  Timur Beg begins conquests 1363
 -  Establishment of Timurid dynasty 1370
 -  Westward expansion begins 1380
 -  Battle of Ankara 1402
 -  Fall of Samarkand 1505
 -  Fall of Herat 1507
 -  Founding of Mughal Empire 1526
Area
 -  1405 est.[2] 4,400,000 km² (1,698,849 sq mi)
Today part of  Uzbekistan
 Iran
 Turkmenistan
 Tajikistan
 Kyrgyzstan
 Kazakhstan
 Azerbaijan
 Georgia
 Armenia
 Afghanistan
 Pakistan
 Kuwait
 Iraq
 Syria
 Turkey
 China
 Russia
a: Flag according to the Catalan Atlas c. 1375.

The Timurid dynasty (Persian: تیموریان‎), self-designated Gurkānī [3][4][5] (Persian: گوركانى‎), was a Persianate,[6][7] Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turco-Mongol lineage[7][8][9][10] which ruled over modern-day Iran, Afghanistan, much of Central Asia, as well as parts of contemporary Pakistan, India, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the Caucasus. The dynasty was founded by Timur (Tamerlane) in the 14th century.

The Timurids lost control of most of Persia to the Safavid dynasty in 1501, but members of the dynasty continued to rule parts of Central Asia and parts of India, sometimes known as the Timurid Emirates. In the 16th century, Babur, a Timurid prince from Ferghana (modern Uzbekistan), invaded Kabulistan (modern Afghanistan) and established a small kingdom there, and from there 20 years later he invaded Hindustan to establish the Mughal Empire.

Origins

The origin of the Timurid dynasty goes back to the Mongol tribe known as Barlas, who were remnants of the original Mongol army of Genghis Khan.[7][11][12] After the Mongol conquest of Central Asia, the Barlas settled in what is today southern Kazakhstan, from Shymkent to Taraz and Almaty, which then came to be known for a time as Mongholistan – "Land of Mongols" in Persian – and intermingled to a considerable degree with the local Turkic and Turkic-speaking 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, the Central Asian Turks and Mongols adopted the Persian literary and high culture[13] 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.[14]

History

Main articles: Timur and History of Greater Iran

Timur conquered large parts of Central Asia, primarily Transoxiana and Khorasan, from 1363 onwards with various alliances (Samarkand in 1366, and Balkh in 1369), and was recognized as ruler over them in 1370. Acting officially in the name of Suurgatmish, the Chagatai khan, he subjugated Transoxania and Khwarazm in the years that followed. Already in the 1360s had he gained control of the western Chagatai Khanate and while as emir he was nominally subordinate to the khan, in reality it was now Timur that picked the khans who became mere puppet rulers. The western Chagatai khans were continually dominated by Timurid princes in the 15th and 16th centuries and their figurehead importance was eventually reduced into total insignificance.

Rise

Timur began a campaign westwards in 1380, invading the various successor states of the Ilkhanate. By 1389, he had removed the Kartids from Herat and advanced into mainland Persia where he enjoyed many successes. This included the capture of Isfahan in 1387, the removal of the Muzaffarids from Shiraz in 1393, and the expulsion of the Jalayirids from Baghdad. In 1394–95, he triumphed over the Golden Horde, following his successful campaign in Georgia, after which he enforced his sovereignty in the Caucasus. Tokhtamysh, the khan of the Golden Horde, was a major rival to Timur in the region. He also subjugated Multan and Dipalpur in modern day Pakistan in 1398, and in modern day India left Delhi in such ruin that it is said for two months "not a bird moved wing in the city".[15] Timur gave the north Indian territories to a non-family member, Khizr Khan, whose Sayyid dynasty replaced the defeated Tughlaq dynasty of the Sultanate of Dehli. Delhi became a vassal of the Timurids but obtained independence in the years following the death of Timur.
In 1400–1401 he conquered Aleppo, Damascus and eastern Anatolia, in 1401 he destroyed Baghdad and in 1402 defeated the Turks in the Battle of Ankara. This made Timur the most preeminent Muslim ruler of the time, as the Ottoman Empire plunged into civil war. Meanwhile he transformed Samarkand into a major capital and seat of his realm.

Timur appointed his sons and grandsons to the main governorships of the different parts of his empire, and outsiders to some others. After his death in 1405, the family quickly fell into disputes and civil wars, and many of the governorships became effectively independent. However, Timurid rulers continued to dominate Persia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and much of Central Asia, though the Anatolian and Caucasian territories were lost by the 1430s. Due to the fact that the Persian cities were desolated by wars, the seat of Persian culture was now in Samarkand and Herat, cities that became the center of the Timurid renaissance.[9] The cost of Timur's conquests amount to the deaths of possibly 17 million people,[16] and the loss to culture from the destruction of libraries and historic sites is incalculable.

Fall

By 1500, the divided and wartorn Timurid Empire had lost control of most of its territory and within the following years were effectively pushed back on all fronts. Persia fell quickly to the Shiite Safavid dynasty, secured by Shah Ismail I in the following decade. Much of the Central Asian lands was overrun by the Uzbeks of Muhammad Shaybani who conquered the key cities of Samarkand and Herat in 1505 and 1507, and founded the Khanate of Bukhara. From Kabul, the Mughal Empire was established by Babur, a descendant of Timur through his father and possibly a descendant of Genghis Khan through his mother, in 1526. The dynasty he established is commonly known as the Mughal dynasty though it was directly inherited from the Timurids. By the 17th century, the Mughal Empire ruled most of India, but eventually declined during the following century. The Timurid dynasty finally came to an end as the remaining nominal rule of the Mughals was abolished by the British Empire following the 1857 rebellion.

Culture

Although the Timurids hailed from the Barlas tribe which was of Turkicized Mongol origin,[17] they had embraced Persian culture,[18] converted to Islam and resided in Turkestan and Khorasan. Thus, the Timurid era had a dual character,[9] which reflected both the Turco-Mongol origins and the Persian literary, artistic, and courtly high culture of the dynasty.[13][13][19]

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. The political organization hearkened back to the steppe-nomadic system of patronage introduced by Genghis Khan.[20] The major language of the period, however, was Persian, 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[21] 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" was Persian, and its scribes had to be thoroughly adept in Persian culture, whatever their ethnic origin.[22] Persian became the official state language of the Timurid Empire[13][19] and served as the language of administration, history, belles lettres, and poetry.[23] The Chaghatay language was the native and "home language" of the Timurid family[24] while Arabic served as the language par excellence of science, philosophy, theology and the religious sciences.[25]

Literature

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.[26] The Timurid sultans, especially Šāhrukh Mīrzā and his son Mohammad Taragai Oloğ Beg, patronized Persian culture.[13] Among the most important literary works of the Timurid era is the Persian biography of Timur, known as "Zafarnāmeh" (Persian: ظفرنامه‎), 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, the last great medieval Sufi mystic of Persia and one of the greatest in Persian poetry. In addition, some of the astronomical works of the Timurid sultan Ulugh Beg were written in Persian, although the bulk of it was published in Arabic.[27] The Timurid ruler Baysunğur also commissioned a new edition of the Persian national epic Shāhnāmeh, known as Shāhnāmeh of Baysunğur, and wrote an introduction to it. According to T. Lenz:[28]

Chagatay

The Timurids also played a very important role in the history of Turkic literature. 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, Sultan Husayn Bāyqarā, and Zāher ud-Dīn Bābur encouraged other Turkic-speaking poets to write in their own vernacular in addition to Arabic and Persian.[9][29][30][31] The Bāburnāma, the autobiography of Bābur (although being highly Persianized in its sentence structure, morphology, and vocabulary),[32] 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

Main article: Persian art

During the reign of the Timurids, the golden age of Persian painting was ushered.[33] During this period — and analogous to the developments in Safavid PersiaChinese art and artists had a significant influence on Persian art.[9] Timurid artists refined the Persian art of the book, which combines paper, calligraphy, illumination, illustration and binding in a brilliant and colourful whole.[34] It was the Mongol ethnicity of the Chaghatayid and Timurid Khans that is the source of the stylistic depiction Persian art during the Middle Ages. These same Mongols intermarried with the Persians and Turks 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 and Mesopotamian local populations, the Mongol stylism continued well after, and crossed into Asia Minor and even North Africa.

Architecture

Main article: Persian architecture

In the realm of architecture, the Timurids drew on and developed many Seljuq 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.[8] Timurid architecture is the pinnacle of Islamic art in Central Asia. Spectacular and stately edifices erected by Timur and his successors in Samarkand and Herat 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 in present-day Kazakhstan and culminated in Timur's mausoleum Gur-e Amir in Samarkand. Timur's Gur-I Mir, the 14th-century mausoleum of the conqueror is covered with ‘’turquoise Persian tiles’’[35] Nearby, in the center of the ancient town, a Persian style Madrassa (religious school)[35] and a Persian style Mosque[35] 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.[36] Axial symmetry is a characteristic of all major Timurid structures, notably the Shāh-e Zenda in Samarkand, the Musallah complex in Herat, and the mosque of Gowhar Shād in Mashhad. Double domes 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.[37]

Rulers and heads of the dynasty

Titular Name Personal Name Reign
Timur ruled over Chagatai Khanate with Soyurghatmïsh Khan as nominal Khan followed by Sultan Mahmud Khan. He himself adopted the Muslim Arabic title of Amir. In essence the Khanate was finished and Timurid Empire was firmly established.
Amir
امیر
Timur Lang
تیمور لنگ
Timur Beg Gurkani
تیمور بیگ گورکانی
1370 – 1405 C.E.
Amir
امیر
Pir Muhammad bin Jahangir Mirza
پیر محمد بن جہانگیر میرزا
1405–1407 C.E.
Amir
امیر
Khalil Sultan bin Miran Shah
خلیل سلطان بن میران شاہ
1405–1409 C.E.
Amir
امیر
Shahrukh Mirza
شاھرخ میرزا
1405–1447 C.E.
Amir
امیر
Ulugh Beg
الغ بیگ
Mirza Muhammad Tāraghay
میرزا محمد طارق
1447–1449 C.E.
Division of Timurid Empire
Transoxiana Khurasan/Herat/Fars/Iraq-e-Ajam
Abdal-Latif Mirza
میرزا عبداللطیف
Padarkush
(Father Killer)
1449 – 1450
  • Ala-ud-Daulah Mirza bin Baysonqor
    علاء الدولہ میرزا بن بایسنقر
    ?
  • Mirza Abul-Qasim Babur bin Baysonqor
    میرزا ابوالقاسم بابر بن بایسنقر
    1449–1457
  • Sultan Muhammad bin Baysonqor
    سلطان محمد ابن بایسنقر
    1447–1451
Abdallah Mirza
میرزا عبد اللہ
1450 – 1451
Mirza Abul-Qasim Babur bin Baysonqor
میرزا ابوالقاسم بابر بن بایسنقر
1451–1457
Mirza Shah Mahmud
میرزا شاہ محمود
1457
Ibrahim Mirza bin Ala-ud-Daulah
ابراھیم میرزا
1457–1459
Abu Sa'id Mirza
ابو سعید میرزا
(Although Abu Sa'id Mirza re-united most of the Timurid heartland in Central Asia with the help of Uzbek Chief, Abul-Khayr Khan (grandfather of Muhammad Shayabani Khan), he agreed to divide Iran with the Black Sheep Turkomen under Jahan Shah, but the White Sheep Turkomen under Uzun Hassan defeated and killed first Jahan Shah and then Abu Sa'id. After Abu Sa'id's death another era of fragmentation follows.)
1451–1469
**Transoxiana is Divided Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqarah
سلطان حسین میرزا بایقرا
1469 1st reign
Yadgar Muhammad Mirza
میرزا یادگار محمد
1470 (6 weeks)
Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqarah
سلطان حسین میرزا بایقرا
1470–1506 2nd reign
  • Badi' al-Zaman Mirza
    بدیع الزمان میرزا
    1506–1507
  • Muzaffar Husayn Mirza
    مظفر حسین میرزا
    1506–1507
Uzbeks under Muhammad Shayabak Khan Uzbek Conquer Herat
Samarkand Bukhara Hissar Farghana Balkh Kabul
Sultan Ahmad Mirza
سلطان احمد میرزا
1469 – 1494
Umar Shaikh Mirza II
عمر شیخ میرزا ثانی
1469 – 1492
Sultan Mahmud Mirza
سلطان محمود میرزا
1469 – 1495
Ulugh Beg Mirza II
میرزا الغ بیگ
1469 – 1502
Sultan Baysonqor Mirza bin Mahmud Mirza
بایسنقر میرزا بن محمود میرزا
1495 – 1497
Sultan Ali bin Mahmud Mirza
سلطان علی بن محمود میرزا
1495 – 1500
Sultan Masud Mirza bin Mahmud Mirza
سلطان مسعود بن محمود میرزا
1495 – ?
Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur
ظہیر الدین محمد بابر
1492 – 1497
Khusroe Shah خسرو شاہ
(Usurper)
? – 1503
Mukim Beg Arghun مقیم ارغون
(Usurper)
? – 1504
Uzbeks under Muhammad Shayabak Khan Uzbek
محمد شایبک خان ازبک
1500–01
Jahangir Mirza II
جہانگیر میرزا
(puppet of Sultan Ahmed Tambol)
1497 – ?
Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur
ظہیر الدین محمد بابر
1503 – 1504
Uzbeks under Muhammad Shayabak Khan Uzbek
محمد شایبک خان ازبک
1503–04
Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur
ظہیر الدین محمد بابر
1504 – 1511
Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur
ظہیر الدین محمد بابر
(Never till his conquest of India were the dominions of Babur as extensive as at this period. Like his grandfather Abu Sa'id Mirza, he managed to re-unite the Timurid heartland in Central Asia with the help of Shah of Iran, Ismail I. His dominions stretched from the Caspian Sea and the Ural Mountains to the farthest limits of Ghazni and comprehended Kabul and Ghazni;Kunduz and Hissar; Samarkand and Bukhara; Farghana; Tashkent and Seiram)
1511 – 1512
Uzbeks under Ubaydullah Sultan عبید اللہ سلطان re-conquer Transoxiana and Balkh
1512
Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur
ظہیر الدین محمد بابر
1512 – 1530
Timurid Empire in Central Asia becomes extinct under the Khanate of Bukhara of the Uzbeks. However, Timurid dynasty moves on to conquer India under the leadership of Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur in 1526 C.E. and established the Timurid dynasty of India.

Governors of Iraq-e-Ajam/Iraq-e-Arab/Fars/Azerbaijan & other Persian Territories

  • Qaidu bin Pir Muhammad bin Jahāngīr 808–811 AH
  • Abu Bakr bin Mīrān Shāh 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)

See also

References and notes

Further reading

  • Encyclopædia Iranica
  • Elliot, Sir H. M.; edited by Dowson, John. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period; published by London Trubner Company 1867–77. (Online Copy: The Packard Humanities Institute; Persian Texts in Translation; Also find other historical books: Author List and Title List)
 
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External links

  • Timurid Dynasty
  • Timurid Art
  • Virtual Art Exhibit
  • Chronology of Herat rulers
  • Royalark
  • Timurid genealogy
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