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Timur, or Tamerlane, was the last great nomadic nomadic conqueror of Asia, and founder of the Timurid Empire and Dynasty. During his zenith, he commanded an empire which stretched from modern-day Turkey to Nepal. Most of Timur's life was spent in military conquest. His military expansions often involved the wholsale slaughter and genocide of the conquered peoples, leaving dead hundreds of thousands of enemy soldiers and civilians. The life and analysis of Timur's reign can be divided into three areas: military conquest, governance, and downfall. Upon examination of these three areas, one can understand the basic framework of Timur's life and rule, as well as his failures.

Before discussing Timur's military conquests and concurrent rise to power, it is necessary to provide some background of his early life. Timur was born in modern-day Uzbekistan in 1336. He was born into the clan Barlas, of which his father was the head of. He grew up in an area an region which had no central government, and was basically a confederation of loosely-knit Turco-Mongolian tribes, known as the Ulus Chaghatay, which was the product of the Ghenghis Khan Empire a few generations before. Timur never learned to read or write, but despite his illiteracy, historical records show him to be very intelligent with a strong intellectual curiosity. Timur is also known as Tamerlane, which means to "Tamer the Lame" and refers to a physical handicap in which the left part of his body was partially paralyzed due to an injury sustained in battle. The word "timur" means "iron" in mongolian. In 1941, Russian anthropologist Mikhail M. Gerasimov exhumed the skeleton of Timur, and found him to be 5' 8" tall, which was tall for his era and race, and also ascertained Timur's physical disability.

The emergence of Timur as a military and tribal leader began when he became head of the Barlas tribe. Timur was the hereditary recipient of this position when his father retired to a Muslim...
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