Tamerlane and the Symbolism of Sovereignty

Tamerlane and the Symbolism of Sovereignty

Forbes Manz, Beatrice

Iranian Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1/2, Soviet and North American Studies on Central Asia (1988)


The great nomad conqueror Timur set out to conquerthe whole of the former Mongol Empire and almost succeeded. Although the dynasty he founded lasted a relatively short time, he became a legendary figure within the Turco-Mongolian tradition of the Middle East and Central Asia, the subject of an elaborate myth connecting the Timurid dynasty with that of Chinggis Khan.

The dynastic claims formulated by Timur’ssuccessors remained alive and relevant to those within the tradition up to the nineteenth century. Timur’s myth assumed its final form well after his death, but it had its origins in Timur’sown formulation of his legitimacy and his personality as a ruler.

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