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New Medieval Books: From Genghis Khan to Tamerlane

From Genghis Khan to Tamerlane: The Reawakening of Mongol Asia

By Peter Jackson

Yale University Press
ISBN: 978-0-300-25112-8

A look at how the peoples and states of Central Asia and Persia coped with the Mongol invasions and conquests, ranging from the Ilkhanate to the Timurids. Includes an in-depth examination of the warlord Timur and his impact on the region.


Although this book is in large part a study of Timur, his activities take up less than half the text and I have certainly not set out to construct a biography; the task of improving on the biographies that already exist appeared to me to be a highly elusive one. Nor does this book pretend to give a detailed account of Timur’s career: some of his campaigns will not even receive mention. What I have sought to do is to investigate, firstly, the backdrop against which he made his appearance, by examining the fortunes of the Mongol polities in Central and Western Asia in the middle decades of the fourteenth century, though I am aware that to do so is to risk a teleological approach. Secondly, I appraise Timur’s goals and policies in the light of this background, insofar as our sources render that possible. He will be set within an Islamic context, certainly, but also within a Mongol one, and specifically that of the Central Asian Mongol polity in which he originated. He is presented less as the restorer of a Chinggisid hegemony than as the champion of a renewed and remarkably extended Chaghadayid realm.


Who is this book for?

Both Tamerlane and Central Asia have long been underserved when it comes to medieval history. This book can be quite useful for historians who want to know more about these topics, although it might be too detailed as an introductory text.

The author

Peter Jackson is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at Keele University and has been a leading scholar of the Mongols for over 45 years. This book can be seen as a continuation of his previous work The Mongols and the Islamic World. Click here to see his Wikipedia page.


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