Why did Timur attempt to restore the Mongol Empire?

Dinesh Lama 03/17/2017. 2 answers, 293 views
mongol-empire

I have read that Timur Lang was a conqueror who attempted to restore the Mongol Empire. But why did he attempted to do that? Was he a decendant of Genghis Khan as he used to say?

5 Comments
6 SPavel 03/17/2017
Everyone and their mother has claimed to descend from Genghis Khan (or Alexander, or Muhammed, or the Buddha, or your favourite Power Ranger) as a means of establishing their right to rule.
2 T.E.D.♦ 03/17/2017
@SPavel - Its possible they are all correct.
SPavel 03/17/2017
@T.E.D. Sure - Genghis and Charlemagne did sleep with a lot of women.
4 Greg 03/18/2017
Declaring to restore an old Empire / status is generally an easy way to earn / pretend legitimacy or form an ideological motivation. Otherwise warlords should say banal things like "You know guys, i just like killing and raping and stealing a lot, and I need pals to make it more effective... So what do you do on the weekend?"
1 Andrew Grimm 03/22/2017
He wanted to make the Mongol empire great again.

2 Answers


Tom Au 03/22/2017.

Timur was a warlord of (partial) Mongolian descent from Iran, one of the four major divisions of the Mongolian Empire. (The other three were Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia-China.) As such, he was "more royalist than the king," regarding the Mongol empire, in his attempt to restore it to its former glory, under his own rule.

His first step was to unite the former Mongolian Iranian territory under his rule by the 1390s (although he also advanced further into India than Genghis Khan). Then he conquered much of "Mongolian" central Asia (Kazakhstan, etc.) Finally, he planned to make war on the former Eastern Mongolian empire (Ming China and the Mongolian homeland), but died in 1405 before he could do so.

It's possible that he was descended from Genghis Khan (many people in that part of the world were), but that is unclear, or even disputed. Only a DNA test (if it were possible to run one) could tell for sure, because there are no records of most of Genghis Khan's affairs, and the resulting offspring.

2 comments
1 MAGolding 03/24/2017
Some of his children were descended from Genghis khan since one of his wives was a descendant.
NSNoob 05/31/2017
@MAGolding Indeed. He took the name "Gurkani" for his own dynasty, which means "Son in Laws" precisely because of his marriage to a descendant of Genghis Khan, thus making him Son-in-Law of sorts to the Great Khans. One of Taimur's most famous descandants from that Borjigin princess is Babur, founded of Mughal Empire.

John Dallman 03/18/2017.

At the time conquering yourself an empire was seen as a legitimate ambition if you could do it. Invoking Genghis Khan was a way to gather supporters and frighten opponents: getting people to surrender is easier than fighting them, and means you can tax them.

He was not a member of the Borjigin clan, but may have been descended from Genghis Khan anyway. There's no way to know now.

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