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تیموریان

Timurid Dynasty
Empire in Central Asia

 

 

 

1370–1526
 

 

Flag of the Timurid dynasty[a]

Timurid Dynasty at its greatest extent
Capital Samarkand, Herat
Language(s) Persian
Religion Islam
Government Monarchy
Emir
 - 1370–1405 Timur
 - 1506–1507 Muzaffar Hussayn
Historical era Medieval
 - Founded by Timur 1370
 - Samarkand conquered by Uzbeks under Muhammad Shaybani 1509
 - Herat conquered by Shaybani 1507
 - Disestablished 1526
Area
 - 1405 est. 4,600,000 km2 (1,776,070 sq mi)
a: Flag of the Timurid Empire according to the Catalan Atlas c. 1375

The Timurids (Persian: تیموریان), self-designated Gurkānī [1][2][3](Persian: گوركانى), were a Persianate[4][5] Central Asian Sunni Muslim dynasty of originally Turko-Mongol[5][6][7][8] descent whose empire included the whole of Central Asia, Iran, modern Afghanistan, as well as large parts of Pakistan, India, Mesopotamia and the Caucasus. It was founded by the legendary conqueror Timur (Tamerlane) in the 14th century.

In the 16th century, Timurid prince Babur, the ruler of Ferghana, invaded India and founded the Mughal Empire, which ruled most of the Indian subcontinent until its decline after Aurangzeb in the early 18th century, and was formally dissolved by the British Raj after the Indian rebellion of 1857.

Contents

Origins

The origin of the Timurid dynasty goes back to the Mongolian nomadic confederation known as Barlas, who were remnants of the original Mongol army of Genghis Khan.[5][9][10] After the Mongol conquest of Central Asia, the Barlas settled in Turkistan (which then became also known as Moghulistan - "Land of Mongols") 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 also adopted the Persian literary and high culture[11] 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.[12] .

Founding the dynasty

Faravahar background
History of Greater Iran
| until the rise of modern nation-states |
See also
Kings of Persia
Pre-modern

Timur conquered large parts of Transoxiana (in modern day Central Asia) and Khorasan (parts of modern day Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) 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 the Mongolian Chagatai ulus, he subjugated Transoxania and Khwarazm in the years that followed and began a campaign westwards in 1380. By 1389 he had removed the Kartids from Herat and advanced into mainland Persia from 1382 (capture of Isfahan in 1387, removal of the Muzaffarids from Shiraz in 1393, and expulsion of the Jalayirids from Baghdad). In 1394/95 he triumphed over the Golden Horde and enforced his sovereignty in the Caucasus, in 1398 subjugated Multan and Dipalpur in modern day Pakistan 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".[13] In 1400/01 conquered Aleppo, Damascus and eastern Anatolia, in 1401 destroyed Baghdad and in 1402 triumphed over the Ottomans at Ankara. In addition, he transformed Samarqand into the Center of the World. An estimated 17 million people may have died from his conquests.[14]

After the end of the Timurid Empire in 1506, the Mughal Empire was later established in Afghanistan and India by Babur in 1526, who was a descendant of Timur through his father and possibly a descendant of Genghis Khan through his mother. The dynasty he established is commonly known as the Mughal Dynasty. By the 17th century, the Mughal Empire ruled most of India, but later declined during the 18th century. The Timurid Dynasty came to an end in 1857 after the Mughal Empire was dissolved by the British Empire and Bahadur Shah II was exiled to Burma.

Due to the fact that the Persian cities were desolated by previous wars, the seat of Persian culture was now in Samarkand and Herat. These cities became the center of the Timurid renaissance.[7]

Culture

Although the Timurids hailed from the Barlas tribe which was of Turkicized Mongol origin,[15] they had embraced Persian culture,[16] converted to Islam and resided in Turkestan and Khorasan. Thus, the Timurid era had a dual character,[7] which reflected both the Turco-Mongol origins and the Persian literary, artistic, and courtly high culture of the dynasty.[11][11][17]

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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 Turkic. The political organization hearkened back to the steppe-nomadic system of patronage introduced by Genghis Khan.[18] 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[19] 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.[20] Persian became the official state language of the Timurid Empire[11][17] and served as the language of administration, history, belles lettres, and poetry.[21] The Chaghatay language was the native and "home language" of the Timurid family[22] while Arabic served as the language par excellence of science, philosophy, theology and the religious sciences.[23]

Literature

Timurid literature
Illustration from Jāmī's "Rose Garden of the Pious", dated 1553. The image blends Persian poetry and Persian miniature into one, as is the norm for many works of the Timurid era.

Persian literature, especially Persian poetry occupied a central place in the process of assimilation of the Timurid elite to the Perso-Islamic courtly culture.[24] The Timurid sultans, especially Šāhrukh Mīrzā and his son Mohammad Taragai Oloğ Beg, patronized Persian culture.[11] 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.[25] 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:[26]

It can be viewed as a specific reaction in the wake of Timur's death in 807/1405 to the new cultural demands facing Shahhrokh and his sons, a Turkic military elite no longer deriving their power and influence solely from a charismatic steppe leader with a carefully cultivated linkage to Mongol aristocracy. Now centered in Khorasan, the ruling house regarded the increased assimilation and patronage of Persian culture as an integral component of efforts to secure the legitimacy and authority of the dynasty within the context of the Islamic Iranian monarchical tradition, and the Baysanghur Shahnameh, as much a precious object as it is a manuscript to be read, powerfully symbolizes the Timurid conception of their own place in that tradition. A valuable documentary source for Timurid decorative arts that have all but disappeared for the period, the manuscript still awaits a comprehensive monographic study.
Timurid literature in 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.[7][27][28][29] The Bāburnāma, the autobiography of Bābur (although being highly Persianized in its sentence structure, morphology, and vocabulary),[30] 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

During the reign of the Timurids, the golden age of Persian painting was ushered.[31] During this period — and analogous to the developments in Safavid PersiaChinese art and artists had a significant influence on Persian art.[7] Timurid artists refined the Persian art of the book, which combines paper, calligraphy, illumination, illustration and binding in a brilliant and colourful whole.[32] 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

"Akhangan" tomb, where Gowharšād's sister Gowhartāj is buried. The architecture is a fine example of the Timurid era in Persia.
"Gūr-e Amīr" complex with its azure dome.

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.[6] 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’’[33] Nearby, in the center of the ancient town, a Persian style Madrassa (religious school)[33] and a Persian style Mosque[33] 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.[34] 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 brilliantly colors. Timurs dominance of the region strengthened the influence of his capital and Persian architecture upon India.[35]

Rulers and heads of the dynasty

Rulers of the Timurid Empire

  • Timur (Tamerlane) 1370–1405 (771–807 AH) – with Suyurghitmiš Chaghtay as nominal overlord followed by Mahmūd Chaghtay as overlord and finally Muhammad Sultān as heir
  • Pir Muhammad bin Jahāngīr 1405–07 (807–08 AH)

Rulers of Herat

Herat is conquered by the Uzbeks under Muhammad Shaybani

Rulers of Samarkand

Abu Sa'id's sons divided his territories upon his death, into Samarkand, Badakhshan and Farghana

  • Sultān ibn Abu Sa’id 1469–94 (873–99 AH)
  • Sultān Mahmūd ibn Abu Sa’id 1494–95 (899–900 AH)
  • Sultān Baysunqur 1495–97 (900–02 AH)
  • Mas’ūd 1495 (900 AH)
  • Sultān Alī Mīrzā 1495–1500 (900–05 AH)

Samarkand is conquered by the Uzbeks under Muhammad Shaybani

Other rulers

  • 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

  1. ^ Zahir ud-Din Mohammad (2002-09-10). Thackston, Wheeler M.. ed. The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor. Modern Library Classics. ISBN 0375761373. "Note: Gurkānī is the Persianized form of the Mongolian word "kürügän" ("son-in-law"), the title given to the dynasty's founder after his marriage into Genghis Khan's family." 
  2. ^ Note: Gurgān, Gurkhān, or Kurkhān; The meaning of Kurkhan is given in Clements Markham's publication of the reports of the contemporary witness Ruy González de Clavijo as "of the lineage of sovereign princes".
  3. ^ Edward Balfour The Encyclopaedia Asiatica, Comprising Indian Subcontinent, Eastern and Southern Asia, Cosmo Publications 1976, S. 460, S. 488, S. 897
  4. ^ Maria Subtelny, "Timurids in Transition", BRILL; illustrated edition (2007-09-30). pg 40: "Nevertheless, in the complex process of transition, members of the Timurid dynasty and their Turko-Mongolian supporters became acculturate by the surrounding Persinate millieu adopting Persian cultural models and tastes and acting as patrons of Persian culture, painting, architecture and music." pg 41: "The last members of the dynasty, notably Sultan-Abu Sa'id and Sultan-Husain, in fact came to be regarded as ideal Perso-Islamic rulers who develoted as much attention to agricultural development as they did to fostering Persianate court culture."
  5. ^ a b c B.F. Manz, "Tīmūr Lang", in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition, 2006
  6. ^ a b Encyclopædia Britannica, "Timurid Dynasty", Online Academic Edition, 2007. (Quotation:...Turkic dynasty descended from the conqueror Timur (Tamerlane), renowned for its brilliant revival of artistic and intellectual life in Iran and Central Asia....Trading and artistic communities were brought into the capital city of Herat, where a library was founded, and the capital became the centre of a renewed and artistically brilliant Persian culture...)
  7. ^ a b c d e "Timurids". The Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth ed.). New York City: Columbia University. http://www.bartleby.com/65/ti/Timurids.html. Retrieved 2006-11-08. 
  8. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica article: Consolidation & expansion of the Indo-Timurids, Online Edition, 2007.
  9. ^ "Timur", The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001-05 Columbia University Press, (LINK)
  10. ^ "Consolidation & expansion of the Indo-Timurids", in Encyclopædia Britannica, (LINK)
  11. ^ a b c d e B. Spuler, "Central Asia in the Mongol and Timurid periods", published in Encyclopædia Iranica, Online Edition, 2006/7, (LINK): "... Like his father, Olōğ Beg was entirely integrated into the Persian Islamic cultural circles, and during his reign Persian predominated as the language of high culture, a status that it retained in the region of Samarqand until the Russian revolution 1917 [...] Ḥoseyn Bāyqarā encouraged the development of Persian literature and literary talent in every way possible ..."
  12. ^ David J. Roxburgh. The Persian Album, 1400-1600: From Dispersal to Collection. Yale University Press, 2005. pg 130: "Persian literature, especially poetry, occupied a central in the process of assimilation of Timurid elite to the Perso-Islamicate courtly culture, and so it is not surprising to find Baysanghur commissioned a new edition of Firdawsi's Shanama
  13. ^ Volume III: To the Year A.D. 1398, Chapter: XVIII. Malfúzát-i Tímúrí, or Túzak-i Tímúrí: The Autobiography of Tímúr. Page: 389 (please press next and read all pages in the online copy) (1. Online copy, 2. Online copy) from: 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 1867–1877. (Online Copy: The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period; by Sir H. M. Elliot; Edited by John Dowson; London Trubner Company 1867–1877 - This online Copy has been posted by: The Packard Humanities Institute; Persian Texts in Translation; Also find other historical books: Author List and Title List)
  14. ^ Selected Death Tolls: Timur Lenk (1369–1405)
  15. ^ M.S. Asimov & C. E. Bosworth, History of Civilizations of Central Asia, UNESCO Regional Office, 1998, ISBN 9231034677, p. 320: "... One of his followers was [...] Timur of the Barlas tribe. This Mongol tribe had settled [...] in the valley of Kashka Darya, intermingling with the Turkish population, adopting their religion (Islam) and gradually giving up its own nomadic ways, like a number of other Mongol tribes in Transoxania ..."
  16. ^ Lehmann, F.. "Zaher ud-Din Babor — Founder of Mughal empire". Encyclopædia Iranica (Online ed.). New York City: Columbia University Center for Iranian (Persian) Studies. pp. 320–323. http://www.iranica.com/newsite/search/searchpdf.isc?ReqStrPDFPath=/home/iranica/public_html/newsite/pdfarticles/v3_articles/babor_zahir-al-din_mohammad&OptStrLogFile=/home/iranica/public_html/newsite/logs/pdfdownload.html. Retrieved 2006-11-07. ""... His origin, milieu, training, and culture were steeped in Persian culture and so Babor was largely responsible for the fostering of this culture by his descendants, the Mughals of India, and for the expansion of Persian cultural influence in the Indian subcontinent, with brilliant literary, artistic, and historiographical results ..."". 
  17. ^ a b Mir 'Ali Shir Nawāi (1966). Muhakamat Al-Lughatain (Judgment of Two Languages). Robert Devereux (ed.). Leiden: E.J. Brill. LCC PL55.J31 A43. OCLC 3615905. "Any linguist of today who reads the essay will inevitably conclude that Nawa'i argued his case poorly, for his principal argument is that the Turkic lexicon contained many words for which the Persian had no exact equivalents and that Persian-speakers had therefore to use the Turkic words. This is a weak reed on which to lean, for it is a rare language indeed that contains no loan words. In any case, the beauty of a language and its merits as a literary medium depend less on size of vocabulary and purity of etymology that on the euphony, expressiveness and malleability of those words its lexicon does include. Moreover, even if Nawā'ī's thesis were to be accepted as valid, he destroyed his own case by the lavish use, no doubt unknowingly, of non-Turkic words even while ridiculing the Persians for their need to borrow Turkic words. The present writer has not made a word count of Nawa'i's text, but he would estimate conservatively that at least one half the words used by Nawa'i in the essay are Arabic or Persian in origin. To support his claim of the superiority of the Turkic language, Nawa'i also employs the curious argument that most Turks also spoke Persian but only a few Persians ever achieved fluency in Turkic. It is difficult to understand why he was impressed by this phenomenon, since the most obvious explanation is that Turks found it necessary, or at least advisable, to learn Persian - it was, after all, the official state language - while Persians saw no reason to bother learning Turkic which was, in their eyes, merely the uncivilized tongue of uncivilized nomadic tribesmen." 
  18. ^ Babur, Emperor of Hindustan (2002). The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor. translated, edited and annotated by W.M. Thackston. Modern Library.
  19. ^ Gérard Chaliand, Nomadic Empires: From Mongolia to the Danube translated by A. M. Berrett, Transaction Publishers, 2004. pg 75
  20. ^ Beatrice Forbes Manz. The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane. Cambridge University Press, 1999. pg 109: "...In Temür's government, as in those of most nomad dynasties, it is impossible to find a clear distinction between civil and military affairs, or to identify the Persian bureaucracy solely civil, and the Turko-Mongolian solely with military government. It is in fact difficult to define the sphere of either side of the administration and we find Persians and Chaghatays sharing many tasks. (In discussiong the settled bureaucracy and the people who worked within it I use the word Persian in a cultural rather than ethnological sense. In almost all the territories which Temür incorporated into his realm Persian was the primary language of administration and literary culture. The language of the settled "diwan" was Persian, and its scribes had to be thoroughly adept in Persian culture, whatever their ethnic origin.) Temür's Chaghatay emirs were often involved in civil and provincial administration and even in financial affairs, traditionally the province of Persian bureaucracy...."
  21. ^ B.F. Manz, W.M. Thackston, D.J. Roxburgh, L. Golombek, L. Komaroff, R.E. Darley-Doran (2007). "Timurids". Encyclopaedia of Islam (Online Edition ed.). Brill Publishers. ""During the Timurid period, three languages, Persian, Turkish, and Arabic were in use. The major language of the period was Persian, the native language of the Tajik (Persian) component of society and the language of learning acquired by all literate and/or urban Turks. Persian served as the language of administration, history, belles lettres, and poetry."". 
  22. ^ B.F. Manz, W.M. Thackston, D.J. Roxburgh, L. Golombek, L. Komaroff, R.E. Darley-Doran (2007). "Timurids". Encyclopaedia of Islam (Online Edition ed.). Brill Publishers. "What is now called Chaghatay Turkish, which was then called simply türki, was the native and 'home' language of the Timurids...". 
  23. ^ B.F. Manz, W.M. Thackston, D.J. Roxburgh, L. Golombek, L. Komaroff, R.E. Darley-Doran (2007). "Timurids". Encyclopaedia of Islam (Online Edition ed.). Brill Publishers. ""As it had been prior to the Timurids and continued to be after them, Arabic was the language par excellence of science, philosophy, theology and the religious sciences. Much of the astronomical work of Ulugh Beg and his co-workers... is in Arabic, although they also wrote in Persian. Theological works... are generally in Arabic.". 
  24. ^ David J. Roxburgh. The Persian Album, 1400-1600: From Dispersal to Collection. Yale University Press, 2005. pg 130: "Persian literature, especially poetry, occupied a central in the process of assimilation of Timurid elite to the Perso-Islamicate courtly culture, and so it is not surprising to find Baysanghur commissioned a new edition of Firdawsi's Shanameh
  25. ^ B.F. Manz/W.M. Thackston/D.J. Roxburgh/L. Golombek/L. Komaroff/R.E. Darley-Doran; "Timurids", in Encyclopaedia of Islam; Brill; Online Edition (2007): "... As it had been prior to the Timurids and continued to be after them, Arabic was the language par excellence of science, philosophy, theology and the religious sciences. Much of the astronomical work of Ulugh Beg and his co-workers [...] is in Arabic, although they also wrote in Persian. Theological works [...] are generally in Arabic. ..."
  26. ^ "Baysonghori Shahnameh" in Encyclopædia Iranica by T. Lenz
  27. ^ Persian Paintings
  28. ^ MSN Encarta. Islamic Art and Architecture.
  29. ^ Art Arena. Persian art - the Safavids
  30. ^ Stephen Frederic DaleThe Garden of the Eight Paradises: Babur and the Culture of Empire. BRILL, 2004. pg 150
  31. ^ New Orient, By Czechoslovak Society for Eastern Studies, Czechoslovak Society for Eastern Studies, 1968. pg 139.
  32. ^ John Onians, Atlas of World Art, Laurence King Publishing, 2004. pg 132.
  33. ^ a b c John Julius Norwich, Great Architecture of the World, Da Capo Press, 2001. pg 278.
  34. ^ Hugh Kennedy, "The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In", Da Capo Press, 2007. pg 237
  35. ^ Banister Fletcher, Dan Cruickshan, "Sir Banister Fletcher's a History of Architecture ",Architectural Press, 1996. pg 606

Further reading

External links


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