Tamerlane, or Timur, spent some thirty five years in military conquest during the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. While even his closest supporter and confidant once admitted off-record that Tamerlane “had his demons”, the tactical expertise and extraordinary artistic initiatives of this colourful turkified Mongol can never be denied.

The chief purpose of his exertions tended to be pillage rather than empire, so that the nineteen or twenty million who perished at his hand might well say (if they could speak) that their misfortunes resulted in an artistic cross-pollination never experienced in Central Asia, before or since. Even the skulls of massacred Persian citizens were used to form novel structures, such as pyramids and towers. After such undertakings few attempts were made to establish oppressive governmental rules or institutions, nor did the conqueror favour the massacre of one race more than another. He massacred whoever was in his path, irrespective of religion or colour. Tamerlane has thus been tagged by researchers as something of a cosmopolite and anti-imperialist, at least for his era.

Sadly, it has now come to the attention of modern historians that on more than one occasion Tamerlane engaged in inappropriate touching of women, both in Azerbaijan and Syria. Lenore Wayling-Crosby of the UTAS Centre of Excellence for Historical Gender Studies has indicated that more than a dozen other cases of such behaviour are hinted at in newly translated Persian texts, which also speak of Tamerlane’s “uncomfortable ogling habits”. Dr Wayling-Crosby and her associate Dr Mona Weiner have issued an official complaint to the mayors of Samarkand, Baku and Aleppo.

Dr Weiner explains: “One cannot be expected to excuse Andrew Cuomo’s sexist behaviour because of his heroic efforts to obtain ventilators for New York aged care homes, nor can Bill Gates be excused because of his extraordinary vaccination initiatives for women in Africa and India. A similar rigour must be applied to Tamerlane.”

In light of these findings, a number of statues and memorials across Uzbekistan…

About mosomoso

Growing moso bamboo on the mid-coast of NSW, Australia.
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