, or Timur Bec, the great conqueror of the East, was born in 1335, in the village of Kesch, belonging to the ancient Sogdiana. His name of Tamerlane is derived by some writers from Timur Lenc 9 or Timur the lame, as he had some defect in his feet. His origin is uncertain, some reporting him to be the son of a shepherd, and others of the royal blood. He raised himself, however, by his personal courage and talents. He was distinguished early by these qualities; and, having acquired some followers devoted to his fortunes, his first conquest was that of Balk, the capital of Khorasan, on the frontiers of Persia. He then made himself master of the whole province of Candahar, and returning to subdue the people beyond the Oxus, took Bagdad. He now determined to undertake the conquest of India; but his soldiers, fatigued by their former efforts, refused at first to follow him. On this occasion he employed a pretended prophet to exhort them in the name of heaven; and having made them ashamed of their reluctance, and filled them with a strong enthusiasm, led them on to greater victories. Delhi fell before him, aiifl he became possessed of the immense treasures of the Mogul empire. Returning from his Indian exploits, he entered Syria and took Damascus: and Bagclad having attempted to revolt, he made a terrible example, by putting many thousands of the inhabitants to the sword, and delivering the city to pillage. Bajazet, emperor of the Turks, now attracted his notice, and to him he sent an embassy, requiring him to do justice to some Mahometan princes whom he had deposed, and to abandon the siege of Constantinople. This haughty message being as haughtily answered, war was commenced between them. Tamerlane marched towards Bajazet, whom, in 1402, he engaged, conquered, and took prisoner, in the plains of Ancyra near Phrygia. The battle lasted three days. The | Turkish writers say, that after this event, Tamerlane asked JBajazet what he would have done to him, if he had been victorious. “I would have shut you up,” said Bajazet, “in an iron cage.” Upon which he was himself condemned to the same punishment. Some writers, however, boast of the generosity and magnanimity of the conqueror. Be this as it may, he certainly carried his victories to a wonderful extent: while he was engaged in the war with Bajazet, he vanquished Egypt, and seized the immense treasures of Grand Cairo, nor could any thing in the East withstand him. He died about three years after his victory, on the first of April, 1405, in the seventy-first year of his age, and the thirty-sixth of his reign. When he found death approaching, he called the princes together, appointed his grandson to be his heir, and died, professing his implicit faith in the Koran, and repeating the sacred words of the Mahometans, “There is no God but God, and Mahomet is his prophet.

Timur, according to Arabshah, was tall and corpulent, with a fair complexion, and agreeable countenance. He was very strong, and well made, except his lameness, which was on the right side; and as vigorous in constitution as undaunted in courage. He retained his faculties to the last. In his manners he appears to have been stern, hating not only falsehood, but even jesting. His history affords a wonderful example of long and invariable success attending one man. He conquered as much as Alexander, but with for less humanity. 1


Univ. Hist.-Gibbon.