Timur ‘the lame’, sought to emulate Genghis Khan, and resembled him in both the breadth of his conquests and appetite for destruction. Born in Transoxiana to minor nobility, he became first general to the proxy ruler of the western Chagatai Khanate. After conquering Persia in the 1380s, he turned on his northern rival, Tokhtamysh, Khan of the Golden Horde, destroying his capital at New Sarai in 1395. He then moved against the Tughlaq dynasty in India in 1398, capturing first Multan, then Delhi. In 1399–1400, he captured Baghdad, and invaded Armenia, the Mamluk Sultanate, and, for good measure, the Ottoman Empire. All these campaigns were victorious; the populace of Damascus were massacred, and the Ottoman Sultan, Bayezid I, who was captured at the Battle of Ankara, was paraded in a cage in front of Timur’s army. Timur died in 1405, en route to invading China. Without his ruthless presiding genius, his empire would soon disintegrate.
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