Explain how Timur the Lame relates to the Ottoman Empire.  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Timur "the Lame" (ca. 1336-1405), or Tamerlane, was born into the Barlas clan in the area of Samarqand, a descendant of an amir from the time of Ghengis Khan. He first rose to prominence in the 1360s and then, in 1379, set out on a campaign of conquest. He amassed...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Timur "the Lame" (ca. 1336-1405), or Tamerlane, was born into the Barlas clan in the area of Samarqand, a descendant of an amir from the time of Ghengis Khan. He first rose to prominence in the 1360s and then, in 1379, set out on a campaign of conquest. He amassed an enormous empire, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Anatolia, southern Afghanistan, and northern India. See the first link below for a map of Timur's conquests. One of his last major victories was a defeat of Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II, who was taken captive, at the Battle of Ankara. Bayezid died in 1403.

This victory brings us to his significance for the Ottomans: Timur's victory stopped the spread of Ottoman power for a few decades. Furthermore, after the Ottoman loss, there was a period of instability and fratricide for about ten years, called the Ottoman Interregnum (i.e. between reigns) or the Ottoman Civil War. The Ottoman Empire was restored to some semblance of order only in 1413, by Sultan Mehmed I.

The defeat of the Ottomans at the Battle of Ankara also likely prolonged the existence of the Byzantine Empire, the remnants of which eventually fell to the Ottomans and Sultan Mehmed II "the Conqueror" in 1453, with the sack of Constantinople.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Timur the Lame, who is better known in the West as Tamerlane, is related to the Ottoman Empire because he was a major foe of that empire.

In the late 1300s and early 1400s, Tamerlane and his armies attacked the Ottoman Empire.  Tamerlane himself was a Muslim of Mongol heritage, but he felt that the Ottomans were not legitimate rulers.  He therefore saw himself and his warriors as "ghazis" or holy warriors even though they were fighting fellow Muslims.

Tamerlane was able to defeat the Ottomans in many battles.  He took cities such as Damascus and Baghdad, both of which were part of the Ottoman Empire.  He also managed to capture the Ottoman Emperor of the time, Bajazed.  This led to a period of chaos in the Empire.

Timur's relation to the Ottoman Empire, then, is that of a foe and a conqueror.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team