Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tamerlane's Revenge

Timur the Lame, aka Tamerlane, conquered much of India, Persia, and Central Asia in the fourteenth century.

Here is a timeline of events after his death.

February 19, 1405: Tamerlane dies. His body is returned to Samarkand and buried.

Timur's lavish tomb, the Gur-e Amir, still stands. 1895 photo.

1405, after entombment: A sign is carved into his tomb which warns that whoever disturbed the tomb of Timur bring "demons of war onto his land."

June 19, 1941: Mikhail Gerasimov exhumes Timur's remains for study.
June 22, 1941: Nazi Germany invades the Soviet Union.

[N.B. Timur was given an elaborate Islamic funeral and reburied in November 1942; the battle of Stalingrad ended in Russian victory not too long thereafter]

1 comment:

  1. Nature, that framed us of four elements
    Warring within our breasts for regiment,
    Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.
    Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend
    The wondrous architecture of the world
    And measure every wandering planet's course,
    Still climbing after knowledge infinite,
    And always moving as the restless spheres,
    Will us to wear ourselves and never rest,
    Until we reach the ripest fruit of all,
    That perfect bliss and sole felicity,
    The sweet fruition of an earthly crown.

    -From "Tamburlaine the Great" by Christopher Marlowe

    I promise in a few days I'll have something more substantive than the occasional play quote.