Tīmūr (or Tamerlane), the Barlas tribesman whose empire stretched from the Mediterranean to India in the early fifteenth century has been a much studied and much romanticized figure in the history of Central Asia. His displays of macabre and often brutal intimidation of enemies have become almost as legendary as his military prowess. Indeed, Western legend of Tīmūr is as full of spine-tingling grotesquerie as any Gothic novel, and has been embellished far beyond plausibility.
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