The empire of Tamerlane stands alongside that of Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan as the greatest conquests by one ruler. Together with Genghis and perhaps Ivan the Terrible, Tamerlane is also one of the great butchers of history before the twentieth century.
However, beyond the rarely staged play by Marlow, Tamer's place in history had been largely neglected. With the assistance of few source materials, but with the benefit of travelling through central asia to cities such as Herat, Samarkand, Damascus etc, Marozzi has written a compelling account of this extraordinary ruler, which I would recommend to anyone with an interest in history or indeed in contemporary politics. Whilst the savagery of Tamerlane's conquests are well captured, Marozzi also makes an interesting case for the cultural impact of Tamerlane and his beloved capital Samarkand.
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