A Timurid Chronology

Date

Event

1166

Death of founder of Yasawi Sufi order, Ahmad Yasawi. His followers very important in spread of Islam into Inner Asia. Under Tamerlane, major complex of buildings erected around his tomb.

1318-1389

Life of founder of Naqshbandi Sufi order, Baha ad-Din Naqshband, who lived most of his life near Bukhara and was buried nearby.

1320s or 1330s

Birth of Timur into Barlas tribe near Kesh (Shahr-i Sabs)

1330s

Split of Chagatay's portion of Mongol Empire into two sections: Ulus Chagatay (mainly in Transoxiana; mixed nomadic and sedentary population, but region more heavily urbanized and islamicized), and Moghulistan (mainly in Ili R., Issyk Kul and NW Tarim; controlled in first instance by pastoral nomads more closely tied to pre-Muslim cultural traditions).

1347-1363

Rule of Chagatayid Tughluk Timur in Moghulistan, with support of local Dughlat clan. Later tradition attributes his conversion to Islam to followers of Baha ad-Din Naqshband.

ca. 1360

Tughluk Timur installs Timur (the future Tamerlane) as head of Barlas tribe at Shahr-i Sabs.

1361-mid-1380s

Major expansion of Shah-i Zinda tomb complex in Samarkand, including burials connected with family of Timur.

1364

Timur wounded in one of battles for power in region; from this came his lameness and nickname (Timur "The Lame"--Tamerlane).

1370

Timur becomes head of Ulus Chagatay, and begins to develop Samarkand as his capital.

1370s

Timur campaigns in Khwarezm and Moghulistan; in 1379 takes Urgench S. of Aral Sea and deports most of craftsmen.

1380

Beginning of construction of Ak Sarai (Timur's palace) at Shahr-i Sabs, employing the Khwarezm craftsmen and architects.

1381

Timur takes Herat.

1385-6

Timur conquers western Iran; beginning of conflict with his protege, Tokhtamysh, whom he had helped become Khan of the Golden Horde.

1387

Mission from Samarkand at Ming court in China.

1390

Timurid campaign into Volga River region of Golden Horde.

1393

Timur captures Baghdad.

1394

Mission from Samarkand at Ming court bringing forged letter purporting to be from Timur.

1394-1399

Timur builds shrine for Sufi saint Ahmad Yasavi, in Yasi (Turkestan City).

1395

Ming embassy to Timur which was badly received by him.

1395-6

Timur finishes off the Golden Horde and destroys its major cities.

1398

Timur sacks Delhi.

1399-1404

Building of Bibi Khanum mosque in Samarkand.

ca. 1400-1404

Building of Gur-i Mir (Gur Emir), which would become family mausoleum, in Samarkand.

1402

Timur defeats Ottoman ruler Bayezid I at Ankara.

1403

Clavijo in Samarkand at same time as Ming embassy.

1405

Death of Timur on eve of planned invasion of China.

1405-1447

Reign of Timur's son Shahrukh, whose capital was Herat.

1405-1433

Seven major Chinese fleets sent to South Asia and as far as Africa.

1407-1424

Twenty "tribute missions" from Timurid empire to China.

1411-1449

Timur's grandson Ulugh Beg governor of Samarkand, and in last two years ruler of Timurid empire.

1414

Ming send embassy of Ch'en Ch'eng (Zhen Zheng) to Timur's heir Shahrukh in Herat.

1417-1421

Building of Ulugh Beg's medrese on Registan in Samarkand.

1420s

Ulugh Beg's observatory built in Samarkand.

1435

Ulugh Beg has portal built for Shah-i Zinda.

1470-1506

Reign in Herat of Timur's great-great grandson, Husayn Bayqara, one of the great patrons of the arts. Among those he supported were the famous Sufi poet Jami, probably the most famous of all Persian painters, Bihzad, and the polymath Alisher Nava-i, who himself was an important statesman and patron of the arts.

1483-1530

Life and rule of Babur, Timur's great-great-great grandson, who fought unsuccessfully to keep Ferghana and then established his Mughal empire in Afghanistan and Northern India.

1490

Death of Khoja Ahrar, important Naqshbandi Sufi leader, said to have been the "virtual ruler" of Transoxiana for several decades because of his influence on the local princes.

2000 Daniel C. Waugh