ABSTRACT

Although those who wrote about Temur 's career during his lifetime gave no date for the conqueror's birth, a convention among his later biographers would place it in 736 H./1335–6. Temur and his political opponents within the Mongol world acted out their lives on a stage dominated by the figure of Chinggis Khan. Temur 's own origins lay not in Ilkhanid Persia but in the Chaghadayid khanate in Central Asia, the territory known to Western Europeans as Medium Imperium, 'the Middle Empire', or (much less accurately) as Media and Imperium Medorum. Temur belonged to the ruling clan of the Turkicized Mongol tribe of the Barlas, which occupied the pasturelands around Shahr-i Sabz (Kish) in Transoxiana. During the next few decades, Temur welded the Chaghadayid nomads into a more effective war-machine by gradually transferring administrative offices and military command from the old tribal leaders to men chosen from his own personal following.