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The Black Death ravages the Ilkhanate. Timur (Timurlane) establishes the Timurid Empire.

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Video transcript

- [Instructor] Where we left off in the last few videos we saw the Empire of the Mongols fragment into the various Khanates. In the east you have the Yuan Dynasty established by Kublai Khan. And then in the west you have the Golden Horde, the Chagatai Khanate and then the Ilkhanate in much of the Middle East and Persia. Now as we go a little bit further into the 14th century, and in particular the 1330s, you might remember when we studied Europe, that the bubonic plague hits, and it doesn't just hit Europe, it hits Asia. And one of the causes often given for the rapid spread is that you had relative stability formed by these Khanates so that trade was able to happen, but with that trade you also have the spread of disease. And so the bubonic plague, or the Black Death of the 1330s, in particular does damage to the Ilkhanate in Persia and the Middle East. Not only the Emperor but his sons all die from the bubonic plague. And so you see here on this timeline the Ilkhanate goes into a rapid decline because of the Black Death. And at the same time, in the southwest corner of the Chagatai Khanate, a future conqueror is born. Timur, which means iron, he's often known as Timurlane because when he was young he was injured in both the hand and leg by arrows which impaired his movement and which is why the Europeans called him Timur the Lame, which became Timurlane. But despite his physical impairments he's able to conquer much of the Chagatai Khanate eventually and the Ilkhanate and establish a dynasty of his own. The Empire gets established in 1370 when he gets effective power over much of the western Chagatai Khanate. He comes from a Turko-Mongol tradition. Now you'll hear these terms Turko-Mongol a lot, because even though the Mongols conquered this large swath of territory, they did so with the significant help of people speaking Turkic languages from central Asia, Turkish being the most well known of the Turkic languages. And so many of the conquerors, especially the Muslim conquerors of central Asia and Persia of this period are of a Turko-Mongol ethnicity. Even though there's no evidence of him being a direct descendant of Genghis Khan, or Genghis Khan, he views himself as the successor, he wants to recreate the great Mongol Empire. By the time of Timur's death, the Timurid Empire encompasses much of Persia, central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East. His legacy is a bloody one, as he expanded territory and took over cities it was not uncommon for his soldiers to kill tens, if not hundreds of thousands of civilians who revolted against Timur's rule. His forces famously attacked the Delhi Sultanate, not hoping to conquer India, but to take its spoils. In 1398 he was able to successfully defeat the Sultan who had battle elephants and he was able to defeat them by sending camels that had flames on their backs to scare the elephants. And famously, when his forces took Delhi, they killed 100,000 to 200,000 people and took the spoils of the city. There are some estimates that Timur's forces killed as many as 17 million people as the Empire expanded. To put this into perspective, this is roughly five percent of the world's population at that time. Now once Timur dies in 1405, you can see from this timeline that the Empire does not last long, as we get to the second half of the 15th century, it is in decline. Now some of his descendants end up ruling over fragmented portions of this Empire, and as we get into the 16th century we'll see one descendant in particular, his grandson's great grandson takes on the Delhi Sultanate and established the Mughal, which is Persian for Mongol, establishes the Mughal Empire in northern India.