From Rodney Stark’s fantastic new history of modernity, How the West Won:

A Muslim of Turkic-Mongol origins, Tamerlane (also known as Timur) was born near the Persian city of Samarkand in 1336. Seeking to restore the Mongol Empire, he conquered vast areas of Asia. Again and again Tamerlane perpetrated huge massacres — perhaps as many as two hundred thousand captives (men, women, and children) were slaughtered during his march on Delhi — and had towering pyramids built from the heads of his victims. So barbaric were his conquests that he earned the sobriquet the “Scourge of God,” as Christopher Marlowe put it in his great play (1587). And while Tamerlane killed huge numbers of Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists, he virtually wiped out the Christians and Jews in the East. In Georgia alone, Samuel H. Moffett reported, Tamerlane “destroyed seven hundred large villages, wiped out the inhabitants, and reduced all the Christian churches … to rubble.” Any Christian communities that survived Tamerlane were destroyed by his grandson, Ulugh Beg.

And to think they name theirs sons after this monster.

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