The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Biography - Life of Timur Beg

Timur at Persian Gulf

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Before returning to his own dominions, the mighty lord of Touran entered Muscovy, penetrated to the shores of the Dnieper, and repassing the Caucasus, caused a great festival to be held on a plain in Georgia, to celebrate his victorious campaign. The sovereign was seated on a throne, in a splendid pavilion, the air was perfumed with rose water, and bottles of Georgian wine were uncorked, amidst songs and music. The man, who had not many years before been a destitute wanderer in the deserts of Kharism, had now arrived at the highest pitch of earthly glory. The chiefs on the western and northern shores of the Caspian submitted to his sway, his eldest surviving son Miran was governor of Azerbijan, the wealthy city of Ormuz (Hormoz or Hormuz), in the Persian gulf, paid him tribute, and all the people of central Asia acknowledged him as their sovereign {Ormuz, which was for ages the great emporium of trade in the Persian Gulf, was originally founded by a colony of Arabs, and the city appears to have enjoyed centuries of peace and commercial prosperity. In 1290 the Mongols invaded Ormuz, and the inhabitants fled to a barren volcanic island, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, which was named Ormuz, in memory of the ancient city. The king of this new Ormuz (Hormoz or Hormuz) considered it prudent to send tribute to Timur. The city is described by Abdul Rizak, the ambassador sent by Shah Rokh to India in 1442, as a place which has not its equal on the surface of the globe. 'The merchants of Syria, Egypt, Roum, Fars, Khorassan (Iran/Afganistan) , Iraq, and Mawur-ul-naher, as well as the inhabitants of Java, Bengal, Socotra, Tennaserim, Malabar, Guzerat, and Arabia all make their way to this port. They bring hither those rare and precious articles which the sun, and the moon, and the rains have combined to bring to perfection.'-See India in the Fifteenth Century, published by the Hakluyt Society. Also Clavijo, P. 94. At present a few ruins, scattered amidst wild deserts of salt, on a dreary islet, alone testify to the former greatness of Ormuz}. He returned to Samarkand in 1396, and occupied himself for some time in the arrangement of the internal affairs of his vast empire, and in erecting splendid edifices in the land of his birth. Superb mosques and palaces were built at Samarkand and Kesh (Shakrisabz), gardens were laid out full of fragrant flowers, marble was transported from Azerbijan, and porcelain to adorn the chambers, from the distant empire of China.