The Garden Guide

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

Timur in Iran and Iraq

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The second year was occupied in the subjugation of western Persia. Passing through Fars and Hamadan, the invading army overran the province of Louristan, crossed the river Karoon at Ahwaz, and entered Dizful {While Timur was in the province of Khuzistan, of which Dizful was then the capital, he repaired the famous dyke across the Karoon at Shuster, which had been constructed, many centuries before, by the Sassanian King Nourshirvan. It is made of hewn stone, cemented by lime, and fastened together by clamps of iron, and is twenty feet broad and one thousand two hundred long. In the centre there are two small arches, which allow part of the water to flow in the natural bed of the river, while the remainder is led off to irrigate the plains. The dyke was again repaired by Colonel Monteith, under the orders of Mohammed Ali Meerza, eldest son of the Shah of Persia, in 1810}. Meanwhile Mansur Mozuffur, the ruler of Shiraz, prepared to resist the invader, and a decisive campaign ensued. In his march from Dizful, Timur followed in the footsteps of Alexander, making forced marches by Ram Hormuz and Zohra, to the foot of the almost impregnable heights of Kalah-suffeed, which he assaulted and captured, after a desperate resistance. Mansur, the ruler of Fars, then engaged the mighty conqueror, but his Persians were defeated, and he himself was killed in single combat, by Shah Rokh, the son of Timur. The conqueror then entered the beautiful city of Shiraz, exterminated the race of Mozuffurs, and completely subjugated the southern provinces of Persia. Timur did not remain long at Shiraz; the divine poet Hafiz, whose society he had enjoyed during a former visit, was dead; and the wrath of the sovereign was only appeased by the slaughter of the rebellious people. There was nothing, therefore, to induce him to prolong his stay; and in September 1393, his triumphant army was led against Ahmed, the sultan of Bagdad; who fled at his approach {The cruelty and misgovernment of Ahmed led the people of Bagdad to beseech Timur to succour them.-De Guignes, ii, p. 288}. The Chatagai cavalry overtook the sultan on the plain of Kerbela near the Euphrates, and a skirmish with bows and arrows followed. The Sultan's followers again fled, rallied, and were again beaten off by the cavalry of Timur. A third time they rallied, and a desperate hand to hand conflict ensued, but Ahmed being by this time out of danger, his troops drew off. Timur's cavalry suffered the agonies of a raging thirst, in their return across the Mesapotamian deserts, to Bagdad.