Bloodthirsty Conqueror and Patron of the Artsby Rit Nosotro
They say that on the night on which he was born something like a helmet appeared, seemed to flutter in the air, then fell into the middle of the plain and finally was scattered over the ground; thence also live voals flew about like glowing ashes and collcted so that they filled the plan and the city: they also say that when that evil man saw the light, his palms were full of freshly shed blood.
- Ahmed ibn Arabshah, Tamerlane or Timur the Great Amir
In the 14th century, in the midst of a discord and rebellion amidst the khanates, a man named Timur was born near Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Timur is also known to history as Timur the Lame or Tamerlane, and although not of the house of Jenghiz Khan, he nearly idolized the Mongol leader.  Timur began a series of military invasions that started in Central Asia and continued on all the way to Iran, Iraq, Syria, and parts of Turkey and India.  However, for the most part he limited his conquests to pillaging the towns, and did not enlarge his empire to a great degree. He became known for his ruthless and bloodthirsty style of warfare and reportedly even surpassed Jenghiz Khan in cruelty.  "And I have seen, in the appendix of the Persian Chronicle called Muntakhab, which is brought down from the creation to the times of Timur with truly admirable effort, the genealogy of Timur traced without a break to Jenghizkhan through females, snares of Satan."  Throughout his lifetime death and destruction followed Timur. He had a habit of allying himself with someone who could aid his conquest, but then deserting them when he gained enough strength to continue on his own. A surprisingly coincidental number of Timur's former allies ended up dead, enabling Timur to further his expeditions. For instance, while still young he married the granddaughter of the very powerful Emir Qazghan. When the Emir died in battle, Timur returned home to find his uncle the leader of the family. The man died at the hand of bandits shortly after a battle in which Timur had become his reluctant ally. Furthermore, Timur the Lame's pledged his service to Timur Tughlugh, but quickly abandoned Tughlugh to join forces with his own brother-in-law, Hussein. Wounds obtained during their battle against Tughlugh earned Timur his nickname, Timur Lenk (Timur the Lame). When Timur's wife (Hussein's sister) died, Timur forged a surprise attack against Hussein and won. Although Hussein surrendered, he was later "mysteriously" murdered. 
Eventually Timur became "the undisputed master of Central Asia" although he continued to rule through other figures of authority.  His military actions bespoke intelligence and planning. In his Institutes, Timur recorded:
For the private soldiers I ordained, that on an expedition every eighteen men should take one tend; and that each man should be supplied with two horses, and with a bow, and with a quiver of arrows, and with a sword, and with a saw, and with an axe, and with an awl, and with thread, and with ten needles, and with a leathern knapsack. 
But unlike Jenghiz Khan, Timur lacked the skills needed in order to unite the peoples he had conquered. As a result, his "empire" crumbled quickly after his death. It lacked the type of structure necessary to allow it to change rulers successfully. He fought with some of the greatest armies of his time, but even many of the weaker societies that he oppressed survived longer and made a much more significant impact on history than the Timurid empire. 
Ironically, Timur was also a patron of the arts and greatly involved in social reform. He brought together different peoples and communities, and tried to set up a form of government that included social and judicial laws. This brought about military victories and scientific and economic progress.  Although Timur lacked the organizational and leadership skills to build an empire, he and his successors produced a legacy of art and culture.  During that era, carpets played a large role in Central Asian culture. A certain carpet covering Timur's throne represented him during his absence and visiting ambassadors even kissed it.  They promoted additional development of literature  and furthered the use of languages.  This era also boasts the creation of elegant architecture and art.  His legacy of arts lasted far longer than any of his military accomplishments. Beginning in the 15th Century and continuing on into the beginning of the 16th Century something called the Timuran Renaissance occurred in Uzbekistan. 
Timur placed so much importance on merely plundering and looting that he almost entirely ignored the actions that would have given his empire a more permanent position in the world.  He placed all his time and energy into conquering lands simply for the sake of triumph that he lost sight of all that he had and the possibilities that lay there. Furthermore, by placing so much importance on earthly things he entirely missed the eternal realm. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, "we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."Endnotes:
 Tamerlande or Timur the Great Amir. Trans. Ahment Ibn Arabsha and J.H Sanders. Progressive Books. Lahore, India. 1976. (Page 1). As quoted in Erik Hildinger's Warriors of the Steppe (Page 170).
 Erik Hildinger. Warriors of the Steppe. SARPEDON. New York, New York. 1997. (Pages 169-170)
 Bradley Mayhew, Richard Plunkett, Simon Richmond. (Page 22)
 Erik Hildinger. (Pages 11-12)
 Tamerlande or Timur the Great Amir. Trans. Ahment Ibn Arabsha and J.H Sanders. Progressive Books. Lahore, India. 1976. (Page 1). As quoted in Erik Hildinger's Warriors of the Steppe (Page 171).
 Erik Hildinger. (Pages 171-174)
 Erik Hildinger. (Pages 171-174)
 Tamerlane. The Political and Military Institutes of Tamerlane, Recorded by Sharfuddin Ali Yezdi, trans. James Davy, New Delhi, India, Idarah-I Adabiyat-I Delli. 1972. As quoted in Erik Hildinger's Warriors of the Steppe. (Page 174)
 Erik Hildinger. (Page 192-195)
 Gavin Hambly. Central Asia. Dell Publishing Co., Inc. New York. 1969. (Pages 153, 162)
 Christopher Kremmer. The Carpet Wars: From Kabul to Baghdad. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. New York. 2002. (Page 16)
 Gavin Hambly (Pages 153, 162)
 Bradley Mayhew, Richard Plunkett, Simon Richmond. (Page 23)
 Gavin Hambly. (Page 162)
 Erik Hildinger. (Page 195)