In the distribution of the vast empire of Zingis, we have already seen that Zagathai, one of his sons, received the subordinate rule of Transoxiana, or the rich country on the rivers Jihon or Amu, and the Sir or Sihon, the Oxus and Jaxartes of the ancients. This extensive and fertile country, now called Western Turkestan, Great Bucharia, Kharism, Chorassan, and Balk, with some other smaller territories, is bounded on the west by the Caspian, on the east by the Belur-tag or Imaus, on the north by the deserts of western Tartary, and on the south by the mountains of the Hindoo-koh, and the desert of Margiana. The descendants of Zagatai were long considered as the khans or sovereigns of this fair empire, which fell into civil war and anarchy, through the divisions and subdivisions of the hordes, the uncertain laws of succession, and the ambition of the ministers of state, who reduced their degenerate masters to mere state puppets, and elevated or deposed successive khans at their pleasure; and the divided and distracted country was subjected or oppressed by the invasions of the khans of Kashgar, who ruled over the Calmucks or Getes in eastern Turkestan, or little Bucharia, on the cast of Imaus or the Belur-tag.
In this state of misery and depression, a new hero arose, in 1361, to vindicate and re-establish the fame and empire of the Moguls. Timour, usually called Tamerlane, was the son of the hereditary chief of Cash, a small but fruitful territory about forty miles to the south of Samarcand. He was the fifth in descent from Carashar-Nevian, who had been vizir or prime minister to Zagathai, of which sovereign Timour was descended in the female line. After various fortunes, he in 1370, rendered himself absolute sovereign of Transoxiana, then called Zagatai, after its first Mogul ruler; but for some time, he affected to govern as prime minister, or general, to a nominal khan of the house of Zingis, who served as a private officer at the head of his family horde in the army of his servant. After establishing his authority in Zagatai, and conquering Kharism, and Candahar, he turned his arms against Persia or Iran, which had fallen into disorganization by the extinction of the descendants of the great Holacou, and which country he reduced under subjection. He successively reduced Cashgar, or eastern Turkestan, and Kipzak or western Tartary, and invaded Syria and Anatolia. In this