THE ANCIENT MOGUL EMPIRE
The ancient Mogul Empire embraced almost as much of India as is controlled by the British today, and extended westward into Europe as far as Moscow and Constantinople. It was founded by a young warrior known as Timour the Tartar, or Tamerlane, as he is more frequently called in historical works. He was a native of Kesh, a small town fifty miles south of Samarkand, the capital of Bokhara, which was known as Tartary in those days. This young man conquered more nations, ruled over a wider territory and a larger number of people submitted to his authority than to any other man who ever lived, before or since. His expansion policy was more successful than that of Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar or Charles V. or Napoleon, and he may properly be estimated as one of the greatest if not the very greatest and most successful soldier in all history. Yet he was not born to a throne. He was a self-made man. His father was a modest merchant, without wealth or fame. His grandfather was a scholar of repute and conspicuous as the first convert to Mohammedanism in the country in which he lived. Timour went into the army when he was a mere boy. There were great doings in those days, and he took an active part in them. From the start he seems to have been cast for a prominent role in the military dramas and tragedies being enacted upon the world’s wide stage. He inherited a love of learning from his grandfather and a love of war as well as military genius from some savage ancestor. He rose rapidly. Other men acknowledged his superiority, and before he was 30 years old he found himself upon a throne and acknowledged to be the greatest soldier of his time. He came into India in 1398 and set up one of his sons on a throne at Delhi, where his descendants ruled until the great Indian mutiny of 1857—460 years. He died of fever and ague in 1405, and was buried at Samarkand, where a splendid shrine erected over his tomb is visited annually by tens of thousands of pilgrims, who worship him as divine.