The Corner

Tamburlaine the Great

“Tamerlan” is not a name you hear much these days, but for those with a history bent, Tamerlane (also known as Timur or Tamburlaine) was Turkic Muslim ruler of an area reaching from eastern Anatolia in Turkey, through all of Central Asia, modern Iran, and the western half of Pakistan. Known as the “Sword of Islam,” he was born in 1336 and died in 1405. Seeking to recreate Genghis Khan’s empire, and begetting descendants who ruled Central and South Asia for centuries, he attacked western outposts of the Ming Empire in China and had contacts with European rulers. 

Tamerlane fired the imagination of Western writers, including Christopher Marlow and Edgar Allan Poe, whose poem, Tamerlane, can be found here. Wikipedia’s page has a good list of resources on Tamerlane’s life and empire. It will take some time to find out more about the Tsarnaev family, and names don’t necessarily reveal much, but Tamerlan is among the more evocative that a parent can choose for a child growing up in Kyrgyzstan or the Russian Caucasus. 

Most Popular


Trump and the North Korean Tipping Point

The world has been stunned by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s announcement last week that he was suspending his country’s nuclear tests in preparation for the impending meeting with President Trump. Even critics have had to concede that Trump’s bellicose rhetoric since last summer regarding the North ... Read More

Hurray for the NBA

Last month, just before the Final Four, I did a Q&A on college basketball with our Theodore Kupfer. Teddy K. is back, by popular demand, joined by two other experts: Vivek Dave, an old friend of mine from Michigan, who has long lived in Chicago, and David French, National Review’s Kentucky Kid, now ... Read More
Economy & Business

Trade Misunderstandings

I was distracted by other policy topics last week but not enough not to notice Peter Navarro’s article in the Wall Street Journal, headlined “China’s Faux Comparative Advantage.” Considering Navarro’s position in the White House, it is unfortunate that it demonstrates some serious misunderstandings ... Read More