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AccueilAbstracta IranicaVolume 284. Histoire, Période Musulmane4.1. Histoire médiévale« Il colpo di stato di Timur a Ba...

Michele Bernardini

« Il colpo di stato di Timur a Balh nel 1370 ». Oriente Moderno, n.s. XXIV/2-3, 2005, pp. 309-325.

Compte-rendu réalisé par Giorgio Rota

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1This article deals with the first stage of Timur’s conquering career. After obtaining the allegiance of a number of disaffected emirs, in 1370 Timur defeated and eventually put to death Amīr Ḥoseyn Qara’unas, then the ruler of the ulus Chaghatāy, effectively replacing him. These events are known only thanks to later sources: Bernardini employs in particular the Ẓafar-nāmes of Šāmī and Yazdī for his reconstruction of the facts. The campaign against Amīr Ḥoseyn shows many features that will be recurrent themes in Timur’s later career: the necessity to safeguard the law and the political order as a reason to wage war against a fellow Muslim ruler, whose weakness deprives him of his good right to rule; the presence of Muslim holy men (Seyyed Barake) on Timur’s side; the presence of a Gengiskhanid figurehead (Soyūrghatmish Ḫān in this case), with Timur acting ostensibly as a sort of atābeg. However, the Author avers that, in the 1370s, the real reasons behind the political actions of Timur and the other emirs of the time were still closer to the traditional Turko-Mongol tribal politics and far from the “complex ideological structures” (p. 323) created by the later Persian historians working during Timur’s heyday. The article also deals briefly with the issues of the identity of the Qara’unas, the change of the capital of the ulus from Balkh to Samarkand, and the nature of the political loyalty of the tribal chiefs.

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Giorgio Rota. Michele Bernardini, « « Il colpo di stato di Timur a Balh nel 1370 ». Oriente Moderno, n.s. XXIV/2-3, 2005, pp. 309-325. », Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 28 | 2007, document 151, mis en ligne le 18 septembre 2007, consulté le 12 août 2022. URL : ; DOI :

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