I have already been told that my first post on Tax Collectors was pretty dark. This second story will not be much brighter despite being desert based.
Tax collectors have often been brutal down the ages. Just ask the residents of Isfahan why they killed Tamerlane’s tax collectors in the late 1300s. Unfortunately for them, as when the city of Khiva upset the great Timur in 1370, he then slaughtered Isfahan’s citizens and razed the city. Arguably, his most infamous atrocity was that he commanded a pyramid be built from the skulls of the tax renegades. He treated Damascus and Baghdad with similar contempt. Yet he transformed his city of Samarkand to a place of wonder that persists today.
Tamerlane / Timur is a folk hero these days. He’s on the money in Uzbekistan and I’ve seen him on a horse in central Tashkent. Not bad for someone whose no-nonsense ruling style was accentuated by the slaughter of as many as ten million people across the Timurid Empire that once stretched from Ankara to Delhi and Hormuz nearly to Moscow.[Read more…] about Tax Collectors II