No. 205 – The Platinum Horde

Left: prog 217 cover art by Mike McMahon; right: Yuan dynasty (14th century) Genghis Khan portrait (artificially coloured) courtesy National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

His Supreme Bloodthirstyness [sic] King Gargantua the Diminutive of the Karbongian Empire and his Platinum Horde, from prog 217’s (1981) Tharg’s Future Shocks: The Last Rumble of the Platinum Horde, written by Alan Moore and drawn by John Higgins v Genghis Khan [Mongolian: “Universal Leader”; pronounced “jengis H’aan”], born Temüjin [Mongolian: “iron”] Borjigin (c. 1162–1227), founder and first Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, the largest – if somewhat short-lived – empire in history until the British Empire[1]

The Platinum Horde is a reference to The Golden Horde[2], a vast Mongolian khanate (chiefdom or principality) established by Genghis’ grandson Batu (c. 1207–1255) in the 13th century, originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire and at its height encompassing most of Eastern Europe from the Urals to the Danube River, extending east deep into Siberia, and in the south bordering the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains.

Timur

If a “last rumble” could be historically attributed to anyone’s horde, however, it really deserves to go to that at the head of which sat mighty Amir[3] Timur (1336–1405) – the lesser-known (these days, at any rate) but nonetheless extraordinary last of the great Mongol conquerors – also known as Tamerlane[4] (more pointedly referred to in Europe as “Tamerlane the Great” or “Tamerlane the Destroyer”), a Turco-Mongol warlord proclaiming himself heir to the Mongol Empire (though only tenuously related to the Borjigin line), and carving out his own empire comprising modern-day Iran, the Caucasus, Mesopotamia, Afghanistan, much of Central Asia, as well as parts of contemporary India (where he founded the Mughal – a Persian/Arabic corruption of the word “Mongol” – Dynasty (1526–1540, 1555–1857)), Pakistan, Syria and Turkey.

Notes:

  1. Mongol Empire: 24 million km² (9.27 million mi²), ruling 110 million people; British Empire: 35.5 million km² (13.71 million mi²), ruling 533 million people
  2. Not to be confused with the celebrated Irish band of the same name (1982–1994), as well one might
  3. Amir (or “emir”) meaning “commander”, “general”, or “king” – aristocratic, noble and military title used in Arab countries and Afghanistan
  4. A composite of “Timur”, his given name, Uzbek Chaghatay also meaning “iron”, and the Persian  “-i-leng”, meaning “the lame”, combined to form “Timur-i-leng”, or “Timur the Lame”, anglicised as “Tamerlane”; referring to the result of a battlefield arrow wound

 

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