Later medieval dynasties
After his death in 1227, Genghis Khan's vast empire fell to pieces.
In Afghanistan some local chiefs succeeded in establishing independent
principalities, and others acknowledged Mongol princes as suzerains.
This state of affairs continued until the end of the 14th century,
when Timur (Tamerlane) conquered a large part of the country.
Timur's successors, the Timurids, were great patrons of learning
and the arts who enriched their capital city of Herat with fine
buildings. Under their rule (1404-1507) Afghanistan enjoyed peace
Early in the 16th century the Turkic Uzbeks rose to power
in Central Asia under Muhammad Shaybani, who took Herat in
1507. In late 1510 the Safavid shah Esma'il besieged Shaybani
in Merv and killed him. Babur, a descendant of Genghis Khan
and Timur, had made Kabul the capital of an independent principality
in 1504. He captured Qandahar in 1522, and in 1526 he marched on
Delhi. He defeated Ibrahim, the last of the Lodi Afghan kings
of India, and established the Mughal Empire, which lasted until
the middle of the 19th century and included all of eastern Afghanistan
south of the Hindu Kush. The capital was at Agra. Nine years
after his death in 1530, the body of Babur was taken to Kabul for
During the next 200 years Afghanistan was parceled between the
Mughals of India and the Safavids of Persia--the former holding
Kabul north to the southern foothills of the Hindu Kush and the
latter Herat and Farah. Qandahar was for many years in dispute.
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