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THE celebrated conqueror, known in Europe generally by the name of Kouli Khan, bore at different periods various names, calling himself, at first, Nadir Kouli-the Slave of God. He was born at Calot, a city in the province of Khorasan. Compelled by his uncle, at the death of his father, to quit the government, of which Calot was the capital, Nadir Kouli entered into the service of Beglerbeg, governor of Muschada, who appointed him to command an army sent against the Tartars, over whom he gained a complete victory. The Beglerbeg at first treated. Nadir with great distinction; but being jealous of his aspiring disposition, he refused him the rank of lieutenantgeneral, which he had promised him, and when Nadir complained of his breach of faith, he caused him to be severely bastinadoed. Exasperated at this ungrateful and dishonourable treatment, Nadir Kouli joined a band of robbers, and a little time after entered into the service of the Schâh Tâhmas, Sophy of Persia, who, attacked by the Afghans, the Turks, and the Muscovites, was not in a state of such security as to neglect the succour of a guilty but intrepid warrior. Named generalissimo of the armies of the Schâh Tâhmas, in 1729, Nadir Kouli completely defeated the Afghans. After this victory, the monarch authorised his general to take the name of Thamas Kouli, or the Slave of Thamas. He was also ennobled with the title of Khan. Notwithstanding these distinctions, he was too ambitious to be contented with a subordinate rank. He dethroned Thamas, immured him in a narrow prison, and, joining policy with perfidy,
caused one of the children of Thamas to be proclaimed king, to whom he became regent.
In 1735 he gained the battle of Erivan, in which the Turks lost 50,000 men. After this he assumed the royal title, and was acknowledged by the grandees of the empire.
The year following he took Candaha; and in 1759 he conquered the Mogul empire, making himself master of Delhi, where he acquired immense riches. He then caused himself to be proclaimed Emperor of the Indies; but disgraced himself by a general massacre of the inhabitants of Delhi, in revenge for an insult offered to some of his troops, in which there perished, according to some reports, 120,000 citizens, and 150,000 according to others.
Loaded with the treasures of the Mogul, Nadir returned into Persia, where his cruelties and tyranny excited a general hatred against him; and a conspiracy being formed by some Persian officers, he was assassinated in his tent on the 8th of June, in the year 1747.
Ali Kouli Khan, nephew of Nadir, and chief of the conspiracy, was immediately proclaimed king of Persia. He ordered, on the same day, nineteen princes of the blood royal to be destroyed, among whom were the three sons of Nadir.