It is difficult to imagine a contemporary equivalent to Christopher Marlowe's choice of fourteenth century. Turk warlord as a subject for popular entertainment. The historical Timur had no immediate impact on English culture or history. Those English texts that had taken an interest in historical Muslims had more often than not described figures like Timur as barbarous and bloodthirsty princes of darkness, associated with tyranny, terror and the antichrist. In taking up the story of a long passed Muslim conqueror Marlowe tapped into commercial and diplomatic interests in Asian, Near Eastern and Northern African markets, as well as anxieties over the cultural exchanges accompanying such ventures. English joint-stock companies in the last quarter of the sixteenth century were exploring trade in precisely those areas of North Africa and the Levant that Marlowe's Tamburlaine plays traverse. The English were eager to expand their economy but concerned too with maintaining their standing in what Sir Thomas. More referred to as the common corps of Christendom.