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Presently, the role of in-law relationships in the Middle Eastern historical context has been understudied, even as it is known that high officials could bolster their political prestige and claim to power by marrying or being married to a royal princess. This is especially true in the Mamluk context of the fifteenth century, when it became impossible for sons of reigning sultans to succeed their fathers. These sons were only allowed to ascend the throne for short periods as mere placeholders, as the effective successors who replaced their fathers were usually drawn from among the membership of the inner circle of the Mamluk military elite. Their marker of identity was that they had been imported as young slave boys from regions to the north of the Black Sea or the Caucasian region. Because there were no direct dynastic ties present, a new Mamluk sultan would create a family bond to the old sultan and bolster his legitimacy by becoming his in-law. The following article will therefore look at the process of becoming an in-law at the Mamluk court and the possible consequences of a royal wedding in terms of transmission of legitimacy.
JarzebowskiClaudia“Eindeutig uneindeutig. Verhandlungen über Inzest im 18. Jahrhundert in Preußen” in EmingJuttaJarzebowskiClaudia and ClaudiaUlbrich (eds.) Historische Inzestdiskurse. Interdisziplinäre Zugänge (Königsstein i. T.: Ulrike Helmer2003).
Jarzebowski, Claudia, “Eindeutig uneindeutig. Verhandlungen über Inzest im 18. Jahrhundert in Preußen”, in Eming, Jutta, Jarzebowski, Claudia, and ClaudiaUlbrich (eds.), Historische Inzestdiskurse. Interdisziplinäre Zugänge (Königsstein i. T.: Ulrike Helmer, 2003).
Van SteenbergenJo and D’HulsterKristof“Family Matters: The ‘Family-in-Law’ Impulse”Annales IslamologiquesXLVII (2013) dossier “Histoires de famille” (LoiseauJulien ed.): pp. 61-82.
Van Steenbergen, Jo, and D’Hulster, Kristof, “Family Matters: The ‘Family-in-Law’ Impulse”, Annales Islamologiques, XLVII (2013), dossier “Histoires de famille” (Loiseau, Julien, ed.): pp. 61-82.
YosefKoby“Ethnic Groups, Social Relationships and Dynasty in the Mamluk Sultanate (1250-1517)”Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg Working Paper [University of Bonn] VI (2012): pp. 1-15: http://www.mamluk.uni-bonn.de/publications/working-paper/ask-wp-6.pdf.
Yosef, Koby, “Ethnic Groups, Social Relationships and Dynasty in the Mamluk Sultanate (1250-1517)”, Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg Working Paper [University of Bonn], VI (2012): pp. 1-15: http://www.mamluk.uni-bonn.de/publications/working-paper/ask-wp-6.pdf.