This chronicle, allegedly composed by an officer of the ‘Azab regiment in Cairo, surveys the conflicts between the two major mamluk factions, the Faqariya and the Qasimiya, and their struggles with the Ottoman governors and the Ojaqs to control Egypt's administration and the lucrative tax structure in the period from 1688-1755.
Al-Damurdashi, who organizes his chronicle around the tenures of the Ottoman governors, focuses on the military class, but provides a wealth of descriptive information on a wide range of subjects, including military tactics, administration, taxes, food and clothing, the bedouins, coinage and fiscal policy, the mamluk system, and social life.
After al-Jabarti's famous ‘Aja’ib al-Athar fi 'l-Tarajim wa 'l- Akhbar, al-Damurdashi's chronicle is perhaps the most important manuscript source for the entire three centuries of Ottoman rule in Egypt. It is more authoritative and more descriptive than al-Jabarti's account for the period it covers, and was a major source from which al-Jabarti drew material for his own history of the period.
Daniel Crecelius is Professor of Middle East History, California State University, Los Angeles.
'...an impressive accomplishment which will contribute to the reconstruction of a neglected but fascinating period of Egypt's history.'
Kenneth M. Cuno, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, 1994.
'...this is a fine achievement, a courageous and successful attempt to translate a difficult and important Arabic chronicle, accompanied by unusually erudite and full annotation. The authors deserve warm congratulations.'
Carole Hillenbrand, Bibliotheca Orientalis LIII, 1996.
(post)graduates and specialists of Middle Eastern history, especially Ottoman history.