Egypt and Syria under Mamluk Rule

Political, Social and Cultural Aspects


The studies in this volume explore central topics characterizing the political, social and economic systems of Egypt and Syria under Mamluk rule (1250-1517). Drawing on Arabic sources including archival material, poetry and chronicles as well as modern research literature, twelve leading scholars in the field analyze a vast range of issues in Mamluk history and provide new perspectives on pivotal features such as European-Mamluk diplomacy, social relationships and identity in Mamluk society, rural and urban economy and water management in late medieval Egypt and Syria, reflecting major research trends in Mamluk history over the last four decades.

With contributions by Frédéric Bauden, Stuart J. Borsch, Joseph Drory, Kurt Franz, Yehosua Frenkel, Daisuke Igarashi, Yaacov Lev, Amalia Levanoni, Li Guo, Carl F. Petry, Jo Van Steenbergen, Koby Yosef.

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Amalia Levanoni (Ph.D. Hebrew University, 1990) is Professor Emerita of Medieval Islamic History at Haifa University. She served as Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern History at the University of Haifa from 2004-2007 and as President of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Association of Israel from 2014-2016. Her research focuses on the political and material culture of Mamluk Egypt and Syria, 1250-1517. She is the author of The Mamluk Ascendancy to Power in Egypt (Haifa, 1987), A Turning Point in Mamluk History, The Third Reign of al-Nāṣir Muḥammad Ibn Qalāwūn (1310-1341) (Leiden, 1995) and co-editor (with Michael Winter) of The Mamluks in Egyptian and Syrian Politics and Society(Leiden, 2004). She published numerous articles and chapters in edited volumes and journals, such as Studia Islamica, the /i>International Journal of Middle East Studies, Der Islam, Mamluk Studies Review and Arabica and is responsible for many entries in encyclopedias.
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Notes on Contributors


Part 1 Public Space

1 Protest Songs from the Streets of Mamluk Cities
Li Gou

2 Travails of Prohibition: Suppression of Alcohol Use in the Mamluk Sultanate
Carl F. Petry

3 Europeans and Ottomans in the Mamluk Sultanate: Notes on Terminology and Sources
Yaacov Lev

Part 2 Political Culture

4 The Names of the Mamlūks: Ethnic Groups and Ethnic Solidarity in the Mamluk Sultanate (648–922/1250–1517)
Koby Yosef

5 Nomen Est Omen: David Ayalon, the Mamluk Sultanate, and the Reign of the Turks
Jo Van Steenbergen

6 A High Officer and His Reward: The Public Activity of a Commander of the Sultan’s Arms Depot in the Early Fourteenth Century
Joseph Drory

Part 3 Archival Literature

7 Ikhwāniyyāt Letters in the Mamluk Period: A Document (Muṭālaʿa) Issued by al-Muʾayyad Shaykh’s Chancery and a Contribution to Mamluk Diplomatics
Frédéric Bauden

Part 4 Economy of Infrastructures

8 Grain, Textiles, and Demand Elasticity in Late Mamluk Egypt: A Preliminary Sketch
Stuart Borsch

9 The Management of Water in Fourteenth-Century Damascus
Yehoshua Frenkel

10 Urban Water Management in the Medieval Middle East: The Case of Mamluk Cairo
Amalia Levanoni

11 Waqf as a Means of Securing Financial Assets: The “Self-Benefiting Waqf” in Mamluk Egypt and Syria
Daisuke Igarashi

Part 5 Communication Systems

12 Handlist of Stations of the Ayyubid and Mamluk Communication Systems
Kurt Franz

This volume will be of prime value to scholars of Mamluk history and medieval Islam, but should interest anyone interested in learning more about Islamic history and culture.