The Mamluks in Egyptian and Syrian Politics and Society


This volume consists of 19 studies by leading historians of the Mamluks. Drawing on primary Arabic sources, the studies discuss central political, military, urban, social, administrative, economic, financial and religious aspects of the Mamluk Empire that was established in 1250 by Mamluks (manumitted military slaves, mostly Turks and Circassians). It was a Sunni orthodox state that had a formidable military, a developed and sophisticated economy, a centralized Arab bureaucracy and prestigious religious and educational institutions.
There are special articles about Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Safed and Acre. The last part of the volume describes the Mamluk military class that survived in Egypt (although in a transformed form) under the Ottoman suzerainty after the Empire annexed Egypt and Syria in 1517.
With contributions by Reuven Aharoni, Reuven Amitai, Frederic Bauden, Jonathan Berkey, Daniel Crecelius, Joseph Drory, Jane Hathaway, Robert Irwin, Donald Little, Nimrod Luz, Carl Petry, Thomas Philipp, Yossef Rapoport, André Raymond, Donald S. Richards, Warren Schultz and Hannah Taragan.

Biographical Note

Michael Winter, Ph.D. (1972) in Islamic Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, is Professor of Middle Eastern history at Tel Aviv University. He has published extensively on the history of the Arab countries under the Mamluks and the Ottomans, including Egyptian Society under Ottoman Rule, 1517-1798 (Routledge, 1992). Amalia Levanoni, Ph.D. (1990) in Middle Eastern History, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, is Senior Lecturer of Middle Eastern history at Haifa University and Chair-elect of the Department. She has published extensively on the history of the Mamluks, including A Turning Point in the Mamluk History: The Third Reign of al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalawun (1310-1341) (Brill, 1995).

Review Quote

' Overall, this volume provides informative reading about the medieval Mamluk system and should increase understanding of and, perhaps, provoke further thought about the current state of conflict in that region of the world. The articles will probably be of greatest scholarly value to those individuals seeking to clarify or enhance their own arguments via previous research published on some particular aspect of the Mamluk system.' Emma Hawkins, The Medieval Review, 2006.

Table of contents

Preface .. ix List of Abbreviations .. xi List of Illustrations .. xiii Introduction .. xv Part One: The Formative Stage of the Mamluk Sultanate 1. Doors that Open Meanings: Baybars’s Red Mosque at Safed .. 3 Hanna Taragan 2. The Mongol Occupation of Damascus in 1300: A Study of Mamluk Loyalties .. 21 Reuven Amita i Part Two: Mamluk Archival Evidence 3. Glimpses of Provincial Mamluk Society from the Documents of the Oaram al-Sharif in Jerusalem .. 45 Donald Richards 4. The Recovery of Mamluk Chancery Documents in an Unsuspected Place .. 59 Frédéric Bauden Part Three: Continuity and Change in the Mamluk Army 5. The Sultan’s Laqab: A Sign of a New Order in Mamluk Factionalism? .. 79 Amalia Levanoni 6. Gunpowder and Firearms in the Mamluk Sultanate Reconsidered .. 117 Robert Irwin Part Four: Provincial Administration in Mamluk Palestine 7. The Governance of Jerusalem under Qaytbay .. 143 Donald Little 8. Founding a New Mamlaka: Some Remarks Concerning Safed and the Organization of the Region in the Mamluk period .. 163 Joseph Drory Part Five: Ibn Taymiyya and Mamluk Society 9. Ibn Taymiyya on Divorce Oaths .. 191 Yossef Rapoport Part Six: Mamluk Economy 10. The Circulation of Dirhams in the Bahri Period .. 221 Warren Schultz 11. The mu˙tasibs of Cairo under the Mamluks: Toward an Understanding of an Islamic Institution .. 245 Jonathan Berkey 12. The Estate of al-Khuwand Fatima al-Khassbakiyya: Royal Spouse, Autonomous Investor .. 277 Carl Petry Part Seven: The Mamluks in Syria 13. Mamluks and their Households in Late Mamluk Damascus: A waqf Study .. 297 Michael Winter 14. The Last Mamluk Household .. 317 Thomas Philipp 15. Urban Residential Houses in Mamluk Syria: Forms, Characteristics and the Impact of Socio-cultural Forces .. 339 Nimrod Luz Part Eight: The Mamluks in Ottoman Egypt 16. The Wealth of the Egyptian Emirs at the End of the Seventeenth Century .. 359 André Raymond 17. Problems of 'Abd al-Ra˙man Katkhuda’s Leadership of the Qazdughli Faction .. 373 Daniel Crecelius 18. Mamluk “revivals” and Mamluk Nostalgia in Ottoman Egypt .. 387 Jane Hathaway 19. Bedouin and Mamluks in Egypt—Co-existence in a State of Duality .. 407 Reuven Aharoni Index .. 435


All those interested in the history of the Middle East (particularly Egypt and Syria, including Palestine) during the later Middle Ages and the Ottoman period, Islamic civilization and institutions, and military history.