The Mamluks in Egyptian and Syrian Politics and Society

The Mamluks in Egyptian and Syrian Politics and Society

The Mamluks in Egyptian and Syrian Politics and Society

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.


This volume on the Mamluks of Egypt and Syria grew out of an international conference, which took place in May 2000 at the Universities of Haifa and Tel-Aviv. This conference was a sequel of a similar symposium that had convened in 1994 at Bad Homburg, Germany, which resulted in the volume entitled The Mamluks in Egyptian politics and society, edited by Thomas Philipp and late Ulrich Haarmann (Cambridge University Press, 2001).

The conference at Haifa and Tel-Aviv (and subsequently this book) differs from the previous project in one significant aspect. The first book was limited to Egypt; the present volume includes the history of the Mamluks in Syria as well. Egypt was the center of the Mamluk Empire (1250–1517); the provinces known as Greater Syria (Bilād al-Shām) were wholly dependent on the capital Cairo, the seat of the sultan and the caliph, and was politically and strategically of a secondary importance. In addition, while Mamluks assumed a central role in the politics of Ottoman Egypt (1517–1798; particularly in the eighteenth century), they all but disappeared from Syria after the Ottoman conquest.

The editors would like to extend their gratitude to the persons and departments at the Haifa and Tel-Aviv Universities for their assistance in financing and organizing the Mamluk conference and the present volume.

We would like to thank Mrs. Genoveba Breitstein for efficiently and thoughtfully preparing the text for publication.

M.W. A.L.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.