For nearly 300 years the Mamluks were one of the greatest powers of the Middle Eastern Muslim World. They achieved the status of the strongest dynasty after having served as slaves for the Sultans before them. They emerged from their subservience to rule over Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Hejaz with the strongest army in the land of Islam, and controlled all important international cities such as Cairo, Jerusalem or Damascus. Traditionally the rise of the Mamluk rule is said to be divided into two equal sub-periods that started with the assassination of the heir of the Ayyubid Dynasty: the Ba?r? period (1250-1382) and the Circassian Period (1392-1517). The arrival of Christians in 1517 marked the beginning of the end of the dynasty. This article explores the means whereby people who were enslaved went on to subdue their oppressors and exercise dominion over several centuries.
[...] In that period Mamluks controlled a territory extending over Egypt, Syria and part of Arabia including the holy sites. They were also protecting Yemen. In 1261, Baybars installed an Abbasid caliph Cairo, who survived the siege of Baghdad in 1258. The Caliph had no real power, but this strategy allowed Baybars to legitimize the political and religious power of his dynasty. He was thus granted full power and was proclaimed "Universal Sultan of Islam." In the meanwhile Mamluk territories continued to grow, with the capture of Caesarea and Haifa States in 1265, or Jaffa, Antioch and the fortress of Krak between 1266 and 1271. [...]
[...] Selim and the fall of the Mamluks of Egypt The Ottoman ruler Selim was aware of the danger that may be posed by the Mamluks. He waged a war against them and in July 1517, conquered Aleppo, Damascus and Jerusalem On August the battle of Marj Dabiq, was fought near Aleppo. The Ottomans outnumbered the troops of Sultan Al-Ghuri, who was killed in the battle. On January 20th 1517, he laid siege to Cairo and ended the Mamluk dynasty routing the army of the last Sultan, Tuman Bey. [...]
[...] In the 13th century the Mamluks formed military elite, and were appointed as the personal guards of the Ayyubid sultan Malik al-Shah. Once again the slaves became so powerful their masters began to feel threatened. B. The establishment of the Mamluk dynasty: the Bahri Mamelukes of Turkey On 5th June 1249, Louis IX of France decided to make Egypt the objective of the 7th crusade. He landed at Damietta but was defeated on April and taken prisoner by the Mamluk commander Aybak. [...]
[...] At his death Al-Nasir was succeeded by a new period of instability sultans succeeded to the throne in 40 years, and the sheikhs become the real holders of political power. The Burj Dynasty The Bukri or Burj dynast took over in 1382, with the crowning of Al-Zahir Barkuk. This accession marked the beginning of the Burj dynasty. The term “Burj (meaning tower) referred to their centre in the Citadel of Cairo. The dynasty consisted mainly of Circassians or Georgians. The Burj dynasty favored the election of the sultan, rather than hereditary transmission of power. [...]
[...] Capital Cities of the Mamluks and their International Influence The Mamluk Dynasty of Egypt, Syria and the Palestine was reborn culturally and economically. Cairo was the main capital of the Mamluks, and was then considered the largest metropolis and one of the richest cities in the Middle East. The creation of the city brought together nearly half a million inhabitants. It was a hub of cultural activity, which not only attracted intellectuals, scholars and students, but also traders and craftsmen. [...]
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