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Egypt until 1517

(3,469 words)

Author(s): Petry, Carl Forbes
Occupied by Arab forces in 19/640, Egypt emerged as a preeminent province in the Islamic empire, ruled by the Umayyad and ʿAbbāsid dynasties. Attaining autonomy under the Turkish governor Aḥmad b. Ṭūlūn in 254/868, Egypt became an independent power in the Middle East and North Africa over the next century. Subsequent establishment of a Shīʿī caliphate under the Fāṭimids and a Sunnī sultanate by the Ayyūbids, restructured by the Mamlūks, consistently emphasised agrarian exploitation of the Nile Valley, control over Syria, and domination of Red Sea trade routes, until the Ottoman occ…
Date: 2019-03-21

Faraj, al-Malik al-Nāṣir

(1,417 words)

Author(s): Petry, Carl Forbes
Al-Malik al-Nāṣir Zayn al-Dīn Abū l-Saʿādāt Faraj b. al-Ẓāhir Barqūq b. Anas (791–815/1389–1412), was the twenty-sixth Mamlūk sultan of Egypt, and the second of the Circassian sultans. Born in Cairo, Faraj (“Joy”) succeeded to the sultanate upon his father’s death, on 15 Shawwāl 801/20 June 1399, as a figurehead formally enthroned while several senior officers contended for ultimate control. Their incapacity to resolve the ensuing power struggle prompted their recognition of Faraj’s majority while he …
Date: 2019-03-21

Circassians, Mamlūk

(946 words)

Author(s): Petry, Carl Forbes
The second period of the Mamlūk Sultanate in Egypt and Syria (784–922/1382–1517) was called by contemporary historians the “regime of the Circassians” (Ar. dawlat al-jarākisa) or the “Tower” (burj), in reference to the Citadel barracks in Cairo, where they were initially stationed. Adolescents brought from the Circassian region (bilād al-jarkas) of the Caucasus for training as cadets for military service appear occasionally in the first, or Turkish Baḥrī, period of the sultanate (648–784/1250–1382). They became a salient component of the milit…
Date: 2019-03-21