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Egypt up to the Ottoman period

(3,377 words)

Author(s): Petry, Carl Forbes
Egypt (that is, the Nile Valley from Alexandria to Aswan) on the eve of occupation by invading Arab armies in the early decades of the first/seventh century had assumed prominence in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire for its agrarian productivity and its restiveness under doctrinal strictures imposed by the hierarchy of the Greek Church in Constantinople. There is debate as to the extent that resentment over sanctions invalidating the theological tenets of Egypt’s Coptic Church—and consequent…
Date: 2018-07-12

Faraj, al-Malik al-Nāṣir b. Barqūq

(1,419 words)

Author(s): Petry, Carl Forbes
Faraj, al-Malik al-Nāṣir Zayn al-Dīn Abū l-Saʿādāt 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 wa…
Date: 2018-07-12

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: 2018-07-12