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Is Anyone my Guardian …? Mamluk Under Age Rule and the Later Qalawunids

‘Is Anyone my Guardian …?’ Mamluk Under Age Rule and the Later Qalawunids

By Jo Van Steenbergen

Al-Masaq, Vol. 19, No. 1 (2007)

Abstract: Succession to the Mamluk sultanate is one of those thorny issues that keep bothering historians. Within an environment that did not generally favour heredity of military/political status, a frequent tendency towards dynasticism remains difficult to explain, the Qalawunids (678–784/1279–1382) offering a case in point. This article analyses the age of accession of the later Qalawunids (741–784/1341–1382) and challenges the generally accepted view that they were mostly politically weak minors and mere stopgaps to a failing political system. It argues that there was a dynastic reflex at work, which combined with the specific political circumstances of the mid-fourteenth century and which resulted in the paradox of a very active, but continuously contested Qalawunid sultanate.

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