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New Medieval Books: The Mamluk Sultanate: A History

The Mamluk Sultanate: A History

By Carl F. Petry

Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781108471046

A look at the Mamluks, the slave-soldiers who ruled Egypt, Syria and parts of Arabia from the mid-13th century to 1517. It focuses on the politics and governing of this medieval state.


The regime that ruled over Egypt, Syria, and the Red Sea between the mid-seventh and early tenth Hijra / thirteenth and sixteenth CE centuries incorporated many of the political structures and cultural traditions of its Fatimid and Ayyubid predecessors. Yet, its system of governance and centralization of authority represented departures from hierarchies of power and collective rule characterizing the regimes that antedated it. The Mamluk Sultanate can therefore be regarded as an experiment in the history of state-building within the premodern Islamic world. Since the Sultanate proved durable, controlling Egypt, Syria, and the Levant for two and a half centuries the final episode of the region’s status as an independent power in premodern times it left an indelible imprint on its Ottoman successors and the cultural legacy of the central Arab lands.


Who is this book for?

There will be two audiences for this book – first, those interested in the Mamluks and their role in the history of Egypt and Syria. Secondly, if you are interested in how government worked in the Middle Ages, this will be a good case study.

The author

Carl F. Petry is a Professor of History and Middle East Studies at Northwestern University and one of the leading historians of the Mamluks. Click here to view his university webpage.


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