In the Mamluk state there were several ways to avoid being executed, including physical beauty.
In history, some personalities stand out due to the differences in the way they were viewed after achieving glory for themselves, a glory that took them up to the highest ranks.
A recounting of the fabled Hajj of Mali emperor Mansa Musa in 1324.
Human trafficking was taking place in the Mediterranean a thousand years ago. A recent article takes a look at how and why this business was taking place.
The Venetians were conspicuous among the merchants resuming trade in Mamluk lands shortly after the fall of Acre in 1291.
From the years 1250 to 1517 Egypt and parts of the Middle East were ruled by the Mamluks.
Slaves, Wealth and Fear: An Episode from Late Mamluk-Era Egypt By Nur Sobers Khan Oriens, Vol. 37 (2009) Introduction: In the spring of 1446 a…
Recent projects to digitize the contents of the Cairo Geniza—the largest cache of Jewish manuscripts ever discovered—have revolutionized research in the field.
When Usama ibn Munqidh came to Cairo in 1144, he was hoping to restart a promising career as a military officer. Instead, he would find himself in the middle of a series of plots, intrigues, betrayals, murders, and street battles that would tear apart the capital of Egypt.
This dissertation investigates the two-and-a-half century evolution of Islam’s most prominent leadership institution, the Abbasid caliphate, after its restoration in Cairo following the Mongol destruction of Baghdad in 1258.
Among the many unexpected finds the Cairo Geniza has yielded are hundreds—possibly thousands—of medieval documents of state in Arabic script, including decrees, rescripts, petitions, tax receipts and fiscal accounts from the Fatimid period.
Among the many unexpected finds the Cairo Geniza has yielded are hundreds—possibly thousands—of medieval documents of state in Arabic script.
Even in the Middle Ages one can find accounts of people doing death-defying stunts for our entertainment.
In recent years, there has been a contentious debate on how should society deal with drugs like marijuana. Should it be legalized and accepted? What is the harm or benefits of these drugs? The same questions were being raised in medieval Egypt.
All day long I have a lonely heart and am pained by our separation. I feel that pain while writing these lines. But the choice is with you; the decision is in your hand: if you wish to carry the matter through, do so; if you wish to leave things as they are, do so.
Through the ages of Cairene history the alcoholic beverages, entangled in political and religious developments, depended more on prevailing doctrinal currents than on people’s habitual or taste inclinations. Therefore, the story of these beverages’ consumption is – not surprisingly – a turbulent one.
The meals offered by street cooks were probably lacking in subtleness and elegancy if compared to the specialties served by the “caliphs’ kitchen” or by the Arabic-Islamic haute cuisine whose recipes were written down in the cookbooks for the elites
The announcement of a potentially huge gravesite in Egypt has led the world’s media to make claims that a million mummies have been discovered. Now, the entire archaeological project might be in jeopardy.
One of the consequences of the decline of Roman imperial might was the shortage of slaves at state-run mines. Consequently, criminals were often sentenced to damnatio ad metallum. The need for gold especially soared when the gold solidus was introduced at the beginning of the fourth century.
Under medieval Islamic law, a man could marry up to four women. However, if accounts from 15th century Egypt are indicative, it would be rare for such an arrangement to work out for all parties.
A 1,500 year old papyrus fragment found in The University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library has been identified as one the world’s earliest surviving Christian charms.
Among the most eligible saints for such treatment, Mary of Egypt deserves particular consideration: her popularity is evidenced by over a hundred extant Greek manuscripts of her Life and her uniquely prominent position in the Lenten liturgical cycle in the Eastern Church.
The article shows that, contrary to a commonly accepted assumption, no public consumption facilities such as restaurants, taverns or inns existed in medieval Cairo.
How might the historian of religions write a social and religious history of Jewish magic in the medieval Islamicate world?