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Allen J. Fromherz

one of the most important Mamluk sultans of Egypt and Syria, was a Circassian whose full name was Al-Malik al Ashraf abu al Nasr Sayf al-Din Al Mahmudi al Zahiri Qaʾit Bay. Circassia is a region in the Caucasus hundreds of miles from Cairo, in the mountains between the Black and Caspian Seas. As with many Mamluk Sultans purchased as slaves, the precise date of his birth is difficult to decipher. He was probably born between the years 1416 and 1418 and, showing great promise, was purchased by the Sultan Barsbay. Being purchased as a slave of the Sultan was considered an honor, and sources indicate that many Circassians actively groomed their sons for a chance to work as Mamluks (slave–soldiers). In exceptional circumstances these boys would advance through the ranks to become rulers of Egypt and Syria.

After several promotions in the Mamluk army and having proved his mettle ...

Article

Allen J. Fromherz

ruled the Mamluk slave sultanate from Egypt and was the penultimate ruler of the Mamluks. Another form of his name is Qansawh al Ghawri. His able leadership slowed what could have been a more rapid decline of Mamluk power. A slave, or Mamluk, of the Sultan Qaʿitbay, Qansuh was trained in the Mamluk system of military schools of his predecessors. Proving himself in battle and in administration, Qansuh rose through the elite ranks of the Mamluks. He became governor of Upper Egypt in 1481. He campaigned against the Ottomans, increasingly the main threat to the Mamluks in the north. He learned, early on, to forcefully deal with revolts in the provinces, suppressing a rebellion of townsfolk in Aleppo in 1491 His elevation to the sultanate may not have been completely voluntary A group of high Mamluk princes virtually forced him into accepting the position Unaffiliated with the many ...