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Barquq  

Allen J. Fromherz

Egyptian sultan, was the first of a new dynasty of Mamluks or “slave” sultans of Egypt. Purchased in Crimea, Barquq, whose full name was al-Malik al-Zahir Sayf al-Din Barquq, was a Circassian. The previous series of Mamluks, starting with Baybars, were Kipchak Turks. Bought as a slave soldier, Barquq quickly rose through the ranks of the Burji regiment of soldier slaves. Unlike the Bahri regiment that supplied previous sultans, the Burji regiment had their barracks near the dungeons (burj of the citadel in Cairo It appears that Barquq s father a man of some stature named Anas may have willingly given his son up for sale In fact after Barquq came to power he invited his father to come to Cairo and join his court Indeed Anas would have been pleased to learn that his son was first purchased by the powerful marshal of the army Yalbogha al ...

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Allen J. Fromherz

fourth of the Bahri dynasty of Mamluk sultans of Egypt, was born a slave. His full name was al-Malik al-Zahir Rukn al-Din al-Salihi al-Bundukdari. Although his date of birth is uncertain, most scholars agree he was born around 1233 far away from Egypt in the steppes of the Kipchak Turkish nomads. Before being purchased by the sultan, he took the name of his first immediate master, a relatively minor character named Aydakin Bundukdar. After demonstrating exceptional qualities as a youngster, Baybars was purchased by the Ayyubid sultan and successor to Saladin, Malik Salih. He started as only one of many fellow Kipchak slaves who served the Ayyubids. In fact, there were so many Kipchak soldiers in Egypt that it stimulated the creation of Kipchak-Arabic dictionaries such as the thirteenth-century Codex Cumanicus Soon after being purchased by Malik Salih he would have been subjected to the code of strict military ...

Article

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

Qalawun  

Allen J. Fromherz

, sultan of Egypt (r. 1279–1290), was the fifth of the Mamluk sultans of Egypt and Syria. His full name was Al-Malik Al-Mansur Sayf al Din Qalawun al Alfi. Known for his military campaigns, he inherited many of the policies of his predecessor Baybars I.

Like most Mamluk Sultans, Qalawun was purchased as a slave in a region north of the Black Sea. He was sold to the Mamluk, or slave soldier, named al-Saki, for one thousand dinars, hence his sobriquet “al-Alfi,” or “one (purchased for) a thousand” in Arabic. After passing through several owners and completing his military training, Qalawun was manumitted and given the title of amir, or prince. He witnessed the overthrow of the Ayyubid dynasty after the death of Turan Shah in 1249 Once the servants of the Ayyubids the Mamluks took control in the name of order and stability Aybak the first Mamluk ...

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 ...