Mamluk

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Mamluk (Arabic: مملوكmamlūk (singular), مماليكmamālīk (plural), meaning "property", also transliterated as Mameluke, mamluq, mamluke, mameluk, mameluke, mamaluke or marmeluke) is an Arabic designation for slaves. The term is most commonly used to refer to non-muslim slave soldiers and Muslim rulers of slave origin.

Contents

An Egyptian mamluk warrior in full armor and armed with lance, shield, Mameluke sword and pistols Mameluke-in-Full-Armour.jpg
An Egyptian mamluk warrior in full armor and armed with lance, shield, Mameluke sword and pistols
Ottoman mamluk heavy cavalry armour, circa 1550 Ottoman Mamluk horseman circa 1550.jpg
Ottoman mamluk heavy cavalry armour, circa 1550

More specifically, it refers to:

Ghaznavids Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin

The Ghaznavid dynasty was a Persianate Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin, at their greatest extent ruling large parts of Iran, Afghanistan, much of Transoxiana and the northwest Indian subcontinent from 977 to 1186. The dynasty was founded by Sabuktigin upon his succession to rule of the region of Ghazna after the death of his father-in-law, Alp Tigin, who was a breakaway ex-general of the Samanid Empire from Balkh, north of the Hindu Kush in Greater Khorasan.

Greater Khorasan historical region of Persia

Khorasan, sometimes called Greater Khorasan, is a historical region lying in northeast of Greater Iran, including part of Central Asia and Afghanistan. The name simply means "East, Orient" and loosely includes the territory of the Sasanian Empire north-east of Persia proper. Early Islamic usage often regarded everywhere east of so-called Jibal or what was subsequently termed 'Iraq Ajami', as being included in a vast and loosely-defined region of Khorasan, which might even extend to the Indus Valley and Sindh. During the Islamic period, Khorasan along with Persian Iraq were two important territories. The boundary between these two was the region surrounding the cities of Gurgan and Qumis. In particular, the Ghaznavids, Seljuqs and Timurids divided their empires into Iraqi and Khorasani regions.

Khwarazmian dynasty Dynasty of greater Iran

The Khwarazmian dynasty (; also known as the Khwarezmid dynasty, the Anushtegin dynasty, the dynasty of Khwarazm Shahs, and other spelling variants; from was a Persianate Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin. The dynasty ruled large parts of Central Asia and Iran during the High Middle Ages, in the approximate period of 1077 to 1231, first as vassals of the Seljuqs and Qara-Khitan, and later as independent rulers, up until the Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia in the 13th century. The dynasty spanned 2.3 million square kilometers.

The most enduring Mamluk realm was the knightly military caste in Egypt in the Middle Ages, which developed from the ranks of slave soldiers. These were mostly enslaved Turkic peoples, [1] Egyptian Copts, [2] Circassians, [3] Abkhazians, [4] [5] [6] and Georgians. [7] [8] [9] Many Mamluks were also of Balkan origin (Albanians, Greeks, and South Slavs). [10] [11] The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior class, [12] was of great political importance; for one thing, it endured for nearly 1000 years, from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries.

Knight An award of an honorary title for past or future service with its roots in chivalry in the Middle Ages

A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church, especially in a military capacity.

Caste form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a lifestyle often including occupation, status in a hierarchy, customary social interaction, and exclusion, existing in various regions including South Asia

Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a lifestyle which often includes an occupational identity, ritual status in a hierarchy, customary social interaction, and exclusion based on cultural notions of purity and pollution. Although caste systems exist in various regions, its paradigmatic ethnographic example is the division of Indian society into rigid social groups, with roots in India's ancient history and persisting until today. It is sometimes used as an analogical basis for the study of caste-like social divisions existing outside India. The term is also applied to non-human populations like ants and bees.

Egypt in the Middle Ages Wikimedia list article

Following the Islamic conquest in 639 AD, Lower Egypt was ruled at first by governors acting in the name of the Rashidun Caliphs and then the Ummayad Caliphs in Damascus, but in 747 the Ummayads were overthrown. Throughout the Islamic rule, Askar was named the capital and housed the ruling administration. The conquest led to two separate provinces all under one ruler: Upper and Lower Egypt. These two very distinct regions would be heavily governed by the military and followed the demands handed down by the governor of Egypt and imposed by the heads of their communities.

Over time, Mamluks became a powerful military knightly caste in various societies that were controlled by Muslim rulers. Particularly in Egypt, but also in the Levant, Mesopotamia, and India, mamluks held political and military power. In some cases, they attained the rank of sultan, while in others they held regional power as emirs or beys. Most notably, mamluk factions seized the sultanate centered on Egypt and Syria, and controlled it as the Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517). The Mamluk Sultanate famously defeated the Ilkhanate at the Battle of Ain Jalut. They had earlier fought the western European Christian Crusaders in 1154–1169 and 1213–1221, effectively driving them out of Egypt and the Levant. In 1302 the mamluks formally expelled the last Crusaders from the Levant, ending the era of the Crusades. [13]

Levant Geographic and cultural region consisting of the eastern Mediterranean between Anatolia and Egypt

The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean, primarily in Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the historical region of Syria. In its widest historical sense, the Levant included all of the eastern Mediterranean with its islands; that is, it included all of the countries along the Eastern Mediterranean shores, extending from Greece to Cyrenaica.

Iraq Republic in Western Asia

Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

While mamluks were purchased as property, their status was above ordinary slaves but they were not allowed to carry weapons or perform certain tasks. In places such as Egypt, from the Ayyubid dynasty to the time of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, mamluks were considered to be "true lords" and "true warriors", with social status above the general population in Egypt and the Levant. In a sense they were like enslaved mercenaries. [2] [14]

Ayyubid dynasty Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin, founded by Saladin and centered in Egypt

The Ayyubid dynasty was a Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin founded by Saladin and centred in Egypt. The dynasty ruled large parts of the Middle East during the 12th and 13th centuries. Saladin had risen to vizier of Fatimid Egypt in 1169, before abolishing the Fatimids in 1171. Three years later, he was proclaimed sultan following the death of his former master, the Zengid ruler Nur al-Din. For the next decade, the Ayyubids launched conquests throughout the region and by 1183, their domains encompassed Egypt, Syria, Upper Mesopotamia, the Hejaz, Yemen and the North African coast up to the borders of modern-day Tunisia. Most of the Crusader states including the Kingdom of Jerusalem fell to Saladin after his victory at the Battle of Hattin in 1187. However, the Crusaders regained control of Palestine's coastline in the 1190s.

Muhammad Ali of Egypt Ottoman Albanian commander and Wali of Egypt and Sudan

Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha was an Ottoman Albanian commander who rose to the rank of Pasha, and became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan with the Ottomans' temporary approval. Though not a modern nationalist, he is regarded as the founder of modern Egypt because of the dramatic reforms in the military, economic and cultural spheres that he instituted. He also ruled Levantine territories outside Egypt. The dynasty that he established would rule Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt and Sudan until the 1952 coup d'état led by Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Overview

Mamluk lancers, early 16th century (etching by Daniel Hopfer) Three Mamelukes with lances on horseback.jpg
Mamluk lancers, early 16th century (etching by Daniel Hopfer)
A Mamluk nobleman from Aleppo, 19th century A Mamluk from Aleppo.jpg
A Mamluk nobleman from Aleppo, 19th century

The origins of the mamluk system are disputed. Historians agree that an entrenched military caste such as the mamluks appeared to develop in Islamic societies beginning with the ninth-century Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad. When in the ninth century has not been determined. Up until the 1990s, it was widely believed that the earliest mamluks were known as Ghilman (another term for slaves, and broadly synonymous [15] ) and were bought by the Abbasid caliphs, especially al-Mu'tasim (833–842).

By the end of the 9th century, such warrior slaves had become the dominant element in the military. Conflict between these ghilman and the population of Baghdad prompted the caliph al-Mu'tasim to move his capital to the city of Samarra, but this did not succeed in calming tensions. The caliph al-Mutawakkil was assassinated by some of these slave-soldiers in 861 (see Anarchy at Samarra). [16]

Since the early 21st century, historians suggest that there was a distinction between the mamluk system and the (earlier) ghilman system, in Samarra, which did not have specialized training and was based on pre-existing Central Asian hierarchies. Adult slaves and freemen both served as warriors in the ghilman system. The mamluk system developed later, after the return of the caliphate to Baghdad in the 870's. It included the systematic training of young slaves in military and martial skills. [17] The Mamluk system is considered to have been a small-scale experiment of al-Muwaffaq, to combine the slaves' efficiency as warriors with improved reliability. This recent interpretation seems to have been accepted. [18]

After the fragmentation of the Abbasid Empire, military slaves, known as either mamluks or ghilman, were used throughout the Islamic world as the basis of military power. The Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt had forcibly taken adolescent male Armenians, Turks, Sudanese, and Copts from their families in order to be trained as slave soldiers. They formed the bulk of their military, and the rulers selected prized slaves to serve in their administration. [19] The powerful vizier Badr al-Jamali, for example, was a mamluk from Armenia. In Iran and Iraq, the Buyid dynasty used Turkic slaves throughout their empire. The rebel al-Basasiri was a mamluk who eventually ushered in Seljuq dynastic rule in Baghdad after attempting a failed rebellion. When the later Abbasids regained military control over Iraq, they also relied on the ghilman as their warriors. [20]

Under Saladin and the Ayyubids of Egypt, the power of the mamluks increased and they claimed the sultanate in 1250, ruling as the Mamluk Sultanate. [2] Throughout the Islamic world, rulers continued to use enslaved warriors until the 19th century. The Ottoman Empire's devşirme, or "gathering" of young slaves for the Janissaries, lasted until the 17th century. Regimes based on mamluk power thrived in such Ottoman provinces as the Levant and Egypt until the 19th century.

Organization

Under the Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo, Mamluks were purchased while still young males. They were raised in the barracks of the Citadel of Cairo. Because of their isolated social status (no social ties or political affiliations) and their austere military training, they were trusted to be loyal to their rulers. [14] When their training was completed, they were discharged, but remained attached to the patron who had purchased them. Mamluks relied on the help of their patron for career advancement, and likewise the patron's reputation and power depended on his recruits. A Mamluk was "bound by a strong esprit de corps to his peers in the same household." [14]

Mamluks lived within their garrisons and mainly spent their time with each other. Their entertainments included sporting events such as archery competitions and presentations of mounted combat skills at least once a week. The intensive and rigorous training of each new recruit helped ensure continuity of Mamluk practices. [2]

Sultans owned the largest number of mamluks, but lesser amirs also owned their own troops. Many Mamluks were appointed or promoted to high positions throughout the empire, including army command. [2] At first their status was non-hereditary. Sons of Mamluks were prevented from following their father's role of life. However, over time, in places such as Egypt, the Mamluk forces became linked to existing power structures and gained significant amounts of influence on those powers. [2]

Relations with homelands and families

In Egypt, studies have shown that mamluks from Georgia retained their native language, were aware of the politics of the Caucasus region, and received frequent visits from their parents or other relatives. In addition, they sent gifts to family members or gave money to build useful structures (a defensive tower, or even a church) in their native villages. [21]

Egypt

Early Mamluks in Egypt

The battle of Wadi al-Khazandar, 1299. depicting Mongol archers and Mamluk cavalry (14th-century illustration from a manuscript of the History of the Tatars) BattleOfHoms1299.JPG
The battle of Wadi al-Khazandar, 1299. depicting Mongol archers and Mamluk cavalry (14th-century illustration from a manuscript of the History of the Tatars )
Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan (left) along with the later Al-Rifa'i Mosque (right) and two Ottoman mosques (foreground) - Cairo View from the citadel.JPG
Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan (left) along with the later Al-Rifa'i Mosque (right) and two Ottoman mosques (foreground) – Cairo

Throughout the past centuries, Egypt was controlled by the rulers notably the Ikhshidids, Fatimids and Ayyubids. Throughout these dynasties, thousands of mamluk servants and guards continued to be used, and even took high offices. This increasing level of influence among the mamluk worried the Ayyubids in particular. Eventually a Mamluk rose to become sultan. [2] [22] According to Fabri, a historian had asserted that mamluks of Egyptian origin were enslaved Christians. He believed that after they were taken from their families, then they became renegades. [2] Because Egyptian mamluks were enslaved Christians, Islamic rulers did not believe they were true believers of Islam despite fighting for wars on behalf of Islam as slave soldiers. [2]

By 1200 Saladin's brother Al-Adil succeeded in securing control over the whole empire by defeating and killing or imprisoning his brothers and nephews in turn. With each victory Al-Adil incorporated the defeated mamluk retinue into his own. This process was repeated at Al-Adil's death in 1218, and at his son Al-Kamil's death in 1238. The Ayyubids became increasingly surrounded by the mamluks, who acted semi-autonomously as regional atabegs. The mamluks increasingly became involved in the internal court politics of the kingdom itself as various factions used them as allies. [2]

French attack and Mamluk takeover

In June 1249, the Seventh Crusade under Louis IX of France landed in Egypt and took Damietta. After the Egyptian troops retreated at first, the sultan had more than 50 commanders hanged as deserters.

When the Egyptian sultan as-Salih Ayyub died, the power passed briefly to his son al-Muazzam Turanshah and then his favorite wife Shajar al-Durr, a Turk according to most historians, while others say was an Armenian. She took control with mamluk support and launched a counterattack against the French. Troops of the Bahri commander Baibars defeated Louis's troops. The king delayed his retreat too long and was captured by the Mamluks in March 1250. He agreed to pay a ransom of 400,000 livres tournois to gain release (150,000 livres were never paid). [23]

Because of political pressure for a male leader, Shajar married the Mamluk commander, Aybak. He was assassinated in his bath. In the ensuing power struggle, viceregent Qutuz, also a mamluk, took over. He formally founded the Mamluke Sultanate and the Bahri mamluk dynasty.

The first Mamluk dynasty was named Bahri after the name of one of the regiments, the Bahriyyah or River Island regiment. Its name referred to their center on Rhoda Island in the Nile. The regiment consisted mainly of Kipchaks and Cumans. [24]

Mamluk-Syrian glassware vessels from the 14th century; in the course of trade, the middle vase shown ended up in Yemen and then China. Mamluk glassware vessels.jpg
Mamluk-Syrian glassware vessels from the 14th century; in the course of trade, the middle vase shown ended up in Yemen and then China.

Mamluks and the Mongols

When the Mongol Empire's troops of Hulagu Khan sacked Baghdad in 1258 and advanced towards Syria, the Mamluk emir Baibars left Damascus for Cairo. There he was welcomed by Sultan Qutuz. [25] After taking Damascus, Hulagu demanded that Qutuz surrender Egypt. Qutuz had Hulagu's envoys killed and, with Baibars' help, mobilized his troops.

When Möngke Khan died in action against the Southern Song, Hulagu pulled the majority of his forces out of Syria to attend the kurultai (funeral ceremony). He left his lieutenant, the Christian Kitbuqa, in charge with a token force of about 18,000 men as a garrison. [26] The Mamluk army, led by Qutuz, drew the reduced Ilkhanate army into an ambush near the Orontes River, routed them at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, and captured and executed Kitbuqa.

After this great triumph, Qutuz was assassinated by conspiring Mamluks. It was widely said that Baibars, who seized power, had been involved in the assassination plot. In the following centuries, the Mamluks ruled discontinuously, with an average span of seven years.

The Mamluks defeated the Ilkhanates a second time in the First Battle of Homs and began to drive them back east. In the process they consolidated their power over Syria, fortified the area, and formed mail routes and diplomatic connections among the local princes. Baibars' troops attacked Acre in 1263, captured Caesarea in 1265, and took Antioch in 1268.

Mamluks attacking at the Fall of Tripoli in 1289 Siege of Tripoli Painting (1289).jpg
Mamluks attacking at the Fall of Tripoli in 1289

Mamluks also defeated new Ilkhanate attacks in Syria in 1271 and 1281 (the Second Battle of Homs). They were defeated by the Ilkhanates and their Christian allies at the Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar in 1299. Soon after that the Mamluks defeated the Ilkhanate again in 1303/1304 and 1312. Finally, the Ilkhanates and the Mamluks signed a treaty of peace in 1323.

Burji dynasty

By the late fourteenth century, the majority of the Mamluk ranks were made up of Circassians from the North Caucasus region, whose young males had been frequently captured for slavery. [3] In 1382 the Burji dynasty took over when Barquq was proclaimed sultan. The name "Burji" referred to their center at the citadel of Cairo. The dynasty officials were composed mostly of Circassians.

Barkuk became an enemy of Timur, who threatened to invade Syria. Timur invaded Syria, defeating the Mamluk army, and he sacked Aleppo and captured Damascus. The Ottoman sultan, Bayezid I, then invaded Syria. After Timur's death in 1405, the Mamluk sultan an-Nasir Faraj regained control of Syria. Frequently facing rebellions by local emirs, he was forced to abdicate in 1412. In 1421, Egypt was attacked by the Kingdom of Cyprus, but the Egyptians forced the Cypriotes to acknowledge the suzerainty of the Egyptian sultan Barsbay. During Barsbay's reign, Egypt's population became greatly reduced from what it had been a few centuries before; it had one-fifth the number of towns.

Al-Ashraf came to power in 1453. He had friendly relations with the Ottoman Empire, which captured Constantinople later that year, causing great rejoicings in Muslim Egypt. However, under the reign of Khoshqadam, Egypt began the struggle between the Egyptian and the Ottoman sultanates. In 1467 sultan Qaitbay offended the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II, whose brother was poisoned. Bayezid II seized Adana, Tarsus and other places within Egyptian territory, but was eventually defeated. Qaitbay also tried to help the Muslims in Spain, who were suffering after the Catholic Reconquista, by threatening the Christians in Syria, but he had little effect in Spain. He died in 1496, several hundred thousand ducats in debt to the great trading families of the {Kingdom} Republic of Venice, an eastern Mediterranean state, now a port in present-day Italy.

Portuguese-Mamluk Wars

Vasco da Gama in 1497 sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and pushed his way east across the Indian Ocean to the shores of Malabar and Kozhikode. There he attacked the fleets that carried freight and Muslim pilgrims from India to the Red Sea, and struck terror into the potentates all around. Various engagements took place. Cairo's Mamluk sultan Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri was affronted at the attacks around the Red Sea, the loss of tolls and traffic, the indignities to which Mecca and its port were subjected, and above all for losing one of his ships. He vowed vengeance upon Portugal, first sending monks from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as envoys, he threatened Pope Julius II that if he did not check Manuel I of Portugal in his depredations on the Indian Sea, he would destroy all Christian holy places. [27]

The rulers of Gujarat in India and Yemen also turned for help to the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt. They wanted a fleet to be armed in the Red Sea that could protect their important trading sea routes from Portuguese attack. Jeddah was soon fortified as a harbor of refuge so Arabia and the Red Sea were protected. But the fleets in the Indian Ocean were still at the mercy of the enemy.

The last Mamluk sultan, Al-Ghawri, fitted out a fleet of 50 vessels. As Mamluks had little expertise in naval warfare, he sought help from the Ottomans to develop this naval enterprise. [28] In 1508 at the Battle of Chaul, the Mamluk fleet defeated the Portuguese viceroy's son Lourenço de Almeida.

But, in the following year, the Portuguese won the Battle of Diu and wrested the port city of Diu from the Gujarat Sultanate. Some years after, Afonso de Albuquerque attacked Aden, and Egyptian troops suffered disaster from the Portuguese in Yemen. Al-Ghawri fitted out a new fleet to punish the enemy and protect the Indian trade. Before it could exert much power, Egypt had lost its sovereignty. The Ottoman Empire took over Egypt and the Red Sea, together with Mecca and all its Arabian interests.

Ottomans and the end of the Mamluk Sultanate

The Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II was engaged in warfare in southern Europe when a new era of hostility with Egypt began in 1501. It arose out of the relations with the Safavid dynasty in Persia. Shah Ismail I sent an embassy to the Republic of Venice via Syria, inviting Venice to ally with Persia and recover its territory taken by the Ottomans. Mameluk Egyptian sultan Al-Ghawri was charged by Selim I with giving the Persian envoys passage through Syria on their way to Venice and harboring refugees. To appease him, Al-Ghawri placed in confinement the Venetian merchants then in Syria and Egypt, but after a year released them. [29]

After the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514, Selim attacked the bey of Dulkadirids, as Egypt's vassal had stood aloof, and sent his head to Al-Ghawri. Now secure against Persia, in 1516 he formed a great army for the conquest of Egypt, but gave out that he intended further attacks on Persia.

In 1515, Selim began the war which led to the conquest of Egypt and its dependencies. Mamluk cavalry proved no match for the Ottoman artillery and Janissary infantry. On 24 August 1516, at the Battle of Marj Dabiq, Sultan Al-Ghawri was killed. Syria passed into Turkish possession, an event welcomed in many places as it was seen as deliverance from the Mamelukes. [29]

The Mamluke Sultanate survived in Egypt until 1517, when Selim captured Cairo on 20 January. Although not in the same form as under the Sultanate, the Ottoman Empire retained the Mamluks as an Egyptian ruling class and the Mamluks and the Burji family succeeded in regaining much of their influence, but as vassals of the Ottomans. [29] [30]

Mamluk independence from the Ottomans

Charge of the Mamluk cavalry by Carle Vernet Carle Vernet Mameluck en Attaque.jpg
Charge of the Mamluk cavalry by Carle Vernet

In 1768, Ali Bey Al-Kabir declared independence from the Ottomans. However, the Ottomans crushed the movement and retained their position after his defeat. By this time new slave recruits were introduced from Georgia in the Caucasus.

Napoleon invades

Charge of the Mamluks during the Battle of the Pyramids by Felician Myrbach. An elite body of cavalry whom the French encountered during their campaign in Egypt in 1798, the Mamluks could trace their lineage of service to the Ottomans back to the mid-13th century. Myrbach-Charge of the Mamluks.jpg
Charge of the Mamluks during the Battle of the Pyramids by Felician Myrbach. An elite body of cavalry whom the French encountered during their campaign in Egypt in 1798, the Mamluks could trace their lineage of service to the Ottomans back to the mid-13th century.

In 1798, the ruling Directory of the Republic of France authorised a campaign in "The Orient" to protect French trade interests and undermine Britain's access to India. To this end, Napoleon Bonaparte led an Armée d'Orient to Egypt.

The French defeated a Mamluk army in the Battle of the Pyramids and drove the survivors out to Upper Egypt. The Mamluks relied on massed cavalry charges, changed only by the addition of musket. The French infantry formed square and held firm. Despite multiple victories and an initially successful expedition into Syria, mounting conflict in Europe and the earlier defeat of the supporting French fleet by the British Royal Navy at the Battle of the Nile decided the issue.

On 14 September 1799 General Jean Baptiste Kléber established a mounted company of Mamluk auxiliaries and Syrian Janissaries from Turkish troops captured at the siege of Acre. Menou reorganized the company on 7 July 1800, forming 3 companies of 100 men each and renaming it the "Mamluks de la République". In 1801 General Jean Rapp was sent to Marseille to organize a squadron of 250 Mamluks. On 7 January 1802 the previous order was canceled and the squadron reduced to 150 men. The list of effectives on 21 April 1802 reveals 3 officers and 155 other ranks. By decree of 25 December 1803 the Mamluks were organized into a company attached to the Chasseurs-à-Cheval of the Imperial Guard (see Mamelukes of the Imperial Guard).

The Second of May 1808: The charge of the Mamelukes of the Imperial Guard in Madrid, by Francisco de Goya El dos de mayo de 1808 en Madrid rdit.jpg
The Second of May 1808 : The charge of the Mamelukes of the Imperial Guard in Madrid, by Francisco de Goya

Napoleon left with his personal guard in late 1799. His successor in Egypt, General Jean Baptiste Kléber, was assassinated on 14 June 1800. Command of the Army in Egypt fell to Jacques-François Menou. Isolated and out of supplies, Menou surrendered to the British in 1801.

After Napoleon

After the departure of French troops in 1801 the Mamluks continued their struggle for independence; this time against the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain. In 1803, Mamluk leaders Ibrahim Bey and Osman Bey al-Bardisi wrote to the Russian consul-general, asking him to mediate with the Sultan to allow them to negotiate for a cease-fire, and a return to their homeland Georgia. The Russian ambassador in Constantinople refused however to intervene, because of nationalist unrest in Georgia that might have been encouraged by a Mamluk return. [29]

In 1805, the population of Cairo rebelled. This provided a chance for the Mamluks to seize power, but internal friction prevented them from exploiting this opportunity. In 1806, the Mamluks defeated the Turkish forces in several clashes. in June the rival parties concluded an agreement by which Muhammad Ali, (appointed as governor of Egypt on 26 March 1806), was to be removed and authority returned to the Mamluks. However, they were again unable to capitalize on this opportunity due to discord between factions. Muhammad Ali retained his authority. [2]

End of Mamluk power in Egypt

Massacre of the Mamelukes at the Cairo citadel, 1811 Mamluks, Horace Vernet.jpg
Massacre of the Mamelukes at the Cairo citadel, 1811

Muhammad Ali knew that he would have to deal with the Mamluks if he wanted to control Egypt. They were still the feudal owners of Egypt and their land was still the source of wealth and power. However, the economic strain of sustaining the military manpower necessary to defend the Mamluks's system from the Europeans and Turks would eventually weaken them to the point of collapse. [31]

On 1 March 1811, Muhammad Ali invited all of the leading Mamluks to his palace to celebrate the declaration of war against the Wahhabis in Arabia. Between 600 and 700 Mamluks paraded for this purpose in Cairo. Muhammad Ali's forces killed almost all of these near the Al-Azab gates in a narrow road down from Mukatam Hill. This ambush came to be known as the Massacre of the Citadel. According to contemporary reports, only one Mamluk, whose name is given variously as Amim (also Amyn), or Heshjukur (a Besleney), survived when he forced his horse to leap from the walls of the citadel. [32]

During the following week an estimated 3,000 Mamluks and their relatives were killed throughout Egypt, by Muhammad's regular troops. In the citadel of Cairo alone more than 1,000 Mamluks died.

Despite Muhammad Ali's destruction of the Mamluks in Egypt, a party of them escaped and fled south into what is now Sudan. In 1811, these Mamluks established a state at Dunqulah in the Sennar as a base for their slave trading. In 1820, the sultan of Sennar informed Muhammad Ali that he was unable to comply with a demand to expel the Mamluks. In response, the pasha sent 4,000 troops to invade Sudan, clear it of Mamluks, and reclaim it for Egypt. The pasha's forces received the submission of the Kashif, dispersed the Dunqulah Mamluks, conquered Kordofan, and accepted Sennar's surrender from the last Funj sultan, Badi VII.

Other Mamluk regimes

There were various places in which mamluks gained political or military power as a self-replicating military community.

South Asia

In 1206, the Mamluk commander of the Muslim forces in the Indian subcontinent, Qutb al-Din Aibak, proclaimed himself Sultan, becoming in effect the Mamluk Sultanate in Dehli, which lasted until 1290.

Iraq

Mamluk corps were first introduced in Iraq by Hasan Pasha of Baghdad in 1702. From 1747 to 1831 Iraq was ruled, with short intermissions, by Mamluk officers of Georgian origin [8] [33] who succeeded in asserting autonomy from the Sublime Porte, suppressed tribal revolts, curbed the power of the Janissaries, restored order, and introduced a program of modernization of the economy and the military. In 1831 the Ottomans overthrew Dawud Pasha, the last Mamluk ruler, and imposed direct control over Iraq. [34]

Mamluk rulers

In Egypt

Bahri Dynasty

A Mamluk on horseback, with a Pieton or foot-soldier mamluk and a Bedouin soldier, 1804 AMamelukeonhorsebackwithaPitonorfoo.jpg
A Mamluk on horseback, with a Piéton or foot-soldier mamluk and a Bedouin soldier, 1804

Burji Dynasty

In India

The mausoleum of Qutb al-Din Aibak in Anarkali, Lahore, Pakistan. QutubuddinAibakMausoleum.JPG
The mausoleum of Qutb al-Din Aibak in Anarkali, Lahore, Pakistan.

In Iraq

In Acre

"Mamluk" as derogatory term

The term Mamluk became known throughout Europe following the Ottoman conquests of Egypt and the Levant in 1516–1517. It was used as a derogatory term in Geneva, just prior to the overthrow of Savoy rule in 1526 by the supporters of Philibert Berthelier, to describe the faction in the state council that advocated the continued rule of the Savoy dynasty. As Mamluk means "slaves of the king", the republican faction in Geneva used it to suggest that the supporters of Savoy rule were the enemies of freedom.

Office titles and terminology

The following terms originally come from either Turkish or Ottoman Turkish language (the latter composed of Turkish, Arabic, and Persian words and grammar structures).

EnglishArabicNotes
Alama Sultaniyaعلامة سلطانيةThe mark or signature of the Sultan put on his decrees, letters and documents.
Al-Nafir al-Amالنفير العامGeneral emergency declared during war
AmirأميرPrince
Amir Akhurأمير آخورsupervisor of the royal stable (from Persian آخور meaning stable)
Amir Majlisأمير مجلسGuard of Sultan's seat and bed
AtabekأتابكCommander in chief (literally "father-lord," originally meaning an appointed step-father for a non-Mamluk minor prince)
AstadarأستادارChief of the royal servants
Barid Jawiبريد جوىAirmail (mail sent by carrier-pigeons, amplified by Sultan Baibars)
Bayt al-Malبيت المالtreasury
CheshmehششمهA pool of water, or fountain (literally "eye"), from Persian چشمه
DawadarدوادارHolder of Sultan's ink bottle (from Persian دوات‌دار meaning bearer of the ink bottle)
FondokفندقHotel (some famous hotels in Cairo during the Mamluk era were Dar al-Tofah, Fondok Bilal and Fondok al-Salih)
HajibحاجبDoorkeeper of sultan's court
IqtaإقطاعRevenue from land allotment
JamkiyaجامكيةSalary paid to a Mamluk
JashnakirجاشنكيرFood taster of the sultan (to assure his beer was not poisoned)
JomdarجمدارAn official at the department of the Sultan's clothing (from Persian جامه‌دار, meaning keeper of cloths)
Kafel al-mamalek al-sharifah al-islamiya al-amir al-amriكافل الممالك الشريفة الاسلامية الأمير الأمرىTitle of the Vice-sultan (Guardian of the Prince of Command [lit. Commander-in-command] of the Dignified Islamic Kingdoms)
KhanخانA store that specialized in selling a certain commodity
KhaskiyaخاصكيةCourtiers of the sultan and most trusted royal mamluks who functioned as the Sultan's bodyguards/ A privileged group around a prominent Amir (from Persian خاصگیان, meaning close associates)
KhastakhanehخاصتاخانةHospital (from Ottoman Turkish خسته‌خانه , from Persian)
KhondخندWife of the sultan
KhushdashiyaخشداشيةMamluks belonging to the same Amir or Sultan.
Mahkamat al-Mazalimمحكمة المظالمCourt of complaint. A court that heard cases of complaints of people against state officials. This court was headed by the sultan himself.
Mamalik Kitabeyaمماليك كتابيةMamluks still attending training classes and who still live at the Tebaq (campus)
Mamalik Sultaneyaمماليك سلطانيةMamluks of the sultan; to distinguish from the Mamluks of the Amirs (princes)
Modwarat al-Sultanمدورة السلطانSultan's tent which he used during travel.
MohtasebمحتسبController of markets, public works and local affairs.
MorqadarمرقدارWorks in the Royal Kitchen (from Persian مرغ‌دار meaning one responsible for the fowl)
MushrifمشرفSupervisor of the Royal Kitchen
Na'ib Al-Sultanنائب السلطانVice-sultan
Qa'at al-insha'aقاعة الإنشاءChancery hall
Qadi al-Qodaقاضى القضاةChief justice
Qalat al-Jabalقلعة الجبلCitadel of the Mountain (the abode and court of the sultan in Cairo)
QaranisaقرانصةMamluks who moved to the service of a new Sultan or from the service of an Amir to a sultan.
QussadقصادSecret couriers and agents who kept the sultan informed
OstazأستاذBenefactor of Mamluks (the Sultan or the Emir) (from Persian استاد)
RankرنكAn emblem that distinguished the rank and position of a Mamluk (probably from Persian رنگ meaning color)
SanjaqiسنجاقىA standard-bearer of the Sultan.
SharabkhanaشرابخانةStorehouse for drinks, medicines and glass-wares of the sultan. (from Persian شراب‌خانه meaning wine cellar)
SilihdarسلحدارArm-Bearer (from Arabic سلاح + Persian دار, meaning arm-bearer)
TabalkhanaطبلخانهThe amir responsible for the Mamluk military band, from Persian طبل‌خانه
TashrifتشريفHead-covering worn by a Mamluk during the ceremony of inauguration to the position of Amir.
TawashiطواشىA Eunuch responsible for serving the wives of the sultan and supervising new Mamluks.
TebaqطباقCampus of the Mamluks at the citadel of the mountain
TishtkhanaطشتخانةStorehouse used for the laundry of the sultan (from Persian تشت‌خانه, meaning tub room)
Waliوالىviceroy
YuqيوقA large linen closet used in every mamluk home, which stored pillows and sheets. (Related to the present Crimean Tatar word Yuqa, "to sleep". In modern Turkish: Yüklük.)

Mameluco

The Arabic word Mamluk entered Portuguese as Mameluco , which came to denote the first generation child of a European and an Amerindian – a social class which had a significant role in the early history of Brazil.

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. Isichei, Elizabeth (1997). A History of African Societies to 1870. Cambridge University Press. p. 192. Retrieved 8 November 2008.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Thomas Philipp & Ulrich Haarmann. The Mamluks in Egyptian Politics and Society.
  3. 1 2 McGregor, Andrew James (2006). A Military History of Modern Egypt: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Ramadan War. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 15. ISBN   9780275986018. By the late fourteenth century Circassians from the north Caucasus region had become the majority in the Mamluk ranks.
  4. А.Ш.Кадырбаев, Сайф-ад-Дин Хайр-Бек - абхазский "король эмиров" Мамлюкского Египта (1517–1522), "Материалы первой международной научной конференции, посвященной 65-летию В.Г.Ардзинба". Сухум: АбИГИ, 2011, pp. 87–95
  5. Thomas Philipp, Ulrich Haarmann (eds), The Mamluks in Egyptian Politics and Society. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 115–116.
  6. Jane Hathaway, The Politics of Households in Ottoman Egypt: The Rise of the Qazdaglis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 103–104.
  7. "Relations of the Georgian Mamluks of Egypt with Their Homeland in the Last Decades of the Eighteenth Century". Daniel Crecelius and Gotcha Djaparidze. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 45, No. 3 (2002), pp. 320—341. ISSN 0022-4995.
  8. 1 2 Basra, the failed Gulf state: separatism and nationalism in southern Iraq , p. 19, at Google Books By Reidar Visser
  9. Hathaway, Jane (February 1995). "The Military Household in Ottoman Egypt". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 27 (1): 39–52. doi:10.1017/s0020743800061572.
  10. István Vásáry (2005) Cuman and Tatars, Cambridge University Press.
  11. T. Pavlidis, A Concise History of the Middle East, Chapter 11: Turks and Byzantine Decline, 2011
  12. Ayalon, David (1979). The Mamlūk military society. Variorum Reprints. ISBN   978-0-86078-049-6.
  13. Asbridge, Thomas. "The Crusades Episode 3". BBC. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  14. 1 2 3 Behrens-Abouseif, Doris. Cairo of the Mamluks: A History of Architecture and Its Culture. New York: Macmillan, 2008.
  15. See D. Sourdel's "Ghulam" in the Encyclopedia of Islam and David Ayalon's "Mamluk" in the Encyclopedia of Islam. Ayalon uses "mamluk" to refer to military slaves in Egypt and Syria, and "ghulam" (sing. of ghilman) to refer to military slaves elsewhere.
  16. D. Sourdel. "Ghulam" in the Encyclopedia of Islam.
  17. See E. de la Vaissière, Samarcande et Samarra, 2007, and also M. Gordon, The Breaking of a Thousand Swords, 2001.
  18. See for instance the review in Der Islam 2012 of de la Vaissière's book by Christopher Melchert: 'Still, de la Vaissière’s dating of the Mamluk phenomenon herewith becomes the conventional wisdom'
  19. Walker, Paul E. Exploring an Islamic Empire: Fatimid History and its Sources (London, I. B. Tauris, 2002)
  20. Eric Hanne. Putting the Caliph in His Place.)
  21. "Relations of the Georgian Mamluks of Egypt with Their Homeland in the Last Decades of the Eighteenth Century." Daniel Crecelius and Gotcha Djaparidze. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 45, No. 3 (2002), pp. 320–341. ISSN 0022-4995.
  22. David Nicole The Mamluks 1250–1570
  23. Madden, Thomas F. Crusades: The Illustrated History. 1st ed. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005. 159
  24. István Vásáry (2005), Cumans and Tatars, Cambridge University Press
  25. Al-Maqrizi, p. 509/vol.1, Al Selouk Leme'refatt Dewall al-Melouk, Dar al-kotob, 1997.
  26. David Chambers, The Devil's Horsemen, Atheneum, 1979. p. 153-155
  27. Palmira Johnson Brummett, "Ottoman seapower and Levantine diplomacy in the age of discovery", SUNY Press, 1994, ISBN   0-7914-1701-8
  28. Andrew James McGregor, A Military History of Modern Egypt: from the Ottoman Conquest to the Ramadan War, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006 ISBN   0-275-98601-2
  29. 1 2 3 4 James Waterson, "The Mamluks"
  30. Thomas Philipp, Ulrich Haarmann (1998). The Mamluks in Egyptian Politics and Society
  31. Abu-Lughod, Janet L. Before European Hegemony The World System A.D. 1250–1350. New York: Oxford UP, USA, 1991. PP. 213
  32. For the use of the name Amim, see Giovanni Finati, Narrative of the Life and Adventure of Giovanni Finati native of Ferrara, 1830; for Heshjukur, Mustafa Mahir, Marks of the Caucasian Tribes and Some Stories and Notable Events Related to Their Leaders, Boulaq, Cairo, 1892
  33. The Arab Lands under Ottoman Rule: 1516–1800. Jane Hathaway, Karl Barbir. Person Education Limited, 2008, p. 96. ISBN   978-0-582-41899-8.
  34. "Iraq" Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 15 October 2007

Further reading