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The Mamluk Sultanate
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Book description

The Mamluk Sultanate ruled Egypt, Syria and the Arabian hinterland along the Red Sea. Lasting from the deposition of the Ayyubid dynasty (c. 1250) to the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517, this regime of slave-soldiers incorporated many of the political structures and cultural traditions of its Fatimid and Ayyubid predecessors. Yet its system of governance and centralisation of authority represented radical departures from the hierarchies of power that predated it. Providing a rich and comprehensive survey of events from the Sultanate's founding to the Ottoman occupation, this interdisciplinary book explores the Sultanate's identity and heritage after the Mongol conquests, the expedience of conspiratorial politics, and the close symbiosis of the military elite and civil bureaucracy. Carl F. Petry also considers the statecraft, foreign policy, economy and cultural legacy of the Sultanate, and its interaction with polities throughout the central Islamic world and beyond. In doing so, Petry reveals how the Mamluk Sultanate can be regarded as a significant experiment in the history of state-building within the pre-modern Islamic world.

Reviews

'The wait is over - at last we have a true grand narrative of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt and Syria, a fascinating episode in world history. Encyclopedic in scope, full of insights, with riveting storytelling, Carl F. Petry’s tour de force will remain the definitive tome on the subject for a long time to come.'

Li Guo - University of Notre Dame

'This lucid and comprehensive survey of the Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517) combines political and institutional history with coverage of intellectual life, popular culture, rural realities, women, religious minorities, and Sufis. Petry draws on his own vast expertise while making abundant use of primary sources and scholarship by other leading experts.'

Jane Hathaway - Ohio State University

'Petry’s synthesis of scholarship is deftly integrated with his in-depth erudition and knowledge of surviving source material. Moreover, the book’s organization along with Petry’s accessible prose make this volume a valuable and effective introduction for those unfamiliar with the history of the sultanate and the multifaceted field of Mamluk Studies.'

Warren Schultz - DePaul University

‘A comprehensive, systematic overview of the Mamluk Sultanate brought to life by dynamic case studies and vignettes. Highly readable and accessible, it is an indispensable reference for students and scholars, and an excellent introduction for anyone starting out in the field of Mamluk Studies.’

Amina Elbendary - The American University, Cairo

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