Mamluk

Mamluk

Overview
A Mamluk was a soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

 of slave origin, who were predominantly Cumans/Kipchaks The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior class, was of great political importance and was extraordinarily long-lived, lasting from the 9th to the 19th century AD. Over time, mamluks became a powerful military caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

 in various Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 societies. Particularly in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, but also in the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, mamluks held political and military power.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Mamluk'
Start a new discussion about 'Mamluk'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
A Mamluk was a soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

 of slave origin, who were predominantly Cumans/Kipchaks The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior class, was of great political importance and was extraordinarily long-lived, lasting from the 9th to the 19th century AD. Over time, mamluks became a powerful military caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

 in various Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 societies. Particularly in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, but also in the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, mamluks held political and military power. In some cases, they attained the rank of sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

, while in others they held regional power as amirs or bey
Bey
Bey is a title for chieftain, traditionally applied to the leaders of small tribal groups. Accoding to some sources, the word "Bey" is of Turkish language In historical accounts, many Turkish, other Turkic and Persian leaders are titled Bey, Beg, Bek, Bay, Baig or Beigh. They are all the same word...

s. Most notably, mamluk factions seized the sultanate for themselves in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 in a period known as the Mamluk Sultanate
Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo)
The Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt was the final independent Egyptian state prior to the establishment of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty in 1805. It lasted from the overthrow of the Ayyubid Dynasty until the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517. The sultanate's ruling caste was composed of Mamluks, Arabised...

 (1250–1517). The Mamluk Sultanate famously beat back the Mongols at the Battle of Ain Jalut
Battle of Ain Jalut
The Battle of Ain Jalut took place on 3 September 1260 between Mamluks and the Mongols in eastern Galilee, in the Jezreel Valley, not far from Ein Harod....

 and fought the Crusader
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

s effectively driving them out from the Levant by 1291 and officially in 1302 ending the era of the Crusades.

They were predominantly Turkic tribes of Cumans/Kipchaks depending on the period and region in question. While mamluks were purchased, their status was above ordinary slaves, who were not allowed to carry weapons or perform certain tasks. In places such as Egypt from the Ayyubid dynasty
Ayyubid dynasty
The Ayyubid dynasty was a Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin, founded by Saladin and centered in Egypt. The dynasty ruled much of the Middle East during the 12th and 13th centuries CE. The Ayyubid family, under the brothers Ayyub and Shirkuh, originally served as soldiers for the Zengids until they...

 to the time of Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha was a commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan...

, mamluks were considered to be “true lords,” with social status above freeborn Muslims.

Overview


The story of military in preists Islamic societies begins with the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 caliphs of the 9th century Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

. The earliest mamluks were known as ghilman
Ghilman
Ghilman Ghilman Ghilman (singular ghulam describes either young servants in paradise or slave-soldiers in the Ottoman, Mughal and Persian Empires.-Islamic Theology:...

 (another term for slaves, broadly synonymous) and were bought by the early Abbasid caliphs. By the middle of the 9th century, these slaves had become the dominant element in the military. Conflict between these ghilman and the population of Baghdad prompted the caliph al-Mu'tasim
Al-Mu'tasim
Abu Ishaq 'Abbas al-Mu'tasim ibn Harun was an Abbasid caliph . He succeeded his half-brother al-Ma'mun...

 to move his capital to the city of Samarra
Samarra
Sāmarrā is a city in Iraq. It stands on the east bank of the Tigris in the Salah ad-Din Governorate, north of Baghdad and, in 2003, had an estimated population of 348,700....

, but this did not succeed in calming tensions; the caliph al-Mutawakkil
Al-Mutawakkil
Al-Mutawakkil ʻAlā Allāh Jaʻfar ibn al-Muʻtasim was an Abbasid caliph who reigned in Samarra from 847 until 861...

 was assassinated by some of these slave-soldiers in 861. The Abbasids bought slave-soldiers mainly from areas near the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 (mainly Circassian and Georgian
Georgians
The Georgians are an ethnic group that have originated in Georgia, where they constitute a majority of the population. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, European Union, United States, and South America....

), and from areas north of the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 (Kipchak
Kipchaks
Kipchaks were a Turkic tribal confederation...

 and other Turks
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

). Those captured had non-Muslim backgrounds.

The use of mamluk soldiers gave rulers troops who had no link to any established power structure. Local non-mamluk warriors were often more loyal to their tribal sheikh
Sheikh
Not to be confused with sikhSheikh — also spelled Sheik or Shaikh, or transliterated as Shaykh — is an honorific in the Arabic language that literally means "elder" and carries the meaning "leader and/or governor"...

s, their families, or nobles than to the sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 or caliph. If a commander conspired against the ruler, it was often not possible to deal with the conspiracy without causing unrest among the nobility. The mamluk slave-troops were strangers of the lowest possible status who could not conspire against the ruler and who could easily be punished if they caused trouble, making them a great military asset.

After the fragmentation of the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 Empire, military slaves, known as either mamluks or ghilman
Ghilman
Ghilman Ghilman Ghilman (singular ghulam describes either young servants in paradise or slave-soldiers in the Ottoman, Mughal and Persian Empires.-Islamic Theology:...

, became the basis of military power throughout the Islamic world. The Fatimids of Egypt bought Armenian
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

, Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 and Sudanese slaves, who formed the bulk of their military and often their administration. The powerful vizier Badr al-Jamali, for example, was a mamluk of Armenian origin. In Iran and Iraq, the Buyids used Turkic slaves throughout their empire, such as the rebel al-Basasiri who eventually ushered in Saljuq rule in Baghdad after attempting a failed rebellion. When the later Abbasids regained military control over Iraq, they also relied on military slaves called ghilman
Ghilman
Ghilman Ghilman Ghilman (singular ghulam describes either young servants in paradise or slave-soldiers in the Ottoman, Mughal and Persian Empires.-Islamic Theology:...

.

Under Saladin
Saladin
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb , better known in the Western world as Saladin, was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant...

 and the Ayyubids of Egypt, the power of the mamluks increased until they claimed the sultanate in 1250, ruling as the Mamluk Sultanate
Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo)
The Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt was the final independent Egyptian state prior to the establishment of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty in 1805. It lasted from the overthrow of the Ayyubid Dynasty until the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517. The sultanate's ruling caste was composed of Mamluks, Arabised...

. Military slavery continued to be employed throughout the Islamic world until the 19th century. The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

's devşirme, or "gathering" of young slaves for the Janissary
Janissary
The Janissaries were infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards...

 corps, lasted until the 17th century, while mamluk-based regimes thrived in such Ottoman provinces as Iraq and Egypt into the 19th century.

Organization



Under the Mamluk Sultane of Cairo, mamluks were purchased while still young and were raised in the barracks of the Citadel of Cairo. Because of their particular status (no social ties or political affiliations) and their austere military training, they were often trusted. Their training consisted of strict religious and military education to help them become “good Muslim horsemen and fighters.” When their training was completed they were discharged, but still attached to the patron who had purchased them. Mamluks relied on the help of their patron for career advancements and likewise the patron’s reputation and power depended on his recruits. A mamluk was also “bound by a strong esprit de corps to his peers in the same household.”

Mamluks were proud of their origin as slaves and only those who were purchased were eligible to attain the highest positions. The privileges associated with being a mamluk were so desirable that many free Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

 arranged themselves to be sold in order to gain access to this privileged society. Mamluks spoke Arabic and cultivated their identity by retaining an Egyptian name. However despite humble origins and an exclusive attitude, mamluks were respected by their Arab subjects. They earned admiration and prestige as the “true guardians of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 by repelling both the Crusaders
Crusaders
The Crusaders are a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Christchurch that competes in the Super Rugby competition. They are the most successful team in Super Rugby history with seven titles...

 and the Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

.” Many people viewed them as a blessing from God to the Muslims.

After mamluks had converted to Islam, many were trained as cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 soldiers. Mamluks had to follow the dictates of furusiyya
Furusiyya
is the historical Arabic term for knightly martial exercise during the Middle Ages, during the Crusades and Mamluk period in particular, especially concerned with medieval Islamic martial arts and equestrianism...

, a code that included values such as courage and generosity, and also cavalry tactics
Cavalry tactics
For much of history , humans have used some form of cavalry for war. Cavalry tactics have evolved over time...

, horsemanship, archery and treatment of wounds, etc.

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.

While they were no longer actually slaves after training, they were still obliged to serve the Sultan. The Sultan kept them as an outsider force, under his direct command, to use in the event of local tribal frictions. The Sultan could also send them as far as the Muslim regions of Iberia
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

.

Sultans had the largest number of mamluks, but lesser amirs could have their own troops as well. Many mamluks rose to high positions throughout the empire, including army command. At first their status remained non-hereditary and sons were strictly prevented from following their fathers. 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.

A similar evolution occurred in the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 with the Janissaries.

Early Mamluks in Egypt



Ahmed ibn Tulun was a Turkish
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 Mamluk whose father was sent as a gift to the Abbasid Caliph al-Ma'mun
Al-Ma'mun
Abū Jaʿfar Abdullāh al-Māʾmūn ibn Harūn was an Abbasid caliph who reigned from 813 until his death in 833...

 in (200H./815–16 A.D.). Ibn Tulun was sent to Egypt in 868 as regent governor for the Abbasids, but through diplomatic intrigue and military might, he effectively operated his Tulunid dynasty autonomously as the earliest Mamluk ruler in Egypt. The Tulunid dynasty was short-lived, and Egypt was reoccupied by Abbassid forces in the winter of 904–05.

Throughout the next centuries, Egypt was controlled by a variety of rulers, notably the Ikhshidid
Ikhshidid dynasty
The Ikhshidid dynasty of Egypt ruled from 935 to 969. The dynasty carried the Arabic title "Wali" reflecting their position as governors on behalf of the Abbasids, the first governor was Muhammad bin Tughj Al-Ikhshid, a Turkic slave soldier, who was installed by the Abbasid Caliph and gave him and...

s and Fatimid
Fatimid
The Fatimid Islamic Caliphate or al-Fāṭimiyyūn was a Berber Shia Muslim caliphate first centered in Tunisia and later in Egypt that ruled over varying areas of the Maghreb, Sudan, Sicily, the Levant, and Hijaz from 5 January 909 to 1171.The caliphate was ruled by the Fatimids, who established the...

s. Throughout these dynasties, thousands of Mamluk servants and guards continued to be employed, and even took high offices, including governor of Damascus. This increasing level of influence worried the Arab rulers, foreshadowing the eventual rise of a Mamluk sultan.

The origins of the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt lie in the Ayyubid Dynasty that Saladin
Saladin
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb , better known in the Western world as Saladin, was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant...

 (Salah ad-Din) founded in 1174. With his uncle Shirkuh he conquered Egypt for the Zengid King Nur ad-Din of Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 in 1169. By 1189, after the capture of Jerusalem, Saladin had consolidated the dynasty's control over the Middle East. After Saladin's death his sons fell to squabbling over the division of the Empire, and each attempted to surround himself with larger expanded mamluk retinues.

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 power of the mamluks, acting semi-autonomously as regional Atabeg
Atabeg
Atabeg, Atabek, or Atabey is a hereditary title of nobility of Turkic origin, indicating a governor of a nation or province who was subordinate to a monarch and charged with raising the crown prince...

s, and soon involved them in the internal court politics of the kingdom itself.

In 1315 they invaded and conquered a great part of Nubia
Nubia
Nubia is a region along the Nile river, which is located in northern Sudan and southern Egypt.There were a number of small Nubian kingdoms throughout the Middle Ages, the last of which collapsed in 1504, when Nubia became divided between Egypt and the Sennar sultanate resulting in the Arabization...

, but the power remained with a Nubian prince converted from Coptic Orthodox Christianity to Sunni Islam.

French attack and Mamluk takeover



In June 1249, the Seventh Crusade
Seventh Crusade
The Seventh Crusade was a crusade led by Louis IX of France from 1248 to 1254. Approximately 800,000 bezants were paid in ransom for King Louis who, along with thousands of his troops, was captured and defeated by the Egyptian army led by the Ayyubid Sultan Turanshah supported by the Bahariyya...

 under Louis IX of France
Louis IX of France
Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

 landed in Egypt and took Damietta
Damietta
Damietta , also known as Damiata, or Domyat, is a port and the capital of the Damietta Governorate in Egypt. It is located at the intersection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Nile, about north of Cairo.-History:...

. The Egyptian troops retreated at first, spurring the sultan to hang more than 50 commanders as deserters. When the Egyptian sultan As-Salih Ayyub
As-Salih Ayyub
Al-Malik as-Salih Najm al-Din Ayyub , also known as al-Malik al-Salih was the Ayyubid ruler of Egypt from 1240 to 1249.-Biography:...

 died, the power passed briefly to his son Turanshah
Al-Muazzam Turanshah
Turanshah, also Turan Shah was a son of Sultan As-Salih Ayyub. A member of Ayyubid Dynasty, he became Sultan of Egypt for a brief period in 1249-1250.-References:...

 and then his favorite wife Shajar Al-Durr (or Shajarat-ul-Dur). She took control with mamluk support and launched a counterattack. Troops of the Bahri commander Baibars
Baibars
Baibars or Baybars , nicknamed Abu l-Futuh , was a Mamluk Sultan of Egypt. He was one of the commanders of the forces which inflicted a devastating defeat on the Seventh Crusade of King Louis IX of France and he led the vanguard of the Egyptian army at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, which marked...

 defeated Louis's troops. The king delayed his retreat too long and was captured by the Mamluks in March 1250, and agreed to a ransom of 400,000 livres (150,000 of which were never paid). Political pressure for a male leader made Shajar marry the mamluk commander Aybak
Aybak
Izz al-Din AybakThe name Aybeg or Aybak is a combination of two Turkic words, "Ay" = Moon and "Beg" or variant "Bak" = Emir in Arabic. - Izz al-Din AybakThe name Aybeg or Aybak is a combination of two Turkic words, "Ay" = Moon and "Beg" or variant "Bak" = Emir in Arabic. -(Al-Maqrizi, Note...

; he was later killed in his bath, and in the power struggle that ensued vice-regent Qutuz
Qutuz
Saif ad-Din Qutuz, also spelled Kutuz, was the third of the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt in the Turkic line from 1259 until his death in 1260. It was under his leadership that the Mamluks achieved success against the Mongols in the key Battle of Ain Jalut...

 took over. He formally founded the first Mamluk sultanate and the Bahri dynasty.

The first Mamluk dynasty was named Bahri after the name of one of the regiments, the Bahriya or River Island regiment. The name Bahri
Bahri dynasty
The Bahri dynasty or Bahriyya Mamluks was a Mamluk dynasty of mostly Kipchak Turkic origin that ruled Egypt from 1250 to 1382 when they were succeeded by the Burji dynasty, another group of Mamluks...

 (بحري meaning "of the sea or river") referred to their center in al-Rodah Island in the Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

. The regiment consisted mainly of Kipchak
Kipchaks
Kipchaks were a Turkic tribal confederation...

 Turks/Cumans
Cumans
The Cumans were Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman-Kipchak confederation. After Mongol invasion , they decided to seek asylum in Hungary, and subsequently to Bulgaria...

.

Mamluks and the Mongols


When the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

's troops of Hulagu Khan
Hulagu Khan
Hulagu Khan, also known as Hülegü, Hulegu , was a Mongol ruler who conquered much of Southwest Asia...

 sacked Baghdad in 1258
Battle of Baghdad (1258)
The Siege of Baghdad, which occurred in 1258, was an invasion, siege and sacking of the city of Baghdad, the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate at the time and the modern-day capital of Iraq, by the Ilkhanate Mongol forces along with other allied troops under Hulagu Khan.The invasion left Baghdad in...

 and advanced towards Syria, Mamluk Emir Baibars
Baibars
Baibars or Baybars , nicknamed Abu l-Futuh , was a Mamluk Sultan of Egypt. He was one of the commanders of the forces which inflicted a devastating defeat on the Seventh Crusade of King Louis IX of France and he led the vanguard of the Egyptian army at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, which marked...

 ( Circassian:Bipars, a common Circassian name which means the frontier defending warrior) left Damascus for Cairo where he was welcomed by Sultan Qutuz
Qutuz
Saif ad-Din Qutuz, also spelled Kutuz, was the third of the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt in the Turkic line from 1259 until his death in 1260. It was under his leadership that the Mamluks achieved success against the Mongols in the key Battle of Ain Jalut...

. After taking Damascus, Hulagu demanded that Qutuz surrender Egypt but Qutuz had Hulagu's envoys killed and, with Baibars' help, mobilized his troops. Although Hulagu had to leave for the East when great Khan Möngke
Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan , born Möngke, , was the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from July 1, 1251 – August 11, 1259. He was the first Great Khan from the Toluid line, and made significant reforms to improve the administration of the Empire during his reign...

 died in action against the Southern Song, he left his lieutenant, the Christian Kitbuqa
Kitbuqa
Kitbuqa Noyan was a Nestorian Christian and a member of the Naiman Turks, a group that was subservient to the Mongol Empire. He was a lieutenant and confidant of the Mongol Ilkhan Hulagu, assisting him in his conquests in the Middle East...

, in charge. Qutuz drew the Mongol
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 army into an ambush near the Orontes River
Orontes River
The Orontes or ‘Āṣī is a river of Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.It was anciently the chief river of the Levant, also called Draco, Typhon and Axius...

, routed them at the Battle of Ain Jalut
Battle of Ain Jalut
The Battle of Ain Jalut took place on 3 September 1260 between Mamluks and the Mongols in eastern Galilee, in the Jezreel Valley, not far from Ein Harod....

 and captured and executed Kitbuqa (see Qutuz
Qutuz
Saif ad-Din Qutuz, also spelled Kutuz, was the third of the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt in the Turkic line from 1259 until his death in 1260. It was under his leadership that the Mamluks achieved success against the Mongols in the key Battle of Ain Jalut...

).

After this great triumph, Qutuz was assassinated by conspiring Mamluks. It was said that Baibars, who seized power, was involved in the assassination. In the following centuries the rule of mamluks was discontinuous, with an average span of seven years.

The Mamluks defeated the Mongols a second time in the Homs
First Battle of Homs
The first Battle of Homs was fought on December 10, 1260, between the armies of the Mongol Ilkhanate of Persia and the forces of Egypt, in Syria....

 in 1260 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 between the local princes. Baibars's troops attacked Acre in 1263, captured Caesaria in 1265, and took Antioch
Antioch
Antioch on the Orontes was an ancient city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. It is near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey.Founded near the end of the 4th century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch eventually rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the...

 in 1268.


Mamluks also defeated new Mongol attacks in Syria in 1271, 1281 (2nd Battle of Homs). They were defeated by the Mongols and their Christian allies at the Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar
Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar
The Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar, also known as the Third Battle of Homs, was a Mongol victory over the Mamluks in 1299.-Background:In 1260, Hulagu Khan had invaded the Middle East all the way to Palestine. Before he could follow up with an invasion of Egypt, he was called back to Mongolia. He left...

 in 1299, but soon after that the Mamluks defeated the Mongols again in 1303/1304 and 1312. Finally, the Mongols and the Mamluks signed a treaty of peace in 1323.

Burji dynasty


In 1382 the Bukri or Burji dynasty
Burji dynasty
The Burji dynasty المماليك البرجية ruled Egypt from 1382 until 1517. It proved especially turbulent, with short-lived sultans. Political power-plays often became important in designating a new sultan. During this time Mamluks fought Timur Lenk and conquered Cyprus. Constant bickering may have...

 took over, as Barkuk was proclaimed sultan, so ending the Bahri dynasty. Burji (برجي meaning "of the tower") referred to their center in the citadel
Citadel
A citadel is a fortress for protecting a town, sometimes incorporating a castle. The term derives from the same Latin root as the word "city", civis, meaning citizen....

 of Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

. The dynasty consisted mainly of Circassians (in Turkic Bukri means hunchbacked).

Barkuk became an enemy of Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

, who threatened to invade Syria. The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Bayezid I
Bayezid I
Bayezid I was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1389 to 1402. He was the son of Murad I and Valide Sultan Gülçiçek Hatun.-Biography:Bayezid was born in Edirne and spent his youth in Bursa, where he received a high-level education...

 then invaded Syria which was regained by the Mamluk sultan Faraj when Timur died in 1405, but continually facing rebellions from local emirs, he was forced to abdicate in 1412. That year, 1421 Egypt was attacked by the Kingdom of Cyprus
Kingdom of Cyprus
The Kingdom of Cyprus was a Crusader kingdom on the island of Cyprus in the high and late Middle Ages, between 1192 and 1489. It was ruled by the French House of Lusignan.-History:...

, but the Egyptians forced the Cypriotes to acknowledge the suzerainty of the Egyptian sultan Barsbay
Barsbay
Al-Ashraf Sayf-ad-Din Barsbay was the ninth Burji Mamluk sultan of Egypt from AD 1422 to 1438. He was Circassian by birth and a former slave of the first Burji Sultan, Barquq....

. During Barsbay's reign Egypt's population was greatly reduced from what it had been a few centuries before, with only 1/5 the number of towns.

Al-Ashraf
Al-Ashraf
Al-Ashraf Musa Abu'l-Fath al-Muzaffar ad-Din, called Al-Ashraf was a ruler of the Ayyubid dynasty. The son of Sultan Al-Adil I, Al-Ashraf was installed by his father in Harran in 1201 as Governor of the Jezireh...

 came to power in 1453 and had friendly relations with the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, who captured Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 later that year, causing great rejoicings in Egypt. However, under the reign of Khoshkadam Egypt began the struggle between the Egyptian and the Ottoman sultanates. In 1467 sultan Kait Bey offended the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II
Bayezid II
Bayezid II or Sultân Bayezid-î Velî was the oldest son and successor of Mehmed II, ruling as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1481 to 1512...

, whose brother was poisoned. Bayezid II seized Adana
Adana
Adana is a city in southern Turkey and a major agricultural and commercial center. The city is situated on the Seyhan River, 30 kilometres inland from the Mediterranean, in south-central Anatolia...

, Tarsus and other places within Egyptian territory, but was eventually defeated. Kait also tried to help the Muslims in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 by threatening the Christians in Syria, but without effect. He died in 1496, several hundred thousand ducats in debt to the great Venetian trading families.

Portuguese-Mamluk Wars


Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

 having in 1497 found his way round the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

 pushed his way across the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 to the shores of Malabar and Kozhikode
Kozhikode
Kozhikode During Classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, Kozhikkode was dubbed the "City of Spices" for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices. Kozhikode was once the capital of an independent kingdom of the same name and later of the erstwhile Malabar District...

, attacking the fleets that carried freight and Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 pilgrims
Pilgrims
Pilgrims , or Pilgrim Fathers , is a name commonly applied to early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States...

 from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 to the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

, and struck terror into the potentates all around. Various engagements took place. Cairo's Mamluk sultan Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri
Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri
Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri was the second last of the Mamluk Sultans. One of the last of the Burji dynasty, he reigned from 1501 to 1516.On the disappearance of Sultan Al-Adil Sayf ad-Din Tuman bay I, it was not till after some days that the choice of the Emirs and Mamluks fell upon Al-Ashraf...

 was affronted at the attacks upon the Red Sea, the loss of tolls and traffic, the indignities to which Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 and its port were subjected, and above all at the fate of one of his ships . He vowed vengeance upon Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, first sending monks from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is a few steps away from the Muristan....

 as envoys, he threatened Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II , nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope" , born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513...

 that if he did not check Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

 in his depredations on the Indian Sea, he would destroy all Christian Holy places.

The Rulers of Gujarat and Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 also turned for help to the Mamluke Sultan of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. Their chief concern was the fitting-out of a fleet in the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 which could protect their sea routes from Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 attack. Jeddah
Jeddah
Jeddah, Jiddah, Jidda, or Jedda is a city located on the coast of the Red Sea and is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. It is the largest city in Makkah Province, the largest sea port on the Red Sea, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. The...

 was soon fortified as a harbor of refuge so Arabia and the Red Sea were protected, but the fleets in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 were at the mercy of the enemy.

The last Mamluk sultan Al-Ghawri accordingly fitted out a fleet of 50 vessels. As Mamluks had little expertise in naval warfare, the naval enterprise was carried out with the help of the Ottomans. In 1508 at the Battle of Chaul
Battle of Chaul (1508)
The Battle of Chaul was a naval battle between the Portuguese and an Egyptian Mamluk fleet in 1508 in the harbour of Chaul in India. The battle ended in a Mamluk victory. It followed the Siege of Cannanore in which a Portuguese garrison successfully resisted an attack by Southern Indian rulers...

  the Mamluk fleet won over the Portuguese viceroy's son Lourenço de Almeida
Lourenço de Almeida
Lourenço de Almeida , son of Francisco de Almeida, acting under him, distinguished himself in the Indian Ocean, and made Ceylon tributary to Portugal...

, but in the following year the Portuguese won the Battle of Diu
Battle of Diu (1509)
The Battle of Diu sometimes referred as the Second Battle of Chaul was a naval battle fought on 3 February 1509 in the Arabian Sea, near the port of Diu, India, between the Portuguese Empire and a joint fleet of the Sultan of Gujarat, the Mamlûk Burji Sultanate of Egypt, the Zamorin of Kozhikode...

 in which the Port city of Diu was wrested from the Gujarat Sultanate
Gujarat Sultanate
The Gujarat Sultanate was an independent kingdom established in the early 15th century in Gujarat. The founder of the ruling Muzaffarid dynasty, Zafar Khan was appointed as governor of Gujarat by Nasir-ud-Din Muhammad bin Tughluq IV in 1391, the ruler of the principal state in north India at the...

. Some years after, Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque[p][n] was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, an admiral whose military and administrative activities as second governor of Portuguese India conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian Ocean...

 attacked Aden
Aden
Aden is a seaport city in Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea , some 170 kilometres east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000. Aden's ancient, natural harbour lies in the crater of an extinct volcano which now forms a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a...

, while the Egyptian troops suffered disaster in Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

. Al-Ghawri fitted out a new fleet to punish the enemy and protect the India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n trade; but before its results were known, Egypt had lost her sovereignty, and the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 with Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 and all its Arabian interests had passed into the hands of the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 empire.

Ottomans and the end of the Mamluk Sultanate


The Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II
Bayezid II
Bayezid II or Sultân Bayezid-î Velî was the oldest son and successor of Mehmed II, ruling as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1481 to 1512...

 was engaged in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 when a new area of hostility with Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 appeared in 1501. It arose out of the relations with the Safavid dynasty in Persia. Shah Ismail I
Ismail I
Ismail I , known in Persian as Shāh Ismāʿil , was a Shah of Iran and the founder of the Safavid dynasty which survived until 1736. Isma'il started his campaign in Azerbaijan in 1500 as the leader of the Safaviyya, an extremist heterodox Twelver Shi'i militant religious order and unified all of Iran...

 sent an embassy to the Venetians
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 via Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 inviting them to join his army and recover the territory taken from them by the "Porte" (Ottomans). Mameluk Egyptian sultan Al-Ghawri
Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri
Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri was the second last of the Mamluk Sultans. One of the last of the Burji dynasty, he reigned from 1501 to 1516.On the disappearance of Sultan Al-Adil Sayf ad-Din Tuman bay I, it was not till after some days that the choice of the Emirs and Mamluks fell upon Al-Ashraf...

 was charged by Selim with giving the envoys of the Safavid Ismail passage through Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 on their way to Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 and harboring refugees. To appease him, Al-Ghawri placed in confinement the Venetian
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 merchants then in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, but after a year released them.

After the Battle of Chaldiran
Battle of Chaldiran
The Battle of Chaldiran or Chaldoran occurred on 23 August 1514 and ended with a victory for the Ottoman Empire over the Safavid Empire of Persia . As a result, the Ottomans gained immediate control over eastern Anatolia and northern Iraq...

 on 1514, Selim I
Selim I
Selim I, Yavuz Sultân Selim Khan, Hâdim-ül Haramain-ish Sharifain , nicknamed Yavuz "the Stern" or "the Steadfast", but often rendered in English as "the Grim" , was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 to...

 attacked the bey of Dulkadirids, as Egypt's vassal had stood aloof, and sent his head to Mamluk Sultan Al-Ghawri. Secure now against Shah Ismail I
Ismail I
Ismail I , known in Persian as Shāh Ismāʿil , was a Shah of Iran and the founder of the Safavid dynasty which survived until 1736. Isma'il started his campaign in Azerbaijan in 1500 as the leader of the Safaviyya, an extremist heterodox Twelver Shi'i militant religious order and unified all of Iran...

, in 1516 CE he drew together a great army aiming at conquering Egypt, but to deceive it he represented his object to be the further pursuit of Shah Ismail I
Ismail I
Ismail I , known in Persian as Shāh Ismāʿil , was a Shah of Iran and the founder of the Safavid dynasty which survived until 1736. Isma'il started his campaign in Azerbaijan in 1500 as the leader of the Safaviyya, an extremist heterodox Twelver Shi'i militant religious order and unified all of Iran...

. In 1515 began the war which led to the later incorporation of Egypt and its dependencies into the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, with Mamluk cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 proving no match for the Ottoman artillery and the janissaries
Janissary
The Janissaries were infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards...

. On August 24, 1515, at the Battle of Merj Dabik 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.

The Mamluke Sultanate survived until 1517, when it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Ottoman sultan Selim I
Selim I
Selim I, Yavuz Sultân Selim Khan, Hâdim-ül Haramain-ish Sharifain , nicknamed Yavuz "the Stern" or "the Steadfast", but often rendered in English as "the Grim" , was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 to...

 captured Cairo on January 20, the center of power was then transferred to Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

. Although not in the same form as under the Sultanate, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 retained the Mamluks as an Egyptian ruling class and the Mamluks and the Burji family succeeded in regaining much of their influence, but remained vassals of the Ottomans.

Mamluk independence from the Ottomans



In 1768, Sultan 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
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 in the Caucasus.

Napoleon invades



France's Directory
French Directory
The Directory was a body of five Directors that held executive power in France following the Convention and preceding the Consulate...

 now authorised a campaign in "The Orient" to protect French trade interests and undermine Britain's access to India. To this end, Napoleon Bonaparte was to lead an army to land in Egypt in 1798.

The French defeated a Mamluk army in the Battle of the Pyramids
Battle of the Pyramids
The Battle of the Pyramids, also known as the Battle of Embabeh, was fought on July 21, 1798 between the French army in Egypt under Napoleon Bonaparte, and local Mamluk forces. It occurred during France's Egyptian Campaign and was the battle where Napoleon put into use one of his significant...

 and drove the survivors out to Upper Egypt
Upper Egypt
Upper Egypt is the strip of land, on both sides of the Nile valley, that extends from the cataract boundaries of modern-day Aswan north to the area between El-Ayait and Zawyet Dahshur . The northern section of Upper Egypt, between El-Ayait and Sohag is sometimes known as Middle Egypt...

. The Mamluks relied on their massed cavalry charge tactics, changed only by the addition of musket
Musket
A musket is a muzzle-loaded, smooth bore long gun, fired from the shoulder. Muskets were designed for use by infantry. A soldier armed with a musket had the designation musketman or musketeer....

s, to which the French formed square and held firm. Despite multiple victories and an initially successful expedition into Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, mounting conflict in Europe and the earlier defeat of the supporting French Fleet by the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 at the Battle of the Nile
Battle of the Nile
The Battle of the Nile was a major naval battle fought between British and French fleets at Aboukir Bay on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt from 1–3 August 1798...

 decided the issue. Napoleon and a guard from his Armée d'Orient withdrew in late 1799. On the assassination of Napoleon's successor, General Jean Baptiste Kléber
Jean Baptiste Kléber
Jean Baptiste Kléber was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars. His military career started in Habsburg service, but his plebeian ancestry hindered his opportunities...

 on 14 June 1800, the command of the Army in Egypt fell to Jacques-François Menou
Jacques-Francois Menou
Jacques-François de Menou, baron de Boussay was a French general under Napoleon I of France. Born Jacques Menou in Boussay on 3 September 1750, he died in Mestre in the Veneto on 13 August 1810...

. Isolated and out of supplies, Menou surrendered to the British in 1801.

After Napoleon


After the departure of French troops in 1801 Mamluks continued their struggle for independence, this time against the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

. In 1803, Mamluk leaders Ibrahim Beg and Usman Beg wrote a letter to the Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n consul-general and asked him to act as a mediator with the Sultan to allow them to negotiate for a cease-fire, and a return to their homeland Georgia. The Russian ambassador in Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 categorically refused to mediate because the Russian government was afraid of allowing Mamluks to return to Georgia, where a strong national liberation movement was on the rise which might have been encouraged by a Mamluk return.

In 1805, the population of Cairo rebelled. This was an excellent opportunity for the Mamluks to seize power, but internal tension and betrayal prevented them from exploiting this opportunity. In 1806, the Mamluks defeated the Turkish forces several times, and in June the rival parties concluded a peace treaty by which Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha was a commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan...

, who had been appointed as governor of Egypt on 26 March 1806, was to be removed and the state authority in Egypt returned to the Mamluks. However, they were again unable to capitalize on the opportunity due to conflicts between the clans; Muhammad Ali kept his authority.

End of Mamluk power in Egypt





Muhammed Ali
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha was a commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan...

 knew that eventually he would have to deal with the Mamluks if he ever wanted to control Egypt. They were still the feudal owners of Egypt and their land was still the source of wealth and power. The constant strain on sustaining the military manpower necessary to defend the Mamluks's system from the Europeans and the Mongols would eventually weaken them to the point of collapse.

On March 1, 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 in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

. Near the Al-Azab gates, in a narrow road down from Mukatam Hill, Muhammad Ali's forces ambushed and killed almost all in what came to be known as the Massacre of the Citadel. According to period 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, killing it in the fall.

During the following week, hundreds of Mamluks were killed throughout Egypt; in the citadel of Cairo alone more than 1,000 were killed. Throughout Egypt an estimated 3,000 Mamluks and their relatives were killed.

Despite these attempts by Muhammad Ali to defeat the Mamluks in Egypt, a party of them escaped and fled south into what is now Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

. 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
Pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

'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
Badi VII
Badi VII 1805 - 1821 was the last ruler of the Kingdom of Sennar.Badi offered no resistance to Ismail Pasha, who had led the khedive army of his father up the Nile to his capital at Sennar...

.

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
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

, Qutb-ud-din Aybak
Qutb-ud-din Aybak
Qutb-ud-din Aibak was a Turkic king of Northwest India who ruled from his capital in Delhi where he built the Qutub Minar and the Quwwat Al Islam mosque. He was of Turkic descent from central Asia, the first Sultan of Delhi and founder of the Slave dynasty of India. He ruled for only four years,...

, proclaimed himself Sultan, becoming in effect the first independent Sultan-e-Hind
Delhi Sultanate
The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived, Delhi based kingdoms or sultanates, of Turkic origin in medieval India. The sultanates ruled from Delhi between 1206 and 1526, when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty...

. This Mamluk dynasty
Slave dynasty
The Slave Dynasty or Mamluk Dynasty or Ghulam Dynasty , was directed into India by Qutb-ud-din Aybak, a Turkic general of Central Asian birth. It was the first of five unrelated dynasties to rule India's Delhi Sultanate from 1206 to 1290...

 lasted until 1290.

Iraq



Mamluk corps were first introduced in the part of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 that is now Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 by pasha
Pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

 Hasan of Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 in 1702. From 1747 to 1831 Iraq was ruled, with short intermissions, by the Mamluk officers of Georgian
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 origin 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 managed to overthrow Daud Pasha, the last Mamluk ruler, and imposed direct control over Iraq.

Under Napoleon


Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 formed his own Mamluk corps, the last known Mamluk force, in the early years of the 19th century, and used Mamluks in a number of his campaigns. Even his Imperial Guard had Mamluk soldiers during the Belgian
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 campaign, including one of his personal servants. Napoleon's famous bodyguard Roustam Raza
Roustam Raza
Roustam Raza ) Rostom Razmadze, also known as Roustan or Rustam was Napoleon Bonaparte's famous mamluk bodyguard. Roustam was born in Tbilisi, Georgia to Armenian parents. At thirteen Roustan was kidnapped and sold as a slave in Cairo. The Turks gave him the name Idzhahia. The sheikh of Cairo...

 was a Mamluk who had been sold in Egypt.

Throughout the Napoleonic era there was a special Mamluk corps in the French army. In his history of the 13th Chasseurs Colonel Descaves recounts how Napoleon used the Mamluks in Egypt. In the so-called "Instructions" that Bonaparte gave to Kleber after departure, Napoleon wrote that he had already bought from Syrian merchants about 2,000 Mamluks with whom he intended to form a special detachment.

On 14 September 1799 General Kleber established a mounted company of Mamluk auxiliaries
Auxiliaries
An auxiliary force is a group affiliated with, but not part of, a military or police organization. In some cases, auxiliaries are armed forces operating in the same manner as regular soldiers...

 and Syrian janissaries
Janissary
The Janissaries were infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards...

 from Turks captured at the siege of Acre
Siege of Acre (1799)
The Siege of Acre of 1799 was an unsuccessful French siege of the Ottoman-defended, walled city of Acre and was the turning point of Napoleon's invasion of Egypt and Syria.-Background:...

. General 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 Rapp was sent to Marseille to organize a squadron of 250 Mamluks under his command. 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.

Mamluks fought well at the Battle of Austerlitz
Battle of Austerlitz
The Battle of Austerlitz, also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, was one of Napoleon's greatest victories, where the French Empire effectively crushed the Third Coalition...

 on 2 December 1805, and the regiment was granted a standard and its roster increased to accommodate a standard-bearer and a trumpet. A decree of 15 April 1806 defined the strength of the squadron as 13 officers and 147 privates. A famous painting
The Second of May 1808
The Second of May 1808, also known as The Charge of the Mamelukes, is a painting by the Spanish master Francisco de Goya. It is a companion to the painting The Third of May 1808...

 by Francisco de Goya shows a charge of Mamluks against the Madrilene on 2 May 1808.

Despite the decree of 21 March 1815 that stated that no foreigner could be admitted into the Imperial Guard, Napoleon’s decree of 24 April prescribed amongst other things that the Chasseurs-à-Cheval of the Imperial Guard included a squadron of two companies of Mamluks for the Belgian Campaign. With the First Restoration, the company of the Mamluks of the Old Guard was incorporated in the Corps Royal des Chasseurs de France. The Mamluks of the Young Guard were incorporated into the 7th Chasseurs-à-Cheval.

Mamluk uniform


During their service in Napoleon’s army, the Mamluk squadron wore the following uniform:
Before 1804: The only "uniform" part was the green cahouk (hat), white turban, and red saroual (trousers), all to be worn with a loose shirt and a vest. Boots were of yellow, red, or tan soft leather. Weapons consisted of an "Oriental" scimitar
Scimitar
A scimitar is a backsword or sabre with a curved blade, originating in Southwest Asia .The Arabic term saif translates to "sword" in general, but is normally taken to refer to the scimitar type of curved backsword in particular.The curved sword or "scimitar" was widespread throughout the Muslim...

, a brace of pistols in a holder decorated with a brass
Brass
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties.In comparison, bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin...

 crescent and star, and a dagger.

After 1804: The cahouk became red with a brass crescent and star, and the shirt was closed and had a collar. The main change was the addition of a "regulation" chasseur-style saddle cloth and roll, imperial green in color, piped red, with a red and white fringe. The saddle and harness remained Arabic in style. The undress uniform was as for the Chasseur
Chasseur
Chasseur [sha-sur; Fr. sha-sœr] is the designation given to certain regiments of French light infantry or light cavalry troops, trained for rapid action.-History:...

s-à-Cheval of the Guard, but of a dark blue cloth.

Bahri Dynasty
Bahri dynasty
The Bahri dynasty or Bahriyya Mamluks was a Mamluk dynasty of mostly Kipchak Turkic origin that ruled Egypt from 1250 to 1382 when they were succeeded by the Burji dynasty, another group of Mamluks...


  • 1250 Shajar al-Durr (al-Salih Ayyub's Widow de facto ruler of Egypt)
  • 1250 al-Muizz Izz-ad-Din Aybak
  • 1257 al-Mansur Nur-ad-Din Ali
    Al-Mansur Ali
    Al-Mansur Ali Al-Mansur Ali (Arabic: المنصور على ) Al-Mansur Ali (Arabic: المنصور على ) (epithet: Al-Malik Al-Mansur Nour al-Din Ali Ben al-Malik al-Mu'izz Aybak (Arabic: الملك المنصور نور الدين على بن الملك المعز أيبك ) (b. c. 1244, Cairo) was the second of the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt in the...

  • 1259 al-Muzaffar Saif ad-Din Qutuz
    Qutuz
    Saif ad-Din Qutuz, also spelled Kutuz, was the third of the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt in the Turkic line from 1259 until his death in 1260. It was under his leadership that the Mamluks achieved success against the Mongols in the key Battle of Ain Jalut...

  • 1260 al-Zahir Rukn-ad-Din Baibars al-Bunduqdari
    Baibars
    Baibars or Baybars , nicknamed Abu l-Futuh , was a Mamluk Sultan of Egypt. He was one of the commanders of the forces which inflicted a devastating defeat on the Seventh Crusade of King Louis IX of France and he led the vanguard of the Egyptian army at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, which marked...

  • 1277 al-Said Nasir-ad-Din Barakah Khan
    Al-Said Barakah
    Al-Said Barakah Al-Said Barakah Al-Said Barakah (1260–1280; original name: Muhammed Barakah Qan , royal name: al-Malik al-Said Nasir al-Din Barakah (Arabic: الملك السعيد ناصر الدين بركة) was a Mamluk Sultan who ruled from 1277 to 1279 after the death of his father al-Zahir Baibars...

  • 1280 al-Adil Badr al-Din Solamish
    Solamish
    Badr al-Din Solamish was a Sultan of Egypt in 1279. Born at Cairo, he was the son of Baibars, a sultan of Kazakh origin....

  • 1280 al-Mansur Saif-ad-Din Qalawun al-Alfi
    Qalawun
    Saif ad-Dīn Qalawun aṣ-Ṣāliḥī was the seventh Mamluk sultan of Egypt...

  • 1290 al-Ashraf Salah-ad-Din Khalil
  • 1294 al-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din Muhammad
    Al-Nasir Muhammad
    Al-Nasir Muhammad b. Cairo 1285, d...

     ibn Qalawun first reign
  • 1295 al-Adil Zayn-ad-Din Kitbugha
    Al-Adil Kitbugha
    Kitbugha , was the 10th Mamluk Sultan of Egypt from December 1294 to November 1296.-Background:He was originally an ordinary Mongol soldier in the Ilkhanid army of Hulagu...

  • 1297 al-Mansur Husam-ad-Din Lajin
    Lajin
    Lachin royal name: al-Malik al-Mansour Hossam ad-Din Lachin al-Mansuri Lachin (Arabic: لاجين) royal name: al-Malik al-Mansour Hossam ad-Din Lachin al-Mansuri Lachin (Arabic: لاجين) royal name: al-Malik al-Mansour Hossam ad-Din Lachin al-Mansuri (Arabic: الملك المنصور حسام الدين لاجين المنصورى (d....

  • 1299 al-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din Muhammad
    Al-Nasir Muhammad
    Al-Nasir Muhammad b. Cairo 1285, d...

     ibn Qalawun second reign
  • 1309 al-Muzaffar Rukn-ad-Din Baybars II al-Jashankir
  • 1310 al-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din Muhammad
    Al-Nasir Muhammad
    Al-Nasir Muhammad b. Cairo 1285, d...

     ibn Qalawun third reign
  • 1340 al-Mansur Saif-ad-Din Abu-Bakr
    Saif ad-Din Abu-Bakr
    Saif ad-Din Abu-Bakr was a Mamluk sultan of Egypt in 1341....

  • 1341 al-Ashraf Ala'a-ad-Din Kujuk
    Kujuk
    Ala'a ad-Din Kujuk royal name: al-Malik al-Ashraf Ala'a ad-Din Kujuk ) was a Mamluk Sultan of Egypt from 1341 to 1342....

  • 1342 al-Nasir Shihab-ad-Din Ahmad
    Shihab ad-Din Ahmad
    Shihab ad-Din Ahmad royal name: al-Malik al-Nasir Shihab ad-Din Ahmad ) was a Mamluk Sultan of Egypt in 1342....

  • 1342 al-Salih Imad-ad-Din Ismail
  • 1345 al-Kamil Saif ad-Din Shaban
  • 1346 al-Muzaffar Zein-ad-Din Hajji
  • 1347 al-Nasir Badr-ad-Din Abu al-Ma'aly al-Hassan first reign
  • 1351 al-Salih Salah-ad-Din Ibn Muhammad
  • 1354 al-Nasir Badr-ad-Din Abu al-Ma'aly al-Hassan second reign
  • 1361 al-Mansur Salah-ad-Din Mohamed Ibn Hajji
  • 1363 al-Ashraf Zein al-Din Abu al-Ma'ali ibn Shaban
  • 1376 al-Mansur Ala-ad-Din Ali Ibn al-Ashraf Shaban
  • 1382 al-Salih Salah Zein al-Din Hajji II first reign

Burji Dynasty
Burji dynasty
The Burji dynasty المماليك البرجية ruled Egypt from 1382 until 1517. It proved especially turbulent, with short-lived sultans. Political power-plays often became important in designating a new sultan. During this time Mamluks fought Timur Lenk and conquered Cyprus. Constant bickering may have...


  • 1382 az-Zahir Saif ad-Din Barquq , first reign
  • 1389 Hajji II second reign (with honorific title al-Muzaffar or al-Mansur) – Temporary Bahri rule
  • 1390 az-Zahir Saif ad-Din Barquq, Second reign – Burji rule re-established
  • 1399 An-Nasir Naseer ad-Din Faraj
  • 1405 Al-Mansoor Azzaddin Abdal Aziz
  • 1405 An-Nasir Naseer ad-Din Faraj (second time)
  • 1412 Al-Adil Al-Musta'in
    Al-Musta'in (Cairo)
    Al-Musta'in Billah was the tenth Abbasid "shadow" caliph of Cairo, reigning under the tutelage of the Mamluk sultans from 1406 to 1414. He was the only Cairo-based Abbasid caliph to hold political power as Sultan of Egypt, albeit for only six months in 1412...

     (Abbasid Caliph, proclaimed as Sultan)
  • 1412 Al-Muayad Sayf ad-Din Shaykh
  • 1421 Al-Muzaffar Ahmad
  • 1421 Az-Zahir Saif ad-Din Tatar
  • 1421 As-Salih Nasir ad-Din Muhammad
  • 1422 Al-Ashraf Sayf ad-Din Barsbay
    Barsbay
    Al-Ashraf Sayf-ad-Din Barsbay was the ninth Burji Mamluk sultan of Egypt from AD 1422 to 1438. He was Circassian by birth and a former slave of the first Burji Sultan, Barquq....

  • 1438 Al-Aziz Djamal ad-Din Yusuf
  • 1438 Az-Zahir Sayf ad-Din Jaqmaq
  • 1453 Al-Mansoor Fahr ad-Din Osman
  • 1453 Al-Ashraf Sayf ad-Din Enal
  • 1461 Al-Muayad Shihab ad-Din Ahmad
  • 1461 Az-Zahir Sayf ad-Din Khushkadam
  • 1467 Az-Zahir Sayf ad-Din Belbay
  • 1468 Az-Zahir Temurbougha
  • 1468 Al-Ashraf Sayf ad-Din Qaitbay
    Qaitbay
    Al-Ashraf Sayf al-Din Qa'it Bay was the eighteenth Burji Mamluk Sultan of Egypt from 872-901 A.H. . He was Circassian by birth, and was purchased by the ninth sultan Barsbay before being freed by the eleventh sultan Jaqmaq...

  • 1496 An-Nasir Muhammad
    An-Nasir Muhammad
    An-Nasir Muhammad , was a Yemeni Sayyid who twice claimed the Zaidi imamate of Yemen, in 1723 and 1727-1729....

  • 1498 Az-Zahir Qanshaw
  • 1500 Al-Ashraf Janbulat
  • 1501 Al-Adil Sayf ad-Din Tuman bay I
    Tuman bay I
    Al-Adil Sayf ad-Din Tuman bay was the twenty fifth Mamluk Sultan of Egypt from the Burji dynasty...

  • 1501 Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri
    Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri
    Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri was the second last of the Mamluk Sultans. One of the last of the Burji dynasty, he reigned from 1501 to 1516.On the disappearance of Sultan Al-Adil Sayf ad-Din Tuman bay I, it was not till after some days that the choice of the Emirs and Mamluks fell upon Al-Ashraf...

  • 1517 Al-Ashraf Tuman bay II
    Tuman bay II
    Al-Ashraf Tuman bay better known as Tuman bay II succeeded as Sultan of Egypt during the final period of Mamluk rule in Egypt prior to its conquest by the Ottoman Empire...


In India


  • Qutb-ud-din Aybak
    Qutb-ud-din Aybak
    Qutb-ud-din Aibak was a Turkic king of Northwest India who ruled from his capital in Delhi where he built the Qutub Minar and the Quwwat Al Islam mosque. He was of Turkic descent from central Asia, the first Sultan of Delhi and founder of the Slave dynasty of India. He ruled for only four years,...

     (1206–1210), founded Mamluk Sultanate, Delhi
  • Aram Shah
    Aram Shah
    Aram Shah was the second sultan of the Mamluk Sultanate . The relationship of Aram with Qutb-ud-din Aibak is a subject of controversy. According to some, he was Aibak's son, but Minhaj-us-Siraj distinctly writes that Qutub-ud-din only had three daughters. Abul Fazl has made the "astonishing...

     (1210–1211)
  • Shams ud din Iltutmish (1211–1236). Son-in-law of Qutb-ud-din Aybak.
  • Rukn ud din Firuz
    Rukn ud din Firuz
    Rukn ud din Firuz was the fourth sultan of the Mamluk Sultanate , who ruled for just seven months. He was the son of Shams ud din Iltutmish and was raised to become Iltutmish's heir. However after Iltutmish's death in April 1236 he was viewed as being unfit to rule and was murdered in November 1236...

     (1236). Son of Iltutmish.
  • Razia Sultana
    Razia Sultana
    Razia al-Din , throne name Jalâlat ud-Dîn Raziyâ , usually referred to in history as Razia Sultan, was the Sultan of Delhi in India from 1236 to May 1240. She was of Seljuq slave ancestry and like some other Muslim princesses of the time, she was trained to lead armies and administer kingdoms if...

     (1236–1240). Daughter of Iltutmish.
  • Muiz ud din Bahram
    Muiz ud din Bahram
    Muiz ud din Bahram was the sixth sultan of the Mamluk Dynasty . He was the son of Shams ud din Iltutmish and brother of Razia Sultan . While his sister was in Bathinda, he declared himself king with the support of forty chiefs...

     (1240–1242). Son of Iltutmish.
  • Ala ud din Masud
    Ala ud din Masud
    Ala ud din Masud was the seventh sultan of the Mamluk dynasty . He was the son of Rukn ud din Firuz and the nephew of Razia Sultan . After his predecessor, Muiz ud din Bahram, was murdered by the army in 1242 after years of disorder, the chiefs chose for him to become the next ruler...

     (1242–1246). Son of Rukn ud din.
  • Nasir ud din Mahmud
    Nasir ud din Mahmud
    Nasir ud din Mahmud, Nasir ud din Firuz Shah was the eighth sultan of the Mamluk Sultanate . He was the youngest son of Shams ud din Iltutmish , and he succeeded Ala ud din Masud after the chiefs replaced Masud when they felt that he began to behave as a tyrant.As a ruler, Mahmud was known to be...

     (1246–1266). Son of Iltutmish.
  • Ghiyas ud din Balban
    Ghiyas ud din Balban
    Ghiyasuddin Balban was ninth sultan of the Mamluk dynasty who ruled from 1266 to 1287.-Biography:He was son of a Central Asian Turkic noble of the Ilbari tribe, but as a child he was captured by Mongols and sold as a slave at Ghazni...

     (1266–1286). Ex-slave, son-in-law of Iltutmish.
  • Muiz ud din Qaiqabad
    Muiz ud din Qaiqabad
    Muiz ud din Qaiqabad was the tenth sultan the Mamluk dynasty . He was the son of Bughra Khan as well as grandson of Ghiyas ud din Balban ....

    (1286–1290). Grandson of Balban and Nasir ud din.
  • Kayumars (1290). Son of Muiz ud din.

In Iraq

  • Hasan Pasha
    Hasan Pasha
    Hasan Pasha was the first Mamluk ruler of Iraq.-References:...

     (1704–1723)
  • Ahmet Pasha
    Ahmet Pasha
    Ahmet Pasha was the second Mamluk ruler of Iraq and the son of Hasan Pasha....

     (1723–1747) Son of Hasan
  • Sulaiman Abu Layla Pasha
    Sulaiman Abu Layla Pasha
    Sulaiman Abu Layla Pasha was the ruler of Mesopotamia from 1749 to 1762, during the early Mamluk era.-See also:* Dynasty of Hasan Pasha...

     (1749–1762) Son-in-law of Ahmet
  • Umar (1762 - 1776) Son of Ahmed
  • Büyük Süleyman Pasha the Great (1780–1802) Son of Umar
  • Ali Pasha (1802–1807) Son of Umar
  • Küçük Süleyman Pasa the Little (1807–1813) Son of Büyük Süleyman
  • Sa'id Pasha (1813–1816) Son of Büyük Süleyman
  • Daud Pasha
    Daud Pasha (mamluk)
    Daud Pasha was the last Mamluk ruler of Iraq, from 1816 to 1831. Iraq at this period was nominally part of the Ottoman Empire but in practice largely autonomous...

     (1817–1831) Son of Ali,Son-in-law of Büyük Süleyman and nephew


Mameluco
Mameluco
Mameluco the word is believed to be of Arabic origin. The word in Arabic is Mamluk or Mamluka مملوك or مملوكة...

is a Portuguese word derived from "mamluk" (also named Mameluco
Mameluco
Mameluco the word is believed to be of Arabic origin. The word in Arabic is Mamluk or Mamluka مملوك or مملوكة...

 in Spanish), used to identify people of mixed Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an and Amerindian
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 descent in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Mameluco also referred to organized bands of Portuguese slave-hunters based at São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

, known primarily as bandeirantes.

Mammaluccu in the Sicilian dialect is used to mean stupid, idiot or simpleton.

Mameluk was used in Hungary in the last decades of the 19th century as a nickname for Members of Parliament belonging to the governing "Liberal" party. This party governed Hungary for 30 years (1875–1905) and its members in Parliament fulfilled all wishes of party leader and prime minister Kálmán Tisza
Kálmán Tisza
Kálmán Tisza de Borosjenő was the Hungarian prime minister between 1875 and 1890. He is credited for the formation of a consolidated Magyar government, the foundation of the new Liberal Party and major economic reforms that would both save and eventually lead to a government with popular...

 in order to preserve their parliamentary seats and accompanying privileges.

Officers of the United States Marine Corps carry a ceremonial Mameluke Sword
Mameluke Sword
A Mameluke sword is a cross-hilted, curved, scimitar-like sword historically derived from sabres used by Mamluk warriors of Mamluk Egypt from whom the sword derives its name. It is related to the shamshir, which had its origins in Persia from where the style migrated to India, Egypt and North...

, and Mamluke swords are used by US army in festivals.

In Italian American Vernacular English, the term "mamalook" is often used to refer to someone who does something stupid. It has roughly the same meaning as the Yiddish term "schmuck." However, mamalook is usually used in a joking way, whereas schmuck is more insulting.

Mamluk office titles and terminology


The following terms originally come from either Turkish or Ottoman Language (it is developed form of Turkish) that is composed of Turkish, Arabic, and Persian words and grammar structures. The "English" column indicates its written form in English.
English Arabic Notes
Alama Sultaniya علامة سلطانية The mark or signature of the Sultan put on his decrees, letters and documents.
Al-Nafir al-Am النفير العام General emergency declared during war
Amir أمير Prince
Amir Akhur أمير آخور supervisor of the royal stable (from Persian آخور meaning stable)
Amir Majlis أمير مجلس Guard of Sultan's seat and bed
Atabek أتابك Commander in chief
Astadar أستادار Chief of the royal servants
Barid Jawi بريد جوى Airmail (mail sent by carrier-pigeons, amplified by Sultan Baibars
Baibars
Baibars or Baybars , nicknamed Abu l-Futuh , was a Mamluk Sultan of Egypt. He was one of the commanders of the forces which inflicted a devastating defeat on the Seventh Crusade of King Louis IX of France and he led the vanguard of the Egyptian army at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, which marked...

)
Bayt al-Mal بيت المال treasury
Cheshmeh ششمه A pool of water, or fountain (literally "eye")
Dawadar دوادار Holder of Sultan's ink bottle (from Persian دوات‌دار meaning bearer of the ink bottle)
Fondok فندق Hotel (some famous hotels in Cairo during the Mamluk era were Dar al-Tofah, Fondok Bilal and Fondok al-Salih)
Hajib حاجب Doorkeeper of sultan's court
Iqta إقطاع Revenue from land allotment
Jamkiya جامكية Salary paid to a Mamluk
Jashnakir جاشنكير Food taster of the sultan (to assure food was not poisoned)
Jomdar جمدار An 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-amri كافل الممالك الشريفة الاسلاميةالاميرالأمرى Title of the Vice-sultan (The guardian of the dignified Islamic kingdoms the commanding prince)
Khan خان A store that specialized in selling a certain commodity
Khaskiya خاصكية Courtiers of the sultan and most trusted royal mamluks who functioned as the Sultan's bodyguards/ A privileged group around a prominent Amir (from Arabi/Persian خاصگیان meaning close associates)
Khastakhaneh خاصتاخانة Hospital (in modern Turkish: Hastane. In modern Crimean Tatar: Hastahane)
Khond خند Wife of the sultan
Khushdashiya خشداشية Mamluks belonging to the same Amir or Sultan.
Mahkamat al-Mazalim محكمة المظالم Court of complaint. A court that heard cases of complaints of people against state officials. This court was headed by the sultan himself.
Mamalik Kitabeya مماليك كتابية Mamluks still attending training classes and who still live at the Tebaq (campus)
Mamalik Sultaneya مماليك سلطانيه Mamluks of the sultan;to distinguish from the Mamluks of the Amirs (princes)
Modwarat al-Sultan مدورة السلطان Sultan's tent which he used during travel.
Mohtaseb محتسب Controller of markets, public works and local affairs.
Morqadar مرقدار Works in the Royal Kitchen (from Persian مرغ‌دار meaning one responsible for the fowl)
Mushrif مشرف Supervisor of the Royal Kitchen
Na'ib Al-Sultan نائب السلطان Vice-sultan
Qa'at al-insha'a قاعة الإنشاء Chancery hall
Qadi al-Qoda قاضى القضاة Chief justice
Qalat al-Jabal قلعة الجبل Citadel of the Mountain (the abode and court of the sultan in Cairo)
Qaranisa قرانصة Mamluks who moved to the service of a new Sultan or from the service of an Amir to a sultan.
Qussad قصاد Secret couriers and agents who kept the sultan informed
Ostaz أستاذ Benefactor of Mamluks (the Sultan or the Emir) (from Persian استاد)
Rank رنك An emblem that distinguished the rank and position of a Mamluk (probably from Persian رنگ meaning color)
Sanjaqi سنجاقى A standard-bearer of the Sultan.
Sharabkhana شرابخانة Storehouse for drinks, medicines and glass-wares of the sultan. (from Persian شراب‌خانه meaning wine cellar)
Silihdar سلحدار Arm-Bearer (from Arabic/Persian سلاح‌دار meaning arm-bearer)
Tabalkhana طبلخانه The amir responsible for the Mamluk military band
Tashrif تشريف Head-covering worn by a Mamluk during the ceremony of inauguration to the position of Amir.
Tawashi طواشى An Eunuch responsible for serving the wives of the sultan and supervising new Mamluks.
Tebaq طباق Campus of the Mamluks at the citadel of the mountain
Tishtkhana طشتخانة Storehouse used for the laundry of the sultan (from Persian طشت‌خانه meaning tub room)
Wali والى viceroy
Yuq يوق A 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.)

"Mamluk" as derogatory term


The term Mamluk became known throughout Europe following the Ottoman conquests of Egypt and Palestine in 1516–1517. It was used in derogatory meaning in Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

 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.

See also

  • Bahri dynasty
    Bahri dynasty
    The Bahri dynasty or Bahriyya Mamluks was a Mamluk dynasty of mostly Kipchak Turkic origin that ruled Egypt from 1250 to 1382 when they were succeeded by the Burji dynasty, another group of Mamluks...

  • Black Guard
    Black Guard
    The Black Guard , also known as "Masters of the Blackness," were the corps of black-African slave-soldiers assembled by the Alaouite sultan of Morocco, Moulay Ismail...

  • Burji dynasty
    Burji dynasty
    The Burji dynasty المماليك البرجية ruled Egypt from 1382 until 1517. It proved especially turbulent, with short-lived sultans. Political power-plays often became important in designating a new sultan. During this time Mamluks fought Timur Lenk and conquered Cyprus. Constant bickering may have...

  • Cossacks
  • Feudalism
    Feudalism
    Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

  • Ghulam
    Ghilman
    Ghilman Ghilman Ghilman (singular ghulam describes either young servants in paradise or slave-soldiers in the Ottoman, Mughal and Persian Empires.-Islamic Theology:...

  • Janissary
    Janissary
    The Janissaries were infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards...

  • Jerusalem in the Mamluk period
    Jerusalem in the Mamluk period
    Jerusalem was under the Mamluk rule from 1260 to 1516. This period coincides with the history of the city's years of Mamluk rule in Israel. Mamluk Jerusalem was a city strategically marginal, politically and economically, yet high religious importance, both for the Muslim Mamluk rule and for Jews...

  • Mameluco
    Mameluco
    Mameluco the word is believed to be of Arabic origin. The word in Arabic is Mamluk or Mamluka مملوك or مملوكة...

  • Mameluke sword
    Mameluke Sword
    A Mameluke sword is a cross-hilted, curved, scimitar-like sword historically derived from sabres used by Mamluk warriors of Mamluk Egypt from whom the sword derives its name. It is related to the shamshir, which had its origins in Persia from where the style migrated to India, Egypt and North...

  • Mercenary
    Mercenary
    A mercenary, is a person who takes part in an armed conflict based on the promise of material compensation rather than having a direct interest in, or a legal obligation to, the conflict itself. A non-conscript professional member of a regular army is not considered to be a mercenary although he...

  • Saqaliba
    Saqaliba
    Saqaliba refers to the Slavs, particularly Slavic slaves and mercenaries in the medieval Arab world, in the Middle East, North Africa, Sicily and Al-Andalus. It is generally thought that the Arabic term is a Byzantine loanword: saqlab, siklab, saqlabi etc. is a corruption of Greek Sklavinoi for...

  • Seventh Crusade
    Seventh Crusade
    The Seventh Crusade was a crusade led by Louis IX of France from 1248 to 1254. Approximately 800,000 bezants were paid in ransom for King Louis who, along with thousands of his troops, was captured and defeated by the Egyptian army led by the Ayyubid Sultan Turanshah supported by the Bahariyya...

  • Varangians
    Varangians
    The Varangians or Varyags , sometimes referred to as Variagians, were people from the Baltic region, most often associated with Vikings, who from the 9th to 11th centuries ventured eastwards and southwards along the rivers of Eastern Europe, through what is now Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.According...


Further reading

  • A. Allouche: Mamluk Economics : A Study and Translation of Al-Maqrizi's Ighathat. Salt Lake City, 1994
  • Ulrich Haarmann: Das Herrschaftssystem der Mamluken, in: Halm / Haarmann (Hrsg.): Geschichte der arabischen Welt. C.H.Beck (2004), ISBN 3-406-47486-1
  • E. de la Vaissière, Samarcande et Samarra. Elites d'Asie centrale dans l'empire Abbasside, Peeters, 2007 Peeters-leuven.be
  • James Waterson – The Mamluks (History Today March 2006)

External links