The Emirs in Early Bahrite Egypt (1252–1279) and their dynamics

Aliaksandr Filipau

Vostok/Oriens '2018, №6

DOI: 10.31857/S086919080002868-1

The article considers the changing composition of the corpus of emirs in the period from the beginning of the rule of the al-Bahri Mamluks until the start of the reign of sultan al-Mansur Qalawun. The article analyzes the biographical data of the emirs based on the following features: a) time of arrival of a given emir in Egypt and his membership in one of the Mamluk fractions; b) relations with the malik/maliks; c) significant changes in his status; d) whether the death of a given emir occurred in the period under consideration and how it was caused. The main source for this study is Baybars al-Mansūrī’s Zubdat al-fikra fī ta’rīkh al-hijra, with Ahmad ibn ‘Alī al-Maqrīzī’s Kitāb al-Sulūk li-ma‘rifat duwal al-mulūk and Muhyī al-Dīn bin ‘Abd al-Żāhir’s Al-Rawḍ al-zāhir fī sīrat al-malik al-Ẓāhir being used as auxiliary sources. The article analyzes the biographies of 134 emirs. Their number was increasing during the period. In spite of the struggle for power and numerous military campaigns, not many emirs suffered a violent death. The malik had limited instruments to punish emirs, with arrest being the most severe punishment. The maliks were also limited in their capacity to establish their own emir factions. In the discussed period an emir’s average active life expectancy was much longer than a malik’s average period of rule. As new military troops arrived in Egypt, conflicts between different emir fractions increased as well. These conflicts were exacerbated due to the different ethnic origin and age of the emirs corpus.

Keywords: Mamluks, Early-Bahrite period, emirs, al-Zahir Baybars, al-Mansur Qalawun, Kipchaks

Pages: С. 66–77

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