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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

XIV: The Mamluk Sultans, 1291-1517,   pp. 486-512 ff. PDF (11.2 MB)

Page 486

 To divide the history of the Mamluk empire at 1291, the year of the decisive
victory at Acre over the last crusaders on the Palestine littoral, is convenient,
and perhaps as sound as any such choice can be, though chronologically this
date demarcates two periods of most uneven length within the span (1250—1517)
of Mamluk hegemony in the Near East.1 The reason for the somewhat arbitrary
choice, however, is of course Egypt's relationship to the crusades, which
after 1291 went into a rather drastic decline both in and outside Europe,
so that many years were to elapse before a crusading expedition on the old
scale would be recorded in Mamluk annals. 
 The succumbing of the last strongholds of the crusaders in Syria was a momentous
event, for both Europe and the Near East. It was the final termination of
the "debate of the world" according to Gibbon, as well as to some later historians.
Yet plenty of wars were to take place in the Near East and southeastern Europe,
including several crusades and counter-crusades, while a vast diverse literature,
The Arabic chronicles of al-Maqrizi (Kitãb as-sulük li ma'rifat
duwal al-mulük, ed. M. M. 
Ziada [Cairo, 1956—]) and abu-l-Mahãsin Ibn-Taghri-Birdi (An-nujum
az-zahirah ft muluk Misr wa-l-Qahirah, ed. by the staff of the National Library
in Cairo [11 vols., 1929—1950], portions ed. [1909—1936] and
trans. [1954—1957] by W. Popper at Berkeley), used for the writer's
chapter on the Mamluk sultans to 1293, which appeared in volume II of this
work (pp. 735—758), remain primary source material for the period after
1291. To these must be added the chronicle of Ibn-Iyas, Bada'i' az-zuhur
ft waqa'i' ad-duhur (Bulaq and Istanbul), for the last decades of Mamluk
history and beyond. Modern works in European languages include those by G.
Wiet, A. N. Poliak, and P. K. Hitti cited in volume II (p. 735), as well
as C. Huart, Histoire des Arabes (2 vols., Paris, 191 2—19 13), and
G. Wiet, L ' Egypte arabe de la conquête arabe a la conquête
ottomane, 642—1517 (2nd ed., Paris, 1946). This chapter was edited
after the author's death by Harry W. Hazard. 
1. On the final days of the Latin states in Syria, see volume II of this
work, pp. 595—598, 
753—755. The Moslem chroniclers divide the Mamluk period into a Turkish
(Daulat al-Utruk, 1250—1382) and a Circassian (Daulat al-Jarkas, 1382—15
17) phase. 

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