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Reuven Amitai (2006)

The Mamluk Institution, or One Thousand Years of Military Slavery in the Islamic World

In: Arming Slaves, ed. by Christopher L. Brown and Philip D. Morgan , pp. 40-78, Yale University Press, New Haven.

This article discusses concisely the history of the military slavery in the Islamic world from the very appearance of the phenomenon in the 8th–9th centuries via the establishment of the Mamluk Sultanate in the mid 13th century till the fall of Mamluk State in the beginning of the 16th century and afterwards.

The author briefly touches upon almost every part of the Islamic world in which one can find the military slavery units. He does mention, however, that the emergence of the phenomenon was not inherently based on the prescriptions of Islam, but the very existence of this specific kind of slavery was the result of the convergence of many circumstances that took place during the long period under discussion. Concluding his historical and phenomenological review the author stresses that Muslim military slaves should be seen as an inalienable part of Islamic history and its social and political institutions – the perception pattern that resembles not only the historical ex post analysis, but their actual self-image.

Mamluks, military slavery, Ayyubid regime, Qutuz, Baybars, al-Nasir Muhammad, al-Mu'tasim
by Ishayahu Landa last modified 2011-01-19 14:15

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