The battle of ain jalut 1260 egyptian mamluks vs mongols
Mamluk (Arabic: مملوك mamlūk (singular), مماليك mamālīk (plural), meaning "property" , also transliterated as mamlouk, mamluq, mamluke, mameluk, mameluke, mamaluke or marmeluke) is an Arabic designation for slaves. The term is most commonly used to refer to Muslim slave soldiers and Muslim rulers of slave origin.
- The battle of ain jalut 1260 egyptian mamluks vs mongols
- The feared turkish mamluk warriors
- Relations with homelands and families
- Early Mamluks in Egypt
- French attack and Mamluk takeover
- Mamluks and the Mongols
- Burji dynasty
- Portuguese Mamluk Wars
- Ottomans and the end of the Mamluk Sultanate
- Mamluk independence from the Ottomans
- Napoleon invades
- After Napoleon
- End of Mamluk power in Egypt
- Other Mamluk regimes
- South Asia
- Bahri Dynasty
- Burji Dynasty
- In India
- In Iraq
- In Acre
- Mamluk as derogatory term
- Office titles and terminology
More specifically, it refers to:
The most enduring Mamluk realm was the knightly military caste in Egypt in the Middle Ages, which developed from the ranks of slave soldiers. These were mostly enslaved Turkic peoples, Egyptian Muslim soldiers, Egyptian Copts, Circassians, Abkhazians, and Georgians. Many Mamluks were also of Balkan origin (Albanians, Greeks, and South Slavs). The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior class, was of great political importance; for one thing, it endured for nearly 1000 years, from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries.
Over time, the mamluks became a powerful military knightly caste in various societies that were controlled by Muslim rulers. Particularly in Egypt, but also in the Levant, Mesopotamia, and India, mamluks held political and military power. In some cases, they attained the rank of sultan, while in others they held regional power as emirs or beys. Most notably, mamluk factions seized the sultanate centered on Egypt and Syria, and controlled it as the Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517). The Mamluk Sultanate famously defeated the Ilkhanate at the Battle of Ain Jalut. They had earlier fought the western European Christian Crusaders in 1154-1169 and 1213-1221, effectively driving them out of Egypt and the Levant. In 1302 the mamluks ormally expelled the last Crusaders from the Levant, ending the era of the Crusades.
While mamluks were purchased as property, 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 to the time of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, mamluks were considered to be “true lords" and "true warriors," with social status above the general population in Egypt and the Levant. In a sense they were like enslaved mercenaries.
In the Middle Ages, the Mamlukes took up the practice of furusiyya "chivalry" although Mamluk knights were slaves until their service ended. The Arabic term for a knight was fāris (plural fursān), The faris and the notion of furusiyya originated in pre-Muslim Persian brotherhoods. Within the Muslim world, the fursān became prized as ideal warriors.
The fursān — whether free like Usama ibn Munqidh or enslaved professional warriors such as the ghilman and mamluks — were trained in the use of various weapons such as the sword, spear, lance, javelin, mace, bow and arrow, and tabarzin or "saddle ax." (The Mamluk bodyguards known as the tabardariyyah.) They were also trained in wrestling, and their martial skills were honed first on foot as piéton and then perfected when as mounted warriors. They were popularly used as heavy knightly cavalry by a number of different Islamic kingdoms and empires, including the Ayyubid dynasty and the Ottoman Empire.
The feared turkish mamluk warriors
The origins of the mamluk system are disputed. Historians agree that an entrenched military caste such as the mamluks appeared to develop in Islamic societies beginning with the ninth-century Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad. When in the ninth century has not been determined. Up until the 1990s, it was widely believed that the earliest mamluks were known as ghilman (another term for slaves, and broadly synonymous) and were bought by the Abbasid caliphs, especially al-Mu'tasim (833-842).
By the end of the 9th century, such warrior slaves had become the dominant element in the military. Conflict between these ghilman and the population of Baghdad prompted the caliph al-Mu'tasim to move his capital to the city of Samarra, but this did not succeed in calming tensions. The caliph al-Mutawakkil was assassinated by some of these slave-soldiers in 861 (see Anarchy at Samarra).
Since the early 21st century, historians suggest that there was a distinction between a ghilman system, in Samarra, which did not have specialized training and was based on pre-existing Central Asian hierarchies. Adult slaves and freemen both served as warriros. The mamluk system developed later, after the return of the caliphate to Baghdad in the 870's. It included the systematic training of young slaves in military and martial skills. . The Mamluk system is considered to have been a small-scale experiment of al-Muwaffaq, to combine the slaves' efficiency as warriors with improved reliability. This recent interpretation seems to have been accepted.
After the fragmentation of the Abbasid Empire, military slaves, known as either mamluks or ghilman, were used throughout the Islamic world as the basis of military power. The Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt had forcibly taken adolescent male Armenians, Turks, Sudanese, and Copts from their families in order to be trained as slave soldiers. They formed the bulk of their military, and the rulers selected prized slaves to serve in their administration. The powerful vizier Badr al-Jamali, for example, was a mamluk from Armenia. In Iran and Iraq, the Buyid dynasty used Turkic slaves throughout their empire. The rebel al-Basasiri was a mamluk who eventually ushered in Seljuq dynastic rule in Baghdad after attempting a failed rebellion. When the later Abbasids regained military control over Iraq, they also relied on the ghilman as their warriors.
Under Saladin and the Ayyubids of Egypt, the power of the mamluks increased and they claimed the sultanate in 1250, ruling as the Mamluk Sultanate. Throughout the Islamic world, rulers continued to use enslaved warriors until the 19th century. The Ottoman Empire's devşirme, or "gathering" of young slaves for the Janissaries, lasted until the 17th century. Regimes based on mamluk power thrived in such Ottoman provinces as the Levant and Egypt until the 19th century.
Under the Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo, Mamluks were purchased while still young males. They were raised in the barracks of the Citadel of Cairo. Because of their isolated social status (no social ties or political affiliations) and their austere military training, they were trusted to be loyal to their rulers. When their training was completed, they were discharged, but remained attached to the patron who had purchased them. Mamluks relied on the help of their patron for career advancement, and likewise the patron’s reputation and power depended on his recruits. A Mamluk was "bound by a strong esprit de corps to his peers in the same household."
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.
Sultans owned the largest number of mamluks, but lesser amirs also owned their own troops. Many Mamluks were appointed or promoted to high positions throughout the empire, including army command. At first their status was non-hereditary. Sons of Mamluks (how and when did they make families? who were the women?) were prevented from following their father's role of life. 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.
Relations with homelands and families
In Egypt, studies have shown that mamluks from Georgia retained their native language, were aware of the politics of the Caucasus region, and received frequent visits from their parents or other relatives. In addition, they sent gifts to family members or gave money to build useful structures (a defensive tower, or even a church) in their native villages.
Early Mamluks in Egypt
Throughout the past centuries, Egypt was controlled by the rulers notably the Ikhshidids, Fatimids and Ayyubids. Throughout these dynasties, thousands of mamluk servants and guards continued to be employed, and even took high offices. This increasing level of influence among the mamluk worried the Ayyubids in particular. Eventually a Mamluk rose to become sultan. According to Fabri, a historian had asserted that mamluks of Egyptian origin were enslaved Christians. He believed that after they were taken from their families, they became renegades. Because Egyptian mamluks were enslaved Christians, Islamic rulers did not believe they were true believers of Islam.
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 mamluks, who acted semi-autonomously as regional atabegs. The mamluks increasingly became involved in the internal court politics of the kingdom itself as various factions used them as allies.
French attack and Mamluk takeover
When the Egyptian sultan as-Salih Ayyub died, the power passed briefly to his son al-Muazzam Turanshah and then his favorite wife, the Armenian Shajar al-Durr. She took control with mamluk support and launched a counterattack against the French. Troops of the Bahri commander Baibars defeated Louis's troops. The king delayed his retreat too long and was captured by the Mamluks in March 1250. He agreed to pay a ransom of 400,000 livres tournois to gain release (150,000 livres were never paid).
Because of political pressure for a male leader, Shajar married the Mamluk commander, Aybak. He was assassinated in his bath. In the ensuing power struggle that ensued, viceregent Qutuz, also a mamluk, took over. He formally founded the Mamluke Sultanate and the Bahri mamluk dynasty.
The first Mamluk dynasty was named Bahri after the name of one of the regiments, the Bahriyyah or River Island regiment. Its name referred to their center on Rhoda Island in the Nile. The regiment consisted mainly of Kipchaks and Cumans.
Mamluks and the Mongols
When the Mongol Empire's troops of Hulagu Khan sacked Baghdad in 1258 and advanced towards Syria, the Mamluk emir Baibars left Damascus for Cairo. There he was welcomed by Sultan Qutuz. After taking Damascus, Hulagu demanded that Qutuz surrender Egypt. Qutuz had Hulagu's envoys killed and, with Baibars' help, mobilized his troops.
When the great Möngke Khan died in action against the Southern Song, Hulagu pulled the majority of his forces out of Syria to attend the kurultai (funeral ceremony). He left his lieutenant, the Christian Kitbuqa, in charge with a token force of about 18,000 men as a garrison. Qutuz drew the Ilkhanate army into an ambush near the Orontes River, routed them at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, and captured and executed Kitbuqa (see Qutuz).
After this great triumph, Qutuz was assassinated by conspiring Mamluks. It was widely said that Baibars, who seized power, had been involved in the assassination plot. In the following centuries, the mamluks ruled discontinuously, with an average span of seven years.
The Mamluks defeated the Ilkhanates a second time in the First Battle of Homs 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 among the local princes. Baibars' troops attacked Acre in 1263, captured Caesarea in 1265, and took Antioch in 1268.
Mamluks also defeated new Ilkhanate attacks in Syria in 1271 and 1281 (the Second Battle of Homs). They were defeated by the Ilkhanates and their Christian allies at the Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar in 1299. Soon after that the Mamluks defeated the Ilkhanate again in 1303/1304 and 1312. Finally, the Ilkhanates and the Mamluks signed a treaty of peace in 1323.
By the late fourteenth century, the majority of the Mamluk ranks were made up of Circassians from the North Caucasus region, whose young males had been frequently captured for slavery. In 1382 the Burji dynasty took over when Barquq was proclaimed sultan. The name "Burji" referred to their center at the citadel of Cairo. The dynasty officials were composed mostly of Circassians.
Barkuk became an enemy of Timur, who threatened to invade Syria. Timur invaded Syria, defeating the Mamluk army, and he sacked Aleppo and captured Damascus. The Ottoman sultan, Bayezid I, then invaded Syria. After Timur's death in 1405, the Mamluk sultan an-Nasir Faraj regained control of Syria. Frequently facing rebellions by local emirs, he was forced to abdicate in 1412. In 1421, Egypt was attacked by the Kingdom of Cyprus, but the Egyptians forced the Cypriotes to acknowledge the suzerainty of the Egyptian sultan Barsbay. During Barsbay's reign, Egypt's population became greatly reduced from what it had been a few centuries before; it had one-fifth the number of towns.
Al-Ashraf came to power in 1453. He had friendly relations with the Ottoman Empire, which captured Constantinople later that year, causing great rejoicings in Muslim Egypt. However, under the reign of Khoshqadam, Egypt began the struggle between the Egyptian and the Ottoman sultanates. In 1467 sultan Qaitbay offended the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II, whose brother was poisoned. Bayezid II seized Adana, Tarsus and other places within Egyptian territory, but was eventually defeated. Qaitbay also tried to help the Muslims in Spain, who were suffering after the Catholic Reconquista, by threatening the Christians in Syria, but he had little effect in Spain. He died in 1496, several hundred thousand ducats in debt to the great trading families of the Kingdom of Venice, an eastern Mediterranean port in present-day Italy.
Vasco da Gama in 1497 sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and pushed his way west across the Indian Ocean to the shores of Malabar and Kozhikode. There he attacked the fleets that carried freight and Muslim pilgrims from India to the Red Sea, and struck terror into the potentates all around. Various engagements took place. Cairo's Mamluk sultan Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri was affronted at the attacks around the Red Sea, the loss of tolls and traffic, the indignities to which Mecca and its port were subjected, and above all for losing one of his ships. He vowed vengeance upon Portugal, first sending monks from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as envoys, he threatened Pope Julius II that if he did not check Manuel I of Portugal in his depredations on the Indian Sea, he would destroy all Christian holy places.
The rulers of Gujarat in India and Yemen also turned for help to the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt. They wanted a fleet to be armed in the Red Sea that could protect their important trading sea routes from Portuguese attack. Jeddah was soon fortified as a harbor of refuge so Arabia and the Red Sea were protected. But the fleets in the Indian Ocean were still at the mercy of the enemy.
The last Mamluk sultan, Al-Ghawri, fitted out a fleet of 50 vessels. As Mamluks had little expertise in naval warfare, he sought help from the Ottomans to develop this naval enterprise. In 1508 at the Battle of Chaul, the Mamluk fleet defeated the Portuguese viceroy's son Lourenço de Almeida.
But, in the following year, the Portuguese won the Battle of Diu and wrested the port city of Diu from the Gujarat Sultanate. Some years after, Afonso de Albuquerque attacked Aden, and Egyptian troops suffered disaster from the Portuguese in Yemen. Al-Ghawri fitted out a new fleet to punish the enemy and protect the Indian trade. Before it could exert much power, Egypt had lost its sovereignty. The Ottoman Empire took over Egypt and the Red Sea, together with Mecca and all its Arabian interests.
Ottomans and the end of the Mamluk Sultanate
The Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II was engaged in warfare in southern Europe when a new era of hostility with Egypt began in 1501. It arose out of the relations with the Safavid dynasty in Persia. Shah Ismail I sent an embassy to the Republic of Venice via Syria, inviting Venice to ally with Persia and recover its territory taken by the Ottomans. Mameluk Egyptian sultan Al-Ghawri was charged by Selim I with giving the Persian envoys passage through Syria on their way to Venice and harboring refugees. To appease him, Al-Ghawri placed in confinement the Venetian merchants then in Syria and Egypt, but after a year released them.
After the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514, Selim attacked the bey of Dulkadirids, as Egypt's vassal had stood aloof, and sent his head to Al-Ghawri. Now secure against Persia, in 1516 he formed a great army for the conquest of Egypt, but gave out that he intended further attacks on Persia.
In 1515, Selim began the war which led to the conquest Egypt and its dependencies. Mamluk cavalry proved no match for the Ottoman artillery and Janissary infantry. On 24 August 1516, at the Battle of Marj Dabiq, 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 in Egypt until 1517, when Selim captured Cairo on 20 January. Although not in the same form as under the Sultanate, the Ottoman Empire retained the Mamluks as an Egyptian ruling class and the Mamluks and the Burji family succeeded in regaining much of their influence, but as 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 in the Caucasus.
In 1798, the ruling Directory of the Republic of France authorised a campaign in "The Orient" to protect French trade interests and undermine Britain's access to India. To this end, Napoleon Bonaparte led an Armée d'Orient to Egypt.
The French defeated a Mamluk army in the Battle of the Pyramids and drove the survivors out to Upper Egypt. The Mamluks relied on massed cavalry charges, changed only by the addition of musket. The French infantry formed square and held firm. Despite multiple victories and an initially successful expedition into Syria, mounting conflict in Europe and the earlier defeat of the supporting French fleet by the British Royal Navy at the Battle of the Nile decided the issue.
On 14 September 1799 General Jean Baptiste Kléber established a mounted company of Mamluk auxiliaries and Syrian Janissaries from Turkish troops captured at the siege of Acre. 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 Jean Rapp was sent to Marseille to organize a squadron of 250 Mamluks. 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 (see Mamelukes of the Imperial Guard).
Napoleon left with his personal guard in late 1799. His successor in Egypt, General Jean Baptiste Kléber, was assassinated on 14 June 1800. Command of the Army in Egypt fell to Jacques-François Menou. Isolated and out of supplies, Menou surrendered to the British in 1801.
After the departure of French troops in 1801 the Mamluks continued their struggle for independence; this time against the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain. In 1803, Mamluk leaders Ibrahim Bey and Osman Bey al-Bardisi wrote to the Russian consul-general, asking him to mediate with the Sultan to allow them to negotiate for a cease-fire, and a return to their homeland Georgia. The Russian ambassador in Constantinople refused however to intervene, because of nationalist unrest in Georgia that might have been encouraged by a Mamluk return.
In 1805, the population of Cairo rebelled. This provided a chance for the Mamluks to seize power, but internal friction prevented them from exploiting this opportunity. In 1806, the Mamluks defeated the Turkish forces in several clashes. in June the rival parties concluded an agreement by which Muhammad Ali, (appointed as governor of Egypt on 26 March 1806), was to be removed and authority returned to the Mamluks. However, they were again unable to capitalize on this opportunity due to discord between factions. Muhammad Ali retained his authority.
End of Mamluk power in Egypt
Muhammad Ali knew that he would have to deal with the Mamluks if he wanted to control Egypt. They were still the feudal owners of Egypt and their land was still the source of wealth and power. However the economic strain of sustaining the military manpower necessary to defend the Mamluks's system from the Europeans and Turks would eventually weaken them to the point of collapse.
On 1 March 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 for this purpose in Cairo. Muhammad Ali's forces killed almost all of these near the Al-Azab gates in a narrow road down from Mukatam Hill. This ambush came to be known as the Massacre of the Citadel. According to contemporary 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.
During the following week an estimated 3,000 Mamluks and their relatives were killed throughout Egypt, by Muhammad's regular troops. In the citadel of Cairo alone more than 1,000 Mamluks died.
Despite Muhammad Ali's destruction of the Mamluks in Egypt, a party of them escaped and fled south into what is now Sudan. 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'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.
Other Mamluk regimes
There were various places in which mamluks gained political or military power as a self-replicating military community.
In 1206, the Mamluk commander of the Muslim forces in the Indian subcontinent, Qutb al-Din Aibak, proclaimed himself Sultan, becoming in effect the Mamluk Sultanate in Dehli, which lasted until 1290.
Mamluk corps were first introduced in Iraq by Hasan Pasha of Baghdad in 1702. From 1747 to 1831 Iraq was ruled, with short intermissions, by Mamluk officers of Georgian 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 overthrew Dawud Pasha, the last Mamluk ruler, and imposed direct control over Iraq.
"Mamluk" as derogatory term
The term Mamluk became known throughout Europe following the Ottoman conquests of Egypt and the Levant in 1516–1517. It was used as a derogatory term in Geneva, 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.
Office titles and terminology
The following terms originally come from either Turkish or Ottoman Turkish language (the latter composed of Turkish, Arabic, and Persian words and grammar structures).