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The Mamluks

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Mamluks, medieval rulers of Egypt and Syria from 1250 to 1517.

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Mamluks, who ruled Egypt and Syria from about 1250 to 1517. Originally slave soldiers who managed to depose their masters, they went on to repel the Mongols and the Crusaders to become the dominant force in the medieval Islamic Middle Eastern world. Although the Mamluks were renowned as warriors, under their rule art, crafts and architecture blossomed. Little known by many in the West today, the Mamluks remained in power for almost 300 years until they were eventually overthrown by the Ottomans.


Amira Bennison
Reader in the History and Culture of the Maghrib at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Magdalene College

Robert Irwin
Former Senior Research Associate in the Department of History at SOAS, University of London

Doris Behrens-Abouseif
Nasser D Khalili Professor of Islamic Art and Archaeology at SOAS, University of London

Producer: Victoria Brignell.

Available now

42 minutes

Last on

Thu 26 Sep 2013 21:30


Amira Bennison at the University of Cambridge


Doris Behrens-Abouseif at SOAS, University of London


Middle East - University of Chicago Library


Mamluk Studies Resources - University of Chicago


The Art of the Mamluk Period (1250-1517)


The Mamluks - History Today


Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo) - Wikipedia





Esin Atil, Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981)


Doris Behrens-Abouseif, Cairo of the Mamluks, (I B Tauris, 2007)


Jonathan Berkey, The Transmission of Knowledge in Medieval Cairo (Princeton, 1992)


John Glubb, Soldiers of Fortune: The Story of the Mamluks (Stein and Day, 1973)


P. M. Holt, The Age of the Crusades: The Near East from the the Eleventh Century to 1517 (Longman, 1986)


Robert Irwin, The Middle East in the Middle Ages: The Early Mamluk Sultanate 1250-1382 (Croom Helm, 1986)


David James, Qur’ans of the Mamluks (Thames and Hudson, 1988)


Ira M. Lapidus, Muslim Cities in the Later Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 1987)


Amalia Levanoni, A Turning Point in Mamluk History: The Third Reign of al-Nasir Muhammad Ibn Qalawun (1310-1341) (Brill, 1995)


David Nicolle, The Mamluks 1250-1517 (Osprey, 1993)


Carl F. Petry, Protectors or Praetorians? The Last Mamluk Sultans and Egypt’s Waning as a Great Power (State University of New York, 1994)


Peter Thorau, The Lion of Egypt: Sultan Baybars I and the Near East in the Thirteenth Century (Longman, 1992)


James Waterson, The Knights of Islam: The Wars of the Mamluks (Greenhill Books, 2007)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Amira Bennison
Interviewed Guest Robert Irwin
Interviewed Guest Doris Behrens-Abouseif
Producer Victoria Brignell


  • Thu 26 Sep 2013 09:00
  • Thu 26 Sep 2013 21:30

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