Thursday, September 18, 2014
A Mamluk (Arabic: مملوك mamluk (singular), مماليك mamālīk (plural)), "owned"; also transliterated mamlouk, Turkish: Memlük, also called Kölemen; , mamluq, mamluke, mameluk, mameluke, mamaluke or marmeluke was a soldier of slave origin, who were predominantly Cumans or Kipchak and later Circassian and Georgian. The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior class, was of great political importance and was extraordinarily long-lived, lasting from the 9th to the 19th century AD. Over time, mamluks became a powerful military caste in various Muslim societies. Particularly in Egypt, but also in the Levant, Iraq, 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 amirs or beys. Most notably, mamluk factions seized the sultanate for themselves in Egypt and Syria in a period known as the Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517). The Mamluk Sultanate famously beat back the Mongols at the Battle of Ayn Jalut and fought the Crusaders effectively driving them out from the Levant by 1291 and officially in 1302 ending the era of the Crusades.