Today in Middle Eastern history: the Massacre at the Citadel (1811)

Egypt’s Mamluk Sultanate was ushered to its end by the invading Ottomans in 1517. But while their sultanate ended, the Mamluk elite really didn’t go anywhere. The distinction has to do with the unique nature of the sultanate, so even if this is something you’ve read about before, we should review. The Mamluk ruling class grew out of the institution of Turkic slave soldiers (mamluks) who were brought to Egypt by the Fatimids and then Ayyubids during the 11th-13th centuries. As the Ayyubid dynasty fell apart in the early 1200s, their slave generals began to assume more direct authority over Egypt and Syria, until they finally usurped full control during a messy ~10 year changeover between 1250 and 1260.

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