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The Map[edit]

The map includid does not show the size of the mamluke sultanate at all, its not appropriate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by LeCaire (talkcontribs) 11:56, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

What about the Mameluk dynasty in India? See Delhi Sultanate --Jiang 05:09, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC) Doesnt the US government parallel a similar situation as egypt in the 1200s? We just call are mamluks government employees,self serving and running their own agendas. Not interested in the peoples needs any more.

We call them civil servants and they answer to ,We, the people! They can be fired and are held accountable. go hate somewhere else.-- 19:51, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

A bit more info on the early period[edit]

I find the information about hte Mamluk a bit thin concerning its early history. It does a good job describing what advantages they brought but it doesn't describe how former slaves become the most powerful forces in Egypt. The name origins aren't discussed, etc. The focus is too much on late 19th century politics.--Ebralph 15:27, 18 July 2005 (UTC)


Is this really true that the English translation of the word "Mamluk" is owned? 21:02, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

> Well it makes sense if they were freed _slaves_

> Actually they weren't freed. They stayed slaves. Yes it is M-L-K is arabic means property-ownership-rule, fromwhich you get king (Malik) property (mulk) and kingdom (mamlaka)

i don't speak arabic, and i don't know arabic etymologies, but mlk being an ancient acronym sounds like "folk etymology" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:12, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Who said anything about an acronym? Adam Bishop (talk) 19:02, 29 December 2007 (UTC)



From what I've read, usually "mamluk" is not capitalized when refering to the practice/institution and the troop. It is only capitalized when refergint to the kingdom in Egypt/Syria, or the subsequent Ottoman era elites. So I've edited it accordingly.

Also, I've removed a couple of wrong statements on the Mamlukes vis-a-vis Ain Jalut (the idea that of Berke distracting Hulagu, and the idea of Mamluk familiarity with Mongol tactics as key to Ain Jalut victory).


I think there is too much on the Mongols and Mongol politics in the Egyptian Mamluk Dynasty section.

More importantly, I think that the Egyptian Mamluks deserve their own page, as their were a major power in late-medieval Middle Eastern Islamic history.

MYLO 08:25, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Homosexuality: I read in one of the Nile books (either the "White Nile" or the "Blue Nile") that, because they weren't allowed to have relationships with women, that the Mamluks had a culture of homosexuality. And that even after they took power in Egypt, they continued to be generations of slave-soldiers rather than having children and passing power to them.

If this is all accurate, it seems like it should be part of this entry.

  • That's mostly speculation and all-male environment does not mean that they were all homosexuals. And some Mamluk rulers actually had number of children and selected their favorite to rule after them, some of them killing the rest. - Skysmith 21:02, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

I believe it to be accurate, reference the work of Maqrizi the contemporary historian who talked of their homosexual affairs and only concluded 3 of them had not interest in other men, in other words, only three rulers of the whole dynasty were hetrosexual — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ashour001 (talkcontribs) 07:40, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Genghis khan stuff[edit]

This text does not directly relate to mamluks and should be moved elsewhere. - Skysmith 11:38, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Juchi, the eldest son of Genghis Khan, was born about nine months after Genghis' wife Borte was taken prisoner and raped by a man named Chilger-Boko. Genghis later caught and executed Chilger-Boko, but this always created doubts about Juchi's real paternity, and while it was very bad manners amongst the Mongols to mention this in public, this always created a rift between Jenghiz and his three other "legitimate" sons. Juchi was always suspected of really being Chilger-Boko's bastard.

The three other sons (Mongke, Tolui, and Jagatai) got a better inheritance. Meanwhile, Juchi's sons Batu and Berke knew they came off second-best along with their father.

Juchi passed away before his father Genghis Khan did. When Genghis Khan died, Juchi's heir Batu (Khan Berke's brother) was given very few Mongol soldiers for his western lands, and had to carve out his own Khanate by recruiting Turks on the Russian steppe who Batu had conquered.

After Batu in turn passed away, Berke became Khan in what was later the Russian steppe. In Berke's force, Turks outnumbered the Mongol officers by more than a hundred to one. Batu had turned his inheritance of 4000 Mongol soldiers into a force of more than 500,000, most of whom were Turkic nomads. Thus the "Golden Horde" as Batu's empire was later called, became a mainly Turkic one. The Mamluks found that they had an ethnic kinship with the Golden Horde, and this, along with the Islamization of the Horde, made Mamluk Egypt and the Golden Horde natural allies. Thus, the Mamluks could count on diversion attacks by the Golden Horde to the north against Hulagu Khan, who ruled the Khanate of Persia.

Berke Khan was apalled by Hulagu Khan's destruction of Baghdad. Berke was more than willing to be at odds with his cousin Hulagu.

The Mamluks were a meritocracy, and Jochi's heirs, who knew that they were seen by the other Mongols Khanates as having possibly illegitimate ancestry, felt themselves left out of the Mongol inheritance and were willing to ally themselves with others who had fought to get to power. The Mamluks took great pains to cultivate this diplomatic, political, and military alliance.


The following is biased, it is written from a Pro-Crusader perspective, and ignores the fact that the arrival and installment of the Franks in the middle east was achieved through a campaign of massacre and genocide. The Franks themselves were involed in the persecution of the indeginous eastern churches of the middle-east. There are still plenty of Chritians in the ME, and many of them are Arabs, so it seems this claim lacks any real substance.

"Furthermore, despite their genocidal extermination of the Franks and most of the Christian population in the Levant including the annihialation of the cities which had stood for thousands of years, there are some influences of the Mamluk dynasties on Syria and Egypt which can be viewed today in the architecture"

Yeah, the same guy added a lot of extremely biased nonsense to the Kingdom of Jerusalem article. I don't know how to fix it here, though. Adam Bishop 21:05, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Hmm. . . "Ignores the fact that the arrival of Franks was achieved through massacre and genocide." Talk about POV. The Muslims at that time at least matched the Crusaders massacre for massacre. Plenty of blood and intolerance on both sides, my friend. Cutugno (talk) 18:50, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Recent additions by IP[edit]

The recent edit by the IP introduced some good new factual information to the article, but it was intertwined with all sorts of implicit anti-Muslim bigotry. It's no good just to revert, but somebody needs to pick out all the bad parts, like a Japanese chef picking out the poison in a blowfish. Babajobu 22:16, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

- - - -

I removed much of it, since not only was the bias obvious, but it was actually filled with many errors and convoluted statements ("biological warfare"?).

Also, the stuff about Berke Khan is largely meaningless in this article, and belongs more in the article on the Golden Hord.

A detailed history of Mamluk-Mongol diplomatic relationship would be too extensive, and would distract from this article, which is largely about the mamluk institute, and not so much about the Mamluk Sultanate.

It was also used to rant and rave about dirty Ay-rabs kidnapping superior Euoprean children and turning them into "fanatics", so they can commit genocide against the innocent-as-a-baby Crusaders.

It's quite obvious that this individual read his history from some anti-Muslim book, which probably had a chapter ranting about the evil Mamluks.

Garbage like that belongs in the Stormfront website, not here.

MYLO 23:39, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Mamlouk Dyanasties[edit]

It is very important to highlight that there were two distinct Mamaloukian dyansties; The Turkish (Bahraiah or Barjiah) and the Jarkasiah (from Georgia, south of Russia)

Interesting to note that during the rule of Galloun (i think he was the third king in the Turkish dynasty) and out of lack of trust for his peers, he sought soldier slaves from the what is now Georgia to start his own army and bodyguards. The Jarkas were blonde, blue eyed, good body stock and famous for their ferocity in battle. The irony is that later on, they became masters and started the second mamalouk dynasty. they did not have the charisma of the Turks who fought the mongols and seen as Islam's defenders and lacked the power of the Turkish dynasty. civil turbelence and hostility continued during the're dynasty. They had to face Tamerlane as well who ransaked Syria. They were demised by the Otommans as stated.

I think this article and others I have read on the Mamluks are a bit vague on some details. When they became established as rulers in Egypt and elsewhere, were they being replenished with fresh recruits, or did they form a stable ethnic community within their host country? If the latter, then to what extent were they still a community apart from the bulk of the population e.g. did they speak the local language or another? PatGallacher 21:50, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes Mamluks of Egypt in general spoke local language and their children who became Emirs ( princes ) and Sultans were born in Egypt. Each sultan had his own mamluks who were recruited. Armies cosisted of locals and Mamluks ( please refer to articles of Baibars, al-Said Barakah and Solamish ). On those days people did not really care about nationalities as we do today. The mongols of the Golden horde who embraced Islam where free to move to Egypt and to live there. The bond of Islam was more important than place of birth. Mamluks were a social class rather than an ethnic community. Samsam22 (talk) 04:30, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

King Loui's ransom[edit]

Less than 400,000 lires, actually only 250,000 and my source is the book Crusades.

In that time it was custom to pay it in installments, after the first installment the prisoner would be released on conditions and the conditions removed when the rest was finally paid, which in this case it was not.Tourskin 16:54, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Slaves and Mamluks[edit]

Hi Adam Bishop. Slave in Arabic = ABD / plural ABID. Mamluk in Arabic is "possessed" that is to say possessed by the Sultan. There were slaves (Abid) and Mamluks (Mamalik) living side by side. Slaves served at the households of nobles while Mamluks served the Sultan. unfortunately, the word Mamluk was translated often by orientalists and western writers to "slave". In mediaeval Near East the Slavery system differed from the slavery system in the west. Slaves in the Near East were rather servants at households of nobles and aristocrats. Mamluks were the sultan's men. He paid them salaries, gave them houses, financed their marriages and sent their children to schools. Mamluks held high postions at the court of the sultan and thus they were, mostly, very loyal to to him. Mamluks formed a special class in the society distinguished by wealth and position. Samsam22 (talk) 21:06, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Ok, thanks...why did you address this to me, though? (I must have said something stupid somewhere, haha!) Adam Bishop (talk) 22:40, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • haha , sorry just because I saw you name under paragraph "owned?". As the others used IP.Samsam22 (talk) 22:48, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Brief Note on the Mamluks[edit]

Slaves to Sultans

The word mamluk means “one who is owned.” The term was originally applied to boys from Central Asian tribes who were bought by the Abbasid caliphs and raised to be soldiers. The same practice was adopted by the Fatimids, an Ismaili dynasty based in Tunisia that conquered Egypt in 969 and founded Cairo as its new capital.

When Salah ad-Din (Saladin to the West), the son of a Kurdish general, supplanted the Fatimids and founded the Ayyubid dynasty in 1174, he formed the Mamluks into a distinct military body. Since the Ayyubids were strangers in Egypt, they likely felt more comfortable with the support of their fellow foreigners.

Slave traders bought the children of conquered tribes in Central Asia, promising them security, discipline and the possibility of great fortunes. Mamluk boys then endured several years of rigorous training in horsemanship and archery. They were used both as royal bodyguards and to offset the dominating influence of the Arab military in the state. Not to be confused with ordinary slaves, the Mamluks were members of an elite military corps—a kind of proto-Foreign Legion or a knighthood of Islam. In 1254, the Mamluks revolted against the Ayyubid ruler and one of their own—a Turk named Aybak—married Shagar al-Durr, the wife of the murdered sultan: The Mamluks had accomplished the rare feat of transforming themselves from slaves to masters.

Power in the Mamluk realm was not based on heredity. Every Mamluk arrived in Egypt or Syria as a slave- soldier. The young men were converted to Islam and worked their way up the ranks on merit alone. Every commander of the army and nearly all of the Mamuk sultans started life in this way. The result was a succession of rulers of unbounded ambition, courage and ruthlessness.

After the Mamluks made themselves masters of Egypt and Syria, they continued the tradition of recruiting foreigners for their military. Agents were sent to buy and import boys from Central Asian tribes, chiefly Circassians, Turkomans and Mongols. Mamluks looked on their Egyptian-born sons as socially inferior and would not recruit them into regular Mamluk units, which only admitted boys born on the steppes.

This constant influx of new blood prevented the dynasty from decaying from within as a result of less-capable princes ascending to the throne, but it also made for turmoil at the top: While some Mamluk sultans ruled for a decade or more, the average length of rule was only five years. As an autocratic military caste, the Mamluks ruled with considerable harshness, imposing heavy taxes and holding all political and military power. They did employ the native-born population in civil posts; such persons often achieved high rank and honors in the civil administration. In contrast to their harsh reputation as rulers, the Mamluks also bequeathed an astonishing legacy of artistic achievement. Much of the glory of medieval Cairo still visible today is the result of Mamluk patronage.

The Mamluks ruled Egypt until 1517, when Cairo fell to the Ottoman Turks whose artillery and firearm skills far surpassed that of the Mamluks who, as consummate horsemen, disdained such novelties. The Ottoman ruler, Selim i, ended the Mamluk sultanate but did not destroy the Mamluks as a class; they kept their lands, and Mamluk governors retained control of the provinces and were even allowed to keep private armies.

In the 18th century, when Ottoman power began to decline, the Mamluks were able to win back an increasing amount of self-rule. In 1769 a Mamluk leader, Ali Bey, proclaimed himself sultan and declared independence from the Ottomans. Although his reign collapsed in 1772, the Ottoman Turks still felt compelled to concede increasing measures of autonomy to the Mamluks and appointed a series of them as governors of Egypt. The last great charge of the fabled Mamluk horsemen took place on July 17, 1798, when Napoleon Bonaparte’s modern army shattered the Egyptian cavalry at the Battle of the Pyramids. Their power as an elite class ended in 1811 when Muhammad Ali, an Albanian Turk who had wrested control of Egypt from the Ottomans in 1805, invited several hundred prominent Mamluks to dinner in the Cairo Citadel. After diner, as the Mamluk notables and their entourages made their way to one of the fortress’s lower gates, Muhammad Ali’s troops massacred them all, a violent final chapter for a dynasty whose rulers rose from slavery to control much of the Middle East. -- (talk) 11:25, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Removed comment[edit]

I removed this hidden comment:

incomprehensible: In 1813, its Chasseurs-à-Cheval of the Imperial Guard a decree of 17 March established another company attached to the Young Guard.

which I found when editing the "Under Napoleon" section. I think it would be more useful here in the Talk section instead of being hidden until someone happens to notice it. TresÁrboles (talk) 21:59, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Disambiguation recommended[edit]

The Mamluk political entity that ruled Egypt and Syria from 1250 to 1517 should be one article, and mamluks as a social institution should be a separate article. Mamluks in the latter sense were a part of many Muslim societies from the ninth century through the early modern period, and merit a separate entry. I recommend the general social category of mamluks be the subject of the default article "Mamluk", while the regime based in Cairo in the late Middle Ages be called perhaps "Mamluks (Egypt)" - Mamluks being plural because it refers to them as a political group, rather than to their mamlukness in general. Worlingham (talk) 17:05, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly agree. "mamluks" with a little 'm' existed in many islamic societies in the Middle Ages. The military junta that seized power to end the Ayyubid dynasty was a case where mamluk slave soldiers had seized power for themselves, and thus became know as "The Mamluks". However, they are different, the social category of 'mamluk' (white slave-soldier) is somethng that is general to the islamic world, but military rule of white slave soldiers by "The Mamluks" was an episode in Egyptian and Syrian history, and therefore belongs in a different article. I am new to wikipedia, so i dont know how to do it. There is already a page that is the beginnings of what we want: ... I dont think the Bahri 'dynasty', deserves its own page. I suggest the Bahri dynasty page be renamed and extended for "The Mamluks". This page should concentrate on the social category. Louboi (talk) 10:52, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

This is not a state[edit]

The infobox is a bit misleading here, since the article is about the concept of a type of slave soldiers, not the state founded by them. If someone was to write a separate article on the Mamluk Sultanate, fine, but there's no logic in having a country infobox in this article.

Peter Isotalo 15:28, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

But this is also about the Mamluk Sultanate. I see above, however, that there is a request for splitting the page, which is a good idea. Adam Bishop (talk) 15:50, 14 December 2008 (UTC)


I've created a new page, Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo), to handle the state, and I've placed the infobox there. I will also create a disambiguation page to handle the at least four Mamluk articles that now exist. Worlingham (talk) 03:35, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Merge from Mamluk Identity[edit]

I am merging in as much useful content as I can from the Mamluk identity article (revision as of today). As I perform this merge, I will be gradually removing content from that article, and finally will simply redirect from there to here. Nimur (talk) 07:18, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm done. See Talk:Mamluk_identity for more details; if anyone has any content from this revision which they feel is not represented in the current Mamluk article, please merge it in. Nimur (talk) 19:34, 13 February 2009 (UTC)


Haji II copper fals, 1382.
Al-Nasir Muhammad copper fals, 1310-1341.
Al-Adil Kitbugha copper fals, 1294-1296.
Barquq copper fals, Damascus, 1382-1389.

Some coins of the Mamluks. Feel free to insert them into the article. PHG (talk) 20:18, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Please also link Al-Salih Salah Zein al-Din Hajji II (Haji II) from the article. PHG (talk) 20:29, 7 March 2009 (UTC)


Per Honor et Gloria  00:13, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Derogatory in Italian American Slang[edit]

Is there any connection to the Italian term Mamaluke?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:40, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Information about Georgian mamlukes[edit]

What was the reason of excluding the information about Georgian origination of the Mamlukes? There're plenty of sources proving this. Please, don't delete information in this article groundlessly. Thanks.MrKindSailor (talk) 07:13, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Most of Mamluks were Kypchak Turks and Slave Turks from Central Asia. a few Georgian Mamluks doesn't change the fact. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:58, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

There were Kurdish, Armenian and even Greek Mamluks, should we add them too? simply no! most of Mamluks were Kypchak Turks and Circassians(late era). also, Rustem was an Armenian Mamluk not georgian. borning in georgia doesn't make you georgian. so, stop changing this page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Oeneki (talkcontribs) 15:44, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Here in Wikipedia we should tolerate and respect all points of view of all participants. BUT there are some rules that we all have to follow here. Among them is a rule which says that each statement should be based on a source, and a source must be identifying and reliable. I respect your opinion on this article, BUT I demand that all changings you make here must be based on reliable sources. What is a base of your statement that Georgians didn't make a sigificant part of Mamluks, but Kypchaks and Circassians did? Your opinion? Is it a reliable source? NO! I've added this article by information (based on scientific works) which proved that Georgians did formed a quite significant part of the Mamluk phenomenon in Egypt and Iraq (moreover Georgian Mamluk dinasty ruled Iraq during the XVIII century). You have deleted it. It looks like an act of vandalism that is not tolerated here. So, please, don't spoil this article again.MrKindSailor (talk) 22:16, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

we should add Kurds, Armenians and Greeks too then. right? they were also Mamluks. we are talking about dynasty. and Mamluks ruled by Turks and Circassians. if you can show a georgian Mamluk Sultan, you can add georgians to this page. can you say Ayyubids were Turkish? because most of Ayyubid soldiers were Turkish. no you can't because Saladin was a Kurd. likewise you can not say Mamluks were georgians. because rulers were Turks and Circassians. is that really hard to understand? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Oeneki (talkcontribs) 11:22, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

the ruling caste and the aristocrasy consisted of people of turkic origin, the empire used a turkic language. this is out of discussion. mamalukes was a turkish empire. ottomans had also many kurdish, greek, armenian and jew subjects but eventually its a turkish empire, same applies to this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:01, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Other uses of the word[edit]

You will probably be thrilled to learn that mamelucker (mamluks) is the Swedish word for pantalettes. The word has somewhat gone out of fashion, as has, as I understand, the garment in question. Bcarlssonswe (talk) 12:26, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

In Argentina mamelucos is another word for overalls. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 2 March 2014 (UTC)