The Mamluk Sultanate (Arabic: سلطنة المماليك, romanized: Salṭanat al-Mamālīk) was a medieval realm spanning Egypt, the Levant and Hejaz that established itself as a caliphate. It lasted from the overthrow of the Ayyubid dynasty until the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517. Historians have traditionally broken the era of Mamluk rule into two periods, one covering 1250–1382 (the "Baḥrī" period) and the other 1382–1517 (the "Burjī" period), named after the ruling dynasties of the respective eras. Modern sources also refer to the same divisions as the "Turkish" and "Circassian" periods to stress the change in the ethnic origins of most Mamluks.
Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt
Flag according to the Catalan Atlas of c. 1375
|Attributed arms of the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt|
|Government||Sultanate under ceremonial Caliphate|
|Abū al-Faḍl Al-Musta'in|
|Al-Mutawakkil III (last)|
|Shajar ad-Durr (first)|
|Izz al-Din Aybak|
|Tuman bay II (last)|
• Murder of Turanshah
|2 May 1250|
|22 January 1517|
|History of Egypt|
The term "Mamluk Sultanate" is a modern historiographical term. The sultanate's ruling caste was composed of Mamluks, soldiers predominantly of Cuman-Kipchaks (from Crimea), Circassian, Abkhazian, Oghuz Turks Albanian, Slavic, Greek, Armenian and Georgian slave origin. While Mamluks were purchased, their status was above that of ordinary slaves, who were not allowed to carry weapons or perform certain tasks. Mamluks were considered to be "true lords", with social status above citizens of Egypt. Though it declined towards the end of its existence, at its height the sultanate represented the zenith of medieval Egyptian and Levantine political, economic, and cultural glory in the Islamic Golden Age.