Islam and the Abode of War: Military Slaves and Islamic Adversaries, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Islam and the Abode of War

Military Slaves and Islamic Adversaries, 1st Edition

By David Ayalon


320 pages

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Hardback: 9780860784302
pub: 1994-09-29
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This fourth selection of studies by David Ayalon takes up the theme of the preceding volume, that of the opposition between the Abode of Islam and the external world, the Abode of War. Similarly, a number of the articles are concerned with the impact of outsiders, moving into the world of Islam, but others focus on aspects of the conflict between the two worlds, for instance raising the question of why it was only on the Nubian frontier that the early Arab advance was halted. The majority of the studies however concentrate on the Mamluk institution, especially in Mamluk Egypt, and carry forward the author's argument of the decisiveness of the slave institution in Muslim society, particularly this socio-military component which played such a critical role in both the expansion and the defense of Islam. Cette quatrième sélection d’études de David Ayalon reprend le thème du volume précédent: celui de l’opposition entre le monde de l’Islam et le monde extérieur, ou monde dela guerre. De façon analogue, un certain nombre d’articles s’attachent à l’impact des étrangers s’installant dans le monde l’Islam, alors que d’autres se concentrant sur différents aspects du conflit entre les deux mondes, soulevant, par exemple, la question quant à la raison pour laquelle la première avance arabe fut uniquement arrêtée à la frontière nubienne. La plupart des études cependant, se concentrent sur l’institution mamelouke, plus spécifiquement en Egypte mamelouke. Elles poursuivent l’argument de l’auteur quant au caractère décisif de l’institution de l’esclavage dans la société musulmane, plus particulièrement en ce qui concerne l’élément socio-militaire qui jouât un rôle primordial dans l’expansion et la défense de l’Islam.


’…a useful addition to the corpus of Professor Ayalon’s published work.’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 58, No. 3

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; The military reforms of caliph al-Mu’tasim: their background and consequences; Mamluk: military slavery in Egypt and Syria; From Ayyubids to Mamluks; Bahri Mamluks, Burji Mamluks: inadequate names for the two reigns of the Mamluk sultanate; The Mamluk novice: on his youthfulness and on his original religion; Mamluk military aristocracy: a non-hereditary nobility; The auxiliary forces of the Mamluk sultanate; Some remarks on the economic decline of the Mamluk sultanate; The end of the Mamluk sultanate: why did the Ottomans spare the Mamluks of Egypt and wipe out the Mamluks of Syria?; Mamluk military aristocracy during the first years of the Ottoman occupation of Egypt; On the term khadim in the sense of ’eunuch’ in the early Muslim sources; The Nubian dam; Islam versus Christian Europe: the case of the Holy Land; The impact of firearms on the Muslim world; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

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HISTORY / General