Mongolia and Mamluk.pdf - The Men Who Stopped the Mongols....

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The Men Who Stopped the Mongols.The Mamluks are a study in contradictions. They were slave-soldiers imported as boysfrom beyond the lands of Islam who became lords of Egypt and saved the Muslim worldfrom the Mongol rage. They also ultimately destroyed the Crusader kingdom of Outremerand were the greatest cavalrymen of the Middle Ages reaching near-perfection in theirskill with the bow, lance and sword. The Sultanate the Mamluks created fought manyfoes throughout its lifetime [1250-1517] but it is for their defeat of the Mongols in Syriathat they should chiefly be remembered. Mongol forces that had bludgeoned their waydown through China, dismembered the eastern Islamic Empire, placed Russia under ayoke and annihilated the cream of eastern European chivalry at the battles of Liegnitz andSajo in 1241 were finally halted by men who were decidedly similar to themselves.The Mamluk Sultanate’s origins can be found in the mass buying of Turkish boys by al-Salih Ayyub, the Sultan of Egypt and grand-nephew of Saladin, as recruits for hiseliteslave-soldier regiments and they came to power following their defeat of one of thelargest Crusader armies ever to be led to the Middle East in 1250 at al-Mansura just southof Cairo. A junior emir named Baybars led the Muslim counter attack against theCrusaders that led to their defeat. He then murdered the son of al-Salih who had diedduring the early stages of the Crusade. Chaos however ensued for nearly ten years afterBaybars’s regicide and the internecine fighting within the new Sultanate even led toBaybars himself fleeing Cairo with a few hundred of his close comrades. He onlyreturned in 1260 as the Mamluks at this point had unity pushed upon them by theMongols who had now turned their full attention to the reduction of the Middle East. TheGreat Khan Mongke’s brother Hulegu was sent west in 1253 to destroy both the Assassinsect of Persia and the Caliphate of Baghdad. Both tasks were achieved by 1259 and Iranwas devastated. The Caliph was either kicked to death after having been rolled in a carpetor starved to death in a tower among his treasure – accounts differ. The Mongols thenmoved north and accepted the subjugation of Armenia and Georgia before moving intoSyria and taking Aleppo bloodily and Damascus bloodlessly in January 1260.Now Hulegu sent envoys to Kutuz, the Mamluk emir who had risen to the top of the pilein Cairo to become Sultan, demanding hissurrender. Kutuz killed the envoys, cutting
them in half in the horse market, and placed their heads on the gates of the city. Kutuz’saction, at first glance, seems reckless, he was the Sultan of a politically feeble andunstable dynasty but it may be that he felt he really had no choice but to face up toHulegu. Any kind of treaty that fell short of total submission to the Mongols wasimpossible.

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Term
Winter
Professor
Mrs. cooper
Tags
Mongol Empire, Mamluk, Battle of Ain Jalut, Ba bars, Qutuz

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