Mamluk History and Culture

Mamluk history and culture (1250-1517)

Embedded in the rich traditions of the Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies, Islamic history research at UGent specialises in the history and culture of Egypt and Syria in the Mamluk period (ca. 1250-1517 CE). 

In general, our research aims to look at Mamluk history and culture through a new lens, questioning standard accounts of Mamluk singularity and reconnecting it with the wider late medieval and early modern world. All Mamluk research at UGent, therefore, is being pursued within the overarching remit of developing and qualifying a new research paradigm for this regime’s history, of gradual transformation from a predominantly patriarchal to a fully patrimonial social system (‘From the Regime of the Turks to the Sultanate of the Mamluks’). This has emerged out of the research pathway followed by the group’s Principal Investigator, Jo Van Steenbergen, and is currently being pursued in various projects on Mamluk politics and society, that all share a common methodological approach through prosopography. The following three work packages are currently being developed:

We also organise CHESFAME: International Colloquium on the History of Egypt and Syria in the Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk Eras (10th-15th centuries).