African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East: The Cases of Iraq (869-955) and Egypt (868

-1171) Author(s): Jere L. Bacharach Source: International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Nov., 1981), pp. 471-495 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/162910 . Accessed: 08/08/2013 10:28
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

.

Cambridge University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to International Journal of Middle East Studies.

http://www.jstor.org

This content downloaded from 67.115.155.19 on Thu, 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Int. J. Middle East Stud. 13 (198I), 471-495 Printed in the United States of America

Jere L. Bacharach AFRICAN MILITARY SLAVES IN THE MEDIEVAL MIDDLE EAST: THE CASES OF IRAQ (869-955) AND
EGYPT (868-1 171)

INTRODUCTION

Islamic military slavery has been the subject of a number of studies in recent years. The central theme of these scholarly works has been the dominant role played by Turks, imported as slaves and trained as cavalry, for whom the term "Mamluk" is used to denote both racial background and occupation. A second aspect, which has not been as systematically studied, is that most Muslim armies were composed of cavalry and infantry units organized into units based on racial identities.2 The theory was that their racial affinities were the cohesive element within a unit; that the natural rivalries between these groups would bring strength to a ruler's position as they tried to outdo one another on the field of battle; and that these racial jealousies would create a balance which would prevent any one military/racial group from dominating the government. Another major theme, most clearly articulated by Professors David Ayalon and Bernard Lewis,3 is the generally held view of racial and military superiority of Mamluks. In contrast, Africans, including African military slaves who served as infantry troops,4 were held in low esteem. The military occupations of peoples from these two vast, non-Islamic geographic areas - Central Asia and Africa - reflected and reinforced the racial differences: Cavalry was superior to infantry; Turk was superior to African. The competition and conflicts between Mamluk and African troops within Islamic society are revealed in a number of incidents recorded by medieval Arab chroniclers. Professor Lewis, in his stimulating study, Race and Color in Islam,5 gives a number of examples of this racial warfare in medieval Iraq and Egypt in which Africans are always the victim and the loser. One may ask, however, whether "racial" attitudes are the only, or the best, explanation for internecine warfare between Turks and blacks. Although Professor Lewis does not explicitly create a paradigm whereby race is the sole or critical factor which determined the fate of the African military slaves, the section on military slaves does leave that impression. In addition the section stresses the "loyalty" of African military slaves to their political masters while other troops, notably Turks, appear to lack that sense of loyalty. In this study I argue that race and color were not the dominant factors in either of these struggles, and that racial tension did not cause the ultimate
? Cambridge University Press 198I 0020-7438/81/040471-25 $02.50

This content downloaded from 67.115.155.19 on Thu, 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Out of these particular cases. In addition.155. This is a model that had been used by Byzantine and Sassasian forces before and during the Arab conquests. parallel development must have taken place in creating an infantry. given in chronological order first for Iraq and then for Egypt. was a direct result of a fundamental shift in the organization of medieval Muslim armies. Because I will be focusing attention on alternate.19 on Thu.115. when African military slaves deserted. Africans were This content downloaded from 67. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . these slaves were grouped together by that racial or geographic label. He concluded his study by stating that "the use of Africans in the Abbasid armies shows a distinct decrease after 210/825. they did make major use of Africans in their armies. Specifically. when Africans served as cavalry in addition to their normal occupation as infantry. these troops were usually grouped by linguistic. Fourth. the clashes between Mamluks and Africans were more intense than the Mamluk cavalry/ African infantry rivalries.472 Jere L. Bacharach disappearance of African military slaves in medieval Iraq and Egypt. indeed. apparently unrecorded. the earliest appearance of African military slaves is difficult to determine. the intensity of the fighting increased. Third."6 Professor Pipes does not make clear in his stimulating works why the Arab leaders turned to African military slaves for their military needs. or racial category. it will be necessary to treat each incident separately. geographic. more specific local causes including geographical factors. is the most noted and important change in the composition of Muslim armies. it was a military need that led to the use of African troops as infantrymen. when the possibility of desertion diminished. The Aghlabids in Tunisia in particular have opportunities to intercept the passage of Africans to the east. Fifth. IRAQ Our knowledge of the early history of African military troops has been enhanced by the work of Professor Daniel Pipes. In a short article he gathered all the references he could find to their use by Muslims before circa 210/825. Among the peoples available to Muslim rulers from lands bordering on the Dar al-Islam (The Abode of Islam) were sub-Saharan Africans. but a similar. I refer to a shift from an all cavalry army to one composed of cavalry and infantry units. they did so as one segment of a larger force composed of a number of racially separate cavalry and infantry units. the Mamluks. or as individuals and small groups which joined units of African infantrymen on the victorious side. In large part this can be attributed to the Abbasids' loss of control over the areas which produced African soldiers. Seventh. as was true with most other bodies of troops who were identified as coming from a single racial stock or geographic area. the ultimate disappearance of infantrymen. Under Muslim rule the creation of a cavalry core of Turkish military slaves as cavalry. First.7 I would argue that the critical factor was a change in the organization of Muslim armies after they had left the Arabian Peninsula. Second. and African military slaves in particular. Sixth. I draw the following conclusions. Since Turks were considered excellent cavalrymen even from pre-Islamic times.

Professor Pipes argues that the Aghlabid geographic location played a critical role in preventing the movement of African military slaves to the heart of the Abbasid Empire in central Iraq. Arabs and Berbers were already used as cavalry within the Islamic world. In the case of African military slaves under the early Abbasids. While Mamluks may be desired by all Muslim dynasties. during the period of the Zanj rebellion. In addition to the African infantry units. some Arab Bedouins joined them as a cavalry. some African infantrymen who served the Abbasids deserted and fought for the Zanj. I agree with Dr. the pattern of desertions and the absence of a systematic anti-African policy on the part of the Abbasid caliphs. Zanj infantry to Abbasid African infantry. illustrates the fifth point made in the introduction. more likely. Eventually one of the most serious was that posed by Ahmad b. There was also the possibility that political powers in territories between the source of these military slaves and the potential buyer would (and could) prevent the movement of large numbers of Mamluks through their land. Finally.African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East 473 the logical choice for infantry. their relative unimportance in the eyes of the chroniclers. This content downloaded from 67.000 Zanj military slaves in Mosul in I33/75I. More critical for the Abbasid caliphs than the potential desertions by Africans was the fact that the Abbasid army was not able to direct all its resources to crushing the Zanj because of military threats from other parts of the empire. Tulufnin Egypt. the further a military slave was from his original homeland. but another factor must be noted.9 This action was not typical of most African troops who served the Abbasids. In part. The absence of a strong tradition of horsemanship among Africans would have strengthened the stereotyping of Africans for the role of infantrymen. the Zanj army began to jell into a fairly effective military force. nor is there any evidence that the Abbasids feared a massive desertion by their African infantry. the details of the Zanj revolt that have been studied by Popovic8 need not be examined. Therefore. the silence in the Arabic chronicles on the numbers and activities of African military slaves in Iraq from 210/825 to the Zanj rebellion (255/869-271/883) may reflect their absence or. for example. The example illustrates the use of African military slaves in Iraq. By a process unrecorded in the sources. During the first years of the revolt.19 on Thu. contemporary power struggles they were recording. the bulk of the Zanj troops were African slaves who had had no military training nor had they been manumitted.115. a revolt of African Zanj slaves in Basra in 76/695 or the appearance of 4. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . When the revolt began. For the purposes of this study.10 But the pattern of desertion.155. Pipes. the more expensive it was to import him. The Arab chroniclers rarely treated the activities of African military slaves as germane to the major. The last part of Professor Pipes's statement points up another critical factor: the role of geography in determining which troops would be used by certain dynasties. It was not unusual to find references to African slaves in Iraq without any warning of when and how they got there or what happened to them after the specific event was recorded. There are references in the Arab chronicles to African military slaves continuing to serve in the Abbasid military. presumably as infantry.

in turn.19 on Thu. Finally.'3 Second. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . with the help of other troops This content downloaded from 67. It has been used by other scholars as an example of the terrible fate that befell African military slaves at the hands of non-African.had a new nominal overlord. According to Professor Lewis. In neither case did racial attitudes prevent the Abbasids from using African military slaves in their armies. brought his whole army with him and the only difference was that he . deemed unimportant. but when the Abbasid government took the offensive. Because of the Zanj rebellion. It appears that all his forces. The Abbasid armies were composed of numerous racial groups which were stereotyped by occupation: Africans were perceived as and employed as infantry.115. thus creating a circular relationship where race and occupation reinforced each other. The arrival of Lu'lu's troops made a significant difference in the quantity and quality of the forces that the Abbasids could send against the Zanj.474 Jere L. it actively encouraged Zanj troops to desert their leader and to join African contingents in the Abbasid army. If the Arab chroniclers are silent on the fate of African military slaves from the end of the Zanj rebellion in 270/883 until 318/930. a major trade route to the African sources.and by extension his African military slaves . Lu'lu'. A similar composition of forces was found with the troops of an important Tulunid general in Syria. African military slaves. In the second case Zanj troops joined Africans in the Abbasid army. The desertion of Lu'lu' and his troops to the government at Samarra illustrates the interrelation of developments in Iraq and Syria. The following incident which took place in 3 8/930 proves that some African troops continued to serve the central Abbasid government in Iraq as infantry in addition to the Dailimi. Berbers. they could have been used against the Tulunids. Persian speakers from northern Iran who were geographically closer to Baghdad and along more secure trade routes. and had become involved in a series of political struggles culminating in his consolidation of power as governor. More critical was that Ahmad b. there may have been a reluctance to import large numbers of East Africans. came to serve the Abbasid cause. Bacharach He had entered the Egyptian capital.'2 The action of Lu'lu' and the pattern of individual desertions during the Zanj rebellion illustrate alternatives whereby troops could switch sides. the number of African military slaves reaching Iraq must have suffered a significant decline. The Zanj revolt lasted another two years. troops. the Dailimi. were attacked and massacred by the white cavalry. were not directly involved in the power struggles consuming the Baghdad court. Tulun and his successors controlled Egypt and Syria. it is perhaps owing to three factors. In the first case a commander. primarily Mamluk. Fustat. . Lu'lu' changed sides and joined the Abbasid army. Faraghanians. His army eventually came to include Turks. It is unlikely that the Tulunids would have permitted the export of large numbers of African military slaves to Iraq where. including the African ones." In 268/881. they changed sides according to occupational and ethnic/ racial categories. in 243/868.. that is. and Rumi (a term defined below). Lu'lu'. First. the Africans . Africans. the role of infantrymen in the Abbasid army was being filled by another people.155.

and their quarters burnt. mutinous and insubordinate. the Hujariyya. Muhammad b. Quiet prevailed for six months. which the latter won. who were present in the city.19 on Thu. again for more money. Mu'nis. Yaqut. was out of office and there was no truce. with Mu'nis switching sides at various times. led a powerful military force of his own to Wasit at the end of Rajab 318/August 930 and defeated the combined Masaffiyya-African force. and the Hujariyya cavalry. restored him. In that month the cavalry rebelled. The preceding example illustrates the key role of old-fashioned. Before serious hostilities occurred. This time the Africans' former ally. a palace infantry unit of mixed racial composition. the Masaffiyya were aggressive in their demands. Yaqut stalled the Africans and renewed his alliance with the cavalry. In return for this. He dispersed them to various regions. except for some Africans who asked him for protection. was killed. a powerful military commander. but the victorious troops then turned to fight them. In the chaos the African troops. The major political alliances that were operative at the time were. Caliph al-Muqtadir. also demanded more money.115. African-Masaffiyya and a particular Abbasid wazir and. the head of the Baghdad shurta.African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East 475 and of the populace. head of the Baghdad shurta (police). his forces."'4 A close examination of the Arabic sources reveals a more intricate story and casts doubt on a racial interpretation. These combined forces attacked the African quarters. the former head of the shurta who had led the charge against the Africans in Baghdad. the African forces accepted the old pay scale. forcing the remnants of the Masaffiyya to flee to Wasit. the Abbasid wazir accepted the Africans' call for a truce. Yaqut. 7 In the introduction I argued that whereas color prejudices existed. until Jumada II 318/July 930. however. Mu'nis slew most of the rebellious troops. the chief Abbasid military commander. until the Masaffiyya. temporarily deposed the Abbasid caliph al-Muqtadir (295-320/908-932). again the African infantry demanded the same. they were not the only or even the best explanation for understanding the fate of African military slaves. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The Buyid army was composed of Dailimi infantry and Turkish cavalry (Mamluks). The cavalry-shurta alliance destroyed the homes of the Africans and killed many of them. The survivors fled to Wasit where they joined the Masaffiyya in open rebellion against the central government. while This content downloaded from 67. In 324/936 Muhammad b. who was now aiding Caliph alMuqtadir. the Buyids. According to the chronicles.'6 The cavalry. It was not predetermined that the Africanside would lose. south of Baghdad. supported by Muhammad b.'5 According to the chronicler Miskawayh.155. In Muharram 3i8/February 930 Mu'nis. One additional piece of evidence suggests that the 318/930 attack on the Africans was not motivated by racial prejudice. Al-Muqtadir deflected the Hujariyya-shurta alliance by claiming that the Masaffiyya had seized all his money.'8 A major factor leading to his death was his failure to defeat the army of a new military force in Iraq. also demanded a pay raise. politico/military power struggles for determining the fortunes of the Africans. This led to fighting between the Masaffiyya and the Hujariyya-shurta force. on one side. the wazir. on the other.

controlled Egypt and southern Syria. Eight months later Ibn Ra'iq was assassinated. With the preceding example. the governor of Egypt. the fate of his African troops went unrecorded. other considerations were more important. By the third/ninth century African military slaves imported into Iraq had to pass through Egypt.115. None of the foregoing examples denies that medieval Muslim society perceived Turk as better than African. Yaqut's main force was a contingent of 3.155. these troops suddenly appear as a military force with no indication of when. Dailimi as infantrymen were closer to Baghdad. but political and economic rather than social factors can explain this.19 As part of Ibn Ra'iq's army. Ibn Ra'iq ordered these Africans to attack a force of 400 Dailimi associated with a former military leader. When they disappeared from the chronicles and. or that cavalry was considered superior to infantry. such as the Tulunids and Ikhshidids. First.19 on Thu. Mamluk cavalry and Dailimi infantry. and available in greater numbers. how. Bacharach Muhammad b. it can be assumed. whose policies I analyze below. but now they were primarily Mamluks and Dailimi. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the subsequent activities of Ibn Ra'iq's victorious troops were passed over in silence. or in what numbers they arrived. references to Africans disappear totally from the sources about Iraq.476 Jere L. The African military slaves killed all but one of the Dailimi. rival dynasties . African military slaves disappear from the recorded history of medieval Iraq. As stated in the introduction. which was in the hands of Turkish governors. and they could have hampered the overland movement of large numbers of Africans to Iraq. Prior to the Buyid control of Baghdad in 334/944. from Iraq. the Iraqi Muslim armies were still composed of cavalry and infantry units. As in the preceding examples where Arab chroniclers did not deem it important to record the fate of surviving but defeated African military slaves. One obvious conclusion is that chroniclers considered African forces unimportant. And third. and eventually arranged a peace with him. a view that is reinforced by the absence of the name of any of their leaders. there was a contingent of African infantrymen. During the interim he had established himself in Syria. In Dhu-Hijja 329/September 94I Ibn Ra'iq. Second. This content downloaded from 67. but they rarely played a major role in the power struggles involving the Abbasid court and the various military leaders. Once in the Abbasid capital. and whose loyalty to the central authority was always in doubt. Again. an important military leader. What these examples illustrate is the general thesis that the fate of the African military troops had less to do with racial attitudes than with specific. Whatever racial attitudes of the local Buyid commanders. returned to power in Baghdad after having fled the city in 327/929.Ikhshidids and then Fatimids . which retook Baghdad. anti-African prejudices do not appear to be the critical factor. cheaper. fought al-Ikhshid. African military slaves were probably most numerous in Iraq in the latter half of the third/ninth century.000 African infantrymen! It is true that African troops were rarely used in Iraq after the third/ninth century. with one exception. Although the data are very limited. the Dailimi may have feared the creation of competing infantry units of Africans which could have been used against them.

The Africans were used as infantrymen. In the latter case the key factor was not race. is developed after the history of the use of African military slaves in Egypt is traced. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Ahmad b. Tuilin (254-270/868-884). in the post-Muslim conquest era. culminating in his consolidation of power as governor. political. They served as cavalry.19 on Thu. Ahmad b. the new Saljuq armies were almost exclusively cavalry and Dailimi infantrymen had no role. Tulun initially purchased were from the "Sudan"23 and Rum. Michael Dunn on pre-Tulunid Egypt are there references to African military slaves in pre-254/868 Egypt. The term "Rum" can mean "Byzantine territories" or "from Byzantine sources" and therefore Rumi troops could have been Greeks. This thesis."22 The troops which Ahmad b. or other light-skinned peoples. the Dailimi suffered a similar fate a century later. However.115. The first significant appearance of African infantry in the Nile Valley. EGYPT: TULUNIDS AND IKHSHIDIDS Neither in Professor Pipes's study nor in the dissertation of Dr.21 They were brought in to meet specific military needs. but this was not a necessary condition. He was given money by the Abbasids to raise an army to put down a rebellious governor in Palestine. the governor of Damascus had crushed the rebellion. Tuilin came to include Turks.24 Because most Central Asiatic military slaves had to be imported across lands controlled This content downloaded from 67. This was done to limit his ability to acquire funds to buy a large personal army and thus make himself virtually independent of the Abbasid government in Samarra. Tulin broke the pattern and created the first semi-independent Muslim dynasty in Egypt. Tuilin had entered the Egyptian capital Fustat in 254/868 and had become involved in a series of political struggles. events in Palestine in 256/870 aided him. Slavs. As stated. African military slaves disappeared from Iraq by the second half of the fourth/ tenth century. Faraghanians. and Berbers as well as Africans and Rfmi. Tulun reached Palestine with his new army. dates to the reign of Ahmad b. the last point in the introduction.20 If there were some African military slave troops in Abbasid Egypt. A secondary theme has been that troops who deserted to another side could continue to serve in the new army as long as their military services were needed.155. but "for the first time Egypt possessed a large military force independent of the caliphate. and economic factors. A second possible reason for their absence in any significant numbers is that the central government in Baghdad wished to prevent the growth of regional powers and therefore limited the size of armies employed by local governors. With his rule. their importation could not be hampered by rival leaders in Iraq. This possibility was significantly increased when the side they joined included forces of a similar race. the armies of Ahmad b. they did not play a pivotal role in the ensuing political struggles and their activities were not recorded by the Arab chroniclers. One major problem he initially faced was that the finances were controlled by other officials. Before Ahmad b.African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East 477 local. African military slaves are noted by the chroniclers.

Another version states Ahmad b. The total number was 24. including the Africans' quarters. because of the blackness of their color and of their garments.115.000 Mamluks and 7. leaving the Africans isolated. was not recognized by all the Tulunid troops and when Muhammad b. Bacharach by the Abbasid government in Samarra. once more. Tulun. it must have been more difficult to acquire them than Rumi. and then they must be used with great caution. This content downloaded from 67. As Muhammad b.19 on Thu.000. to bring Egypt under their direct control.ooo African guards "wearing black cloaks and black turbans. he was followed by I. His successor. With the glitter of their shields. Ahmad b. Shayban (292/905). mosque. culminating in 292/905 in the murder of the head of the dynasty. but were especially conspicuous in Egypt.27 He found the following accounts: Ahmad b. Sulayman in order. most of the Tulunid cavalry had already switched sides. Tiluin had an initial force of I2."28 The splendor could not hide a basic lack of leadership ability on the part of Khumirawayh and his successors.000 Turkish cavalry. This area was called al-Qata'i' and there were specific areas for Africans as well as Rmi troops. Another version puts the number of Africans at 45. and quarters for his troops. as it relates to the history of African military slaves. is that he imported large numbers and built separate quarters for them. when Khumarawayh rode in a procession. 40. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . in order to build a palace. they made a really splendid sight. Tulun's concern for his army went beyond merely acquiring larger numbers of troops. He wanted them properly quartered. As early as Sha'ban 256/July 870 he ordered the clearing of an area north of Fustat. such as Lu'lu'.26 Numbers are almost impossible to find in medieval sources. of the chasing on their swords. By the year 270/884 the Zanj rebellion had ended and Khumarawayh (270-282/884-896) succeeded his father in Egypt. Cost would have been another factor which should have limited the number of Turkish military slaves.000 Africans. except for the mosque. After defeating the remaining Tulunid forces. fighting erupted among the various factions of the Tulunid army. Yaacov Lev has done the most systematic collecting of data for the Tulunids.478 Jere L. Dr. and 7. and of the helmets under their turbans.000 mawali. By 29I/904 the Abbasids had raised a large army under one Muhammad b. Sulayman began to retake Syrian cities in the name of the Abbasid caliph. The Arabic chronicles do not indicate if these numbers included the troops under his lieutenants in Syria. African military slaves served Abbasid and Tulunid rulers. His policy of creating a military force identified by function and race paralleled earlier Islamic practices.000 Africans. the Abbasid commander destroyed all of al-Qata'i'. parade area. Sulayman entered al-Qata'i' on 30 Safar 292/10 January 905. According to one report. Tulun began with Persian troops and mawall to which Africans were added. which was then increased by 24.155.25 although their reputation as fighters might have offset the problems of distance and cost. which had been used for Jewish and Christian cemeteries. The conclusion which can be drawn from the career of Ahmad b.000 free mercenaries. so that a watcher could fancy them to be a black sea spreading over the face of the earth.

An Abbasid victory meant the end of their employment and politico/military power. Between the end of the Tulunid dynasty and the establishment of the Ikhshidid dynasty in 323/935. Sulayman. usually divided along racial lines. he needed a military force loyal to himself. as African troops were still being used in 318/930 in Baghdad. African military slaves had no effective role in the new army.155.32 While it has been assumed that al-Ikhshid and Kafuirrecruited large numbers of African troops. racial attitude on the part of the Abbasid commander. that is. had a role in the army of Muhammad b. or the biases of the Arabic chroniclers who deemed them of a secondary interest. It is even possible that both traditions are valid: some Africans were massacred and others marched to Iraq. but there is an economic one. The silence of the Arabic sources may. it is probable that these captured African military slaves served Iraqi commanders as infantrymen. and desertion was a relatively easy matter of joining Abbasid units of similar occupational/racial characteristics. reflect their actual absence from Egypt. Tughj al-Ikhshid (323-334/ 935-946). 356/968).115. Sulayman massacred the Africans. this report implies that not all Africans were massacred and that they could be used in some capacity in Iraq.30 Light-skinned cavalry. Muhammad b. 'askar. I would assume that the intensity of African resistance to the conquering army was the most critical factor. Sulayman returned to Baghdad. the African eunuch who ruled Egypt and southern Syria after the death of his master and founder of the dynasty.33 the data are limited. As his goal was to make himself and his family semi-independent of the control of the central government in Baghdad. Rfmi or Turk. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . there are no references to African military slaves in Egypt. However. African infantrymen did not have this opportunity. As a Turk This content downloaded from 67. With the Ikhshidids (323-358/ 935-969) there is only a slight improvement in the value of the Arabic sources for the history of African military slaves. In light of contemporary attitudes. there is another historical tradition about the fall of the Tulunids: the pattern of desertion. But why should Africans be more loyal to a Sunni Turkish dynasty (Tulunids) than to a Sunni Arab dynasty (Abbasids)? There is no racial or religious reason. Muhammad b. with a number of prisoners including Africans. or their relative unimportance in terms of recorded military and political events. his army had to be composed of cavalry and infantry units. The sense of the ferocity of Muhammad b.31 If valid. he seized control of the local finances. Muhammad b.29 This incident is said to demonstrate both the great loyalty to their masters of Africans and the anti-African attitudes of other military forces. According to the variant account.19 on Thu. This is surprising because every medieval and modern account refers to the career of Kaffr (d. as limited as it was. the nisba forms of the names of the rulers. once again the Abbasid capital. fanatical. or jaysh) or to the Ikhshidiyya and Kaffiriyya. Almost every reference to the military forces refers either to an army (jund. as in the case of Iraq. Sulayman's attack against the Africans cannot be attributed to an unproven.African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East 479 According to one account. While it is dangerous to argue from silence. After al-Ikhshid occupied Egypt in 323/935.34 None of these terms identify the regional or ethnic/racial origins of the troops.

it is hard to do more than determine the existence of African troops. FATIMIDS TO AL-MUSTANSIR The sources are meager for studying the history of African military slaves in pre-Fatimid Egypt. there is one reference that describes the composition of the Ikhshidid army: 1. The generalizations about desertion patterns cannot be tested in this example. A second reference to African troops is found in a list of al-Ikhshid's estate which included 3. 2.000 Africans and Muwalladun.37 This shows that Turkish military slaves were imported. were as difficult of access as the Turks.070) is reasonable and might be closer to the actual number than the figures for the Tulunids or the hundreds of thousands given below for Fatimid armies. Africans. and 4. While it has been assumed that the African military slaves held limited power in relation to other military groups. The sources only refer to the troops as Ikhshidiyya and Kafiriyya. the distances involved and the reputed military skills of Turks would have combined to drive their price up.39 Neither the Arabic sources nor the careful study of Dr. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Muhammad b.070 Turks. Bacharach himself. such as in 372/982 when the Fatimid army consisted of Turks. In 358/969 Ikhshidid Egypt faced a number of severe problems: an internal economic crisis. The size of the force (7. the alternative. a lack of leadership.19 on Thu. The last was decisive. who had become Arabicized). The reference to Ibn Ra'iq using African military slaves in Baghdad after he had signed a peace treaty with al-Ikhshid has already been mentioned. Africans represented the closest.38 Another group resisted the Fatimids.35 This total appears very low when compared to the reported size of Ahmad b.000 Rufmi.480 Jere L. and presumably cheapest source of manpower. possibly of Turkish or Rumi descent. but were used by the Fatimids with great reluctance in their campaigns in Syria.115. Dailimis. Although generalizations about ethnic/racial tensions as part of Islamic society have been put forward and documented by other scholars. Lev enable us to determine if these forces who served the Fatimids were African military slaves or even infantry. attacks from Palestine by the Qarmatians and from the West by the Fatimids. were defeated.36 For the period when Kaiffr ruled and the descendants of al-Ikhshid reigned. But the Abbasids continued to control the trade routes from Central Asia to Egypt.155. Persians. this position could not be adequately documented. as they had during the Tulunid era. For infantry. Tughj would have sought Turkish military slaves to form the core of his cavalry. Some of these troops deserted to the Qarmatians. Tulun's army or when the number of al-Ikhshid's military campaigns is considered. the Dailimi. evidence directly related to conflicts between Africans and other This content downloaded from 67. which was then the goal of Muslim rulers. But what happened to the African military slaves? I don't know. safest. The Ikhshidid governors had to purchase Rimi when Turks were not available. and thus had the ability to restrict the number of Turkish military slaves imported into Egypt. and former Ikhshidid troops.000 Rumi. The data to document the foregoing hypothesis are again lacking. and Muwalladun (probably non-Arabs. Also.

who were to join the Fatimidarmies later and who were called al-Mashariqa (Easterners). just north of Fustat.the role and power of the Africansexpanded and the chroniclers devoted proportionallymore space to them. including cavalry. in contrast to the Turks. These last. and military slaves. Turkishtroops were added to the Fatimidarmy. A parallelproblemexisted for the Fatimidsin acquiringDailimias infantrymen. Afterdefeatingthe Ikhshidids. which covers the years from the Fatimid occupation of by the appearanceof African militaryslave units and their growingrole in the political arena.40Siqilli. reachedthe apogee of theirpower. in particular.44 The obvious.43 The land route from Central Asia crossed Abbasid lands and the Baghdadcaliphs and their Dailimi-Buyid militarymasterswouldhave triedto limitthe numberof Mamluks reaching Cairo.the Barqa Quarter(al-Mu'izz's troops from Barqa.were called Faranji(Europeanorigin).42 Because they were held in such high esteem. With the coming to power in Egypt of the Fatimids. cavalry force.19 on Thu. Tunisia). sent his general Jawharto conquerEgypt. In 358/969 the Fatimid caliph. The Fatimid era can be divided into three periods for the purposes of this study. in order to conquer IkhshididEgypt. al-Mu'izz (341-365/953-975). al-Qahira. the Rim Quarter(Rumiand other Western cavalry).155. To the core of KutamaBerbersthey addedother Berberunits. but there were problemsin acquiringthem. Dailimi. Ahmad Tilun's surroundedby quartersfor (similar al-Qata'i') complex troops. most accessible. Which Fatimid caliph first used African military slaves is not clear. speakingmilitary or All the North African troops were known as alRumi.the Dailimi Quarter. African troops.Jawharbeganbuilding a new administrativecapital in Egypt. the Fatimids used Rumi as well as Mamluks. The second period (427-487/ 1035-1095) Egypt in 358/969 to 427/1035. and. al-'Aziz (365-386/975-996). These included the Kutama Quarter. This meant raisinga large army and. Therefore. The Ikhshidiyyaand Kafiriyya who served al-Mu'izzand al-'Aziz could have been This content downloaded from 67. a royal to b. These Sevener Shi'ite caliphs saw their mission as a universal one and. although many of them came to live in one section of the city. Duringhis reignthe most intensive Mamluk-African struggles took place. and cheapest replacementfor Dailimi as foot soldiers were African militaryslaves. The first era. it had to be a mobile. the beginning of al-Mustansir's reign. permittinga greater documentationof their history. Saqlabi. In 297/909 the Fatimid caliphate was established in North Africa with the Kutama Berbers as its militarybase.African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East 48I militaryunits for Egypt before 358/969has been very limited. especially under al-Hakim.as the destructionof the Sunni Abbasid caliphate in Baghdad.115. from the reignof the Fatimidcaliph.4'The Africans had no quarternamed after them. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . was marked coincides with the reign of al-Mustansir. Arabbedouins. and Eastern MediMaghariba(Westerners) terraneanArab bedouins. whose background and militaryrole paralleledthe Turkishthe slaves of Abbasids. The last period (487-564/1095-1169) found African militaryslaves involved in the politico/militarystrugglesof the Fatimid court and their eventual demise as a fighting unit at the hands of Saladin.

wondering aloud: "Who ordered these Africans to do this?"50 By the fourth day the non-African troops felt pity for the populace. The role of the Dailimi was always limited by problems of recruitment.000 military troops including Africans.482 Jere L. But.51 this same caliph had been supplying the Africans with weapons and urging them on in secret. African emerged under the Fatimids parallel to the Turk vs. Ibn Killis (d. as noted in one of the chronicles.47 They began rioting. Bacharach African infantrymen.49 In one source al-Hakim is said to have watched the burning and looting. they plundered the warehouses at the port.48 Women were raped and kidnapped. the role of African military slaves increased to the point that the caliph relied upon them as his major support. Thus. It is claimed he owned 4. the numbers were not great. The conflict continued for three days and. The African troops are described as the main perpetrators of the atrocities and the agents of al-Hakim. The only appropriate reference for this first period of Fatimid rule comes from a list of the estate of the great Fatimid wazir. During the reign of al-Zahir (4I 1-427/1021-1035). If some Africans were killed before al-Hakim brought the pillage to an end. A number of references relate their participation in military campaigns and as a tool for al-Hakim to enforce his domestic policies. 1020) when the Cairo populace finally reacted to al-Hakim's policies. This increase in the Africans' role as an instrument of the caliphate affected the attitudes of other military units toward Africans. possibly feared the ever increasing power of the Africans. but clear references to Africans do not appear until after their reigns.46 The most famous event involving African troops took place at the end of 410 (or early 41 I/March. The caliph did so and he rode between the Africans and his other troops. Africans continued to play a significant military role.53 They fought in Upper Egypt against a Bedouin confederation and. although both could be disruptive. seizing wheat and barley as well as looting and burning private homes. Their prominence was a direct result of the support This content downloaded from 67. denouncing the former for committing crimes without his knowledge or permission. and joined the clamor for al-Hakim to call off his African troops.52 The incident marked a fundamental shift in the relative power of African troops. Berbers and Arabs both lost their relative military power as cavalry. But the real struggle for power took place during the reign of al-Zahir's son.155. Dailimi under the Buyids. 380/ 99o). al-Mustansir (427-487/1035-1095).54 These African troops only came under control with the threat of force and the reward of additional pay. in a scene reminiscent of 4II/I020.115. The Turks (which included the Rumi) served as the main Fatimid cavalry force. just as the Africans were the primary infantry force. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .19 on Thu. it is stated. al-Hakim (386-4II/996-102I). one-third of Misr had been burnt and about one-half of it plundered. a situation of the Turk vs. AL-MUSTANSIR African military troops were a major political and military force for over half of al-Mustansir's reign.45 During the reign of the next Fatimid caliph.

al-Jarjara'i (d. and the Fatimid government was run by al-Zahir's last wazir.came into direct conflict during the wazirage of al-Falahi (d. al-Mustansir was only seven. Thus.al-Falahi and Abu Sa'd.had been slain but a direct military clash between the two forces had not yet occurred. When al-Zahir died.55She had been his concubine.000 men. visited Egypt and observed the results of the dowager's policies in a military parade. which lasted until his death in Ramadan 436/April 1045. Abu Sa'd Ibrahim b. Abu Sa'd and his brother acquired very close ties with the court and became the agents for al-Mustansir's mother. alZahir. In 439/1047 the wazir. although the exact nature of the position cannot be determined from the sources. He. The Fatimid caliph. 439/1047). These were servants (eunuchs?).They were foot soldierscomingfrom all countries.19 on Thu. Anothergroupwas called "palace men" (Sardyi). like Abfi Sa'd. was marked by an era of relative internal stability. In an attempt to build his own power base and to counterbalance the power of the Africans. respectively . They are said to number50.blackand white.African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East 483 and patronage of al-Mustansir's mother. Each This content downloaded from 67. with all the decisions being made by al-Mustansir's mother and Abu Sa'd.consistingof Turksand Persians. This approach was to no avail and he found himself wazir in name only.155. Another group was called Batilis. Nasir-i Khusrau. the Persian Shi'ite missionary and poet.000horsemen. al-Falahi bought more Turks. The dowager sought revenge and had al-Falahi removed from office and eventually killed.000 horsemen. They are said to number 20.They are said to numberI0. Another group was called the "slaves by purchase" ('Abid al-shird). was able to incite a group of Turks to kill Abu Sa'd.000 men.Anothergroupwas called Masmfdis.these came from Qayrawanin the service of al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah. Sahl al-Tustari. although Egypt suffered one of its recurrent famines due to a low Nile.000 horsemen. al-Falahi. an African.Anothergroupwere called Ustads.57 al-Mustansir's mother used succeeding wazirs to carry out her policy of improving the numbers and position of the African troops. each one of their representatives . His wazirate.000 powerfully built men. boughtfor service. Behind the scenes the dowager attempted to build up her own power base by having large numbers of African troops bought. They had their own separate commanderwho looked after them. They were so-called because they were not of Arab origin. but he converted to Islam before becoming wazir. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . They were from the Hijaz and were all armedwith spears. Though most of them were born in Egypt. 436/1045). they were Africansfrom the land of the Masmidis and are said to number20.58 One group was called Kitamis. Anothergroup was called the Easterners. During this period (roughly 442-450/1050-1058).115. In this first round between Turk and African during the reign of al-Mustansir. their name derives from their origin. They are said to number15. Anothergroup was called Bedouins. said to be men from North Africa who came to Egypt before the arrivalof alMu'izz. 428/1036). had acquired the mother of the future caliph from a Jewish merchant and banker.one around the wazir and the other around the dowager's entourage . They were slaves boughtfor money and are said to number30. They numbered30. She also appointed Abu Sa'd to a high office (ca.000 horsemen. According to the Arab chronicles.56 The competing centers of political power . had been born a Jew.

000 Africans.000 Masmudis. They all fought with the saber and are said to number30.215.19 on Thu. it is apparent that the Africans had suffered a severe loss. I believe the Mamluk military superiority and their prejudices against Africans were not the primary motives behind the This content downloaded from 67. Sometime in late 454 or early 455/1062-1063. First. In Jumada I 454/July 1062. Bacharach race foughtwith the weaponsof theirown country. called Zanj by Nasir-i Khusrau are listed. 30.62 Ruthless and interested only in aggrandizing his own power and wealth.484 Jere L. because of military roles. Based on these figures of over 50. The Turks. More significant was the Turks' decision to recognize a Turk named Nasir al-Dawlah. established an alliance with the Berber and Arab cavalries. In Rabi' I 456/April 1063 it is recorded that Nasir al-Dawlah killed another I. the Turks had reason to worry.6' This incident was the spark that touched off a civil war between the Mamluks and Africans. breaking rank. as their leader. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . where all "peoples" of one geographical area were lumped together created a common identity between these cavalry and infantry units which. The Turks and their supporters then turned on the Africans and slew.000 and knowing they were outnumbered. In fact. The Turks were initially defeated but.59 and possibly the "slaves by purchase. The Africans were informed of the Turkish plans by a wazir who had aided the dowager earlier. Turkish tactics and leadership were critical factors in their success. and panicked. while retreating.000 African infantrymen. the nature of stereotyping in the Islamic world. More startling was the appearance for the first time of large numbers of African cavalry. the relatively few Turks reflected the financial and geographical problems of importing large numbers of them. The intensity of the resulting battles illustrates the fourth point made in the introduction: the impact of the creation of an African cavalry on the level of fighting.000 men . some of the Ustads. now numbering 6.63 They gathered their 50. the military threat was even more serious than the numbers implied because. according to the sources. They were militarily superior to the African forces. rushed after the Turks. including 20.155. a battle took place at Qum Rish. Nasir al-Dawlah was an outstanding military leader. The now inevitable clash between African and Turk came about. Another group was called Zanj. for the first time since early Abbasid times.they numberedI0. but not through al-Mustansir's mother's machinations. In addition.115."60 On the other hand.000 infantrymen. whose leaders are not even identified in the chronicles.000 men. one ethnic/racial group formed both infantry and cavalry units. set up an ambush.the breakdown of troops by race illustrates the major role Africans had come to play.000 cavalry and infantry troops near their quarters.64 The problem of numbers aside. got caught in the ambush. a group of Africans killed a drunken Turk who had drawn his sword on them. The Africans.000 men. The reliability of these two groups was questionable as they had to be bribed into joining.000. a descendant of the Hamdanid dynasty. Irrespective of the impossibility of an army that large . 40. with the remaining Africans fleeing to Upper Egypt. were normally rivals.

political. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . As for Caliph al-Mustansir. ending what little local power the remaining Africans and local Arab bedouins had maintained.66 For all intents and purposes. The dowager continued to send them financial and military aid. engaged the Africans in Upper Egypt. Nasir al-Dawlah became the most powerful figure in all the Fatimid lands. Badr al-Jamali. Nasir al-Dawlah vowed to break the Africans' power or be killed. as the sub-Saharan troops were serving at that moment both as cavalry and infantry. which he killed. In 465/1073 a group of Turks reacted by slaying him. and economic life and the intensity of the warfare reflected it. This time they again regrouped under Nasir al-Dawlah's leadership. they went to al-Mustansir. Those that survived fled and were joined on the outskirts of Cairo by Nasir al-Dawlah and the remaining Turkish forces. In 469/1076 he led an expedition to Upper Egypt. He crossed to Giza and for three days engaged in battle until he was victorious. In Ramadan 460/August o168 a Turkish commander led a new force to Upper Egypt to deal with the African troops. but these ethnic designations are also labels to describe two military groups involved in a deadly struggle for power. The fact that the African forces included cavalry intensified This content downloaded from 67. The victory of Nasir al-Dawlah did not end the role of African military troops. The Africans who had fled to Upper Egypt after the defeat of 459/1067 disrupted Nasir al-Dawlah's plans. Turk. his position was still very precarious and he called for external aid. at Alexandria. Once more the Turks went to al-Mustansir to complain about the activities of his mother. blaming him for aiding the Africans. by 459/1067. The Armenian general reached Egypt in 466/ 1074 and set about taking over the country. surrendered after a siege of the city. his Armenian governor in Acre.000 African infantrymen and cavalry gathered at Giza across the Nile from Cairo.19 on Thu. Berber. The Turks were fighting for their military.African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East 485 battles. This time she had some of her African servants attack the Turks visiting the palace. and Arab. a force of 15. The only significant African military force in the Delta. this civil war ended the power of the Africans during the reign of al-Mustansir. Their "blackness" had given them a common identity as opposed to Turk. For the African military troops the first half of al-Mustansir's reign represented the zenith of their power.65 Nasir al-Dawlah continued to expand his personal power at the expense of everyone else. Thus. even to the point of excluding many of the Turks from a share in the spoils. The surviving Africans fled once more to Upper Egypt while Nasir al-Dawlah turned his attention to the African troops in Cairo. and put them to rout.155. They cut the Nile trade route and seized the local revenues.115. An African victory in the power struggle meant the elimination of the Turkish military role. The Africans' weakness and eventual loss were due to their lack of an outstanding leader and the covert nature of support from al-Mustansir's mother. Once more the Turks were initially defeated and were forced to flee to Cairo. they were able to regroup in Upper Egypt and. For the first and only time they had been represented in both cavalry and infantry. As in the past. The warfare had been "racial" in that it was primarily African vs. It appears that they only had to accept Nasir al-Dawlah's appointment as governor of Alexandria.

72 who was then poisoned by order of Caliph al-Hafiz (524-544/I 130-1149). Most of the events between the murder of al-Afdal in 515/I 168 and Saladin's clash with African military slaves in 564/1168 need not concern us.74 The most unusual aspect of this entire affair was that Bahram was a Christian!75 By 531/1137 the fear that Bahram and his Armenian supporters were going to force Muslims to convert led to a successful revolt by Ridwan who. while very young Fatimid princes were placed on the throne as caliphs.115. however. entered Cairo with a force of 20.77 This content downloaded from 67. these Armenian wazirs needed an army and. he returned to Cairo with a large military force. ironically.69 Another military group which was created during this period was the Rayhaniyyah.70 One source implies that the Rayhaniyyah were African. Hasan won and in the process used Juyushiyyah against the Rayhaniyyah.67 Badr al-Jamali did not reject the use of African military slaves who came to serve in his army. References also exist to the growing role of Armenians. primarily Armenian. was not Shi'ite but Sunni. He succeeded in controlling the Africans. as in the case of their predecessors. he died a natural death. Bahram fled Cairo to Qus and Aswan where he was defeated by a force of African military slaves. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . restoring order. Large numbers on both sides were killed. A number of sources indicate that this military unit was composed of Africans. an Armenian general.68The major force created during this Armenian era was called the Juyushiyyah after Badr al-Jamali Amir alJuyfish. According to the historian.76 The wazirate of Ridwan ended with his removal from office in 533/I 139 and his flight from Egypt. by the Armenian wazir Yanis. but Caliph al-Hafiz was able to make an alliance with the head of the African troops and in the ensuing battle Ridwan was slain and his head sent to the caliph as a sign of victory. Haydara and Hasan.71 In fact. The possibility of desertion for either African cavalry or infantry did not exist and this condition increased the level of warfare. the African slaves were victorious. Bacharach the warfare. became involved in a major power struggle. the exact racial composition and size of the Juyushiyyah and Rayhaniyyah cannot be established. Unlike most of the later Fatimid wazirs. it was composed of both infantry and cavalry organized along racial lines. The most important change was the use of large numbers of Armenians for infantrymen. What is of interest is that African military slaves were involved on both winning and losing sides. In 528/1134 two of the sons of al-Hafiz. al-Dawadari.000 infantry and cavalrymen. The story is a depressing one of power struggles among various wazirs with their supporting forces. such as the creation in 526/II31 of an Armenian force. Bahram. the Yanisiyya. But. BADR AL-JAMALI TO SALADIN (SALAH AL-DIN) Egypt under Badr al-Jamali (466-487/1073-1094) and his son al-Afdal (487-515/I092-I 12I) experienced a period of relative tranquillity.19 on Thu.73 In the meantime. as was the tradition. In 542/1146. and having himself named wazir.155.486 Jere L.

They mobilizedand gathereduntil their numbersincreasedto over 50. I have not been able to determine if they were considered superior to Africans as a military force. were deemed less valuable than cavalry.79 While no systematic study of "racial" attitudes toward Armenians in medieval Islamic society exists. Evidence that these African troops had a special sense of loyalty to the Fatimid dynasty. they appeared to be interested in improving if not preserving their position in Fatimid society. After Muhammad.000. Thus. the Arab chronicles are even more silent on the history and fate of Armenian troops than they are for African military slaves. or even individual wazirs is lacking. Near the end of Dhu-l-Qa'da 564/ August II69 Saladin struck and had him killed. served as the primary infantry force for the Fatimid caliphate. he became very cautious in his movements. When Mu'tamin al-Khilafa learned that Saladin had intercepted his message.theirprotector.155. Africans continued to be used as infantry by caliphs and wazirs.78 They were aided in their role by Armenians who also served as infantrymen. Inside the slippers was found the message calling for Christian aid against the Sunni wazir. they do not appear to be the only or even the most important factor for explaining the fate of the African military slaves. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . who may have numbered 50. This bloody military and political history of the Fatimid government from al-Afdal to Saladin illustrates again the necessity of studying each incident in relative isolation. The events known as "the battle of the blacks" or "the battle of the slaves" have been recorded by a number of sources. some of which are noted above.sent a secret message to the Crusaders calling on them to coordinate an attack on Saladin and his forces so that the Kurdish Sunni leader and his troops would be eliminated. In a tale repeated in a number of chronicles. after becoming wazir in 546/1169.African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East 487 Tales of coups and blood continued. the Africans. as head of the cavalry forces sent by Nfir al-Din of Mosul and replacing his recently deceased uncle.115. Even M. The crisis began when Mu'tamin al-Khilafa . With a few exceptions. Canard's study of Armenians under the Fatimids has very little on their military role in this period.8? A critical turning point in his career was his consolidation of power in Egypt. the Muslim figure who has been the subject of the most studies is Saladin (ruler of Egypt 564-589/I I69-I I93).000. By the time Saladin became wazir. with numerous wazirs and even caliphs being murdered. The account of Ibn al-Athir is as follows: Then the Africans [al-Sudan]who were in Misr became furious on account of the killingof Mu'taminal-Khilafa. it is safe to say that Armenians as fighters were considered inferior to Turks and.a eunuch who governed the Fatimid palace . the messenger dressed in rags (but wearing new slippers) was caught by a Turk who was suspicious of the contrasting costume.because he had been close to them. particular caliphs. They intendedto This content downloaded from 67. never leaving the palace. as infantrymen. There is no real sense of development or change during these years in the role of African military slaves. After a while Mu'tamin relaxed his guard. whatever social views were held by the various combatants.19 on Thu. They fought on different sides at different times.

which had ended in 567/ I71. They were given a positive answer and many of them left Misr for Giza. He was to continue this anti-infantry outlook during his entire career and. salaried infantry would return to Egypt only with the Ottomans in 923/1517.86 In fact. whose initial forces were composed of nomadic Turkomen supplemented by Turkish military slaves. Professor H.155. For the African infantrymen the appointment of Saladin. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . R.8' This incident was an extremely serious blow to the position of African military slaves. continued this tradition. Dailimi.83 Professor Lewis stresses the racial nature of the conflict. But there was a military reason. Saladinattackedthem with swords and closed their escape routes. salaried infantry force. which is reflected in some of the verses composed in honor of Saladin's victory. There is no religious or racial reason why Africans and Armenians should have been more loyal to Fatimids than Arabs.82 Modern scholars stress different aspects of the battles between Saladin and the Africans. Africans who had fled to Upper Egypt joined a general revolt to remove Saladin and the Ayyubid family and restore the Fatimid dynasty. it acquired a racial aspect. In this case another element must be added to the story. but in the following context: "Although the conflict was not primarily racial. the Fatimid infantry had been destroyed. to the wazirate was not just another government change. There had been Fa- This content downloaded from 67. a standing.115. but it did not mark their final act in medieval Egyptian military history.488 Jere L. A. After many of them had been killed. and their lands confiscated. their possessions seized.87 This new trend in terms of the composition of Islamic armies did not begin with Saladin. Four years later (568/ 173). Gibb never refers to a permanent. in a story reminiscent of the events after the clash between Nasir al-Dawlah and the Africans in Cairo in 455/I062. in his classical study of Saladin's armies. or any other group. which was then carried to Egypt by Saladin.and the one I have used in this study . The army that Saladin brought to Egypt was composed only of cavalry. The Ayyubid forces were victorious. Many were killed on both sides. [killing]childrenand women. the event illustrates the excessive methods that Saladin was willing to use to consolidate his hold over Egypt."84 A third approach . The idea probably originated with the Saljuqs. Shamsal-DinTuranShah. a Kurd and Sunni. they fled. Berbers. For Professor Ehrenkreutz. a Saljuq successor state.19 on Thu. the Africansasked for peace. Bacharach battle Saladin's [Salahiyyah]army. This time Saladin sent another brother (al-'Adil) against the Africans and other troops. When the news reached the Africans[in the city].85 By the end of the fighting in 546/1169. There remainedamong them only a few fugitives. The Zangids of Mosul.is to study the event in terms of military history. Saladin'soldest brother. Turks. Saladinsent troopsto the Africans'lodgingsknownas al-Mansura [nearBab Zuwaila] and set fire to their possessions. He also gathered an army and they fought one anotherbetween the two palaces. who gives the most detailed account of the encounter.crossed over to Giza with a group of [Saladin's]army and cut the Africansto pieces. The Armenian troops aided the Africans in their resistance to Saladin's forces and they were also wiped out.

Saladin. The interaction of numerous peoples with the Arabs led. GENERAL CONCLUSIONS The history of the use of African military slaves is not only a chronicle of race prejudice. the most famous being Turkish cavalry. by extension. these stereotypical attitudes were reinforced by employment patterns. faced a bleak future. affected the attitudes of Arab chroniclers recording these events. Twelver Shi'ite. to another development.19 on Thu. Only a Fatimid caliphate. Sunni. no doubt. There emerged in Muslim society a series of stereotypes vis-avis non-Arabs.88 These young men came from beyond the Islamic frontiers and added new peoples to an empire which was already multiracial/ethnic. With the demise of that model for a military organization. non-Arab forces were regularly serving Muslim rulers and these troops were often grouped according to ethnic/racial lines. When the military engagement took place. the Arab chronicles do not permit the establishing of a clear date when African military slaves were first used.89 Within the Eastern Mediterranean world. Africans and. The emergence of "we/they" categories brought. The most important Muslim innovation at this time was the creation of units of imported military slaves as the primary military force. whose wazirs supported the concept of a mixed military force.115. The ferocity of the African attack on Saladin's troops was a result of the Africans' concern for survival. represented a totally new philosophy in terms of the use of military forces. At the same time another military change was happening: infantry troops were becoming part of the regular military establishment. The general prejudice against Africans (and Armenians) serving as cavalry only increased their isolation from the new military order. The more significant context is Muslim military history itself. and by the third/ninth century. their military role would come to an end. and even Christian wazirs before Saladin.155. which was doubtful. the Africans had no opportunity to switch sides. The first Muslim armies were ethnically/racially homogeneous and were composed primarily of Arab cavalry. Arabs now governed former Byzantine and Sassanian lands and used many of their earlier forms of administration. although such prejudice undoubtedly figured in many of the events and. the Africans were fighting for their lives and their livelihood. there were not enough Arabs to control all the lands effectively. as always. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . By the Abbasid era the Muslim military reflected an organizational pattern more familiar to the pre-Islamic Fertile Crescent than to the Arabia of Muhammad. By the time of the Umayyads. offered them a future role in Egyptian society. however. Armenians. Unfortunately. cavalry was considered su- This content downloaded from 67. naturally. a sense of the superiority in the people who established the definitions. Even if the Fatimid caliphate was retained by Saladin. Unlike earlier periods when desertions to join opposing forces could take place across occupational and racial lines. In both the preIslamic Arabian world and the Byzantine Empire.African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East 489 timid Shi'ite. In addition. if not under the Rashidun. the history of African military slaves in Egypt in the medieval period came to an end.

On the other hand. but rarely mention African military slaves. And. Paralleling the experience of other ethnic groups and reflecting the widely held view of the superiority of grouping forces by racial origin. assuming the existence of color prejudice does not necessarily mean that prejudice was the primary factor in explaining what happened to particular African military units. could join Muslim armies and continue serving as cavalry alongside troops of a similar ethnic/racial background. Arab cavalry serving Byzantine forces at Yarmuk. Granted the reality of such data. The case of the Zanj/Abbasid African infantry switching sides provides another clear example. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .19 on Thu. One factor complicating the study of these general attitudes is how the Arabic historical sources reflect and reinforce them. African military slaves by color and occupation were considered of less importance than Turks. They were to serve as infantry. when given the opportunity. they were also stereotyped as infantry. and the belief grew that the best cavalry was composed of Turkish military slaves. alMutanabbl's poetry critical of Kafir. whatever the economic. the African military forces were as unreliable as any other group. racial. But in the second form. In summary. or Turkish cavalry under Romanus Diogenes at Manzikert. does reflect the low status the African infantry held in the society. they did involve a fundamental change in the makeup of This content downloaded from 67. Armenians. or geographical reasons why African troops should be more loyal to particular rulers than Turks. by the degree to which they report anti-African material. resistance to these troops increased. in fact. and Turks. Africans were considered inferior to Turks. for example. Bacharach perior to infantry.115. if the opportunity to serve on the side of the potentially victorious force did not exist then. African military slaves entered the Islamic world because a real need existed. this became a circular relationship: Turkish military slaves were the best cavalry and the best cavalry were Turkish military slaves. the absence in any source of the name of a particular African military leader. I have argued. Africans were kept together as one people. Only when the possibility of alternative employment did not exist were the Africans "loyal" to the end. other than individual eunuchs. Dailimi. In fact.90 the poetry composed in honor of Saladin's destruction of the African troops.155. or Armenians. as were Arabs. Throughout this essay I have argued the necessity of knowing the secifics of politico/military alliances and the composition of the opposing armies. Berbers. as well as the lack of interest on the part of chroniclers. Therefore. which was inferior to cavalry. religious. as in the late Fatimid period. In one pattern. all the troops loyal to a particular commander changed sides and came to fight for a new paymaster. Such knowledge leads. or even linguistic impact of the Saljuq invasions. There are no ethnic. The chronicles are full of detailed accounts of Turkish military slaves. the occupational and racial patterns of the opposing forces were critical. for example.490 Jere L. The attitudes of particular chroniclers toward Africans can be examined. to a generalization on the pattern of desertion which took two forms. Finally. political. or cannibalism involving Africans. On the other hand.

it was a place of retreat or refuge. The post-Saljuq armies were composed of free cavalry and Turkish military slaves. By the time of the Umayyads the center of political power in Egypt and the Fertile Crescent was located in urban centers in a series of buildings I would call the "mosque/palace/barracks" complex. The existence of a citadel was also not essential because it did not serve as the center of governmental power. then the use (and often building) of the citadel was critical for the later period. and many other cities. Fustat or al-Qata'i'. This also permitted the use of the citadel as the locale for the government and the military. troops of a non-Islamic slave origin tended to be used. It represented the end of the early Islamic concepts of how the military was organized and where political power was to be physically located. as did the man on horseback. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . but it does not appear to have been critical.155. They continued their role as infantry until a new cavalry-based concept of military organization was imposed on Egypt and the Fertile Crescent. The Saljuq model was carried westward. There may have been a wall between this complex and the city population. and did not constitute an essential (and thus regularly salaried) component of the new military.115.19 on Thu. Africans served almost exclusively as infantrymen. In each case there was a mosque/palace/barracks combination where the governor (or caliph) and his troops. UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SEATTLE. Baghdad or Samarra.91 Whether one investigates the urban history of Damascus or Aleppo. The Fertile Crescent and Egypt had come under the control of military leaders with a concept of military organization very different from the earlier forms. A particular idea of how armies should be organized came to be accepted by Muslim rulers. although this varied in particular cases. in the belief that they were more loyal. The citadel was not just another locale in which a mosque/palace/barracks was found. the governmental center is found to have been on a physical level with the rest of the city. the end of the use of African military slaves was more than the demise of a particular body of foreign military slaves. at the most. The citadel dominated its environment. There is an architectural development which may be related to this change in military organization. As mentioned earlier. troops were housed according to geographical or ethnic/racial categories. If the mosque/palace/barracks complex within and on a level with a city characterized the pre-Saljuq urban history of the Fertile Crescent. were housed. both infantry and cavalry.African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East 491 Muslim armies. The number of troops which had to be housed was also much smaller than in earlier periods. it was physically distinct from the rest of the city. Thus. Their actual power was limited. the post-I I68 armies of Cairo lacked Africans. The history of African military slaves in medieval Iraq and Egypt is not one of constant change. Infantry were used for limited purposes. Cavalry and infantry were needed and. The post1055 armies of Baghdad lacked Dailimites. WASHINGTON This content downloaded from 67. such as siege warfare.

Noldeke. III.. 1892). (Leiden. for example. is a very fine introduction.. J. 85 (1980). Slave Soldiers and Islam: The Genesis of a Military System (New Haven. Yapp. pp. ed. 99). 2036-2038.D. and his "Preliminary Remarks on the Mamluk Military Institution in Islam. "Recruitment. Not investigated in the following pages. are related to the degree that their actions affected the fate of the military units composed of Africans. McGill University. or black such as Nubians and former Zandj prisoners taken by al-Muwaffaq during the preceding reign. 2056. Bosworth. 159-177.19 on Thu. 4Although over three centuries are covered. 209I and 2096. John Wansbrough. (London. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 153. 5Lewis. V. '2In Ramadan. pp. "On the Eunuchs in Islam. pp. I905. 3David Ayalon." in War. E. Kitdb akhbar al-rus. The Mamluk Military Society (London. 91. "Ibid. '3The most thorough study of the power struggle is David Waines.. I59-I94. Finally. I976). p. eds. La Revolte des esclaves en Iraq au II siecle. eds.. 339-348. 2020. Muster. p. p. p. I16-136. does not deal with the question of the origins and development of Muslim armies in terms of the role and use of infantry. A detailed study of the Abbasid army can be found in Jacob Lassner. One recent survey which includes references to the secondary literature is William McKee Evans. Some of his arguments are included in his "The Pre-Buyid Amirate: Two Views from the Past. only this one aspect of the African experience in the Islamic world is analyzed." American Historical Review. Technology and Society. "Caliph and Amir: A Study in the Social and Economic Background of Medieval Political Power.H. 88I. in which the African was seen as relatively inferior to the non-African. 1980)." in Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam. 2C. including the work by Professor Lewis. 69-74. J. D. '?al-Tabari.000 (Noldeke. Ayalon. III. Bacharach Author's note: The research for this study was partly funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Program and I am most grateful for their support. 7Ibid. 6Daniel Pipes.155. 276/April. 70. E.ul wa-al-muluk. 1970). 1903. Patricia Crone. The Shaping of'Abbasid Rule (Princeton. The new journal Slavery and Abolition. '4Lewis. Wansbrough. 94. York. are the exact sub-Saharan origins of these troops which cannot be determined from the Arabic sources. 1975). I wish to thank my colleagues in the University of Washington's History Research Group and Professors Caroline Bynum and Judah Bierman for their constructive comments. 13 (1980). Daniel Pipes. 1977. the careers of individual Africans." in War. "From the Land of Canaan to the Lord of Guinea: The Strange Odyssey of the Sons of Ham. M. I980). (New York. Race and Color in Islam (New 109-122." Ph. 8 (I977). Bernard Lewis. "African Troops in Early Islamic Armies. 251. development. p. 1920. and characteristics of prejudices associated with Africans in the Near Eastern Islamic lands have been detailed by other scholars. T.D.492 NOTES Jere L. as well as a number of his earlier works. pp. Slave Soldiers and Islam." The International Journal of African Historical Studies. Technology and Society in the Middle East. 15-43. who were employed to form a line of troops (masaff) in the reception rooms and who were probably the origins of the corps of the Masafiyya mentioned below. there existed prejudices and stereotypes. the number of Zanj requesting safe conduct reached 5. was not available when this study was submitted. 1974. 2047. Sketches from Eastern History (London and Edinburgh. A number of his articles can be found reprinted in D. '5"There were first of all a group of former slaves of varying origins. this study presupposes that by the third century A. 44-58." International Journal of Middle East Studies.. 'The many excellent works of David Ayalon reflect this approach. There were This content downloaded from 67. white such as Daylamis and Berbers. 1980). 8Alexandre Popovic. I98I). de Goeje et al. 2080. contains a major bibliographical survey in its first issue. "Africa and the Arab Geographers" in Language and History in Africa. pp. and Review in Medieval Islamic Armies. Parry and M. 1901). Dalby./ninth century A. 9Ibid. I61. in Slaves on Horses: The Evolution of the Islamic Policy (Cambridge.115. p. diss. I (I980). I (1979). 1864. 1970). some of whom became very powerful leaders. Pipes. IXe siecle (Paris. Since the origins.

I9.2. p. (Beirut. 44. p. pp. 278: al-Yaqubi. ed. "Tfilunids. 27Dr. and various articles in the Encyclopaedia of Islam. 380. 34An example of the type of data available was documented in Thierry Bianquis. III. Atiya.. 104). al-Maqrizi. Bonn. I I." E. 549. Amedroz and D. (Y. Les Tulunides (Paris. 1957). The Coinage of the Tulunids (New York.I. "Fatimid Policy towards Damascus (358/968-386/996): Military Political and Social Aspects" (MS). ed. Ehrenkreutz. p. 72. 70. II. 23The term "Sudan" has been translated in the most general sense of African. (Helsingfors-Leiden. and Ibn lyas.I. pp. "The Struggle of 'Abbfsid Egypt. of Bulaq. 1914). Kitab tajarid al-umam wa-ta'dqib al-himan. (Leiden. '6Miskawaih. 63. Nihayat al-'Arab. al-Muqaffa'.155. Atiya. 227. I961). 32A. 318." Bulletin d'etudes orientales. al-Maqrizi. "Kibt". I I. "Fatimid Conquest. History of the Patriarchs of the Egyptian Church. p. 1853]. III. Kitdb al-mughrib fihuld al-Maghrib. pp. 37." Speculum. 418. N. For a more favorable view of Ahmad b. II (1972). 67-124. Hassan. "The Career of Muhammad Ibn Tughj al-Ikhshid: A Tenth-Century Governor of Egypt. H. p. Zubdat al-halab min tdrikh Halab. Sa'id al-Qurtubi. 59. 467. III. Dunn. "Ghulam.D. ii. 35Ibn Sa'id. alQalqashandi. and placed under the cammand of eunuchs called II 80). V. A. p. Takmila tdrikh al-Tabari. III. 65. "al-Mutanabbi in Egypt (957-962). Diss.2. M. 131I/1893). S. 1943]. and A. idem. 315. 70. '8Miskawaih. II. 2080. Tuilun(Berlin. K. The Arabs and the Sudan [Edinburgh. al-Maqrizi. I5. 1894).115. III. Lev.19 on Thu. from which they took their name (al-Hujariyya).d. Tallquist. pp. and trans. 599-609.2. al-Hamadani. 599-600.. 1358/I939]. 40The most thorough study is Ayalon. 3'Ibn Sa'id. I. F. Burmester. L. al-Mawd'iz wa-al-i'tibdr bi dhikr al-khitdt wa-al-dthir [Khitat] [Cairo. Subh al-a'shd (Ciaro. IV. Ibn al-'Adim. MS Dfr al Kutub Misriyya. 315. Khitat. 137-138. I883). Ibn Taghri Birdi. Arabs and the Sudan. 7. 8." Ph. 95. diss. Kitdb tadrkhMisr (Bulaq. 'Arib b. p. 3'Bianquis. Dalan.I. 228. and Yaacov Lev. p. ustadhs" (D. p. "Die Stellung des Negers in der islamisch-arabischen Gesellschaft bis zum XVI Jahrhundert. Eng. p. 24al-Tabari. 315. 135. II. [Cairo: Society of Coptic actions Archaeology. III. Sami Hanna. 505-506. I83. 236-239. J. I975.. 51). IV. 6-12. "The standard works in Western languages are Z. 2. S. ed. Also see al-Qalqashandi. Hannan. 50. repr. and trans. ed. Gernot Rotter. S. F. "Kafur. 33Hassan. eds. 1951). 8. E. Khitat. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . I. al-Nujum al-zdhira fi muluk Misr wa-al-Qdhira. Tuilun [Damascus. p. I899). 22A." E. p. Hassan." in Medieval and Middle Eastern Studies in Honor of Aziz Suryal Atiya. 25AChristian chronicle relates that Ibn Tulun squeezed the Coptic Church in order to raise funds to buy troops (Sawiris b. 0.I. S. 92. al-Balawi. II. J." pp. '9Jere L. I.African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East 493 also others brought especially by al-Mu'tadid to be on duty in the "halls" (hujar) of the Palace. Oleg Grabar. 28Ibn Taghri Birdi. M. IV. '7Ibid. Ibn Taghri Birdi. Kana'an. E. n. 45. Ibn al-Daya." Annales Islamologiques. Only the first part of his study has This content downloaded from 67. 20Michael C. 30Lewis. 23 (1970).. Ma'arif 'ammah No. Yassa 'Abd al-Masih. "La prise du pouvoir par les fatimides en Egypte (357-363/968-974).. p. II. Sira Ahmad b. Eunuchs. ed. (Damascus. Silat tarlkh al-Tabari. 291bnTaghri Birdi. 26al-Maqrizi. II. 49-108. I967. Bacharach. II. and Charles Issawi. Lev. eds. 1972). Georgetown University. 471.D. 37al-Nuwayri. especially p. Tarlkh (Leiden. 39Ibid." Ph.. al-Hamadani. I967]. I . 50 (1975). Lewis. Sira Ahmad b. 57. "Les derniers gouverneurs ikhchidides de Damas. Yaacov Lev. de Goeje. XXVI. S. Tfiuluin's see A. Margoliouth." E. M. I920-I921). p. (London. 1933). (Leiden 1897). p. 94. Sourdel. III. III. 36An account of his campaigns can be found in Bacharach.

65ff. 37I. "Preliminary Remarks. if the central issue. XV. do ninth/fifteenth century historians include more anti-Black material than existing earlier sources? Second. Sefer Nameh: Relation du voyages de Nasiri Khosrau. II. al-Muntazam fi tdr&kh al-umam (Hyderabad. I Io. 62A long notice on Nasir al-Dawlah is in Ibn al-Athir.. Dhayl tdr[kh Dimaskh (Beirut. 43). pp. 1938). p. 68-89. 5SBernardLewis translation in Islam from the Prophet Muhammad to the Capture of Constantinople (New York. 217. 1974). IV. 1084. 'Iqd al-jumdn fi tdrnkhal-zamdn. and Lewis. has a long account of the civil war.). 99). 1937 ed. 12. 137. 61al-Maqrizi. II. 17. 54Ibid. Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam (New York. 299-300. pp. See also Nasir-i Khosrau.). and the chief of police came and raided the house. was cannibalism a widespread phenomenon? The following examples are presented to illustrate the problem. He brought out thousands of bodies.). 527-529. and killed the Blacks" (Ibn Taghri Birdi. XII. is an excellent example of one account. I88I ed. repr. al-Biddya. Itti'dz. 80-87. and 169-170. (Amsterdam. 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Ibn Kathir. 4'Ibn Taghri Birdi. and trans. and eat them. Itt'dz. 1969. V. 1908). VIII. Then he was killed and his flesh was eaten" (Ibn Kathir. 64. I. 9. Ibn al-Dawadari. Itti'dz al-hunafd' bi-akhbdr al-a'inima al-Fdtimiyyin al-khulafd' (Cairo. Ibn al-Jawzi. Itti'dz. al-muluk wa 47al-Maqrizi.494 Jere L. The story illustrates two areas of research that must still be systematically investigated. 42Rotter. 5Ibid. 141. Kanz al-durar wa jdmi' al-ghurar (Cairo. even more gruesome tales are related for Egypt and the impact of the 462/1069 famine. Fischel. 9. "There appeared a man who killed his children and wife and buried their heads and extremities and sold their flesh. 226. II. 196I). Bacharach been published.155. MS Dar al-Kutub Misriyya. XI. specifically. 1965-67). "The Blacks used to wait in the alleys. 1970. X. VI. 53. 475-476. TairikhNo." p. al-'Ayni. al-Dawadari. 380. 56. Charles Schefer. ed. 59Another example of a racially mixed military unit was the Masaffiya. pp. one of many discussions on the qualities of the Turks can be found in Bosworth. 46al-Maqrizi. VI. 53al-Maqrizi. 50Ibn Kathir. VIII. p.H. 1348 A. pp. repr. 48-49. XV. should have led to a serious problem for African troops but did not. 55Professor Lewis included the following story from the ninth/fifteenth century historian Ibn Tagri Birdi for the year 428/1036. IX." p. al-Muntazam. XII. and Ayalon. It is not only necessary to show that racial attitudes were critical when Africans were attacked but also to explain why they were not critical at other times. VI. 49Ibn Taghri Birdi. 6?In other cases the terms 'abid and 'AbTdal-shurd have referred to African infantrymen. 656-661. This content downloaded from 67. 56A number of sources touch on his career but the best study is Walter J. 13. Ibn al-Qalanisi. p. strip off their flesh. IV. VIII. She was fat and the Blacks caught her with hooks and cut a piece off her behind. 42-49. Here the term probably refers to cavalry.115. 257-258. al-Kamilfi tarkh (Beirut. See above pp. i8i. V. 315. 52The incident is used in this case as an example where racial elements. 48Ibn al-Athir. There are variations on these tales and others in Ibn Kathir. I38. In 439/1047 word reached Cairo from Mosul that due to the plague people were eating corpses (Ibn Taghri Birdi. is there a significant correlation between antiBlack stories and a particular school of historians. 43Ibn al-Athir.19 on Thu. catch women with hooks. 99. "Recruitment. I. XIX. they sat down to eat and forgot about her. II. She went out of the house and called for help. Ibn Kathir. pp. 45Ibnal-Dawadari. al-Biddya wa alnihdya (Cairo. One day a woman passed through the Street of the Lamps in Old Cairo. Ibn al-Jawzi. I69-170. of New York. 265-267. First. I971). 44Lev. 7I). 57Cited by Fischel. Ibn Iyas. of Paris. Then. 79-80.

I376. Wickens. B. 89A different view on the impact of these developments is found in I. 243-244. "Beyond Race and Color in Islam. p. (Paris and London. al-Manawi.Y. I95I]. see also Ibn Khallikan (Beirut. 49. pp. p. "Fatimid Military Organization. 76-79.19 on Thu. II. N. Enrenkreutz. II. I (Spring. 86Sir Hamilton A. I6-I7. 48. N.." The Journal of Ethnic Studies VI. "Aspects of the Mamluk Phenomenon. 275-278. XV. III. (London. Beshir. III. I74.and anti-Kafir poetry composed by al-Mutanabbi in his biography of Kafir. Akhbdr Misr (Cairo. II. Mirdt al-Zamdn. 79 ff. I956]. 53 (I976). Ja'far b. Ibn al-Athir. Ioo. pp. 502." Der Islam. Itti'dz. IV. Mufarrij al-kurub.Y. Ibn Muyassar. Ibn Wasil. I919). 1977). 345-347. 9'Oleg Grabar. Baron MacGuckin de Slane. II. 273-274. XII. pp. pp. no. pp. J. M. 76Ibn al-Athir. 83Ehrenkreutz. (Boston. for a more detailed discussion of some of these issues. 414. 7Sal-Maqrizi. III. More recent biographies have not added significantly to our knowledge of Saladin with the exception of R. 286. Gamal al-Din al-Shayyal. 78-79. ed. Muhammad al-Babli. 54. Ibn Muyassar.I. 304-320). 8 Aug 2013 10:28:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . esp. The Arabs. 3. Ibn Taghri Birdi included only the negative verses. 66al-Maqrizi. 87The temporary use of African military slaves by the Mamluk sultan Muhammad b. al-Wizdra wa al-wuzara' fi al-'asr al-Fdtimiyyin (Cairo. Khitat. I5-39. "The Armies of Saladin. Shaw and William Polk. 64al-'Ayni. I978). tried to mediate between the Africans and the Turks. 78Ibn Wasil. 74-88 (reprinted from Cahiers d'Histoire Egyptienne. For a more critical view see Hasan. 48. 84Lewis. 85Ehrenkreutz." Architecture of the Islamic World. 204-205. 67-71). Sibt ibn al-Jawzi. M. p. 7'Usamah ibn Munqidh. eds." E. I843-I871)." Der Islam. 7?al-Maqrizi. 525.). XV. pp. 68al-Maqrizi. 1-24. 4-9 and 263-273. 67Muhammad Hamdi al-Manawi. 77Ibn al-Athir. Stanford J. Muhammad b. (Cairo. I. ser. pp. al-Husayn al-Maghrabi." in Studies on the Civilization of Islam. 79Canard. 482. See nn 31 and 32. I972). Another wazir. and Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary. "The Architecture of Power: Palaces: Citadels and Fortifications. 30. Kitdb al-I'tibar. 82Numerous chronicles include these events: Ibn Kathir. XII. pp. 74According to al-Dawadari he killed many of them (VI. 1978). Canard. 88David Ayalon. George Michell. 3. 515). (1978). Sundiata. R. Firearms and Gunpowder in Mamluk Egypt [London. 69al-Manawi. K. 72al-Qalqashandi. p. X. Y9WhileIbn Khallikan included both the pro. I89. I953).d. p. al-'Ayni. Among others. 4 [Cairo. "al-Hafiz. I49. Ibn Muyassar. 13 (1955). 40. XII. 88.155. G. there is also a secondary account in Hasan. n. Ibn al-Athir. trans. p. 73al-Dawadari. Hitti. 80-87. X. 193I). 98. 144. "Notes sur les Armeniens en Egypte a l'epoque fatimide. 1968). I963). XI. p." Annales de l'Institut d'Etudes Orintales. 2. p.. 86. VI. Saladin (Albany. The Arabs and the Sudan. III. trans. fasc. 65al-Maqrizi. II. This content downloaded from 67. Philip K. I43-I57. Itti'dz. 98a. Stephen Humphrey's chapter in From Saladin to the Mongols (Albany. ed. 8?Andrew S. pp. 514-515. (Princeton. 55. p. Itti'dz. 8'Ibn al-Athir. 196-225. 72. 178.African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East 495 63The caliph's mother relied on the support of the wazir 'Abd Allah b. Ibn Khallikan. I77-178. 48-79. 287-288. Gibb. I55. XI. Itti'dz.115. X. Sibt ibn al-Jawzi. 54. Qayitbay (901-903/1496-1498) only confirms the prejudice held against infantry as well as the stereotyping of Africans for this role (David Ayalon. I. Wafaydt al-A'ydn. pp.