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BAYBARS I, AL-MALIK AL-ZAHIR RUKN AL-DIN AL-ALIHI, fourth Mamluk sultan of the Bahrld dynasty.

He is said to have been born in 620/1233 and to have been one of a group of Kipcafc Turk slaves purchased by the Ayyubid sultan Malik Salih. His first master had been Aydakin Bundufcdar, whence his surname Bundu^dari, which also explains in Marco Polo's work (ed. Hambis, II), "Bondocdaire, sultan of Babylonia". He appears first in history in 636/1239, in prison with his master Malik alihi at Karak. Several months later he was fighting in Syria on behalf of the sultan of Egypt, serving there a rough apprenticeship in the military life, not to mention the intrigues of the last Ayyubid princes which offered a gloomy example for his contemplation. His first military accomplishment consisted in taking command of the Egyptian army on the battlefield at Mansura, which ended in the decisive victory of Faraskur and the capture of Louis IX king of France. It was then that upon his instigation that Turan-Shah was assassinated in 648/1250, the plot unfolding in the guise of resistance to the enemy. This murder, whose odious character is scarcely disputable, settled nothing. Weakness was general. Baybars undoubtedly bore the responsibility for it, and in it the reign of the Mamluk sultans had its beginning. The origins were bloody and when Sultan Kutuz assumed power the Mongol hordes had begun their invasion of Syrian territory. A bloody encounter took place at cAyn Djalut [q.v.] in Palestine, Sultan Kutuz distinguishing himself there with enormous valour, as well as the Mongol general who was killed. The Egyptian success was decisive, owing to the tenacity of a sultan who against all odds had managed to field an army. Baybars had fought in the vanguard. We know little of the sequence of events which led to yet another tragic end; Kutuz was assassinated in his tent, this deed being accomplished by a group of officers of which Baybars was one. Clashing ambitions have been mentioned; at any rate it was Baybars who gained the throne (658/1260).

There had already been two murders; but the glory of the sovereign will conceal from history the perfidy of the officer, We will examine his rule chronologically, for the evolution of events allows an evaluation of his activity, which can be confirmed by the written sources. His period cannot but recall that of Saladin: the achievement of a unity of command, and the victorious war against the Franks. These are two elements of the comparison which accure to the advantage of Baybars. He wiped out feudalism rather than created it: he had no family to provide for. Moreover, Saladin's offensive, of which the title to glory is the capture of Jerusalem, was a clap of thunder without consequence. In this respect too the advantage lies with Baybars, whose forced marches, rapid and unexpected, were not without method: every inch of conquered land was put immediately in a state of defence. Internally the reorganisation of the state manifests an exceptional harmony and equilibrium. Beyond his actions, which one can establish by deeds and dates, Baybars gives the impression of a man who dominates events with an imperturbable optimism. From the year 659/1261 the new sultan consolidated the key points of his future offensives. Every citadel which had been destroyed by the Mongols, from Hims to Hawran, were put in order and provided with victuals and ammunition. In his eyes these military precautions were insufficient. He insisted upon being informed rapidly and upon being able to despatch orders with the same speed. Baybars established a regular postal service: twice a week he received information frorn every part of the empire. Under normal circumstances a despatch took four days to go from Cairo to Damascus. More urgent news was sent by pigeons, and delivered without delay. It would even happen that the sultan received information in a state of almost complete nakedness. Such a setting tended to increase the zeal of his functionaries. He reconstructed entirely the arsenals, and had warships and cargo vessels built.

The sultan began by nibbling at the domains of the Ayyubid princes: he appointed an officer to take charge of the administration of the town of Shawbak, which was done without striking a blow. The sultan went to Aleppo, sounded the Franks in the region of Antioch, and finished the campaign at Damascus. In 661/1263, after a year spent in Cairo, the sultan threatened Saint Jean d'Acre, then turned against Karak, thus eliminating an Ayyubid principality, returned to Damascus, finally re-entering Egypt and inspecting the city of Alexandria. In 662/1264 Baybars annexed the territory of Hims, whose Ayyubid prince had just died without heir. He began intensive military preparations and soon fielded a formidable army. On the first of Rabic II 663/21 January 1265, this enormous army, commanded by the sultan, left Cairo, for the first stage of the great offensive against the Franks, which would not terminate until 670/1271. Their strongholds were taken one after another. In 663/1265 it was the capture of the port of Caesarea which split the Prankish possessions in the south and isolated Jaffa; further north cAthlith and Hayfa were occupied. The towns were destroyed: in the event of a reverse they could not serve as supports for the enemy. Then the army turned south and took the port of Arsuf. In 664/1266 simultaneous attacks were made all along the front, but the principal effort was directed toward the town of Safad, to the northwest of Lake Tiberias: the place was taken after a heavy siege. In 666/1268 Baybars turned towards the enclave of Jaffa which did not hold out for a day. One may read the account of that exploit, still engraved on the gate of the great mosque at Ramla in Palestine: "He lay siege to Jaffa at dawn and took it, with God's permission, at the third hour of the same day". A few weeks later a new line of defense was forced: the river Litani and the castle of Beaufort, opposite Tyre, became Muslim, Suddenly the Egyptian troops appeared at the northern point of the Latin kingdom, and Antioch capitulated. This conquest had a considerable

repercussion, perhaps greater than the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin. Since the beginning of the Crusades, Antioch had not once left the possession of the Franks. The neighbouring fortresses could resist no longer and Baybars took advantage in concluding peace with the king of Little Armenia, who was obliged to surrender a part of his domain to the sultan of Egypt. A final offensive, starting from Hims, cut the distant defences of Tripoli. The strongholds of Safitha, the castle of Crac and of cAkkar were taken in two months, in the course of 669/1271. Meanwhile the sultan, habitually dividing his time between Cairo and Damascus, had made the pilgrimage in 667/1269. Negotiations led in 668/1270 the lord ai the Ismaclli fortresses to pay tribute to the sultan, who, preoccupied with the expedition of Saint Louis to Tunis, thought for a moment of going to the aid of the Maghribis. Reassured, the sultan set off again for the conquest of the Ismacill fortresses, then returned to Cairo. The year 670/1272 was dedicated to a general inspection of Syria. The historians *agree in their accounts of how the sultan would arrive unexpectedly, changing direction en route to preclude any foreknowledge of his itinerary. In 671/1272-73, he left Damascus for Biredjik, overwhelming a Mongol detachment near there. Other only a narrow strip of the coast, while the Mamluks held all of the crests. The seventeen years of Baybars5 reign show a balance of thirty-eight campaigns in Syria. Of the nine battles with the Mongols, only the last was due to the initiative of the sultan, the others being considered counter-attacks. There were five significant engagements with Little Armenia. The Ismacai sectaries, the Assassins, suffered three attacks. On the Franks, the most abused, the Egyptian troops inflicted twenty-one defeats. The military activity of the sultan was not the result only of the orders which he gave; he took personal command in fifteen battles, not fearing when it was necessary, to expose his own life. A few figures give an idea of Baybars5 travels: he does not

appear to have spent more than half the period of his reign in his capital at Cairo; he left it twenty-six times, and certainly covered more than forty thousand kilometres. One sees in the rule of Baybars a splendid example of energy, bringing to light an unexpected political recovery. Under the impetus of this exceptional leader, Egypt, who had just undergone an internal revolution and had been the target of powerful enemies Crusaders, Mongols, Ismaclllwas suddenly to impose its rule upon the Orient. The confusion following the fall of the cAbbasid caliphate in Baghdad, the hints of alliance between Crusaders and Mongols, the potential conspiracies of the dispossessed Ayyubid princes, and the personal ambitions of the high ranking Mamluk officers, are all elements of the tragic combination which makes Baybars5 success so extraordinary. It was a stroke of genius on his part to welcome a refugee of the cAbbasid family, after the disastrous invasion of the Mongols in 656/1258, and to recognise him in Cairo as supreme pontiff. It was not merely a spiritual gesture, for the ruler had seen in it immediate and tangible consequences: suzerainty over the Holy Cities of the Hidiaz. Finally, the Egyptian state might from that time on style itself the "Islamic Kingdom". The exploits of this extraordinary warrior made him a legend in his own lifetime; the epic of Baybars is well below his actual biography. His life is indeed a story of adventure: the death of the hero, drinking a cup of poison prepared by another, is but part of the perfect romance. Bibliography: The two chief primary sources for the life of Baybars are the biographies of Ibn r Abd al-Zahir and of Ibn Shaddad, neither of which is fully extant. A British Museum manuscript of a version of Ibn cAbd al-Zahir, covering the period up to the beginning of 663/1265, was published, with an English translation, by Mrs. S. F. Sadeque, Baybars I of Egypt, Dacca 1956. A more complete ms. of the same version, preserved in the Fatifc

library, is being edited by Mr. A. A. Khowaitir (see further B. Lewis, in Speculum, xxvii, 1952, 488; Cl. Cahen in Arabica, v, 1958, 211-2; P. M. Holt in BSOAS, xxii, 1959, 143-5). A unique and incomplete manuscript of Ibn Shaddad's biography of Baybars, covering the years 670-76/1272-78, was found in Edirne by . Yaltkaya, who published an abridged Turkish translation of it (Baypars Tarihi, Istanbul 1941) without the Arabic original. Further information will be found in the general historical sources (Makrizl, Dhahabl, Ibn Taghribirdi etc.). See also E. Quatremere, Sultans Mamlouks, i ff.; M. F. Kopriilu, Baybars, in IA ; M. Di. Si?rur, al-Zdhir Baybars, Cairo 1938, and divisions of the army were operating in Nubia, in the region of Barka and in Armenia. The Franks had at last got a respite. After a year of calm, Baybars was again in Armenia, during 674/1275, where he took Sis and Ayas. The year 674 is marked by an expedition to Nubia, led by the sultan's lieutenants. In 675/1276 Baybars was in Asia Minor where he took Caesarea (Kayseri) in Cappadocia, after having defeated the Saldjuk troops and their Mongol allies. Then he returned to die at Damascus in the early part of 676/1277, at the end of a substantially fuil life. The Crusaders never recovered. One can evaluate the territorial losses of the Prankish kingdom at the death of Baybars: the principality of Antioch virtually existed no longer; in the south the frontier had been pushed back from Jaffa to Acre. Everything considered, the Crusaders possessed the general histories of medieval Egypt by G. Wiet (Histoire de la Nation egyptienne, iv, Paris, n.d, 367-82, 403-38) and S. Lane-Poole (A History of Egypt in the Middle Ages*, London 1914, index). For inscriptions see RCEA, xi, nos. 4221, 4344; xii, nos. 4476 to 4478, 4485, 45oi, 4528, 4552, 4553, 4556, 4557, 4562, 4565, 4586, 4588, 4589, 4593, 4600, 4608, 4611, 4612, 4623 to 4626, 4638, 4660, 4750, to 4662, 4673, 4686, 4690, 4692, 4714, 4723, 4724, 4726 to 4728, 4730, 4732 to 4735,

3737 to 4740, 4746, 4750 again, 4751, 4752. Further bibliography will be found in G. Wiet, Les Biographies du Manhal Sdfi, no. 708. (G. WIET)