AuthorNettles, Isolde Betty
AdvisorWilson, William J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMamluk equestrian expertise in Egypt and Syria from mid-thirteenth to early sixteenth century reflects skills derived from a variety of sources incorporated artfully into their military institution, and which exerted influence beyond the period and the region with which it is directly concerned. With a thorough examination of its various vocations including Furusiyah and equestrian-related activities, a reconstruction of the Mamluk military society leads to the inescapable conclusion that the mounted military sector was absolutely essential to the operation and defense of the State. Maintaining a top-notch cavalry fluctuated at different periods in Mamluk history but seems to have been especially crucial in the first twenty years in the wars against the Crusaders and Mongols. The Mamluk's armies are credited with having cleared the remnants of the Crusaders out of the Levant region, checked the westward advance of the fearsome Mongol hordes into Syria and Palestine, and carved out an empire that extended northwards as far as eastern Turkey. How and where the Mamluks acquired the tactical and riding expertise to accomplish these feats is examined in this dissertation along with the legacy they passed on to later Egyptian and French horsemen. Classical equitation's origins trace to a period of progressive development in horsemanship's history stimulated by Mamluk preoccupation with furusiyah as well as the French Knights' chivalric tournament and battle honor code. Mamluk horsemanship literature left in manuscript form contains systematized military games and tactics patterned after the ancient Greco-Roman world's military, joined with Mamluk cavalry training experience. The main corpus of surviving horsemanship treatises from the Mamluk period awaits translation and/or remains unpublished.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Near Eastern Studies