Advertisement

The Mamluk’s Best Friend: The Mounts of the Military Elite of Egypt and Eurasian Steppe in the Late Middle-Ages

  • Reuven AmitaiEmail author
  • Gila Kahila Bar-Gal
Chapter
Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series book series (PMAES)

Abstract

It should not come as a surprise that the Mamluks took their horses very seriously. The mainstay of their military might was a large mobile field army that was mostly made up of mounted archers. In this they were similar to the armies of the Eurasian Steppe. However, unlike the Mongols and the Turkmens, the Mamluk horses were not primarily fed by grazing, but rather by fodder. Like the Mamluk soldiers themselves, their mounts were “city dwellers,” although they may have also spent some time during every year out in the country. This, in turn, presented all kinds of logistical challenges, some of which will be discussed in this chapter. In addition, we will review some of the evidence for the types of horses that the Mamluks used and compare it to the mounts employed their Mongol enemies.

Keywords

Horses Egypt Eurasian Steppe Mamluks Fodder Horse training Veterinary health 

References

  1. Abū al-Fidā’ (al-Malik al-Mu’ayyad Ismā`īl). 1907–1908 (1385 H.). Al-Mukhtaṣar fī akhbār al-bashar. Cairo: al-Maṭba`a al-Ḥusaynī al-Miṣriyya, 1325.Google Scholar
  2. Allsen, Thomas T. Allsen. 1997. Commodity and Exchange in the Mongol Empire: A Cultural History of Islamic Textiles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Amitai-Preiss, Reuven. 1995. Mongols and Mamluks: The Mamluk-Ilkhanid War 1260–1281. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Amitai, Reuven. 2004. “Did the Mongols in the Middle East Remain Nomadic Pastoralists?” Paper delivered at workshop on “Conditions of Pastoral Mobility,” Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany, 17–19 June. Available at https://huji.academia.edu/ReuvenAmitai.
  5. Amitai, Reuven. 2006. “Some More Thoughts on the Logistics of the Mongol-Mamluk War (with Special Reference to the Battle of Wadi al-Khaznadar).” In Logistics of War in the Age of the Crusades, edited by John Pryor, 25–42. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  6. Amitai, Reuven. 2007. The Mongols in the Islamic Lands: Studies in the History of the Ilkhanate. Aldershot, UK and Burlington, VT: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  7. Amitai, Reuven. 2011. “Dealing with Reality: Early Mamluk Military Policy and the Allocation of Resources.” In Crossroads Between Latin Europe and the Near East: Frankish Presence in the Eastern Mediterranean (12th to 14th Centuries), edited by Stefan Leder, 127–144. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag.Google Scholar
  8. Amitai, Reuven. 2013. Holy War and Rapprochement: Studies in the Relations between the Mamluk Sultanate and the Mongol Ilkhanate (1260–1335). Turnhout: Brepols.Google Scholar
  9. Amitai, Reuven. 2016. “Continuity and Change in the Mongol Army of the Ilkhanate.” In The Mongols’ Middle East: Continuity and Transformation in Ilkhanid Iran, edited by Charles Melville and Bruno De Nicola, 38–52. Leiden and Boston: Brill.Google Scholar
  10. Ayalon, David. 1951. L’Esclavage du Mamelouk, Oriental Notes and Studies No. 1. Jerusalem: Israel Oriental Society. Reprinted in D. Ayalon, 1979. The Mamlūk Military Society: Collected Studies. London: Variorum.Google Scholar
  11. Ayalon, David. 1953–1954. “Studies on the Structure of the Mamluk Army.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. Pt. 1: 15/2, 203–228; Pt. 2: 15/3, 448–476; Pt. 3: 16/1, 57–90. Reprinted in D. Ayalon. 1977. Studies on the Mamlūks of Egypt (1250–1517). London: Variorum.Google Scholar
  12. Ayalon, David. 1958. “The System of Payment in Mamluk Military Society.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 1: 37–65, 257–296. Reprinted in D. Ayalon. 1977. Studies on the Mamlūks of Egypt (1250–1517). London: Variorum.Google Scholar
  13. Ayalon, David. 1961. “Notes of the Furūsiyya Exercises and Games in the Mamlūk Sultanate.” In Studies in Islamic History and Civilization, edited by Uriel Heyd. Published in Scripta Hierosolymitana, 9, 31–62. Reprinted in D. Ayalon. 1979. The Mamlūk Military Society: Collected Studies. London: Variorum.Google Scholar
  14. Ayalon, David. 1971. “On One of the Works of Jean Sauvaget.” Israel Oriental Studies 1: 298–302. Reprinted in D. Ayalon. 1979. The Mamlūk Military Society: Collected Studies. London: Variorum.Google Scholar
  15. Ayalon, David. 1988. “The Auxiliary Forces of the Mamluk Sultanate.” Der Islam 65, 13–37. Reprinted in D. Ayalon. 1994. Islam and the Abode of War. Aldershot: Variorum (Ashgate).Google Scholar
  16. Ayalon, David. 1994. “The Expansion and Decline of Cairo Under the Mamlūks and Its Background.” In Itinéraires d’Orient: Hommages à Claude Cahen, edited by Raoul Curiel and Rika Gyselen, 13–20. Res Orientales VI. Bures-sur-Yvette: Groupe pour l’Étude de la Civilisation du Moyen-Orient.Google Scholar
  17. Baadj, Amar S. 2019. “Travel by Sea and Land Between the Maghrib and the Mamluk Empire.” In The Mamluk Sultanate from the Perspective of Regional and World History: Economic, Social and Cultural Developments in an Era of Increasing International Interaction and Competition, edited by Reuven Amitai and Stephan Conermann, 283–307. Göttingen: V&R Unipress.Google Scholar
  18. Bachrach, Bernard. 1988. “Caballus and Caballarius in Medieval Warfare.” In The Study of Chivalry: Resources and Approaches, edited by Howell Chickering and Thomas H. Seiler, 173–211. Published for the Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages, Inc. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University.Google Scholar
  19. Bennett, Deb. 1998. Conquerors: The Roots of New World Horsemanship. Solvang, CA: Amigo Publications.Google Scholar
  20. Bennett, Deb, and Robert S. Hoffmann. 1999. Equus caballus, Mammalian Species No. 628. https://academic.oup.com/mspecies/article/doi/10.2307/3504442/2600771 Accessed on December 1, 2018.
  21. Cahen, Claude. 1975. “Les Changements techniques militaires dans le Proche Orient médiéval et leur importance historique.” In War, Technology and Society in the Middle East, edited by V. J. Parry and Malcom E. Yapp, 113–124. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Clauson, Gerard. 1972. An Etymological Dictionary of Pre-Thirteenth-Century Turkish. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Google Scholar
  23. Colburn, Henry P. 2015. “Memories of the Second Persian Period in Egypt.” In Political Memory in and After the Persian Empire, edited by Jason M. Silverman and Caroline Waerzeggers, 165–202. Atlanta: SBL Press.Google Scholar
  24. Conermann, Stephan. 2009. “Muḥammad zu Pferde im Kampf: Ein Beispiel für das Genre der Furūsiyya an-nabawiyya während der Mamlukenzeit (1250–1517).” In Pferde in Asien: Geschichte, Handel and Kultur / Horses in Asia: History, Trade and Culture, edited by Bert G. Fragner, Ralph Kauz, Roderich Ptak and Angela Schottenhammer, 51–59. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.Google Scholar
  25. Davis, R. H. C. 1989. The Medieval Warhorse: Origin, Development and Redevelopment. London: Thames & Hudson.Google Scholar
  26. Dozy, Reinhart. 1881. Supplément aux dictionnaires arabes. Beirut: Librairie du Liban, 1981. Reprint of Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  27. Drory, Joseph. 2007. “The Role of Banū Faḍl in Fourteenth Century Northern Syria.” In Egypt and Syria in the Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk Eras: Proceedings of the 11th, 12th and 13th International Colloquium Organized at the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven in May 2002, 2003 and 2005, edited by Urbain Vermeulen and Kristof d’Hulster, 471–485. Leuven, Paris and Dudley, MA: Uitgeverij Peeters.Google Scholar
  28. Esin, Emel. 1965. “The Horse in Turkish Art.” Central Asiatic Journal 10: 167–227.Google Scholar
  29. Fishbein, Michael, trans. 1992. The War Between Brothers, vol. XXXI of The History of al-Ṭabarī. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  30. Franz, Kurt. 2015. “Bedouin and States: Framing the Mongol-Mamlūk Wars in Long-Term History.” In Nomad Military Power in Iran and Adjacent Areas in the Islamic Period, edited by Kurt Franz and Wolfgang Holzwarth, 29–105. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag.Google Scholar
  31. Goldziher, Ignaz. 1967. “Muruwwa and Dīn.” In Muslim Studies. Translated by C. R. Barber and S. M. Stern and Edited by S. M. Stern, 11–43. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  32. Grutz, Jane Waldron. 2011. “Hafiz’s Gift.” Saudi Aramco World 62 (1): 12–19.Google Scholar
  33. Harrigan, Peter. 2010. “‘Drinkers of the Wind’.” Saudi Aramco World 61 (6): 18.Google Scholar
  34. Het`um [Hayton/Hathoum]. 1906. “La Flor des estories de la Terre d’Orient.” In Recueil des historiens des croisades, documents armeniens, 2: 111–253. Paris: Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres.Google Scholar
  35. Hiyari, Mustafa A. 1975. “The Origins and Development of the Amīrate of the Arabs During the Seventh/Thirteenth and Eighth/Fourteenth Centuries.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 38: 509–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Holt, Peter M. 1982. “Three Biographies of al-Ẓāhir Baybars.” In Medieval Historical Writing in the Christian and Islamic Worlds, edited by David O. Morgan, 19–29. London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.Google Scholar
  37. Holt, Peter M. 1986. The Age of the Crusades: The Near East from the Eleventh Century to 1517. London and New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  38. Holt, Peter M. 1995. “The Sultan as Ideal Ruler: Ayyubid and Mamluk Prototypes.” In Süleyman the Magnificent and His Age: The Ottoman Empire in the Early Modern World, edited by Metin Kunt and Christine Woodhead, 122–37. London and New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  39. Hyland, Ann. 1994. The Medieval Warhorse from Byzantium to the Crusades. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing.Google Scholar
  40. Ibn `Abd al-Zahir (Muḥyī al-Dīn). 1976 (= 1396 H). Al-Rawḍ al-zāhir fī sīrat al-malik al-ẓāhir. Edited by `Abd al-`Azīz al-Khuwayṭir. Riyad: n.p.Google Scholar
  41. Ibn Shaddād al-Ḥalabī (`Izz al-Dīn Muḥammad b. `Alī). 1983 (1403 H). Ta’rīkh al-malik al-ẓāhir (Die Geschichte des Sultan Baibars). Edited by Aḥmad Ḥuṭayṭ. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner.Google Scholar
  42. Irwin, Robert. 1986. The Middle East in the Middle Ages: The Early Mamluk Sultanate 1250–1382. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  43. Kelekna, Pita. 2009. The Horse in Human History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Lane, Edward W. 1863–1893. Arabic-English Lexicon. Cambridge, UK: The Islamic Texts Society, 1984. Reprint of London and Edinburgh: Williams and Norgate.Google Scholar
  45. Levanoni, Amalia. 1995. A Turning Point in Mamluk History: The Third Reign of al-Nāṣir Muḥammad ibn Qalāwūn (1310–1341). Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  46. Loiseau, Julien. 2014. Les Mamelouks, XIIIe-XVIe siècle. Une experience du pouvoir dans l’Islam medieval. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.Google Scholar
  47. Lombard, Maurice. 2003. The Golden Age of Islam. Translated by Joan Spencer. New Preface by Jane Hathaway. Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers.Google Scholar
  48. al-Maqrīzī, Taqī al-Dīn Aḥmad b. `Alī. 1934–1974. Kitāb al-sulūk li-ma`rifat al-duwal wal-mulūk. Edited by Muḥammad Muṣṭafā Ziyāda, et al. Cairo: Dār al-Kutub al-Miṣriyya.Google Scholar
  49. Meloy, John L. 2015. Imperial Power and Maritime Trade: Mecca and Cairo in the Later Middle Ages. Chicago: Middle East Documentation Center.Google Scholar
  50. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. 2001. 10th ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.Google Scholar
  51. Nicolle, David, with Illustrations by Angus McBride. 1993. The Mamluks 1250–1517, 259. Men-At-Arms Series. London: Osprey Publishing.Google Scholar
  52. Northrup, Linda. 1998. From Slave to Sultan: The Career of al-Manṣūr Qalāwūn and the Consolidation of Mamluk Rule in Egypt and Syria (678–689 A.H./1279–1290 A.D.). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.Google Scholar
  53. Olsen, Sarah L., and Cynthia Culbertson. 2010. A Gift from the Desert: The Art, History and Culture of the Arabian Horse. Lexington, KE: International Museum of the Horse.Google Scholar
  54. Paviot, Jacques. 2001. “Comment reconquerir la Terre sainte et vaincre les Sarrasin?” In Dei gesta per Francos: Crusade Studies in Honour of Jean Richard, edited by Michel Balard, Benjamin Z. Kedar, and Jonathan Riley-Smith, 79–85. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  55. Poliak, Avraham N. 1939. Feudalism in Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and the Lebanon, 1250–1900. London: The Royal Asiatic Society.Google Scholar
  56. al-Qalqashandī, Aḥmad b. `Alī. 1987. Ṣubḥ al-a`shā fī ṣinā`at al-inshā. Edited by Muḥammad Ḥusayn Shams al-Dīn. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya. 1407 H. 14 vols.Google Scholar
  57. Rabie, Hassanein. 1975. “The Training of the Mamluk Fāris.” In War, Technology and Society in the Middle East, edited by V. J. Parry and Malcom E. Yapp, 153–163. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Richards, Donald S. 2017. Egypt and Syria in the Early Mamluk Period: An Extract from Ibn Faḍl Allāh al-’Umarī’s Masālik al-Abṣār fī Mamālik al-Amṣār. Abingdon, UK and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  59. al-Sarraf, Shihab. 2004. “Mamluk Furūsīyah Literature and Its Antecedents.” Mamlūk Studies Review 8 (1): 141–200.Google Scholar
  60. Sauvaget, Jean. 1941. La poste aux chevaux dans l’empire des Mamelouks. Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve.Google Scholar
  61. Shehada, Housni Alkhateeb. 2012. Mamluks and Animals: Veterinary Medicine in Medieval Islam. Leiden and Boston: Brill.Google Scholar
  62. Silverman, Adam. 2007. Postal Systems in the Pre-modern Islamic World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Simonoff, Leonid de, and Jean de Moerder. 1894. Races chevalines, avec le chevaux russes. Paris: Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique.Google Scholar
  64. Smith, G. Rex. 1979. Medieval Muslim Horsemanship: A Fourteenth-Century Arabic Calvary Manual. London: The British Library.Google Scholar
  65. Smith, John Masson, Jr. 1984. “ʿAyn Jālūt: Mamlūk Success or Mongol Failure?” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 44 (2): 307–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Smith, John Masson, Jr. 1998. “Nomads on Ponies vs. Slaves on Horses.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 118 (1): 54–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Smith, John Masson, Jr. 2009. “From Pasture to Manger: The Evolution of Mongol Cavalry Logistics in Yuan China and its Consequences.” In Pferde in Asien: Geschichte, Handel und Kultur/Horses in Asia: History, Trade and Culture, edited by Bert G. Fragner, Ralph Kauz, Roderich Ptak and Angela Schottenhammer, 63–74. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.Google Scholar
  68. Tritton, Arthur S. 1948. “Tribes of Syria in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Century.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 12: 567–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. al-`Umarī, Ibn `Faḍl Allāh, Shihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā. 1893–1894. al-Ta`rīf bil-muṣṭalaḥ al-sharīf. Cairo: Maṭba`at al-`Āṣima, 1312 H.Google Scholar
  70. al-`Umarī, Ibn `Faḍl Allāh, Shihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā. 1984. Masālik al-abṣār fī mamālik al-amṣār d’Ibn Faḍl Allāh al-ʿUmarī (Šihāb Faḍl Allāh b. Yaḥyā b. Faḍl Allāh m. 749/1349): L’Égypte, la Syrie, le Ḥiğāz. Edited by Ayman Fuʾād Sayyid. Cairo: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale.Google Scholar
  71. al-`Umarī, Ibn `Faḍl Allāh Shihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā. 2010. Masālik al-abṣār fi mamālik al-amṣār. Edited by Kāmil Salmān al-Jabūrī and Mahdī al-Najm. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya.Google Scholar
  72. Waterson, Richard. 2007. The Knights of Islam: The Wars of the Mamluks. London: Greenhill Books & St. Paul and MBI Publishing.Google Scholar
  73. Wehr, Hans. 1971. A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. Edited by J. Milton Cowan, 3rd ed. Ithaca, NY: Spoken Language Services.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations