The Abbasid Caliphate of Cairo, 1261-1517Out of the Shadows

The Abbasid Caliphate of Cairo, 1261-1517Out of the Shadows

Mustafa Banister

Print publication date: 2022

ISBN: 9781474453363

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press


This book presents a detailed investigation of the Cairene descendants of the Abbasid family during the period of so-called ‘Mamluk’ rule in Egypt and Syria (1250–1517) and reveals a nuanced understanding of the Abbasid Caliphate according to elite members of Syro-Egyptian society. In doing so, Mustafa Banister addresses the function of the caliph and his office amidst the breakdown and recreation of each new socio-political order of the Cairo Sultanate. The book examines the uniquely medieval Egyptian conditions of both the idea and the institution of the caliphate, including how it was socially and textually performed in the context of the late medieval sultanate. Part One of the book (Chapters 1–5) creates a sprawling historical narrative, which establishes a chronological framework that contextualises the rest of the work. Part Two of the book (Chapters 6–9), as a social and intellectual history, then broadens the focus of the study by analysing contemporary perceptions of the Abbasid Caliphate of Cairo. For specialist and non-specialist readers, this book provides a comprehensive dynastic history of the Cairene Abbasids, as well as a study of the manifestations of ‘Caliphate’ in the Cairo Sultanate based on narrative, prescriptive and documentary sources.