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#Islamic history

Very few have not heard of them, for the Mamlūks are a daunting, elusive non-elite that demarcated Egypt’s medieval years, defining the era with prolific intent. Their story is one of cultural dysphoria and blood, of how men once delegated to the battlefield overthrew their Ayyubid masters, the Mongols, and European Crusaders in a fell swoop that birthed a three-century reign over Egypt. As a term, mamlūk bears a simple linguistic meaning: ‘one who is owned.’ Granted context, it’s an…