September 26th, 2013
Episode 317 of 528 episodes
The Mamluks ruled Egypt and Syria from 1250 to 1517. Originally slave soldiers who managed to depose their masters, they went on to repel the Mongols and the Crusaders to become the dominant force in the medieval Islamic world. Although the Mamluks were renowned as warriors, they were also great patrons of the arts. They remained in power for almost 300 years until they were finally overthrown by the Ottomans. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Amira Bennison, Reader in the History and Culture of the Maghrib at the University of Cambridge; Robert Irwin, Former Senior Research Associate in the Department of History at SOAS, University of London and Doris Behrens-Abouseif, Nasser D Khalili Professor of Islamic Art and Archaeology at SOAS, University of London.