MAM'ELUKES (from Fr. ?name/irk, mama lue, from Ar. wand fik, purchased slave, from malaka, to •possess). A dynasty of Egyptian sultans who ruled from 1250 to 1517. The mune was originally applied to the Turkish slaves who were brought in large numbers into Egypt and came to constitute the main strength of the army. filling at the same time the highest posts in the State. In HIM' the Manadukes were re cruited by large numbers of Circassian slaves. In 1250 the last Ayultite ruler died and the power fell into the hands of the Emir Eybek, who Inny Tied Sheger•ed-Dnrr, the mother of the dead monarch. The dynasty founded by Evbek is known as that of the Poltrite Mainelukes. Ey bek was killed in 1257 and the government was assumed by the Viceroy Nutuz. who in 1260 gained a notable victory over the Mongols, and established his power over Syria. The celebrated Bibars ruled from 1260 to 1277. He waged war against the Christians in Syria, and in 12GS put an end to the principality of Antioch. His armies overran Armenia and penetrated far into Asia Minor. His power toward the south extended as far as Nubia. Al-Mansur (1279-90) carried on successful wars against the Mongols and Chris tians. He took Damascus and made himself urns, ter of Tripolis, which for two centuries had been held by the Christians. Al-Mansur's two sons ruled in succession and increased the power of the sultanate. while at the same time the condition of the people was improved by the construction of important public works. Cairo was greatly beau tified and rose in importance as one of the cap itals of the East. There followed a period of steady decline during which the real power passed from the hands of the Sultans to the commanders of the troops, which were now largely composed of Circassians. In 1389 the last Bahrite ruler was deposed and Barkuk, first of the Circassian or Ilurgite Mamelukes, ascended the throne. During the reign of Barkuk Egypt was threatened by the power of Timur, who wrested from Barkuk's son, Faraj, a great part of Syria. Barsa Bey (1422-37) reduced Cyprus to the position of a vassal State, and exercised considerable influence in the Eastern Mediter ranean. Bait Bey (1467-96) carried on war
against Sultan Bajazet IL in support, partly. of the claims of the latter's brother. .Tern. After Knit Bey's death. five sultans ruled within as many years, most of them perishing by assas sination. In 1501 Elansull EI-Ghuri was raised to the throne. After reigning for fifteen years, he engaged in war with the Turkish Sultan, Selig I., and was overthrown and slain in a san guinary battle at Marj Dabik, near Aleppo (1516). The Mamehikes under Taman Bey 11. resisted the invasion of Egypt by Seliw and fell in large numbers on the field or during their des perate defense of the capital. Their dynasty dis appeared from the throne, and Egypt became a Turkish province (1517). To conciliate the sur viving Mamehikes, Selig divided Egypt into twenty-four military provinces and placed Mam eluke boys over them subject to the supreme an thorilv of a Turkish pasha. With the decay of the Turkish Empire. the Maineluke keys arro gated to themselves greater powers and finally ruled in almost virtual independence. Napoleon encountered the Mamehikes under Slurad Bey in the battle of the Pyramids. July •1. 1798. and utterly defeated them. After the expulsion of the French from Egypt Slamelukes contended with the Turks for dominion. The ambitious Mehemet Ali (q.v.) determined to crush and ex terminate this military aristocracy. On Aigrust 17, 1805, more than one hundred of the Mame bikes were enticed into Cairo and slaughtered. On March 1, 1811, treachery was again resorted to and nearly 470 Mamehikes were shot down in the citadel at Cairo. This was followed by a general slaughter of Mainelnkes all over Egypt. A remnant of them fled to Nubia. where they were followed by Ibrahim Pasha (q.v.), who put to death some and dispersed the rest. With their disappearance. Egypt was rescued from the con ditions of anarchy into which the struggle of the boys had plunged it for so many years. Consult Slakrizi's history of the Mamehike sultans. trans lated by Quatremere (3 vols., Paris, 1837-41 ).