The Mamluk Sultanate represents an extremely interesting case study to examine social, economic and cultural developments in the transition into the rapidly changing modern world. On the one hand, it is the heir of a political and military tradition that goes back hundreds of years, and brought this to a high pitch that enabled astounding victories over serious external threats. On the other hand, as time went on, it was increasingly confronted with "modern" problems that would necessitate fundamental changes in its structure and content. The Mamluk period was one of great religious and social change, and in many ways the modern demographic map was established at this time. This volume shows that the situation of the Mamluk Sultanate was far from that of decadence, and until the end it was a vibrant society (although not without tensions and increasing problems) that did its best to adapt and compete in a rapidly changing world.
Reuven Amitai is Professor for Muslim History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prof. Dr. Stephan Conermann teaches Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies, University of Bonn.