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‘Nomen est omen: David Ayalon, the Mamluk Sultanate, and the Rule of the Turks

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Organization
Project
28065
Abstract
This essay presents a survey and careful re-reading of some of David Ayalon’s work, with a particular focus on his 1990 “Baḥrī Mamluks, Burjī Mamlūks — Inadequate Names for the Two Reigns of the Mamlūk Sultanate”. It aims to explore the wider dimensions of Ayalon’s discussions and to reflect on the meanings of naming patters in particular for understandings of this polity’s dynamic history. It endeavors to show how —contrary to common assumptions— even from Ayalon’s longstanding work it already transpired how the Mamluk sultanate was far more complex than its current name suggests. This is also suggested by Ayalon’s finding that the name which contemporary sources almost generically used to refer to this polity was that of Dawlat al-Atrak, the Rule of the Turks. This essay ends by suggesting that Rule of the Turks was a complex signifier that cannot simply be exchanged for any other name: it refers to meaningful perceptions and representations of the identity of late medieval Syro-Egyptian political elites, along socially constructed and inclusive rather than simply mamlūk or ethnic lines.
Keywords
historiography, Mamluk Sultanate, social identity, hegemonic discourse, rule of the Turks, David Ayalon, Mamluk System

Citation

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MLA
Van Steenbergen, Jo. “’Nomen Est Omen: David Ayalon, the Mamluk Sultanate, and the Rule of the Turks.” Egypt and Syria under Mamluk Rule : Political, Social and Cultural Aspects, edited by Amalia Levanoni, 2020.
APA
Van Steenbergen, J. (2020). ’Nomen est omen: David Ayalon, the Mamluk Sultanate, and the Rule of the Turks. In A. Levanoni (Ed.), Egypt and Syria under Mamluk Rule : political, social and cultural aspects.
Chicago author-date
Van Steenbergen, Jo. 2020. “’Nomen Est Omen: David Ayalon, the Mamluk Sultanate, and the Rule of the Turks.” In Egypt and Syria under Mamluk Rule : Political, Social and Cultural Aspects, edited by Amalia Levanoni.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Steenbergen, Jo. 2020. “’Nomen Est Omen: David Ayalon, the Mamluk Sultanate, and the Rule of the Turks.” In Egypt and Syria under Mamluk Rule : Political, Social and Cultural Aspects, ed by. Amalia Levanoni.
Vancouver
1.
Van Steenbergen J. ’Nomen est omen: David Ayalon, the Mamluk Sultanate, and the Rule of the Turks. In: Levanoni A, editor. Egypt and Syria under Mamluk Rule : political, social and cultural aspects. 2020.
IEEE
[1]
J. Van Steenbergen, “’Nomen est omen: David Ayalon, the Mamluk Sultanate, and the Rule of the Turks,” in Egypt and Syria under Mamluk Rule : political, social and cultural aspects, A. Levanoni, Ed. 2020.
@incollection{4128787,
  abstract     = {This essay presents a survey and careful re-reading of some of David Ayalon’s work, with a particular focus on his 1990 “Baḥrī Mamluks, Burjī Mamlūks — Inadequate Names for the Two Reigns of the Mamlūk Sultanate”. It aims to explore the wider dimensions of Ayalon’s discussions and to reflect on the meanings of naming patters in particular for understandings of this polity’s dynamic history. It endeavors to show how —contrary to common assumptions— even from Ayalon’s longstanding work it already transpired how the Mamluk sultanate was far more complex than its current name suggests. This is also suggested by Ayalon’s finding that the name which contemporary sources almost generically used to refer to this polity was that of Dawlat al-Atrak, the Rule of the Turks. This essay ends by suggesting that Rule of the Turks was a complex signifier that cannot simply be exchanged for any other name: it refers to meaningful perceptions and representations of the identity of late medieval Syro-Egyptian political elites, along socially constructed and inclusive rather than simply mamlūk or ethnic lines.},
  author       = {Van Steenbergen, Jo},
  booktitle    = {Egypt and Syria under Mamluk Rule : political, social and cultural aspects},
  editor       = {Levanoni, Amalia},
  keywords     = {historiography,Mamluk Sultanate,social identity,hegemonic discourse,rule of the Turks,David Ayalon,Mamluk System},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {‘Nomen est omen: David Ayalon, the Mamluk Sultanate, and the Rule of the Turks},
  year         = {2020},
}