Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. © Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. The Mamluks Daniel 11: 11-13 (11) "Then the king of the South will march out in a rage and fight against the king of the North, who will raise a large army, but it will be defeated. (12) When the army is carried off, the king of the South will be filled with pride and will slaughter many thousands, yet he will not remain triumphant. (13) For the king of the North will muster another army, larger than the first; and after several years, he will advance with a huge army fully equipped.      Starting here, the ‘king of the south’ refers to the Mamluks because they took Cairo from the southern part of the Ayyubids in 1250.  The Mamluks were former slaves of mixed ancestry but mainly Kipchak Turks from Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia.  They converted to Islam and served as soldiers for the Arab caliphs starting in the 9th century.  They grew in power and eventually established the Mamluk dynasty in Egypt from 1250–1517.       In 1260, the Mamluks took advantage of Hulagu’s return home and attacked the Mongol’s diminished forces.  At the battle of Ain Jalut, just north of Jerusalem, there were about 20,000 men on each side.  Historians consider the battle to be significant because it was the first time the Mongols had suffered such a decisive defeat.  The Mamluks were triumphant farther north that same year and drove the Mongols completely out of Syria.       Hulagu Khan returned in 1262 but before he could take revenge against the Mamluks, he was attacked by another khanate from Russia.  It was the first occurrence of the Mongols fighting each other.  However, Berke Khan was the first Mongol leader to convert to Islam too.  He became offended by the way Hulagu had sacked Baghdad and destroyed the Abbasid Caliphate, the spiritual head of Islam.  While Hulagu was gone, the Mamluks heard about Berke’s conversion and nourished their relationship with the Russian khanate.  That strategy probably saved them because Hulagu suffered severe defeats at the hands of Berke until his death in 1265.       As the verse says, the Mongols did return with a larger army, several years later, but they were stopped again by outside forces.  Ghazan Khan, great-grandson of Hulagu, attacked the Mamluks with a huge army in 1299.  He led an army of 100,000 across the Euphrates, sacked Damascus, and got as far as Gaza.  However, this time, the Chagatai Khanate from northeast Persia attacked the Ilkhanate.  Ghazan Khan had to return to defend his Persian territory so the Mamluks re-occupied Syria and held their position as “king of the south”.   sitemap home
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