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The Bahri dynasty or Bahriyya Sultante المماليك البحرية was a Mamluk dynasty that ruled Egypt from 1250 to 1382 when they were succeeded by the Burji dynasty, another group of Mamluks. Their name means 'of the sea', referring to them ruling from al-Manyal island in the Nile (Bahr al-Nil) off Cairo.
In 1250, when the Ayyubid sultan as-Salih Ayyub died, the Mamluks owned by sultan killed his owner's heir, and the Mamluk general Aybak (who ruled 1250 - 1257) married Shajarat ad-Durr (Arabic: Tree of Pearls), widow of as-Salih. The Mamluks consolidated their power in ten years and eventually established the Bahri dynasty. They were helped by the Mongols' sack of Baghdad in 1258, which effectively destroyed the Abbasid caliphate. Cairo became more prominent as a result and remained a Mamluk capital thereafter.
The Mamluks were power calvalry warriors mixing the practices of the steppe peoples from which they were drawn and the organizational and technological sophistication of the Egyptians and Arabs. In 1260 the Mamluks defeated a Mongol attack at the Battle of Ain Jalut in modern-day Syria and eventually forced the invaders to retreat to the area of modern-day Iraq. Baibars, one of the leaders at the battle, became the new sultan after assassinating Sultan Qutuz on the way home.
In 1250 Baibars had led a successful attack against the Christian knights of Louis IX of France, whom he had captured and ransomed. He had also taken part in the Mamluk takeover of Egypt. In 1261 he established a puppet caliphate in Cairo, and the Mamluks fought the remnants of the Crusader states in Palestine until they finally captured Acre in 1291. Baibars preferred to purchase his new slave recruits from the Tatars. He also attempted to retake Baghdad, but was unsuccessful. In 1268 he recaptured Antioch from the Crusaders, and also fought the Armenians, Seljuks, and Hashshashin; he also extended Muslim power into Nubia for the first time, before his death in 1277.
His successor Qalawun defeated the Syrians when they tried to secede in 1280, and also defeated another Mongol invasion in 1281 outside Emesa. After the Mongol threat passed he recaptured Tripoli from the Crusaders in 1289. His son Khalil captured Acre, the last Crusader city, in 1291.
The Mongols renewed their invasion in 1299, but were again defeated in 1303. The Egyptian sultans established a peace with the Mongols in 1322, and also entered into relations with the Golden Horde, sultan al-Nasir marrying a Mongol princess in 1319. His diplomatic relations were more extensive than those of any previous sultan, and included Bulgarian, Indian, and Abyssinian potentates, as well as the pope, the king of Aragon and the king of France. He died in 1341, and the constant changes of sultan that followed led to great disorder in the provinces; meanwhile, from 1348-1349 Egypt was visited by the Black Death, which is said to have carried off 900,000 of the inhabitants of Cairo.
In 1377 there was a revolt in Syria which spread to Egypt, and the government was taken over by the Circassians Berekeh and Barkuk ; Barkuk was proclaimed sultan in 1382, ending the Bahri dynasty. He was expelled in 1389 but recaptured Cairo in 1390, setting up the Burji dynasty.
List of Bahri Sultans
- 1250 Shajarat ad-Durr
- 1250-1257 al-Muizz Izz-ad-Din Aybak
- 1257-1259 al-Mansur Nur ad-Din Ali
- 1259-1260 al-Muzaffar Sayf ad-Din Qutuz
- 1260-1277 az-Zahir Rukn-ad-Din Baybars I al-Bunduqdari
- 1277-1280 as-Said Nasir-ad-Din Baraka Khan
- 1280 al-Adil Badr-ad-Din Salamish
- 1280-1290 al-Mansur Sayf-ad-Din Qalaun al-Alfi
- 1290-1294 al-Ashraf Salah-ad-Din Khalil
- 1294-1295 an-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din Muhammad first reign
- 1295-1297 al-Adil Zayn-ad-Din Kitbugha
- 1297-1299 al-Mansur Husam-ad-Din Lahin
- 1299-1309 an-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din Muhammad second reign
- 1309 al-Muzaffar Rukn-ad-Din Baybars II al-Jashankir
- 1309-1340 an-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din Muhammad third reign
- 1340-1341 al-Mansur Sayf-ad-Din Abu-Bakr
- 1341-1342 al-Ashraf Alah-ad-Din Kujuk
- 1342 an-Nasir Shihab-ad-Din Ahmad
- 1342-1345 as-Salih Imad-ad-Din Ismail
- 1345-1346 al-Kamil Sayf ad-Din Shaban I
- 1346-1347 al-Muzaffar Sayf-ad-Din Hajji I
- 1347-1351 an-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din al-Hasan first reign
- 1351-1354 as-Salih Salah-ad-Din Salih
- 1354-1361 an-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din al-Hasan second reign
- 1361-1363 al-Mansur Salah-ad-Din Muhammad
- 1363-1376 al-Ashraf Nasir-ad-Din Shaban II
- 1376-1382 al-Mansur Alah-ad-Din Ali
- 1382 as-Salih Salah-ad-Din Hajji I first reign
- 1382-1389 az-Zahir Sayf ad-Din Barquq (Burji dynasty)
- 1389 Hajji II second reign (with honorific title al-Muzaffar or al-Mansur)
See also: History of early Arab Egypt
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