Egypt conquered by the fāṫimids in 358/969 was rich agricultural land with winter crops and summer crops. Egypt had a long tradition of textile manufacture and its production centres. the power of the church was also derived from the fact that Egypt was predominantly a rural country with a low degree of urbanisation. alexandria was the main mediterranean port and fusṫā was the capital city and the administrative and commercial centre. the survival of some arabic-christian historical works dealing with the fāṫimid- ayyūbid period adds significantly to arabic-muslim historiography. the period of fāṫimid rule in Egypt can be divided into two distinctive phases: before and after the civil war of the 450s/1060s and the early 460s/1070s which also marked a transition from civilian to military rule. the fāṫimid army of the sixth/twelfth century was a large force composed of cavalry and tens of thousands of black infantry and was scorned by the franks for its poor fighting capabilities.
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