The Fāṫimid caliphate (358-567/969-1171) and the Ayyūbids in Egypt (567-648/1171-1250)

Yaacov Lev

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe New Cambridge History of Islam
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781139056151
ISBN (Print)9780521839570
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2010.


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