History and Sources

How did Muslim history unfold after the age of the first great Caliphal dynasties?

Among the numerous dynasties and political regimes that ruled throughout the Mediterranean and Central and South Asia, several stand out. In Egypt, the Mamluk dynasty (1250-1517) presided over two and a half centuries of relative peace and prosperity throughout the central Middle East. They were patrons of the arts and architecture on a grand scale under whom Cairo especially grew into a worthy rival of any great Mediterranean city. The Ottoman Turks (1300-1921) supplanted the Mamluks as they expanded to conquer most of the former Byzantine empire and more. To the east, the Safavid dynasty (1501-1722) replaced the descendants of Genghis Khan, who had ruled Iraq and Iran for 250 years. Establishing Twelver Shi’a Islam the official creed of the realm, the Safavids created splendid art and architecture in cities such as Isfahan.


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