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    Shoval, Ilan 2018. “All the Way to the British Isles”: Ayyūbid-English Diplomatic Networks in an Early Thirteenth-Century Exchange. Speculum, Vol. 93, Issue. 3, p. 638.

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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: March 2011

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

from PART II - EGYPT AND SYRIA (ELEVENTH CENTURY UNTIL THE OTTOMAN CONQUEST)
Summary
Egypt conquered by the Fāṭimids 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 Fusṭāṭ was the capital city and the administrative and commercial centre. The survival of some Arabic-Christian historical works dealing with the Fāṭimid- Ayyūbid period adds significantly to Arabic-Muslim historiography. The period of Fāṭimid 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 Fāṭimid 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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