Project group B: Conflict and Control, Project B1


WorkING Translation

This site presents a large part of the dissertation הבדווים במצרים בתקופה הממלוכית (parallel title: The Bedouin in Egypt during the Mamluk Period), Tel Aviv University, 1987, in an authorized working translation as research material for download:

Die Beduinen in Ägypten in mamlukischer Zeit

by Igal Shwartz
Published by Kurt Franz, translated from Hebrew by Leonhard Becker.
Online resource. March 2011.

PDF FileDie Beduinen in Ägypten in mamlukischer Zeit (working translation – GER)

This work is concerned with an extensive and thorough source study in the area of Mamluk history, which is of great importance to the historical research of nomadic pastoralism. Until recently it has drawn attention solely within Israel, but now the most important portions of the text are to be made available to a further circle of interested people through a German translation.

© Igal Shwartz 2011.

The typed dissertation by Igal Shwartz consists of a volume of his studies ([XVI], 606, 9, [5] pp., 42 maps, 2 ill.) and a volume of appendices (478 pp.). The maps contained are reproductions from Heinz Halm’s “Ägypten nach den mamlukischen Lehensregistern”, 2 vols., Wiesbaden, 1979 (Beihefte zum Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients, series B, 38). The translation contains the greater part of the study’s text. The footnote apparatus as well as the appendices in the second volume are not presented here. For one thing, their translation would nearly double the cost. For another, the footnotes overwhelmingly consist of source references and the appendices of names and such things in tabular form. Both components of the dissertation are easy to use for Arabic speakers, requiring only a slight understanding of Hebrew. Interested individuals are invited to contact the publisher.

Contents of the Original


Table of Contents (pp. [II–V] of the original)
Abstract (pp. [VI–VIII])
Preface (pp. [IX–XI])
List of Maps (pp. [XII–XV])
Illustrations (pp. [XVI])

(pp. 1–606:)

A. Elements of Egyptian Society in the Mamluk Period
B. The Bedouin Element
C. The Sources
D. Criticism of the Sources

Part One: Social Organization and Geographical Deployment

Chapter I: Groups and Territories
A. General Charakteristics of Social Organization
B. Descriptions of the Groups and Their Territories

Chapter II: Personages
A. Bedouin Names Mentioned in Mamluk Period Sources
B. Bedouin in Religious Belief
C. Leading Families

Chapter III: Migrations
A. Changes in Geographical Deployment of the Bedouin Element
B. From Upper Egypt to Countries of the Sudan
C. From Eastward and Southward from the Western Desert
D. Other Directions of Migration

Chapter IV: Social Organization and Geographical Deployment – Summary

Part Two: The Bedouin and the State – The Political Aspect

Chapter V: The Bedouin and the Mamluk Regime in Cairo
A. The Inevitability of Co-existence Despite Tendencies Toward Antagonism and Alienation
B. The Mamluk Order
C. The Weakening of Mamluk Order
D. Charakteristics of the Circassian-Mamluk Period

Part Three: The Bedouin in the Mamluk State – The Economic Aspect

Chapter VI: Livelihoods
A. Herding
B. Agriculture
C. Service
D. Plunder

Chapter VII: Property and Wealth

Chapter VIII: “Iqta'at”
A. “Iqta'at” Granted to Bedouin
B. Bedouin Revenues from “Iqta'at”

Chapter IX: Taxation
A. Taxes and Other Sources of State revenue
B. Taxation Politics and Methods of Tax Collection

Chapter X: The Economic Aspect – Summary

Notes – Introduction
Notes – Part II
Notes – Part II
Notes – Part III

Sources and Bibliography

Abstract (in English; 9 pp.)
Interleaf ([1] p.)

Table of Contents (in English; [3] pp.)
Parallel Title (in English; [1] p.)


Appendix A: Bedouin Groups
Appendix B: Bedouin Personages and Leading Families

Igal Shwartz, Die Beduinen in Ägypten in mamlukischer Zeit. Arbeitsübersetzung, edited by Kurt Franz, from the Hebrew by Leonhard Becker, 15.03.2011, <>.
© 2011 by Igal Shwartz.