14th-Century Mamluk-Kipchak Military Treatise
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
The Mamluks were originally purchased as slaves from mostly the
Kipchak tribes and the Circassians living on the southern steppes
of Russia and the Caucasus and were brought to Cairo and other
important military centers.
extensive military training in these military centers, the Mamluks
served as soldiers in the army and as bodyguards of the sultans
and military commanders, and they gradually began to exert their
power over the sultans. When the Mamluk commander Aybek overthrew
the Ayyubid dynasty in 1250, the Mamluks became the rulers of
Egypt and Syria and continued in that role until they were overthrown
in 1517 by the Ottomans.