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The Mamlukisation of the Mamluk Sultanate II: historiography, political order and state formation in fifteenth-century Egypt and Syria

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "MMS-II" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: GENT
postcode: 9000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙000˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙000˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2021-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT GENT BE (GENT) coordinator 2˙000˙000.00


 Project objective

MMS-II pursues the hypothesis that the Mamluk sultanate was a cultural product constructed in the interaction between state formation and historiography. MMS-II follows up from the ERC-project MMS' focus on the social production of power networks in the Syro-Egyptian sultanate between the 1410s and 1460s, but it does so by directing the themes of political history and Arabic historiography towards entirely new, unexplored horizons. Current understanding of the late medieval Middle East continues to rely heavily on the rich Arabic historiographical production of the period. However, the particular nature, impact and value of this highly politicized historiography remains hugely underexplored and underestimated. MMS-II aims to remedy this, by arguing with and beyond instead of against or outside of this historiography’s subjectivities. It wants to understand its texts as products of particular socio-cultural practices and, at the same time, as a particular type of actors in such practices. Analytically, state formation will be prioritised as one extremely relevant patterned set of effects of such practices. Heuristically, the project will focus on practices related to claims of historical truth and order, asking how Arabic historiographical texts written between the 1410s and the 1460s related to the regularly changing social orders that were produced around the different sultans of these decades. My main hypothesis is that of these texts' active participation in the construction of a particular social memory of one longstanding sultanate of military slaves (‘Mamlukisation’). MMS-II has three specific objectives: the creation of a reference tool for Arabic historiographical texts from the period 1410-1470; the in-depth study of particular sets of these texts; the analysis of political vocabularies in these texts. By thus exploring the inter-subjective re/production of Arabic historiography MMS-II will generate a welcome cultural turn in late medieval Islamic history.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Jo Van Steenbergen, Stijn Van Nieuwenhuyse
Truth and Politics in Late Medieval Arabic Historiography: the Formation of Sultan Barsbāy’s State (1422‒1438) and the Narratives of the Amir Qurqumās al-Shaʿbānī (d. 1438)
published pages: 147-187, ISSN: 0021-1818, DOI: 10.1515/islam-2018-0006
Der Islam 95/1 2019-06-18

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