Faris ad-Din Aktay

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Faris ad-Din Aktay al-Jamdar ( Arabic فارس الدين أقطاى الجمدار, DMG Fāris ad-Dīn Aqtai al-Ǧamdārī ; † January 1254 in Cairo ) was an influential emir of the Bahri regiment at the end of the Ayyubids - and at the beginning of the Mamluk rule in Egypt .

At the court of Sultan al-Salih Ayyub Aktay took, among other things, the post of "keeper of the cloakroom", which explains his nickname al-Jamdār . During the crusade of the French King Louis IX. After Egypt ( Sixth Crusade ), Aktay was the first emir of the Mamluk Bahriyya regiment. After the Sultan's death in November 1249, he was sent by the Sultana Shajar ad-Durr to Hisn Keyfa to escort the Sultan's son al-Mu'azzam Turan Shah to Egypt. Then, in the spring of 1250, he distinguished himself together with Baibars in the successful defense of al-Mansura . For the first time he also led his own regiment, the Jamdāriyya Mamluks. On May 2, 1250, Aktay was the head of the conspiracy against Sultan Turan Shah, whom he personally beheaded in the Nile . In addition, he cut out the Sultan's heart with the intention of giving it to the captured Louis IX. for sale.

Although Aktay was the commander of the powerful Bahri regiment, he could not prevail in the power struggle for the sultan's throne against Aybak . Aybak was also a Mamluk, but did not belong to the Bahri regiment. He married the Sultana Shajar ad-Durr and thus seized power. Aktay and Baibars immediately opposed Aybak's authority, terrorized the people of Cairo and successfully carried out the enthronement of Ayyubid prince al-Ashraf Musa as co-sultan. On February 2, 1251, Aktay repulsed an attempted invasion of the Ayyubid Sultan of Syria , an-Nasir Yusuf , at the Battle of al-Kura, which earned the Bahri regiment additional prestige. A subsequent push by Aktay into Palestine led to the capture of Gaza . However, his march was stopped in a battle near Nablus by an-Nasir Yusuf, whereupon he withdrew to Egypt.

After he had bloodily suppressed a Bedouin rebellion in the Nile Delta in 1253 , Aybak finally became a serious competitor for power in Egypt. In January 1254 the two agreed to meet in the Cairo Citadel to resolve their differences. When Aktay arrived there, however, he was surrounded and killed by the sultan's body mamluks under the leadership of the Emir Qutuz . Sultan Aybak then carried out a cleanup operation against the Bahri Mamluks, but several of them were able to escape. For example, Baibars fled into exile in Syria.

Individual evidence

  1. adh-Dhahabī : Taʾrīḫ al-Islām , ed. by ʿUmar ʿAbd as-Salām Tadmurī, 1998, vol. 5, p. 56
  2. Sibṭ b. al-Ǧauzī: Mirʿāt az-zamān fī taʾrīḫ al-ʾaʿyān , 1952, vol. 8/2, pp. 781-783.
  3. Joinville , III, § 15, ed. by Ethel Wedgwood (1906) - Joinville called him Farakataye .
  4. ^ Letter from the Patriarch Robert of Jerusalem from the summer of 1251; see Annales monasterii de Burton , ed. by Henry Richards Luard: Annales Monastici in: Rolls Series 36 (1864), Vol. 1, p. 296. - The patriarch called him Feres Cerataye .
  5. ^ Letter from King Louis IX. August 11, 1251 in Caesarea; see Layettes du Trésor des Chartes , ed. by Joseph de Laborde (1875), Vol. 3, pp. 139-140. - The king called him Feres Katay .


  • Jörg-Dieter Brandes: The Mameluks. The rise and fall of slave despotism. WMA, Wiesbaden 2007.