The name of al-Qalqashandī is certainly familiar to anyone interested in the history of the Mamluk Sultanate, its organisation, and its functioning. This fifteenth-century secretary has indeed gone down in history because of his most famous work Ṣubḥ al-aʿshá fī ṣināʿat al-inshāʾ, an encyclopedic work on the inshāʾ production (chancery production) of the Islamic states from the time of the Prophet up to the early fifteenth century. Due to the extent of al-Qalqashandī’s Ṣubḥ al-aʿshá, however, the translators have only been able to concentrate on a short portion of the work concerning Egypt from the second Treatise on Human Geography (al-maqālah al-thānīyah, fī al-masālik wa-al-mamālik): “The Established Seat of Government,” including Fustat, Cairo, and the citadel (Part I of the book) and “The Regulation of the Kingdom” from early Islam up to the Ikhshidids; under the Fatimids; and during the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods (Part II).




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