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Ал-Ашраф Инал (1453-1461) и аз-Захир Хушкадам (1461-1467): две модели формирования мамлюкской политической элиты

The study explores political struggle and the issue of succession in the Mamluk Sultanate, especially under the Circassian Sultans al-Ashraf Īnāl (1453–1461), al-Muʾayyad Aḥmad (25.02.1461–28.06.1461) and al-Ẓāhir Khushqadam (1461–1467) and elucidates intricacies behind their policy. In the Mamluk Sultanate the transfer of power, especially in the Circassian period (1382–1517), was not determined by the principle of dynastic succession. It is well known that the Circassian sultans did not create a dynasty in the full sense of the word. Most of them tried to hand the power over to their sons, but the rule of such heirs tended to be nominal and short-lived. Those Circassian sultans who did manage to remain in power generally were not lineal descendants of their predecessors. A clearly visible trend in the Circassian succession was that an influential and ambitious amir had a good chance of becoming sultan one day.

An attempt to return to the dynasty idea was made by Sultan al-Ashraf Īnāl. His closest advisers were members of his family. Īnāl’s heir, al-Muʾayyad Aḥmad, continued his father’s policy and excluded Mamluk amirs from political decision-making. Al-Muʾayyad Aḥmad was deposed as a result of the concerted actions of the most numerous and influential factions of the Mamluks. Al-Ẓāhir Khushqadam restored the traditional principles of the formation of the political elite, according to which the sultan himself and his amirs attend their offices by merit rather than inheritance and the council of senior emirs should be the main support of the sultan.