Syria 1453 CE

Syria is now under the Mamluqs, a group of slave-soldiers based in Egypt.

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What is happening in Syria in 1453CE

In the 13th century, Syria and Palestine became fragmented amongst several principalities based at Aleppo, Hamah, Damascus and other centres. These were all under princes of the Ayyubid family, and were subject to the loose control of the Ayyubid sultan in Cairo.

This was a time of economic and cultural progress for this region. The ports of the Levant coast in particular prospered, as the Crusaders had expanded trading links with Europe.

In 1260 the Mongols invaded Syria and sacked Aleppo; however, they were beaten back by the Mamluqs, a group of soldier-slaves in the service of the Ayyubids, at the battle of ‘Ayn Jalut. The Mamluqs then took control of both Egypt and Syria for themselves, and brought both countries under a much more centralized rule than before. In 1291 the Mamluqs expelled the last of the Crusading strongholds from Syrian soil.

Although the Crusaders had been expelled, the maritime trade with Europe did not come to an end, and Syria continued to prosper under the Mamluqs. Then, in 1401, the armies of the central Asian conqueror Timur swept in. They sacked Aleppo and Damascus, and inflicted great destruction on much of the country. This put an end to the period of prosperity.

Next map, Syria in 1648


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