The phrase ‘Gangsters and Prisoners of War’ is an unlikely, almost jarring, combination. But, bizarrely, the conditions of the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries in Cairo were ideal to create a unique hybrid community out of that most unlikely combination. This paper examines the ethnic and cultural melting pot of Mamluk prisons, where Frankish prisoners of war reached out beyond the confines of their captivity – ostensibly powerless men who, in the absence of alternatives, carved out their own unorthodox society within a society.
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- this seminar is free
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