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Jewish Court Physicians in the Mamluk Sultanate during the First Half of the 8th/14th Century

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AbstractIt is usually accepted among modern scholars that the Mamluk period marked a drastic decline in the position of non-Muslims. Jews and Christians were exposed to increasing persecutions and, inter alia, could not serve as great physicians unless they converted to Islam. Against these assumptions, the article discusses new data regarding three Jewish court physicians from the first half of the 8th/14th century. Despite being under a strong pressure to convert, these doctors gained honorable positions and a high social status in the Mamluk sultanate. As erudite physicians and skillful practitioners, they were integrated with the highest circles of the political, military and especially intellectual Muslim elite of their time.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Jewish History and Culture, Faculty of History and the Arts, Historical Seminar, Ludwig Maximilian University MunichGeschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, 80539


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