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Perspectives on MaimonidesPhilosophical and Historical Studies$
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Joel L. Kraemer

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780197100714

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780197100714.001.0001

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Saladin’s Egypt and Maimonides

Saladin’s Egypt and Maimonides

(p.303) 16 Saladin’s Egypt and Maimonides
Perspectives on Maimonides

Andrew S. Ehrenkreutz

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the transition in power from the Shīʻī Fāṭimids to the Sunnī Ayyūbids, and the coincidence of Maimonides’ rise to prominence at this juncture. When Maimonides settled in Alexandria in 1165, he could hardly have expected to witness so many dramatic events that would in subsequent decades decisively affect the course of Egyptian history. Interestingly enough, the rise of the great Jewish philosopher, physician, and social activist to public prominence in Egypt coincided chronologically and geographically with that of his famous Muslim contemporary, Saladin, whose career in Egypt opened a new chapter in the history of the Eastern Mediterranean. Of these two celebrities, Saladin was the first to set foot on Egyptian soil. The chapter then assesses the effect of the abrupt termination of the Fāṭimid caliphate — under whose relatively tolerant and commercially oriented regime the non-Muslim minorities had experienced a period of prosperity — on the Jewish community of Fusṭāṭ.

Keywords:   Shīʻī Fāṭimids, Sunnī Ayyūbids, Maimonides, Egyptian history, Egypt, Saladin, Fāṭimid caliphate, non-Muslim minorities, Jewish community, Fusṭāṭ

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