Chapter

Cycles of Decline and Revival

Peter Sheehan

in Babylon of Egypt

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9789774162992
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781936190072 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774162992.003.0006
Cycles of Decline and Revival

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By the end of eleventh century, large areas of al-Fustat were abandoned due to the disasters suffered by the Egyptian capital in the long reign of Fatimid caliph al-Mustansir. The further abandonment and depopulation of most of the southern part of the city were hastened by a major earthquake and the burning of al-Fustat at the time of the Crusaders' attack on Cairo. After those disasters happened, the Ayyubid dynasty was founded by Salah al-Din after the reign of Fatimid ended in 1171. It marked a number of important topographical developments that emphasized the change of dynasty. They demolished the Fatimid palaces of al-Qahira and remodeled the central area of the former “royal” city. With the Ayyubid dynasty, both Old Cairo and al-Fustat were redeveloped. The importance derived by Old Cairo to the Nile and the harbor of the city was reinforced by the construction of another citadel.

Keywords: al-Fustat; Fatimid; Old Cairo; Ayyubid dynasty; Salah al-Din; al-Qahira

Chapter.  15905 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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