The 15th century historian Ibn Taghrībirdī was one of the sons of Mamluks who succeeded in building a scholarly career. His knowledge of the language, customs and values of the Mamluk court allowed him to present the actions of the ruling elite in a manner that often differed from the reports of his scholarly colleagues. The present article examines the picture that Ibn Taghrībirdī painted of the rulers Shajar al-Durr, Aybak and Quṭuz. His presentation is contrasted to the portrayals provided by his two teachers Badr al-Dīn al-ʿAynī and al-Maqrīzī.
Irmeli Perho is Docent in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Helsinki. She is teaching Islamic subjects and Arabic language. She has previously published ”Climbing the ladder: social mobility in the Mamluk period,” in Mamluk Studies Review, 15/1 (2011) and ”Ibn Qayyim al-Ğawziyyah’s Contribution to the Prophet’s Medicine,” in A Scholar in the Shadow: Essays in the Legal and Theological Thought of Ibn Qayyim al-Ğawziyyah, ed. Caterina Bori & Livnat Holtzman (2010).