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Ziadeh, N. A. (1950) Study of Urban life in Syria, 1200-1400. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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During the 13th and 14th Centuries A.D. Syria was a battleground. Saladin started the ball rolling when he defeated the Crusaders in Hittin (1187). His immediate successors waged less serious wars against the Crusaders, but the Mamluks, established in A.D. 1250, carried the conflict to its logical end when in 1891 they wrested Acre from the Crusaders who satisfied themselves with the kingdom of Cyprus. These wars constitute only one aspect of the picture. The Tartars (Mongols) found their way to Syria in the 13th century and till the end of the 14th they remained a source of danger to the people of Syria. Their campaigns, battles, conquests etc. caused great damage in the country. Besides, the Mamluks fought against the kingdom of Armenia, and thus North Syria was the meeting place of the armies. Such wars led to the destruction of many aspects of Syrian life. Agriculture based on irrigation (rice, cotton, sugar-cane) almost disappeared from the country by A.D. 1400. Towns were completely or partly destroyed. Yet Syrian urban life seems to have some continuity, and towns revived, some quickly, some more slowly, while some towns survived the forces of destruction. The purpose of the present study is to analyse this continuity, and to attempt an explanation of it. This explanation will mean a study of the factors that controlled life in Syria in this period. These factors include the physical (geographical), the economic and the social. In some cases it would be necessary to cover an historical background in order to appreciate the development of a trend or an organisation. The town organisation will receive special attention because of its especial importance in determining the continuity of life. The anticipated contribution to knowledge of the subject may be summed up in (a) a study of civic organisations in Syria in the 13th and 14th centuries A.D. (b) an attempt to relate this organisation to the factors controlling the continuity of urban life, and (c) a possible definition of the relation between town and country in Syria during this period.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:38

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