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Ritual, Politics, and the City in Fatimid Cairo

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This book provides an understanding of the complexities of political legitimacy in Islamic dynasties by examining Fatimid political culture in Egypt reconstructed from court rituals. The author approaches ritual as a dynamic process through which claims to political and religious authority in Islamic societies was articulated, and in which complex negotiations of power have taken place.
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Editorial Reviews

Sanders (history, Rice U.) examines the city of Cairo under the Isma'ili Fatimid dynasty from the 10th to the 12th centuries. She illuminates some of the complexities of dynastic legitimacy by reconstructing the political culture from court rituals, and showing how they were an arena for demonstrations of authority and negotiations of power. Paper edition (unseen), $16.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Short Titles


Chapter 1 Introduction

Fatimid History: An Overview

Approaching Fatimid Rituals

Chapter 2 The Ceremonial Idiom

Protocols of Rank

Symbols of Authority

The Caliph as Center

Chapter 3 The Ritual City

The Beginnings of the Ritual City

The Elaboration of the Ritual City under al-'Aziz

The Integration of Fustat into the Ritual City

The Restoration of al-Amir and the Reinterpretation of the Ritual City

Chapter 4 Politics, Power, and Administration: The New Year's Ceremony

The Model Procession: Ibn al-Tuwayr's Description of the New Year

The Negotiation of Power in the New Year's Procession

Chapter 5 The Urban River

The Highwayman of Egypt: Agriculture and Irrigation

The Ceremony to Cut the Canal

Late Fatimid Nile Ceremonies

Perfuming the Nilometer

Dating the Nilometer Ceremony

The Urban River

Chapter 6 Ceremonial as Polemic

The Event at Ghadir Khumm and Its Importance in Isma'ili Thought

Popular Celebrations of the Festival of Ghadir

The Festival of Ghadir and the Ritual Lingua Franca

Ceremonial as Polemic

Chapter 7 Epilogue


Selected Bibliography



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