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Tree of Pearls – The Extraordinary Architectural Patronage of the 13th-Century Egyptian Slave-Queen Shajar al-Durr - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Tree of Pearls: The Extraordinary Architectural Patronage of the 13th-Century Egyptian Slave-Queen Shajar al-Durr

D. Fairchild Ruggles

Abstract

The woman known as “Tree of Pearls” ruled Egypt in the summer of 1250. A rare case of a woman sultan, her reign marked the shift from the Ayyubid to the Mamluk dynasty, and her architectural patronage of two building complexes had a lasting impact on Cairo and on Islamic architecture. Rising to power from slave origins, Tree of Pearls—her name in Arabic is Shajar al-Durr—used her wealth and power to add a tomb to the urban madrasa (college) that had been built by her husband, Sultan Salih, and with this innovation, madrasas and many other charitably endowed architectural complexes became comme ... More

Keywords: Ayyubids, Cairo, Islamic architecture, madrasas, Mamluks, patronage, Shajar al-Durr, Sultan Salih Najm al-Din, tombs, women

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190873202
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190873202.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

D. Fairchild Ruggles, author
Professor in Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign