Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies


The Exalted Lineage of Ridwān Bey: Some Observations on a Seventeenth-Century Mamluk Genealogy1

P. M. Holt

The subject of this paper is a small work entitled Qahr al-wujūh al-‘ābisa bi-dhikr nasab umarā’ al-Jarākisa wa-ttisālihi bi-Quraysh,2 which might be rendered, ‘A cogent demonstration of the lineage of the amīrs of the Circassians and its connexion with Quraysh’. Manuscripts exist in the John Rylands Library in Manchester and in the British Museum. The Rylands copy, com-pleted on 21 Rajab 1092/6 August 1681, states that the original work was finished on 1 Rajab 1041/23 January 1632. The British Museum copy is dated in the colophon 21 Hijja 1258/23 January 1843.3 The work is anonymous but the style and language suggest that its author was an 'ālim who enjoyed the patronage of a Mamluk amīr, Ridwān Bey.


1 This is an expansion of a paper read at the Conference of British Orientalists held at Manchester in September 1958. I am obliged to Professor Lewis for reading and commenting upon the draft.