(2 syl.) or Mamalukes (Arabic, mamluc, a slave). A name given in Egypt to the slaves of the beys brought from the Caucasus, and formed into a standing army. In 1254 these military “slaves” raised one of their body to the supreme power, and Noureddin Ali, the founder of the Baharites, gave twenty-three sultans; in 1832 the dynasty of the Borjites, also Mamlues, succeeded, and was followed by twenty-one successors. Selim I., Sultan of Turkey, overthrew the Mamluc kingdom in 1517, but allowed the twenty-four beys to be elected from their body. In 1811, Mohammed Ali by a wholesale massacre annihilated the Mamelukes, and became viceroy of Egypt.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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