Abstract

This thesis studies the Muslim and Coptic medical, theological, and philosophical perceptions of plague in Mamluk Egypt (1250-1517). It also details the responses to mass death caused by plagues in both popular culture and mainstream scholarly works. This is carried out by illustrating the various medical, and theological parameters which influenced the different understandings of plague. Attention will be given to the diversity of the medical traditions which coexisted and, sometimes, overlapped in medieval Egypt. This reveals the inadequacy of the convenient classifications and distinctions between the different medical traditions, which have been previously employed to explain plague in medieval Egypt. Also, this thesis will explore the communal reactions of the Coptic minority in Egypt to plague in contrast to the prevalent discourse which ignores non- Muslims in medieval Islamic states and societies. It also discusses the philosophical questions that have been raised in the time of plague concerning fatalism, salvation, and divine punishment. Finally, it explores the perception of plague in popular culture in Mamluk Egypt, and reexamines the previous studies on plague which debated its influence on inter-communal social relations, by asking if the increased hostility to religious minorities was a result of the prevalence of plague.

Department

Arab & Islamic Civilizations Department

Degree Name

MA in Arabic Studies

Date of Award

2-1-2013

Online Submission Date

September 2013

First Advisor

Elbendary, Amina

Committee Member 1

Han, Nelly

Committee Member 2

Talib, Adam

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

77p.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Traditiol medicine -- Egypt -- History.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Egypt -- History -- 1250-1517.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

IRB

Not necessary for this item

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