Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of the Pyramids (1798)

It is Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt to which we’re turning today, and specifically to one of the two major battles of that invasion, the July 21, 1798, Battle of the Pyramids. Here Napoleon’s forces almost annihilated an Ottoman army trying to defend Egypt and suddenly made France the new military power in the Middle East. … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of the Pyramids (1798)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Konya (1832)

The Battle of Konya, fought on December 21, 1832, was the decisive battle in the 1831-1833 Ottoman-Egyptian War, and in that sense it serv--I'm sorry, you had a question? Yes, the Ottoman-Egyptian War of 18--huh? Another question? Oh, right. Yes, the Ottomans conquered Egypt in 1517, and we haven't mentioned that they lost Egypt anywhere … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Konya (1832)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Heliopolis (640)

The Arab conquest of Egypt was probably the first big surprise of the early Islamic period, after the Arabs’ initial military successes against the Byzantines and Persians, for a couple of reasons. First, while Egypt may be home to more Arabs than any other country in the world today, in the seventh century very few Arabs lived there, … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Heliopolis (640)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Six-Day War begins (1967)

Today is the anniversary of the start of the Six-Day War, Israel’s militarily decisive but politically confounding rapid defeat of armies in Egypt, Jordan, and Syria (Iraq and Lebanon were involved as well) that has done as much as any other single event to help shape the modern Middle East. Your perspective on how the war started … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Six-Day War begins (1967)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Massacre at the Citadel (1811)

Egypt's Mamluks are one of the rare historical dynasties that gets to have two endpoints, where most just get the one. We've talked about the Mamluks before, several times, but since the nature of their dynasty is a big part of the reason why they survived their first "end," let's recap. The Mamluk dynasty grew … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Massacre at the Citadel (1811)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Massacre of the Citadel (1811)

Egypt's Mamluks are one of the rare historical dynasties that gets to have two endpoints, where most just get the one. We've talked about the Mamluks before, several times, but since the nature of their dynasty is a big part of the reason why they survived their first "end," let's recap. The Mamluk dynasty grew … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Massacre of the Citadel (1811)