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Babylon of EgyptThe Archaeology of Old Cairo and the Origins of the City$
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Peter Sheehan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162992

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162992.001.0001

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Cycles of Decline and Revival

Cycles of Decline and Revival

(p.97) Chapter 5 Cycles of Decline and Revival
Babylon of Egypt

Peter Sheehan

American University in Cairo Press

By the end of eleventh century, large areas of al-Fustat were abandoned due to the disasters suffered by the Egyptian capital in the long reign of Fatimid caliph al-Mustansir. The further abandonment and depopulation of most of the southern part of the city were hastened by a major earthquake and the burning of al-Fustat at the time of the Crusaders' attack on Cairo. After those disasters happened, the Ayyubid dynasty was founded by Salah al-Din after the reign of Fatimid ended in 1171. It marked a number of important topographical developments that emphasized the change of dynasty. They demolished the Fatimid palaces of al-Qahira and remodeled the central area of the former “royal” city. With the Ayyubid dynasty, both Old Cairo and al-Fustat were redeveloped. The importance derived by Old Cairo to the Nile and the harbor of the city was reinforced by the construction of another citadel.

Keywords:   al-Fustat, Fatimid, Old Cairo, Ayyubid dynasty, Salah al-Din, al-Qahira

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