Ibn Laqlaq's ambition in extending his patriarchate authority beyond its limits in Egypt, which explains the ebb and flow of Coptic fortunes in the Ayyubid state and society in the period up to his rule, is one of the two main subjects of this chapter. This helps with the examination of the life of this infamous patriarch and his ambitious goals, but also sheds light on the minutiae of later Ayyubid politics and society, and in particular, the connection of local society and regional crises which uniquely impacted on non-Muslim communities in that context. The second subject examined here is the demonstration of the complexity of the non-Muslim roles and identities under medieval Islamic rule, a complexity that has often been overlooked by Muslim and dhimmi historians alike.
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