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Life in Egypt under the Tulunid Dynasty

 

– The Administration

The Administration Egypt was divided into 3 parts: Upper, Middle and Lower Egypt. It had several nomes, ruled by directors who helped carrying out all the projects of Ibn Tulun, especially taxes collection. Ibn Tulun was responsible for:
-1- All public affairs
-2- The army
-3- Public security

– The Army and Fleet

Ibn Tulun increased the number of soldiers in the army to 100,000 men who were mainly Egyptians, Greeks and Turks. He built more than 100 warships and fortified the ports of Egypt. He restored the port of Alexandria and its lighthouse. Khumarawaih, on the other hand, formed strong, brave and special bodyguards in Wadi Hoaf.

– The Economic Conditions

Agriculture

Ibn Tulun gave great interest to agriculture. He built new roads and repaired the old ones. In addition, he dug many canals and cleared them. During his rule, the Nile remained on its normal level, so there was no famine and generally his reign was peaceful and prosperous.

  – Trade

The Nile was the main mean of communication where the products were transported to Damietta, and then, to Alexandria. Also, there were trade relations with Nubia, from which Ivory, ebony, feather, elephants’ tusks as well as many other goods were imported. The geographical position of Egypt and its wealth during the Tulunid reign made it an important center between the East and the West and the trade of slaves, incense, musk to Europe and Asia Prospered.

   – Taxation

When Ahmad El Mudabbir was responsible for collecting the taxes, he ill-treated the Egyptians and collected heavy, abusive taxes. When Ibn Tulun got rid of El Mudabbir, he looked after the taxes and collected them regularly and justly. When he decided not to send the Kharaj to the Caliph and saved the treasury for himself, he could save a big fortune every year, which helped him carrying out all his political projects. It was said that after the death of Tulun, ten millions dinars were found in the treasury and this explains how Tulun’s son, Khumarawaih, spent 400,000 on the marriage of his daughter, Qatr El Nada.

  – Architecture

Ahmed Ibn Tulun chose a site between Fustat and Mokattam Hills to build the royal city, known as El-Katai. This city was given this name because it was divided into parts; each part had a different nationality and class. This city consisted of: a great race square, royal palace, great mosque which still stands, pharmacy, hospital beside the mosque, excellent markets, baths, as well as a big garden. Ibn Tulun repaired the Nilometer at the Island of El-Roda. When Khumarawaih became a governor, he enlarged and expanded the palace converting the race square into a garden, decorated with all kinds of flowers, birds in order to stay at it at night.

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