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Appendix Origin Myths of the Factions Below are translations of two of the three origin myths of the Faqari and Qasimi/Sa˜d and Haram factions. The first myth appears in the chronicle of Ahmed Çelebi while the second occurs in different versions in three of the chronicles of the Damurdashi group. A third myth, in which Dhu’l-Faqar and Qasim Beys exchange banquet invitations , will be introduced in chapter 9. (1) Ahmed Çelebi b. ˜Abd al-Ghani, Aw¿a÷ al-ishåråt f¥ man tawalla Miƒr al-Qåhira min al-wuzarå˘ wa’l-båshåt (The Clearest Signs: The Ministers and Pashas Who Governed Cairo) (c. 1737): When Sultan Selim came to Cairo, after he had conquered it, . . . a group of grandees came and greeted him. He asked, “Is anyone left who has not met us?” [i.e., surrendered]; they told him, “Sudun al-˜Ajami.” “And why hasn’t he come to us?” They told him, “He is very old and can’t ride or walk; and besides, when Qansuh al-Ghuri [the Mamluk sultan whom Selim defeated in Syria, r. 1501–16] went up to fight you, he built two enclosures [s. båb, literally door or gate] in his house, fearing that his sons would make a fool of him and ride out with al-Ghuri. He has two sons, the greatest horsemen of their time; one is called Qasim and the other Dhu’l-Faqar. He put both of them in chains and built the enclosures.” Sultan Selim said, “It is our duty to go to him.” Then he rode immediately . . . to Sudun al-˜Ajami’s mansion. He saw the two built enclosures, as [the grandees] had described them, and ordered [the grandees] to destroy them. Then he entered and found the platform [mas†aba: a raised platform for receptions and the 21 22 A Tale of Two Factions like] shaded by the mulberry tree, and he dismounted under the tree and sent for the emir. [The grandees] told [Sudun] that Sultan Selim had come to his mansion, and he quickly came out; the servants carried him until he was standing before the sultan. When [Selim] saw him, he rose and greeted him, and granted him security for himself, his property, and his sons. He then asked for his sons, and they were brought in irons. The sultan ordered that their chains be broken, and gave them security for their persons. Then he asked to see a demonstration of the chivalric exercises [fur¶siyya] that the emirs had told him about. . . . The next day, [Sudun] notified the sultan, who rode with his retinue to Qasr al-˜Ayni [the locale in Cairo dominated by the palace of the Mamluk emir al-˜Ayni, today a major thoroughfare ] and found it spread with the most sumptuous carpets . Then Qasim said to his brother, “I’ll be on the sultan’s side, and you be on Egypt’s side.” His brother agreed. [Qasim] went over to the sultan’s group [jamå˜a] and selected about 100 horsemen, while Dhu’l Faqar took about 100 from his own group. Then they stood before each other, Qasim facing the palace [of al-˜Ayni], Dhu’l-Faqar facing the canal [at the other end of the street]. Then horseman came out against horseman [i.e., they jousted two-by-two] until finally Qasim came out against his brother Dhu’l-Faqar. They went out and engaged in warlike fighting, and Dhu’l-Faqar saw treachery in his brother’s eye once, then again, and saw that he was bearing down on him to kill him. When he saw this, he said, “Brother, what is this?” [Qasim] replied, “This is combat”; then he took advantage of him and was about to cut off his head, but [Dhu’l-Faqar] shielded himself from him, and the sword fell on his thigh so that he was lightly wounded. When he felt the steel, he raised his sword and said to [his brother], “This is war!” He tried to cut off [Qasim’s] head, but [Qasim] fled toward the palace. When the sultan’s group, who were [Qasim’s] party, saw him fleeing toward them, with his brother Dhu’l-Faqar [pursuing him] like an eagle, they confronted Dhu’l-Faqar and attacked him with the intent of killing him. . . . He responded with parry and thrust, and his group followed him while Qasim’s fled. Then the sultan came down from the...


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