Actually, having studied further, it seems Constantinople was the New Rome, and seat of various Emperors from something like 330AD to its bloody downfall of 1453 AD'ish. A Route to Italy and blending of Islamic and Hellenic/Roman cultures.
Have a look at these two links:
Of particular interest is the reference to the Holy Roman Empire and it's lack of focus on the pertinent story.
From a glossary:
"Krak des Chevaliers Mightiest of the crusader castles in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, commanding the Homs gap, a wide valley North of the Lebanon mountains and one of the few Levantine links between the Mediterranean and inland Syria, and therefore a vital trade route. Stormed by the Mamluks in 1271
Mamluk Slave-soldier class from Egypt, took power in 13th century Arab world. It was the Mamluk Baybars who conquered Krak des Chevaliers, one of the final Crusader strongholds in the Levant.
Topkapi Palace Palace of the Ottoman sultans, built on the site of the acropolis of old Byzantium. Possesses the most stunning views over the Sea of Marmora, Bosphorus and Golden Horn. Contains the world famous treasury, containing some of the world's most beautiful artifacts. Also houses one of the most important shrines in Islam, with some of the religion's most holy relics "
INTERESTING to note that Topkapi Palace also houses the Mamluk cards!!!!!!!!!!
From the Columbia Encyclopedia/Bartlby
"or Mameluke (mm´lk) (KEY) [Arab.,=slaves], a warrior caste dominant in Egypt and influential in the Middle East for over 700 years. Islamic rulers created this warrior caste by collecting non-Muslim slave boys and training them as cavalry soldiers especially loyal to their owner and each other. They converted to Islam in the course of their training. 1
The Mamluks were first used in Muslim armies in Baghdad by the Abbasid caliphs in the 9th cent. and quickly spread throughout the Muslim world."
So ... we can see their history from the 9th Century.
>From 1171 A.D. to 1250 A.D., Egypt was ruled by the Ayyubids. Egypt prospered during this time, despite increasing waves of attacks by crusading Christians. Egyptians forced Turkish slaves called Mamluks to fight against the Crusaders.
In a battle in the thirteenth century between the French King Louis IX the last Ayyubid ruler died in battle. His wife, who was a Mamluk, concealed her husband's death and assumed control of Egypt in his name. The Mamluks would reign in Egypt from 1250 A.D. to 1517 A.D.. Slaves forced to fight in Egypt now ruled Egypt.
Egyptian card connection? Not neccessarily ... look here:
Egypt had always been a hub of European-Asian trade routes; it depended for its prosperity on its transit trade with Europe. It was therefore not surprising that the Mamluks were hostile to the Ottomans, who attempted to lay siege to Europe. The situation that enabled the Ottomans to finally subjugate Egypt was full of ironies, which symbolized - paradoxically - the positive impact of earlier Arab cultural influences in the Middle East. Toward the end of the 1400's - its economy strained by attempts to defend their sovereignty against the Ottomans - the Mamluks began to squeeze as much profit as possible out of the transit trade. This led to a series of retaliations from Europe that diminished the whole Egyptian economy.
The irony was that the retaliations were made possible by what the Europeans had learned from earlier Arabs about geography, astronomy and other sciences. Out of this knowledge came the impulse for exploration which - in turn - led to Europe's success in finding alternative sea routes around Africa to the Orient, thus bypassing the overland routes through Egypt. As a result, Egypt's economy disintegrated and the Ottomans were able to move in and replace Mamluke rule. But by that time, not only Egypt but also the Ottoman provinces to the east of it had lost their importance for European-Asian trade. Thus, as the Ottomans consolidated their political power over the Middle East, the region was transformed from a cosmopolitan trading center into a regressive backwater.
And a final irony: as the Ottomans medievalized the Middle East, Europe was emerging from its own era of reactionary medievalism - principally through philosophical and scientific ideas of Hellenism that had been assimilated by the Crusaders from Arab literature, translations and research, and then taken back to Europe."
just some brain fodder, LOL,
I think I may do a Mamluk deck ... must be out of copyright by now, LOL