over the customs marking the rebirth of spring: coloured eggs, dishes of rice or lentils, the censing of houses and tombs, the branding of livestock, and the hanging out of clothes to air. In the fourteenth century the Muslim scholar al-Maqrîzî recorded that 'Lentil Thursday has remained to this day one of Cairo's grandest festivals.'
Our period nevertheless saw islamisation reinforced, which often meant that Muslims appropriated Christian festivals and holy places. Many places where Christians venerated the memory of some Old Testament prophet or local saint merged into a religious fabric that was properly speaking Muslim. To take but one example: the Christian sanctuary of Bahnasa, which preserved the memory of the flight into Egypt. This was increasingly islamised from the early thirteenth century by the construction there of numerous tombs for Muslim holy men.77 'The guide to pilgrimage places'78 compiled by al-Harawî (d.1215), an Aleppan ascetic, regarded as Muslim a whole series of Near Eastern sanctuaries which had formerly been Christian or Jewish. The 'twin noble harams' of Hebron and Jerusalem 79 provide the most striking examples of Muslim appropriation. The sanctuary at Hebron, where Jews and Christians venerated the tomb ofAbraham, became over the centuries a popular Muslim shrine. In 1266, when, following his first victories over the Franks, the Mamluk sultan Baybars went on pilgrimage to Hebron, he promulgated an edict forbidding Christians and Jews from entering the sanctuary - a prohibition which remained in force until the Israelis occupied the city in 1967. From the eleventh to the fourteenth century the city of Jerusalem, a holy city common to Jews, Christians and Muslims, lived through troubled times: under Fatimid rule from 970, it passed under Seljuq domination in 1073, only to be seized by the crusaders on 15 July 1099, when for nearly a century it was the capital of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. Falling to Saladin on 2 October 1187, it returned to the emperor Frederick II in 1229; ravaged by the Khwarizmians in 1244, it finally passed to the Mamluks of Egypt. Each new regime brought profound religious and social changes, which were reflected in the topography of the city. The end result was the transformation of Jerusalem from the Mamluk period onwards into a mainly Muslim city,80 even if there was still an
77 C. Décobert, 'Un lieu de mémoire religieuse', in Valeur et distance, 247-63.
78 al-Harawî, Guide des lieux de pelerinage, ed. and trans. J. Sourdel-Thomine, 2 vols. (Damascus: Institut francais, 1953-57).
79 The Mamluks applied the expression al-haramayn, which traditionally designated Mecca and Medina, to the new religious topography that they were creating in Palestine and Syria.
80 See M. H. Burgoyne, Mamluk Jerusalem: an architectural study (London: Festival of Islam Trust (for the British School of Archaeology at Jerusalem), 1987). A fiscal survey from
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