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Bsees, Ursula: The Relationship between St Catherine’s Monastery and the Bedouin Tribes as Reflected in Administrative Documents. Version 02

Abstract: The material on which this article is based consists of several editions of documents kept in St Catherine’s Monastery, some of them decrees issued by the central government in Cairo, others declarations made by Bedouin chiefs on behalf of their tribes. They cover a period of more than 300 years, more precisely from 1130 CE until 1516 CE, which comprises the Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk eras. The parties represented in the documents are – apart from the government officials who drew up the decrees in the chanceries or the governors to whom the decrees were addressed – the monks of St Catherine’s and the Bedouin, that means on the one hand Greek orthodox monks and on the other hand mostly Arab Muslim Bedouins organized in a tribal system originating from the Arabian Peninsula in pre-Islamic times.

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