This book has looked at women belonging to and living under medieval Islamic dynasties by comprehensively covering women under the Fatimid dynasty. To this dynasty were linked those women who, on account of the power they commanded, were to become among the most famous female personalities of the medieval Islamic world: Sitt al-Mulk, the Sulayhid queens of the Yemen and the mother of the imam-caliph al-Mustansir. Court women marked their status and influence by way of grand-scale architectural patronage for the use of propaganda. The Fatimids were forerunners in the practice of frequently appointing heirs as children born of concubines rather than those born of wives. Being culturally and doctrinally ‘foreigners’ themselves in the regions they ruled, the imam-caliphs encouraged diversity when, for instance, appointing Berbers and Turks, Christians and Jews as their viziers, secretaries and military commanders. Another focus of this book has been the interconnectedness between Fatimids, women and trade.
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