Without being intolerant, the Turks were a rougher and ruder race than the Arabs of Egypt whom they displaced; while the wars between the Fatimites of Egypt and the Abbasids of Bagdad, whose cause was represented by the Seljuks, made Syria (one of the natural battle-grounds of history) into a troubled and unquiet region.
Meanwhile the Fatimites were not slow to take advantage of these dissensions.
It was the disunion of the Syrian amirs, and the division between the Abbasids and the Fatimites, that made possible the conquest of the Holy City and the foundation of the kingdom of Jerusalem.
The disunion between the Mahommedans of northern Syria and the Fatimites of Egypt, and the political disintegration of the former, were both favourable to the success of the Franks; but they had nevertheless to maintain their ground vigorously both in the north and the south against almost incessant attacks.
Thirteen years later it recognized and received the Fatimites, and passed under various Moslem dynasties, forming part of the Seljuk dominion from 1090 to 1117.
At the very time of Nasir's visit to Cairo, the power of the Egyptian Fatimites was in its zenith; Syria, the Hejaz, Africa, and Sicily obeyed Mostansir's sway, and the utmost order, security and prosperity reigned in Egypt.
Other towns of Tunisia are, on the east coast, Nabeul, pop. about 5000, the ancient Neapolis, noted for the mildness of its climate and its pottery manufactures; Hammamet with 37 00 inhabitants; Monastir (the Ruspina of the Romans), a walled town with 5600 inhabitants and a trade in cereals and oils; Mandiya or Mandia (q.v.; in ancient chronicles called the city of Africa and sometimes the capital of the country) with 8500 inhabitants, the fallen city of the Fatimites, which since the French occupation has risen from its ruins, and has a new harbour (the ancient Cothon or harbour, of Phoenician origin, cut out of the rock is nearly dry but in excellent preservation); and Gabes (Tacape of the Romans, Qabis of the Arabs) on the Syrtis, a group of small villages, with an aggregate population of 16,000, the port of the Shat country and a depot of the esparto trade.
The empire of the Fatimites (q.v.) rested on Berber support, and from that time forth till the advent of the Turks the dynasties of North Africa were really native, even when they claimed descent from some illustrious Arab stock.
The Fatimites in revenge let loose upon Africa about A.D.
From the Fatimites it passed into the possession of the Beni-Yala, of the Beni-Ifren branch of the Zenata Berbers, who held it as vassals of the Omayyad rulers of Spain.
The title Amir ul Muminim, or "commander of the faithful," now borne by the sultan of Turkey, was first assumed by Abu Bekr, and was taken by most of the various dynasties which claimed the caliphate, including the Fatimites, the Spanish Omayyads and the Almohades.
Basasiri had the good fortune to be out of his reach; after acknowledging the right of the Fatimites, he gathered fresh troops and incited Ibrahim Niyal to rebel again, and he succeeded so far that he re-entered Bagdad at the close of 1058.
Two years later Tiaret was captured by Massala ibn Habbus of the Miknasa dynasty of Morocco, and after his death in 924 two other princes of the same house maintained their independence, but in 933 the Fatimites again gained the mastery.
After its second capture by the Fatimites, Tiaret ceased to be the capital of a separate state.
Egypt was given in fief to a Turkish general Ashnas (Ashinas), who never visited the country, and the, rule of individuals of Turkish origin prevailed till the rise of the Fatimites, who for a time interrupted it.
The disaffected in Egypt kept up communications with the Fatimites, against whom the Ikshid collected a vast army, which, however, had first to be employed in resisting an invasion of Egypt threatened by Ibn Raiq, an adventurer who had seized Syria; after an indecisive engagement at LajUn the Ikshid decided to make peace with Ibn Raiq, undertaking to pay him tribute.
Aziz attempted without success to enter into friendly relations with the Buyid ruler of Bagdad, A1/4od addaula, who was disposed to favor the Alids, but caused the claim of the Fatimites to descend from Ali to be publicly refuted.
He was at first under the tutelage of the Slav Burjuwn, whose policy it was to favor the Turkish element in the army as against the Maghribine, on which the strength of the Fatimites had till then rested; his conduct of affairs was vigorous and successful, and he concluded a peace with the Greek emperor.
It formed part of the great palace of the Fatimites, and was intended to be the centre of their propaganda.
Mirdas, succeeded in establishing a dynasty at Aleppo, which maintained itself after Syria and Palestine had been recovered for the Fatimites by Anushtakin al-Dizbari at the battle of IJkhuwanah in 1029.
In the subject of law Egypt boasts that the Imm ShfiI, founder of one of the schools, resided at FostSt from 195 till his death in 204; his system, though displaced for a time by that invented by the Fatimites, and since the Turkish conquest by the Uanifite system, has always been popular in Egypt: in Ayyubite times it was dominant, whereas in Mameluke times all four systems were officially recognized.
Butler, The Arab Conquest of Egypt (Oxford, 1902); for the period before the Fatimites, Wustenfeld, Die Statthalter von Agypten, in Abhandlungen der koniglichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften In GÃ¶ttingen, vols.
Moktafi inherited his father's intrepidity, and seems to have had high personal qualities, but his reign of six years was a constant struggle against the Carmathians in Syria, who defeated the Syrian and Egyptian troops, and For the connexion between Carmathians and Fatimites see under Fatimites.
The empire was by this time practically reduced to the province of Bagdad; Khorasan and Transoxiana were in the hands of the Samanids, Fars in those of the Buyids; Kirman and Media were under independent sovereigns; the Hamdanids possessed Mesopotamia; the Sajids Armenia and Azerbaijan; the Ikshidites Egypt; as we have seen, the Fatimites Africa, the Carmathians Arabia.
While the Abbasid dynasty was thus dying out in shame and degradation, the Fatimites, in the person of Mo'izz li-din-allah (or Mo`izz Abu Tamin Ma'add) ("he who makes God's religion victorious"), were reaching the highest degree of power and glory in spite of the opposition of the Carmathians, who left their old allegiance and entered into negotiations with the court of Bagdad, offering to drive back the Fatimites, on condition of being assisted with money and troops, and of being rewarded with the government of Syria and Egypt.
The Carmathians drove the Fatimites out of Syria, and threatened Egypt, but, notwithstanding their intrepidity, they were not able to cope with their powerful rival, who, however, in his turn could not bring them to submission.
His descendants by Fatima are known as the Fatimites (q.v.; see also Egypt: History, Mahommedan period).
Next to them came the Fatimites of Egypt and northern Africa, who claimed the caliphate, and who aimed at extending their rule over the Mahommedan world, at least in the west.
He repelled the Fatimites, partly by supporting their enemies in Africa, and partly by claiming the caliphate for himself.