Reuven Amitai is Eliyahu Elath Professor for Muslim History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and studies the history of the medieval Islamic world, Central Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean. He is interested in the pre-modern history of the Turks and Mongols, especially the history of the Ilkhanate; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt and Syria; the Crusades in the Levant and Muslim responses; the military history of the medieval Middle East World; conversion to Islam; late medieval Arabic epigraphy; and, Palestine in the late medieval period. He is currently engaged in a study of Gaza under Mamluk rule (1260-1516).
He has been a visiting researcher or professor at Princeton University (1990-91), St. Antony’s College at Oxford University (1996-97), l’EcolePratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris (2007), and l’Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (2016). From 2014 to 2016 he was a senior fellow at the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg: History and Society during the Mamluk Era (1250-1517), at the University of Bonn.
Reuven Amitai has also served in various administrative positions at the Hebrew University. He has been chairman of the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (1997-2001) and director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies (2001-4, 2008-2010). In 2004 he became the founding director of the Nehemia Levtzion Center for Islamic Studies, a position that he held until 2007. From 2010 to 2014, Reuven Amitai was dean of the Faculty of Humanites at the Hebrew University. Since January 2107, Reuven Amitai is Chairperson of the Library Authority at the Hebrew University, with responsibility for the running of the University's library system. Reuven Amitai also coordinates the program of Armenian Studies in the Institute of Asian and African Studies.
His publications include Mongols and Mamluks: The Mamluk-Ilkhanid War, 1260-1281 (Cambridge University Press, 1995); The Mongols in the Islamic Lands: Studies in the History of the Ilkhanate (Ashgate, 2007); and Holy War and Rapprochement: Studies in the Relations between the Mamluk Sultanate and the Mongol Ilkhanate (1260-1335) (Brepols, 2013). He has co-edited The Mongol Empire and its Legacy (with David Morgan, Brill, 1999); Mongols, Turks and Others: Eurasian Nomads and Their Sedentary Neighbors (with Michal Biran, Brill, 2005); Nomads as Agents of Cultural Change: The Mongols and Their Eurasian Predecessors (with Michal Biran, University of Hawaii Press, 2015). A forthcoming volume, Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean, 11th to 15th Centuries, co-edited with Christoph Cluse, will be published by Brepols. He has also published over eighty scientific articles, along with many dozens of shorter pieces, encyclopedia entries and book reviews.