Tuesday, 5 June 2012


Saladin, was a Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. File:Saladin2.jpgHe led Muslim opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant. At the height of his power, his sultanate included Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Hejaz,File:Hijaz.png Yemen, and parts of North Africa.
Under his personal leadership, his forces defeated the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin, File:Hattin.jpgleading the way to his re-capture of Palestine, which had been seized from the Fatimid Egyptians by the Crusaders 88 years earlier. Though the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalemwould continue to exist for a period, its defeat at Hattin marked a turning point in its conflict with the Muslims and Arabs. As such, Saladin is a prominent figure in Kurdish, Arab, and Muslim culture. The meeting of Richard Coeur de Lion and Saladin.  Illustration from Stories of Royal Children by Dora Ashley (Raphael Tuck, c 1920).Saladin was a strict adherent of Sunni Islam. His noble andchivalrous behavior was noted by Christian chroniclers, especially in the accounts of the Siege of KerakFile:Kerak BW 2.JPG, and despite being the nemesisof the Crusaders, he won the respect of many of them, including Richard the Lionheart; rather than becoming a hated figure in Europe, he became a celebrated example of the principles of chivalry.Guillaume de Clermont defending Ptolemais (Acre) in 1291, 1845.

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