The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin

The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin

by Jonathan Phillips


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An engaging biography that offers a new perspective on one of the most influential figures of the Crusades

In 1187, Saladin marched triumphantly into Jerusalem, ending decades of struggle against the Christians and reclaiming the holy city for Islam. Four years later he fought off the armies of the Third Crusade, which were commanded by Europe’s leading monarchs. A fierce warrior and savvy diplomat, Saladin’s unparalleled courtesy, justice, generosity, and mercy were revered by both his fellow Muslims and his Christian rivals such as Richard the Lionheart.
Combining thorough research with vivid storytelling, Jonathan Phillips offers a fresh and captivating look at the triumphs, failures, and contradictions of one of the Crusades’ most unique figures. Bringing the vibrant world of the twelfth century to life, this book also explores Saladin’s complicated legacy, examining the ways Saladin has been invoked in the modern age by Arab and Muslim leaders ranging from Nasser in Egypt, Asad in Syria, and Saddam Hussein in Iraq to Osama bin Laden, as well as his huge appeal across popular culture in books, drama, and music.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300247060
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 08/20/2019
Pages: 520
Sales rank: 285,434
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Jonathan Phillips is professor of the history of the Crusades at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades and The Second Crusade. He lives in Surrey.

Table of Contents

Maps ix

Dramatis Personae and a Note on Names xv

Preface xix

Introduction: Damascus 2009 1

Part I The Life of Saladin 9

1 The Muslim Near East and the First Crusade 11

2 Nur al-Din and the City of Damascus 21

3 Nur al-Din and the Rise of the Jihad 36

4 Shirkuh, Saladin and the Conquest of Egypt 46

5 Saladin's Succession in Egypt 57

6 Steps Towards Independence: The Break with Nur al-Din 73

7 Saladin's Takeover of Damascus: Open Ambitions 94

8 Progress Stalls 107

9 Victory at Jacob's Ford 125

10 Saladin, Cairo and the River Nile 136

11 Progress in Syria and Reynald's Red Sea Raid 145

12 Final Preparations: The Sieges of Kerak and Mosul 158

13 The Battle of Hattin 172

14 The Capture of Jerusalem 187

15 The Siege of Tyre 206

16 The Siege of Acre, Part I: 1189-90 221

17 The Siege of Acre, Part II: The Threat from the North 236

18 The Arrival of Philip Augustus and Richard the Lionheart: The Fall of Acre 249

19 Battles of Sword and Words: Arsuf and Diplomacy 261

20 1192: Family Feuding, the Battle of Jaffa and the End of the Third Crusade 278

21 Peace at Last 301

Part II Afterlife 309

22 Saladin's Reputation in the West 315

23 The View from the East: From the Medieval Age to the late Nineteenth Century 329

24 Early Arab Nationalism Expressed Through Theatre, Books and Newspapers 345

25 Struggles for Independence in Syria, Egypt and Palestine 356

26 Looking for a New Saladin, c.1950-2001 368

Conclusion 387

Writing the History of Saladin 393

Acknowledgements 397

Illustration Credits 399

Bibliography 400

Abbreviations 421

Notes 422

Index 464

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