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Saladin

Middle Ages - Lords and Ladies

Short Biography profile and facts about the life of Saladin
The following biography information provides basic facts and information about the life and history of Saladin a famous Medieval character of the Middle Ages:

  • Nationality: A Kurd. Saladin came from Kurdistan which is now in present day northern Iraq

  • Also Known as: Salah Ad-din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub. The name Salah ad Din means "Righteousness of the Faith"
  • Religion: Saladin was a Muslim 
  • Lifespan: 1137 - 1193
  • Date of Birth: He was born in 1137
  • Family connections : He was the son of a Kurdish chief called Najm ad-Din Ayyub, a wealthy and noble Muslim
  • Early Life: Saladin spent his early life in Balbek and Damascus
  • Education: Well educated, finishing his education in Damascus
  • Date of Death: Saladin died on March 4, 1193 at Damascus. Saladin is buried in a mausoleum and his tomb is located at the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, Syria
  • Character of Saladin: Noted for his chivalry and honorable behaviour. Saladin was clever, brave, unpretentious and generous
  • Accomplishments or why Saladin was famous: Muslim leader of the Third Crusade. The capture of Jerusalem in 1187. The chivalrous relationship between the Christian King Richard the Lionheart and the Muslim leader Saladin

The capture of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187
Having made himself sultan of Egypt, Saladin united the Muslims of Syria and then advanced against the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Christians met him in a great battle near the lake of Galilee. It ended in the defeat of their army and the capture of their king. Even the Holy Cross, which they had carried in the midst of the fight, became the spoil of Saladin the Muslim conqueror. Saladin quickly reaped the fruits of victory. The Christian cities of Syria surrendered to him, and at last Jerusalem itself surrendered after a short siege leaving few  possessions which the crusaders had previously won in the East.

The Third Crusade is organised
The news of the taking of Jerusalem led to the cry for another crusade. The three greatest rulers of Europe - King Philip Augustus of France, King Richard I of England, and the German emperor, Frederick Barbarossa assumed the cross and set out, each at the head of a large army, for the recovery of the Holy City of Jerusalem.

The Third Crusade and Saladin
In 1191 the long siege of Acre was won by the crusaders in spite of all the efforts of Saladin to provide the garrison relief. However, the crusaders won little else in the Third Crusade against the mighty Saladin

The Third Crusade - King Richard the Lionheart and Saladin
Saladin was renown for his knightly virtues which matched those of Richard the Lionheart. When Richard the Lionheart was sick with a fever, Saladin, knowing that he was poorly supplied with delicacies, sent him a gift of the choicest fruits of the land. On another occasion, when Richard's horse had been killed in battle, Saladin sent a fine Arabian steed as a present for his rival. For two years Richard the Lionheart and Saladin were involved in almost daily combat in the crusaders attempts to capture Jerusalem from the Muslims.

The Truce between King Richard the Lionheart and Saladin
Richard the Lionheart remained for longer in the Holy Land than the other leaders of the crusades. King Richard the Lionheart and Saladin finally concluded a truce by the terms of which Christians were permitted to visit Jerusalem without paying tribute, that they should have free access to the holy places, and remain in undisturbed possession of the coast from Jaffa to Tyre. King Richard the Lionheart then set sail for England, and with his departure from the Holy Land the Third Crusade came to an end, leaving Jerusalem still in the possession of Saladin and the Muslims.  

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