We know, or rather the West began to hear of Salah Ed Din during the time of the Third Crusade.
It was the Crusade, as it happens, out of which the Tales of Robin Hood grow insofar when the Holy roman Emporer Henry VI, imprisoned Richard I while he was on his way back to his lands in France.
I am never quite clear what the actual desstination may have been at the time.
In any event Richard spent precious little time in England and was Killed in a small battle in France.
Both Richard's darkest hour and his greatest involved Saladin.
Richard, upon hearing that Acre, then the primary 'latin' city in the Outremer was about to fall turned his ships around (i am sorry, I am unaware of their original destination) and was throught the surf near Acre to retake the city before Slahdin's grip thereon wass eveen lightly established.
Strategically, AAcre was the foremost City of the Latin Kingdom called Outremer. Spiritually---weell I do not know.
It has been said that Richard (Malik Ric)virtually retook the city by himself.
During the subsequent reoccupation came Richard's darkest hour. He ordeerred the prisoner/hostages taken at Acre massacred.
I do nmot reecall why, but it seems, still, very unlike "Malik Ric" and 5000 prisoners died.
It goes without saying that this outraged Saladin. (Salah a Din Yussuf ibn Ayyub)
Saladin was Sunni. It has been said both that he was Turkish and that he was Kurdish.
He had made himself Sultan of Egypt upon the retating of TCairo in an unusual manner, allowing the "Frankish" defendders of Cairo safe passage, but capturing his Islamic enemies in Cairo.
I will be as brief as possible and hope for the time and interest to research Saladin, Richard and the IIIrd Crusade a bit more.
Jerusalem had fallen to the Norman led (Bohemund, Godfrey de Boulion and Tancred the Great to name some frrom memory).
Norman holdings in Europe were rather extensive at the time.
Jerusalem fell to the Norman led army in 1099.
Much is made of the fact that all the inhabitants of the City at the time well killed.
However, I am compelled to say that 'letting the troops loose' on a city that had resisted was somewhat customary and the custom continued into the 18th century.
The leaders of the Crusade where there partially out of a true christian zeal (if that can be reconciled with the massacre, which I suppose it was) and LAND . the rank and file were ther partially out of zeal and for LOOT.
It was, after all, an accepted way of getting the troops paid. In fact it may have been the only way the rank and file could have been satisfied.
Saladin retook Jerusalem in 1187 but allowed the potential victims and allowing them to leave unmolested for other Latin holdings in Outremer.
If I were tto be cynical, I might say that Saladin was not short of cash and his soldiers not enraged after a prolonged siege.
This sparked the Third Crusade led by Richard, Frederick 'Barbarossa', the Holy Roman Emporer ,Phillip (II?) of france, and the aforementioned conrad of Monseratt.
The Emporer was of Germano Norman descent who had major holdings in Sicily as well as in Germany.
The Battle of the Horns of Hattin was a near fatal blow to the Crusader (which I call Latin)State in the Holy Land. Prisoners from the Battle, which caused the Fall of Jerusalem, were not as fortunate as the defenders and inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Saladin continued his 'counter crusade' into the Christian lands of Syria. I believe a signficant part of Syria had been christian before the 1st and only truly effective Crusade.
Soon after, Saladin died.
I hope others will contribute to this thread and properly flesh out the details of the life of this remarkable, and perhaps ruthless man. It seems clear he sometimes treated his Islamic enemies rather more harshly than the Christians in the Holy Land.
Last edited by JOHN THURSTON
on Wed Dec 13, 2006 1:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"