Inventing Saladin: The Role of the Saladin Legend in European Culture and Identity

Legends can forge cultural identities, yet they can also be the bane of historians. All too frequently legend is mixed with enough fact that it misleads historians and laymen alike.

Before the Kaiser: The Memory of Saladin and the Crusades in the Near East from the Fifteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries

I remember that I am now in a city in which once lived the greatest prince whose name is recorded in history, the valorius hero, whose courage, his elevation and nobility of character and his devotion to his religion was an example in heroism even to his enemies. I refer to the great sultan Saladin of the dynasty of Ayyub when I think of this.

BOOK REVIEW: Spies, Sadists, and Sorcerers: The History You Weren’t Taught in School

A review of Dominic Selwood’s, ‘Spies, Sadists, and Sorcerers: The History you Weren’t Taught in School’

Friendship, Betrayal, War: “Soldier of God” Movie Review

A Templar and a Muslim; their strange friendship is the premise of this week’s movie based in the 12th century immediately after the disastrous Battle of Hattin.

Saladin and the Problem of the Counter-Crusade in Medieval Europe

The phrase Counter-Crusade is, obviously, a modern construct, but in 1144 the military situation in Syria did drastically change.

The Military Legacy of Richard the Lionheart

Authors look back at the entirety of the reign and reach two common conclusions: 1) he was a neglectful and mostly-absent ruler of England, but 2) he attained spectacular success in war, which was, after all, his primary interest.

Why does Saladin have such good PR in the Medieval West?

The story of Hattin and the Third Crusade is a very good read and it features a splendid duel, indeed almost a tournament, pitting Saladin against Richard the Lionheart. And to this exciting mixture is added a dash of sex

Richard Lionheart: Bad King, Bad Crusader?

This paper analyzes the impact of King Richard Lionheart of England during his tenure as leader of the Third Crusade.

The Battle of Arsuf, 7 September 1191

Benjamin Z. Kedar asks what was Richard I’s plan at Arsuf, one of the key battles of the Third Crusade?

Muslim Perspectives on the Military Orders during the Crusades

What caused the particular enmity between Saladin and the Templars and Hospitallers? To understand this situation one must begin with examination of Muslim perspectives on monasticism in general.

The Evolution of the Saladin Legend in the West

William of Tyreʼs account of the history of the Crusades stops suddenly in 1184. As he lays down his pen he is in despair at the inevitable outcome which he foresees for the struggle with Saladin. It was fortunate for him that he did not live to see the triumph of Saladin at Hattin and Jerusalem. Williamʼs judgement of Saladin, there- fore, is one of fear and admiration but he is also able to criticize his faults, especially his ruthless ambition.

Nomadic Violence in the First Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Military Orders

That the threat posed by bands of marauders was taken seriously by the early crusader settlers can be seen by some of the barons’ brutal reactions to it.

The Massacre at Acre–Mark of a Blood-thirsty King?

The Christian forces in the Holy Land during the mid-to-late-1100s had, for many years, requested assistance to maintain their dwindling and increasingly challenged control in the Holy Land, but no help came. The tenuous rule of Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem, in the mid-1180s, led to further internal conflict.

The Use of Fortification as a Political Instrument by the Ayyubids and the Mamluks in Bilad al-Sham and in Egypt (Twelfth-Thirteenth Centuries)

Beginning in 1170/1171, Salah al-Din built fortifications as the Fatimid vizier of Egypt. His considerations were primarily defensive in this period, following the Frankish campaign of 1168 that led to the siege of Cairo, and the Frankish-Byzantine naval expedition against Damietta in 1169.

How Eager He Was for the Victory of Islam!’: Saladin’s Strategy Against the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1171-1187)

How Eager He Was for the Victory of Islam!’: Saladin’s Strategy Against the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1171-1187) By Jan Vandeburie Paper given at the ISHA Seminar ‘War, Father of All – Warfare in History’, 7-12 June 2010, Nicosia Introduction: After Saladin assumed military command over Egypt as vizier in 1169, he took the opportunity to […]

The Artifice of War: Intelligence and Intrigue in the Third Crusade

The Artifice of War: Intelligence and Intrigue in the Third Crusade By Dana Cushing Paper given at the 33rd International Medieval Congress, Western Michigan University (1998) Abstract: Since I have always believed that the essential element of a successful military undertaking is right knowledge, even foreknowledge, based on communication, I became enamoured of a unique […]

The Massacre at Acre: Mark of a Blood-thirsty King?

Ultimately, when it became clear that the True Cross and ransoms were not forthcoming, Richard I was forced to make a military decision.

The Rise of Latin Christian Naval Power in the Third Crusade

The international conflict in the late twelfth century known as the Third Crusade usually holds a somewhat inconclusive place in medieval history, at least when one looks only at the results on land

The role of castles in the political and military history of the Crusader States and the Levant 1187 to 1380

This thesis deals with the various functions of Latin and Armenian fortifications in Cilician Armenia, Greece, Cyprus, Syria and Palestine between 1187 and c.1380.

Remains of Crusader / Templar army discovered in Israel

Archaeologists and historians working in northern Israel have discovered the remains of a Templar and Crusader army who were slaughtered by Saladin in one of the major battles of the Crusades. The results of the excavations are now being broadcast on the program “Last Stand of the Templars”, which is being shown this week on […]

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