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(săl`ədĭn), Arabic Salah ad-Din, 1137?–1193, Muslim warrior and Ayyubid sultan of Egypt, the great opponent of the Crusaders, b. Mesopotamia, of Kurdish descent. He lived for 10 years in Damascus at the court of Nur ad-DinNur ad-Din
, 1118–74, ruler of Syria. He was the son of the conqueror Zangi, and he succeeded to power in 1145. He defeated the Seljuk Turks in Asia Minor and fought with Baldwin III of Jerusalem.
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, where he distinguished himself by his interest in Sunni theology. He accompanied his uncle, Shirkuh (or Shirkoh), a lieutenant of Nur ad-Din, on campaigns (1164, 1167, 1168) against the Fatimid rulers of Egypt. Shirkuh became vizier there and on his death (1169) was succeeded by Saladin. Saladin later caused the name of the Shiite Fatimid caliph to be dropped from the Friday prayer, thus deposing him.

After the death of Nur ad-Din, who was planning to campaign against his too powerful subordinate, Saladin proclaimed himself sultan of Egypt, thus beginning the Ayyubid dynasty. He spread his conquests westward on the northern shores of Africa as far as Qabis and also conquered Yemen. He took over Damascus after Nur ad-Din's death and undertook to subdue all of Syria and Palestine. He had already come into conflict with the Crusaders (see CrusadesCrusades
, series of wars undertaken by European Christians between the 11th and 14th cent. to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. First Crusade

In the 7th cent., Jerusalem was taken by the caliph Umar.
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), and he put the rulers of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (see Jerusalem, Latin Kingdom ofJerusalem, Latin Kingdom of,
feudal state created by leaders of the First Crusade (see Crusades) in the areas they had wrested from the Muslims in Syria and Palestine. In 1099, after their capture of Jerusalem, the Crusaders chose Godfrey of Bouillon king; he declined the title,
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) on the steadily weakening defensive. He was unsuccessful in his efforts to conquer the AssassinsAssassin
, European name for the member of a secret order of the Ismaili sect of Islam. They are known as Nizaris after Nizar ibn al-Mustansir, whom they supported as caliph; the European term Assassin is derived from the Arabic for "users of hashish.
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 in their mountain strongholds, but he took Mosul, Aleppo, and wide areas from rival Muslim rulers and became the principal warrior of Islam.

Gathering a large force of Muslims of various groups—but all called Saracens by the Christians—he set out to attack the Christians. RaymondRaymond,
c.1140–1187, count of Tripoli (1152–87), great-great-grandson of Raymond IV of Toulouse. He played a leading part in the last years of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Captured (1164) by the Muslims, he was released c.
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 of Tripoli was at first his ally, but then joined the other Crusaders, and the great battle of HattinHattin, Battle of
, battle on July 4, 1187, in N Palestine, where Saladin's Muslim forces defeated the Christian armies of Guy de Lusignan. When Saladin attacked Tiberias in July, 1187, Christian forces attempted to aid the besieged city but were roadblocked; they waited on a
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 (near Tiberias) in 1187 found Christians matched against Muslims. Saladin won brilliantly, capturing Guy of LusignanGuy of Lusignan
, d. 1194, Latin king of Jerusalem (1186–92) and Cyprus (1192–94), second husband of Sibylla, sister of King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem. In 1183 he was briefly regent for his brother-in-law, who was incapacitated by leprosy, but Baldwin made Guy's
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 and Reginald of ChâtillonReginald of Châtillon
, d. 1187, Crusader, lord of Krak and Montreal in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. He came to the Holy Land in the Second Crusade and married (1153) Constance, daughter of Bohemond II of Antioch.
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. The city of Jerusalem also fell to him. The Third Crusade was gathered (1189) and came to the Holy Land to try to recover Jerusalem. Thus it was that Richard IRichard I,
 Richard Cœur de Lion
, or Richard Lion-Heart,
1157–99, king of England (1189–99); third son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
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 of England and Saladin met in the conflict that was to be celebrated in later chivalric romance. The reputation that Saladin had among the Christians for generosity and chivalry does not seem to have been a legend, and there seems no doubt that Saladin admired Richard as a worthy opponent. The Crusaders, however, failed in their purpose and succeeded only in capturing Akko. In 1192, Saladin came to agreement with the Crusaders upon the Peace of Ramla, which left the Latin Kingdom only a strip along the coast from Tyre to Yafo. The Christians were never to recover from their defeat.


See biographies by A. R. H. Gibb (1973), M. C. Lyons and D. E. Jackson (1982), S. Lane-Poole (1985), G. Regan (1988), and A.-M. Eddé (2011); J. Reston, Jr., Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade (2001).



(Yusuf ibn Ayyub Salah-al-Din). Born 1138; died Mar. 4, 1193, in Damascus. Ruler of Egypt (from 1171). Founder of the Ayyubid dynasty.

Of Kurdish descent, Saladin was the son of Ayyub ibn Sha-dhi, a military commander of Nureddin, the Syrian sultan who fought successfully against the Crusaders. From 1164 to 1169, Saladin took part in military campaigns against Egypt. In 1169 he was made vizier of Egypt. In 1171, after the death of the last caliph of the Fatimid dynasty, he seized power in Egypt and proclaimed the suzerainty of the Abbasids, from whom he received the title of sultan in 1174. After the death of Nureddin, Saladin subjugated Nureddin’s Syrian territories and certain lands of petty Iraqi rulers in the period 1174–86. On July 3 and 4, 1187, his army routed the Crusaders at the Horns of Hattin (Palestine). On Oct. 2, 1187, the army took Jerusalem and then drove the Crusaders out of most of Syria and Palestine.

Saladin’s domestic policy was characterized by the development of a feudal-military system (seeIQTA), some reduction in taxes, and the strengthening of Sunni orthodoxy.


Semenova, L. A. Salakh ad-din i mamliuki v Egipte. Moscow, 1966.
Lane-Poole, S. Saladin and the Fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. London, 1926.



Saracen leader, in doctor’s garb, cures Richard’s illness. [Br. Lit.: The Talisman]


Arabic name Salah-ed-Din Yusuf ibn-Ayyub. ?1137--93, sultan of Egypt and Syria and opponent of the Crusaders. He defeated the Christians near Tiberias (1187) and captured Acre, Jerusalem, and Ashkelon. He fought against Richard I of England and Philip II of France during the Third Crusade (1189--92)
References in periodicals archive ?
San'ah's arrival at Salah Al-Din Station was witnessed by FAST Consortium and Arriyadh Development Authority employees, as well as residents of the district.
Tikrit, the capital of Salah al-Din, lies 175 km north of Baghdad.
Another separate attack took place in Baiji city, another city in Salah Al-Din Province, where anonymous attackers killed a member of Al-Sahwa fighters.
According to the correspondent of the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA / said today that a joint security force backed by the popular mobilization clashed with an armed group linked to Daash in the vicinity of Baiji north of Salah al-Din and killed two of the most prominent leaders of Daash of the people of Diyala, without giving their names.
Al-Jubouri said during the meeting held at the headquarters of the police command of Salah al-Din, that "the situation of the displaced people will improve and return to the previous situation restored after concerted efforts by the central government to provide better services for these families.
The source told the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA / today that three militants of Daash were killed in a joint security ambush in the vicinity of Ajil oil field east of Salah al-Din in addition to the destruction of the vehicle carrying a weapon while attempting to approach the field.
A source in Salah al-Din Operations told the National Iraqi News Agency / Nina / that a force of the security forces clashed on Sunday with" Daash "gangs in the district of Baiji, north of Tikrit during a security operation carried out by the army and police forces, killing three snipers, including an Asian woman from China.
The source told the National Iraqi News Agency / Nina / that the Iraqi forces backed by the popular mobilization managed to kill / 20 / leaders in the Daash organization, including eight carrying Arab and foreign nationalities in the Hamrin Mountains battles between the provinces of Diyala, Kirkuk and Salah al-Din, pointing out that the organization inability to withdraw its dead because of the control of the security forces on the battlefield.
A source in Salah al-Din Operations told the National Iraqi News Agency / Nina / that the Salah al-Din Operations Command announced this evening that the security forces searched the cleansed al- Qadisiyah and al-Teen areas in Tikrit from the IS terrorist elements.
SALAH AL-DIN / Aswat al-Iraq: Six civilians sustained different wounded from three improvised explosive device blasts in the cities of Tikrit and Balad, a police source in Salah al-Din province said on Wednesday.
Baquba / Nina / A security source in Diyala reported on Tuesday that the security forces killed a senior leader in the IS organization during an armed clash northern Salah al-Din
SALAH AL-DIN / Aswat al-Iraq: A traffic police officer and a civilian were killed and two more officers were wounded in separate incidents in Salah al-Din, a security source said on Monday.