Sala al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub the Saladin

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Sultan of Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Palestine born in Takrit, Mesopotamia, who expelled the crusaders from Jerusalem and who appears in Muslim annals as one of the military geniuses of history and famous in the West for the chivalry he revealed in the battles. He spent his childhood in Syria, where he studied religion and began his military career by participating in expeditions in support of Egypt, against Frankish Christians.
Appointed commander of Syrian troops and vizier of Egypt (1169), he strengthened his power by abolishing the Fatimid Caliphate (1171). He worked for the unification of the Muslim territories of Syria, northern Mesopotamia, Palestine and Egypt (1174-1186), in which he was successful thanks to a great diplomatic skill, supported when necessary by the military force. His devotion to the cause of jihad, a holy war equivalent to the ideal of the crusaders, was unshakable, and he gradually established his reputation as a generous and virtuous leader, albeit firm.
He destroyed the crusader army at Hattin (1187), in northern Palestine, and soon after, conquered the holy city of Jerusalem, which had been in Frankish possession for 88 years. In contrast to the earlier Christian conquest, in which there was a real slaughter against its inhabitants, the Muslim victory was marked by civilized and courteous behavior. The capture of Jerusalem caused a commotion in Europe, causing the creation of the third crusade and thus three European kings landed on the small strip of land of the kingdom of Jerusalem that had remained under Christian.

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The proportions of this Christian mobilization and its subsequent failure against the enemy already known for its chivalry only increased the mythical prestige of the Sultan, including in the West. When Richard Coeur de Lion left for Europe (1192), the war was over. But on his return to the capital, the revered sultan was in poor health from the harsh campaigns and died in Damascus. His dynasty, the Ayyubid, with a great tradition in military engineering, would resist even when the Mamluks took power (1250).

Order S - Biography - Brazil School

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