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Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / The first hundred years
(1969)

XVIII: The Rise of Saladin, 1169-1189,   pp. 562-589 PDF (10.8 MB)


Page 583

Ch. XVIII THE RISE OF SALADIN 583 
osity in the disposal of his revenues. Everything was given away without
a thought to all who asked; "I used to blush," wrote Bahã~-ad-Din,
"at the size of the demands made upon him." His campaigns were as much occasions
of princely largesse as of military operations. His intendants saw to it
that all present military needs were adequately met, but no reserves were
accumulated, and this deficiency was to prove a serious embarrassment during
the Third Crusade. 
 On the occupation of Aleppo in 1183 Saladin at first invested his ten-year-old
son a~-Zãhir Ghãzi "as sultan", with ~ number of trusted officers
to support him, but this arrangement was challenged by al~cAdil, who asked
that he might exchange the government of Egypt for that of Aleppo. Whatever
Saladin's regrets at deposing his favorite son may have been, he agreed without
demur, and the diploma of appointment, which was drawn up in terms of brotherly
affection unusual for such formal documents, conferred on al_cAdil unrestricted
authority, subject to the usual stipulations. On the advice of al-Qaçli
al-FaçIil he replaced alcAdil in Egypt by Taqi-ad-Din ~Umar, but with
a justified fear of his impetuosity reluctantly sent the qadi with him to
exercise a moderating influence. During his grave illness several of his
relatives, anticipating his death, began to make dispositions in their own
interests. Partly because of this, partly because he was anxious to establish
his sons, he redistributed the provinces in i i86. Al-'Adil, on his own suggestion,
was reappointed to Egypt, not, however, in full possession but as guardian
of Saladin's son al-~Aziz ~Uthmãn. TaqI-ad-Din took his deposition
in bad part, and for a moment threatened to go out west, taking a large part
of the Egyptian army with him. At length, however, he obeyed Saladin's order
to present himself in Damascus, and was reappointed to his fiefs in the north,
together with Maiyafariqin in Diyar-Bakr. Aleppo was restored to a~-~ãhir
GhãzI. 
 In any estimate of Saladin's career the chief place must be given to the
efforts by which he built up the material power now about to be discharged
upon the Franks with accumulated force. But there was another, less obvious,
group of activities which were being prosecuted at the same time and to the
same end. The extent to which Saladin's diplomacy was employed to isolate
the Franks in Syria and to ensure that he should be, as far as possible,
on terms of peace, if not of friendship, with every potential external antagonist
before opening his decisive campaign, has not been sufficiently appreciated.
His diplomacy was directed on two 


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