Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / Volume I: The first hundred years
XVIII: The rise of Saladin, 1169-1189, pp. 562-589 PDF (13.3 MB)
563XVIII THE RISE OF SALADIN 1169—1189 The reign of Saladin is more than an episode in the history of the crusades. It is one of those rare and dramatic moments in human history when cynicism and disillusion, born of long experience of the selfish ambitions of princes, are for a brief period dislodged by moral determination and unity of purpose. Without this foundation the Moslem armies could never have sustained the exhausting struggle of the Third Crusade. If that achievement is to be seen and understood in its historical setting, an attempt must be made to show how, using — as he had to use — the materials to his hand within the political circumstances of his age, Saladin triumphed over all obstacles to create a moral unity which, though never perfectly achieved, proved just strong enough to meet the challenge from the west. The childhood of ~alãl).-ad-Din Yüsuf ibn-Aiyub (Righteousness of the Faith, Joseph son of Job) was spent in Baalbek, where his father Aiyub was governor, first for Zengi and subsequently for the princes of Damascus. In 1152, at the age of fourteen, he joined his uncle Shirküh at Aleppo in the service of Nflr-ad-DIn, and was allotted a fief; in I 156 he succeeded his elder brother Turan- Shah as his uncle's deputy in the military governorship of Damascus, but relinquished the post after a short time in protest against the fraudulence of the chief accountant. He rejoined Nür-ad-Din at The fundamental source for this chapter is 4l-barq ash-Sha'mi of Saladin's secretary dImãd~ad~Din ál-I~fahãni (only vols. III and V extant in MS.; the others summarized with other contemporary materials in Ar-rau~latain ["The Two Gardens"] of abü-Shãmah, partially translated in RHC, Or., IV, V). Baha'-ad-Din's biography of. Saladin (RHC, Or., III) becomes a direct source only from i i86; for i 187 onwards Clmad_ad_Din's earlier and shorter work Al-/at~ al-qussi (ed. Leyden, i888) is equally authoritative. Ibn-al-Athir's narratives in his general history (Al-kãmil, vols. XI and XII, ed. Leyden, 1851—1853; extracts in RHC, Or., I, II) are mostly derived from dImãd~ad_Din. A desideratum is a corpus of the extant docum~nts of al- Qaçli al-Fa~il; there is an incomplete list in A. H. Helbig, u1l-Q&~1i al-Fã~lil (Leipzig, 1908). S. Lane-Poole's Saladin and the Fall o/the Kingdom of Jerusalem (London and New York, 1898; new ed. by H. W. C. Davis, 1926) rests mainly on Ibn-al-Athir and Bahã'-ad-Din.
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