17 May 2011

The Fame of the Great Saladin

Written by Maclean Patrick, Malaysia Chronicle (Edited)

Saladin is not remembered by his ability at war but rather by his chivalrous nature.

Saladin was a gentleman when dealing with the Christians after taking over Jerusalem and when going head to head with King Richard the Lion Heart.

Upon entering Jerusalem October 1187, Saladin ordered his soldiers to not harm the Christians living there and not to damage any places of worship. Such was the benevolence of Saladin that Christian scribes would write about him and make him well known in Europe.

The fame of Saladin was not in his strength in battle but rather his form of leadership. Saladin is held in high esteem along with Richard The Lion Heart. And it must be stated that it was Saladin who negotiated the truce with Richard The Lion Heart, to keep Jerusalem under Arab rule in return for free passage for the pilgrims to visit the Holy city.

This was Saladin the man, the leader and the example.

On September 7, 1191, Saladin's forces lost to Richard’s army at the Battle of Asraf. During the battle, Richard lost his horse and Saladin sent two horses to replace the horse Richard lost.

Richard even proposed that his sister, Joan of England, Queen of Sicily, should marry Saladin’s brother, and that Jerusalem could be their wedding gift.

Such was the relationship between Saladin and Richard, who never met in person but communicated via messengers.

These are the things Saladin is remembered for throughout Europe.

700 years after the death of Saladin, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany donated a new marble sarcophagus to Saladin’s mausoleum which has the inscription - “A Knight without fear or blame who often had to teach his opponents the right way to practice chivalry”.

Read more here.


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