Tag Archive | Classic Literature

“Vezir of Egypt, 1169-1171” Saladin And The Crusades, from Lane-Poole, Part II, Chapter VII


Excerpt from Chapter VII: “… Saladin had been dragged to Egypt against his will, foreseeing nothing but misery; and now the very step he had tried to avoid was to lead him to the pinnacle of fame. The Prophet indeed said truly, “God will make men wonder when they see folk hauled to Paradise in chains.” In such happy bonds was Saladin led to the throne. The Fatimid Caliph chose him from among all the Syrian captains to be the successor of his uncle, and on the 26th of March, 1169, three days after Shirkuh’s death, he was invested with the mantle of vezir and decorated with the title el-Malik en-Nasir, “The King Strong to aid”…”

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“The Conquest of Egypt, 1164-1169” Saladin And The Crusades, from Lane-Poole, Part II, Chapter VI


Excerpt from Chapter VI: “…The arrival of Nur-ed-din upon the scene of Syrian politics, especially after his conquest of Damascus, introduced a highly disturbing influence. The King of Syria and the King of Jerusalem were now rival powers: neither could allow the other to increase his strength by the annexation of Egypt, and thus to acquire a vantage-ground from the south. Each coveted the delta of the Nile, and each watched his rival with jealous vigilance. The Egyptian vezirs, the real governors of the country, fully alive to the possibilities of the situation, set themselves to coquet with both parties, and to play off one against the other. In the end they carried the game too far, and gave Saladin an opportunity which he did not neglect.”

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“Saladin’s Youth, 1138-1164” Saladin And The Crusades, from Lane-Poole, Part II, Chapter V


Excerpt from Chapter V: “…The great opportunity seemed to have come. The Franks were discredited and dismayed after the miserable collapse of the Second Crusade; Mesopotamia was quiet under the magnanimous rule of Zengy’s eldest son; the indomitable Anar, who had repeatedly withstood the great Atabeg himself, was dead, and in his stead had risen Ayyub, whose brother was Nur-ed-Din’s trusted marshal; and already the Prince of Damascus had humbly paid homage to the King of Aleppo. If ever the hour had struck for the realising of Zengy’s dream of a Syrian empire, centered at Damascus, it was now.”

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“The Fall of Edessa, 1127-1144” Saladin And The Crusades, from Lane-Poole, Part I, Chapter IV

Excerpt from Chapter IV: “…Zengy at the head of his men charged the enemy again and again, shouting the words of the Prophet, “Take a taste of Hell!” The Crusaders were utterly routed: “the swords of God were sheathed in the necks of his foes,” and few indeed escaped to tell of the field of shambles. They turned to fly, but what could avail when…the “Martyr” [Zengy] plunged through a sea of blood, cleaving heads and laying bones bare, till the field was covered with mangled corpses and severed limbs. Only those escaped who hid under the heaps of slain, or “mounted the camel of night.”

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“The Harbinger, 1127” Saladin And The Crusades, from Lane-Poole, Part I, Chapter III

Excerpt from Chapter III: “…He [Zengy, Imad el Din] never allowed his armies to trample on the people’s crops – they marched, says the chronicler, “as it were, between two ropes,” – and no soldier was permitted to take even a truss of straw from a peasant without paying for it.”

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Illustration – Battle Between Crusaders and Kurbugha:


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Battle Between Crusaders and Kurbugha, from a Painted Window at St. Denys, 12th Century

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“The First Crusade, 1098” Saladin And The Crusades, from Lane-Poole: Part I, Chapter II

Excerpt from Chapter II: The general tendency of the original settlers of the First Crusade was undoubtedly towards amicable relations with their Moslem neighbors. …The early Crusaders, after thirty years’ residence in  Syria, had become very much assimilated in character and habits to the people whom they had partly conquered, among whom they lived, and whose daughters they did not disdain to marry; …The Mohammedans, on their side, were scarcely less tolerant; they could hardly approve of marriage with the “polytheists,” as they called the Trinitarians; but they were quite ready to work for them and take their pay, and many a Moslem ruler found it convenient to form alliances with the Franks even against his Mohammedan neighbors.”

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Illustration – The Storming of Antioch, 1098:


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The Storming of Antioch 1098- from a painted window, St. Denys, 12th Century

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Illustration – The Taking of Jerusalem in the First Crusade:


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The Taking of Jerusalem - from a painted window at St. Denys, 12th Century


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“Saladin’s World” Saladin And The Crusades, from Lane-Poole: Part I, Introductory & Chapter I

Excerpt from Chapter I:…”(T)he infant whose first cries disturbed the preparations of the journey that night in the castle of Tekrit in the year of Grace 1138, was Yusuf, afterwards renowned in East and West under his surname of “Honor of the Faith,” Salah-ed-din, or, as we write it, SALADIN.”


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Saladin, (Incomplete) Map of Saladin's Empire in 1190, xxiv

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Saladin, Part I, Introductory, pg. 1

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Saladin, Part I, Introductory, pg. 2

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