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"Saladinís Legacy: Some Thoughts" Topic


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172 hits since 9 Jul 2018
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jul 2018 10:11 p.m. PST

"The Egyptian Sultan Saladin (r. 1171-1193), a Sunni Muslim Kurd, is often celebrated for his chivalrous virtues and deeds during the crusading era. In popular modern film and literature, in both the east and the west, Saladin is depicted as a man of honor and reason, not swept up in the religious passions of his day, and thus a sort of modern role model for enlightened behavior in times of conflict. Yet such heroic popular narratives of medieval military leaders are rarely, if ever, fully accurate and in Saladin's case there is considerable evidence to demonstrate he was much more of a man of his times than suggested by otherwise romanticized views of his career.

To provide one of the better-known examples of Saladin's behavior that would support the popular narrative emphasizing Saladin's generosity and reasonableness, one might consider Beha ed-Din's account of a woman in the crusaders' camp during the Third Crusade whose three-month-old baby was kidnapped one night by Muslim thieves and kidnappers, whose job it was to regularly harass Christians in the crusader camps in this way. It was customary for the thieves to then bring all they had taken to the Sultan's tent to present to him, after which Saladin would then usually return it to the thieves so they could profit from their actions. In this case, the thieves reportedly then sold the child in a slave market. When the Christian mother learned of what happened, she was shocked and weeping, until the "princes of the Franks" reportedly told her that Saladin was compassionate man and that they would permit her to go to him and ask for her child back. She did as they suggested and Saladin ordered that the child be found and returned to him. He then gave the child back to the weeping mother, and then Saladin had mother and child safely returned to the crusaders' camp…."
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