Saladin: The Politics of the Holy War

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 20, 1984 - History - 456 pages
Saladin was one of the best-known figures of the Middle Ages. The West accepted him as a hero; Islam was indebted to him for the recovery of Jerusalem. Much of his life, however, was spent in fighting his fellow Muslims, and what unity he managed to impose on his dominions was shattered at his death. The history of his career is complicated by the fact that as well as being a military leader he was a diplomat, politician, and administrator, but the details of his manipulation of power in these several spheres shed important light on the structure of Islam, its unifying and divisive elements, and the society in which these operated. Lyons and Jackson make use of hitherto neglected Arabic sources, including unpublished manuscript material - notably the correspondence, both private and official, of Saladin's own court. Such letters contain fresh information on the battles and diplomatic campaigns that accompanied Saladin's efforts to be accepted by his contemporaries as their leader in the Holy War.

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