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Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem by Stanley Lane-Poole   This book was originally published in 1898. The Introduction is done by Dr. David ...

Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem by Stanley Lane-Poole Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem by Stanley Lane-Poole

Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem by Stanley Lane-Poole

Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem by Stanley Lane-Poole







Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem


by


Stanley Lane-Poole





  This book was originally published in 1898. The Introduction is done by Dr. David Nicolle, who also did some minor alterations on the book for this release. The book is about Al-Nasir Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub. This is normally shortened to just Saladin. He represents a strange character in the history of the Crusades. For not only did the Arab world sing his praises, but the Crusaders also looked upon him as a just and gallant enemy. Most people do not know much about the Crusades, but if they have read or heard about them there are only two names they really know. These would be Saladin and Richard the Lionheart, unless they remember the character Balien from the movie 'Kingdom of Heaven' (he was an actual historical figure).  


 According to the author, Saladin was born in either 1137, or 1138. He also says that he was of Kurdish descent. Saladin was born into the turmoil of the Middle East after the First Crusade had won Jerusalem and lands in which we now know as Lebanon, Israel, and Syria. He spent some of his youth in Damascus.


 During this time in the Middle East, things were not so black and white as we have been lead to believe. There was animosity between the Franks (collectively what the Moslems called the Crusaders), and the indigenous population. However, there was also friendship and trade etc. going on between the two sides. The author recounts a story that Saladin was actually knighted by a Crusader when he was a young man.


 Saladin accompanied his uncle from Damascus to help in the conquest of Egypt from the Fatimids. His sovereign at this time was Nur-ed-din the ruler of most of Syria. The conquest of Egypt was the death knell of the Crusader States. Up until that time the Crusaders were able to play the different Moslem factions against one another.

 

 Through luck and force of character, Saladin eventually became ruler of all of the Moslem States surrounding the Crusader States. He tasked himself with the reconquest of Jerusalem and all of the the lands under the Franks. His campaign against the Crusaders ends with their terrible defeat at the Horns of Hattin. Saladin is then able to conquer Jerusalem and everything but a few cities and lands adjacent to the coast of the Mediterranean. The Third Crusade is then undertaken by the Europeans to take back Jerusalem. This then leads to the great showdown between Saladin and Richard coeur de lion.


 This book is about 120 years old. This history was written in a style that was heavily in vogue at the time. I have always liked the Harold Lamb style of  'telling the tale' of history type of book, as long as the facts are still the most important part of the book. This book is a wonderful and enjoyable read that holds to the facts, and yet still weaves a good tale for the reader. Thank you Casemate Publishers for letting me review this re-release of a classic.


Robert


Book: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem


Author: Stanley Lane-Poole


Publisher: Fonthill Media


Distributor: Casemate Publishers


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