Salah al Din Yusif ibn Ayyub, known to his Muslim contemporaries as al Nasi, \'The Victorious\', and to an admiring Europe as Saladin, is the most famous single figure in the history of the Crusades, being even better known outside the English-speaking world than his Christian foe Richard the Lionheart. Traditionally portrayed as a quiet, deeply religious and even humble man, Saladin was a typical product of his day and his culture. This title shows how the societies and military systems that he and his successors led from defeat to eventual triumph were far more sophisticated than is generally realised, and brings vividly to life the history, organisation, arms and armour of Saladin and the Saracens.
This Osprey Command book looks closely at the early life, military experiences and key battlefield exploits of Al-Malik al-Nasir Yusuf Ibn Najm al-Din Ayyub Ibn Shahdi Abu’l-Muzaffar Salah al-Din – or Saladin as he is more commonly known outside the Islamic world – who is broadly regarded as the greatest hero of the Crusades, even in Europe. Most chroniclers present him as a man of outstanding virtue, courage and political skill. More recently, however, efforts have been made to portray Saladin as an ambitious, ruthless and even devious politician, and as a less brilliant commander than is normally thought. This book sets out to reveal that the truth is, as usual, somewhere in between.