The Changing Reputation of Saladin in the Latin West, c.1170 to c.1220

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It is an apparent paradox that the Latin West’s perception of Saladin, the Ayyubid sultan who conquered Jerusalem in 1187, changed so drastically over a few years. From being identified as one of the heads of the seven-headed dragon of Revelation 13, by the end of the Third Crusade Saladin’s image began to take on a much more positive aspect, with the virtues of mercy and especially generosity writ large. The lengthy diplomatic exchanges of the Third Crusade did much to bring these (and other) recognisably chivalric attributes to the attention of the crusaders and thereby effect the transformation noted above. The article closely traces this evolution across a wide range of sources from the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
Early online date17 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jun 2024

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