Saladin Fact File Biography: Lifespan: *** Full Name: ?ala? ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub *** Nickname: Saladin *** Occupation: The First Sultan of Egypt and Syria *** Date of Birth: Saladin was born in 1139 *** Place of Birth: Saladin was born in Tikrit, Iraq (Mesopotamia) *** Family background: His father was Najm ad-Din Ayyub and was a warden, he provided ferries for the Amy and gave refuge if necessary but he found himself banished from Tikrit and the same night the family left Tikrit Saladin was born *** Early life and childhood: He grew up amongst his family *** Education: Saladin would have been educated the same as his elders ***
Saladin Fact 1: Saladin was born in 1139 and during the 12th century period in history when the Song dynasty was being established in China and the Muslim World was experiencing a cultural highpoint.
Saladin Fact 2: When the family left Tikrit they travelled to Mosul.
Saladin Fact 3: It would appear Saladin was educated to a reasonable level in areas of sciences and religion, in which he appeared far more interested that in the military. As well as Islam, he had knowledge of genealogies, biographies, histories of Arabs together with Arabian horses bloodlines, he also knew the Hamasah of Abu Tammam of by hears and spoke Kurdish as well as Turkish.
Saladin Fact 4: He served in the military under the command of his uncle Asad al-Din Shirkuh.
Saladin Fact 5: He would play a significant part in the battle between the Crusader-Egyptians and Shirkuh’s army. His role in this battle was significant as he was put in charge of the army on the right wing, while the Kurds had command on the left with Shirkuh in the middle. The outcome would be victory for the Zengid Army and Saladin was given credit for his part.
Saladin Fact 6: His next conflict came with Shirkuh in a power struggle with Shawar and Amalric I of the Kingdom of Jerusalem over Egypt. It was reported that Saladin assassinated Shawar. Shirkuh also died that year. At the death of Shirkuh a new vizier was required and Saladin was chosen, the choice was received with mixed view but finally agreed.
Saladin Fact 7: He established himself in Egypt and proceeded to launch a defensive against the Crusaders, not only was this successful he also captured the Castle of Eilat held by the Crusaders.
Saladin Fact 8: In September of 1171 Saladin left Cairo to participate in an attack on Kerak and Montreal both desert castles in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Saladin received reports of trouble back in Cairo and had to return.
Saladin Fact 9: In the summer of 1173 a Nubian army together with Armenian refugees were sighted on the Egyptian border but once reinforcement were in place they retreated. They returned at a later date and were driven back.
Saladin Fact 10: During 1174 Nur ad-Din died leaving his son of eleven years of age in command. Saladin wrote to him of his deepest shock at his father’s death and that he would “act as a sword” for the young ruler against any enemies.
Saladin Fact 11: He would be called upon for assistance by the Syrians and he went immediately with seven hundred hand-picked horsemen. Arriving in Damascus within four days the gates were open to Saladin in surrender and he made himself at home in the Castle.Saladin Fact 15: In 1182 Saladin continued his conflict with the Crusaders crossing the Jordan River.
Saladin Fact 12: The Grand Master of the Assassins in Syria were already at odds with Saladin and when they were requested to kill Saladin thirteen Assassins set out to accomplish the task, however they were detected upon entering the camp, they were all killed.
Saladin Fact 13: A propaganda war was started against Saladin by those rivals against him in Jazira and Syria claiming that he had “Forgotten his own condition [servant of Nur ad-Din]” and besieging his son instead of showing him gratitude. He managed to turn the tables on them by terminating the siege and proclaiming his defense of Islam against the Crusader and returning to Hama but by the time he had arrived the Crusaders had already departed leaving him to claim a victory.
Saladin Fact 14: Saif al-Din, head of the Zengids looked upon Mesopotamia and Syria as his family estate and home and was not pleased with Saladin usurping his holdings. He put together a large army to oust Saladin but he was eventually beaten back and was forced to give in to Saladin’s victory.
Saladin Fact 16: In September of 1191 Saladin was once again in combat with Crusaders this time headed by King Richard the Lionheart at the Battle of Arsuf. The battle did not last long as King Richard retreated to save his men. All of Richard’s attempts to retake Jerusalem failed however a truce was eventually reached I the Treaty of Ramla in 1192.
Saladin Fact 17: Shortly after King Richard the Lionheart departed Saladin died on March 4th 1193 of a fever. His body was laid to rest in a mausoleum in a garden outside Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.
Influence and Legacy: Saladin would gain the reputation of being a chivalrous knight notwithstanding his victories and his skill as a soldier. Although the Crusaders had devastated Jerusalem when they conquered the city in 1099, when Saladin won back the city he was honorable enough to give safe passage to the defeated Christian soldiers, even though their religious beliefs were profoundly different the Muslim Saladin had respect for the Christian lords in particular Richard and it would appear King Richard reciprocated.
Short Facts about Saladin for Kids
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