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Saladin (c. 1138 - 1193) was Sultan of Egypt (1171 - 1193) and Emir of Damascus (1174 - 1193). At the height of his power he ruled in part or in whole of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. In 1187, he managed to crush the army of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the Battle of Hattin. The Crusaders had rushed to fight him with little to no supplies. He trapped them in a desert area and besieged them to exhaustion before the fight started. 

With the Kingdom having few soldiers left to defend it, Saladin captured Jerusalem and was left besieging the other Crusader cities. He had to face the Third Crusade (1189 - 1192) , a campaign of German, French and English troops tryig to reclaim the Holy Land for the Christians. However disagreements among the leaders of the Crusaders led to all but the English leaving by 1192. Richard I of England had to settle for negotiations. By their treaty, Jerusalem would remain under Muslim control, but which also allowed unarmed Christian pilgrims to visit the city. Saladin died of a fever in 1193.

Saladin gained a reputation both among Muslims and Christians for chivalrous behavior. His humane treatment of captives and avoidance of massacres in captured settlements largely contributed. He would ruthlesly execute prisoners guilty of great offenses but notably did not torture them. One of his well-remembered virtues was probably also his greatest fault. Saladin was extremely generous. At the time of his death Saladin was among the most powerful rulers in the world. But his treasuries were empty and failed to even cover his funeral expenses.

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