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Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 15. August 2002


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Saladin is a legendary figure in the history of the Middle East. Saladin's rise to fame in the tumultuous arena of twelfth-century Middle Eastern politics was rapid and he quickly established himself as a military commander of genius, a man of honour and an intrepid statesman. This is the classic detailed biography of Saladin, and history of his life and times, was written by the eminent historian Stanley Lane-Poole. The author, able to access the rich and colourful chronicles of Arab and Moslem historians, provides us with a brilliant insight into the life and deeds of this warrior-monarch. Based on a lifetime of study, Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem examines Saladin's youth, his military experiences, his conquest of Egypt and Syria, the Holy War against the crusaders and, crucially, Saladin's duel with the chivalric Richard the Lionheart. For this new edition David Nicolle has provided a new Introduction and new illustrations complement this classic work.

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On the jihad trail with the Sultan 30. Juni 2005
Von Mr. Joe - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Recently, I saw the 2005 film THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, a sword and shield epic centered upon the 1187 recapture of Jerusalem from the Christians by Sultan Yusuf Ibn Najni al-Din Ayyub Ibn Shadlhi Abu'l-Muzaffar Salah al-Din al-Malik al-Nasir, aka "Saladin". The hero of the film was not Saladin (Ghassan Massoud), but rather Balian (Orlando Bloom), who, as the film opens, is sweating over a hot forge as a sword maker in some dump of a rural French town in the early 1180s. Then, along comes Godfrey (Liam Neeson), a knight and minor noble back from Palestine, who reveals himself as Balian's previously unknown father. Godfrey persuades Balian to take up a sword in defense of the Holy Land. On the return trip, Godfrey dies, but not before knighting his son. Balian subsequently inherits his father's castle of Ibelin within the Kingdom of Jerusalem, becomes chummy with King Baldwin IV and his sister Sibylla (Eva Green), finds himself defending the Holy City almost single-handed against Saladin's horde after the Christian army's disastrous defeat at Hitton, and ultimately returns to France, where he ostensibly lives happily ever after with Sibylla, who now holds the title Queen of Jerusalem. Uh-huh. So, I picked up SALADIN AND THE FALL OF JERUSALEM to find out the real story.

Penned in 1898 by Stanley Lane-Poole, this volume is a competent and informative bio of the great Muslim leader, who was respected and praised even by his Crusader foes. Admittedly, the first several chapters dealing with "Saladin's world", and which describe the Muslim politics of the region and the events of the First Crusade prior to Saladin's birth and rise to power, make for educational, but less than riveting, reading. It's only with Saladin's accession as the Sultan of Egypt in 1171 that his life really becomes interesting as he subsequently labors militarily and politically to unite the Muslim Middle East under one rule, i.e. his, drive the Unbelievers into the sea, and topple the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

The book's 19th century roots show even in this 2002 reprint of the original. The occasional map, while certainly not indecipherable, doesn't have the clean look of one of modern construction. More telling, the author infrequently sprinkles the text with passages from original Latin or French sources, which go untranslated. Presumably, the average reader at the turn of the 19th century was more educated and literate than now and could be expected to get along as required in something other than English. This new reprint does, however, include a helpful section of black and white photographs that apparently, because of the presence of automobiles, didn't appear in the first release.

The tone of Lane-Poole's narrative is one of detached and uncritical admiration for his hero, as justifiably it should be, since Saladin demonstrated more chivalry, magnanimity, and honor throughout his career than his chief Crusader opponent from June 8, 1191 to October 9, 1192, King Richard I of England. Indeed, the author, who's otherwise adulatory of the Lionheart's prowess in battle, doesn't shirk from recounting Richard's barbarous order to massacre 2,700 Muslims taken prisoner during his capture of Acre, an order that the author terms "cruel and cowardly", and would today be cause for a war crimes tribunal. Well, so much for the flower of English chivalry.

SALADIN AND THE FALL OF JERUSALEM should satisfy a reader such as myself that seeks a general knowledge of Saladin and his accomplishments without getting too obsessive about it.

And what of Balian? While he was one of only three knights left after the Battle of Hitton to defend Jerusalem, and who indeed played the key role in the defense of the city and subsequent surrender negotiations with Saladin, Balian had only a relatively small part in the rest of the story - so small that I had to resort to a Web encyclopedia to get more info about the man. What I learned there was that his saga in THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN was rampant fiction evidently hallucinated by a Hollywood screenwriter in the throes of an illegal substance. Especially that bit about running off with Sybilla. Gee, why doesn't that surprise me?
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A classic and highly readable account of the most prominent figure of the Crusades 28. September 2010
Von Whitt Patrick Pond - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Stanley Lane-Poole's Saladin And The Fall Of Jerusalem was first published in 1898, but even after a hundred years it remains one of the best overall accounts of the life of the man known to the West as Saladin, arguably the most prominent figure of the time of the Crusades. Though the book covers the entire period of Saladin's life, the ultimate focus is, as the title indicates, the Fall of Jerusalem, not only because it was the prize sought by both sides in the Crusades but because, as Lane-Poole quotes from a contemporary chronicler of the events:

"If the taking of Jerusalem were the only fact known about Saladin, it were enough to prove him the most chivalrous and great-hearted conqueror of his own, and perhaps of any, age."

For unlike the slaughter of the inhabitants carried out when the First Crusaders took Jerusalem in 1099 that literally filled the streets with blood, the re-occupation of the city by Saladin in 1187 was carried out without any acts of vengeance or retaliatory massacre. It was a remarkable act of mercy, but not the only one for which Saladin was known, and it earned him the respect and admiration of even his sworn enemies.

Lane-Poole's personal admiration for Saladin (his full name and title was Sultan Yusuf Ibn Najni al-Din Ayyub Ibn Shadlhi Abu'l-Muzaffar Salah al-Din al-Malik al-Nasir), while evident in his account of the man's life, does not impinge on his historian's professionalism. His research is well-documented and all sources are fully acknowledged, and he makes note of any occasions where his sources disagree on certain facts, and any instances where he engages in speculation in the absence of known facts.

A couple of comments must be noted about the style of the book, written as it was for a different audience in a different era. Lane-Poole has a rich personable narrative style, akin to what one would expect to hear in a lively and engaging university lecture. This serves to bring the events and the people of the time alive for the reader, particularly in bringing out the emotions felt by the historical personages at the heart of those events.

At the same time though, reflecting the education standards of the time, the book is sprinkled throughout with observations and references in both Latin and French without any translation as it was assumed that they would already be familiar to any literate Victorian reader. In addition, the maps provided in the book reflect the style and quality of map-making common to the Victorian period, including some variant spellings that may seem strange to contemporary readers. But as this book is a faithful reprinting of the 1898 original, this has a value of its own, making the reader familiar with the styles and standards of that particular period.

All in all, I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the life of Saladin, in the Crusading era, or in seeing the distinctive, more personal, style historians tended to use back during the Victorian era.
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Fall of Jerusalem 25. Februar 2014
Von B. R. Muldoon - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
It is so ridiculous to comment about the "so-called savagery of the First Crusade when they took Jerusalem. What do you think happened when the Muslims took Constantinople 400 years later? One would think conguering armies would have morally advanced in those 400 years. Yet Memhet's army slaughtered thousands of Byzantines, raped thousands of boys and women and the remaining population not slaughtered were deported to be slaves the rest of their lives. Anyone who is an apologist for the Muslim jihad need not look very far or very hard to see that no one group in the Middle East had a monoploy on savagery.Read "1453".
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