‘The life and achievements of Saladin constitute one of the great moments in the history of the crusades. In literature he appears most frequently as a conquering hero, who fought his enemies victoriously and in the end beat them to a standstill. But a closer examination of his actual life reveals him not only as a conqueror, but as a man who struggled with enemies of his own side who finally joined him and fought along with him under his sole command. From this angle we see him as a man who fought for his ideals, and fought, not victoriously, but in a measure that fell short of his hopes and ambitions’.
1 Malcolm Cameron Lyons and D. E. P. Jackson, Saladin: the politics of the Holy War. (University of Cambridge Oriental Publications.) viii, 456 pp. Cambridge, etc.: Cambridge University Press, 1982. £25.