A história

Saladino e os Cristãos de Jerusalém



Jerusalém tirada dos cristãos por Saladino

Jerusalém foi tomada dos governantes cristãos da cidade pelo sultão aiúbida Saladino em 1187, de acordo com o Gráfico da Linha do Tempo da Bíblia com a História Mundial. A derrota dos governantes cristãos na batalha de Hattin apenas apressou a queda de Jerusalém. As notícias da perda de Jerusalém mais tarde levaram os governantes da Europa a lançar a Terceira Cruzada.

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A ascensão de Saladino

O grande governante muçulmano Saladin nasceu Yusuf ibn Najm al-Din Ayyub Salah al-Din. Ele foi um dos governantes muçulmanos mais incomuns, pois não era árabe, turco ou persa. Sua família curda migrou de Dvin, na Armênia, para Tikrit (atual Iraque) antes de ele nascer. Seu pai, Najm al-Din Ayyub, era o guardião de Tikrit que salvou Zengi, o governante turco de Mosul, quando ele fugiu da cidade. Sua família foi mais tarde forçada a deixar Tikrit quando seu tio, Shirkuh, matou um homem.

Saladin nasceu durante a noite em que eles deixaram Tikrit em 1139. Eles viajaram para Mosul, onde Zengi (agora de volta como governante da cidade) os recebeu em pagamento de sua dívida. Nur ad-Din, filho de Zengi, sucedeu a seu pai vários anos depois. Saladino cresceu durante uma época em que os cruzados europeus fluíram para a Terra Santa e conquistaram alguns territórios. Ele, junto com seu tio, serviu a Nur ad-Din depois que ele ascendeu como governante de Mosul.

Em Jerusalém, o rei Balduíno III morreu e foi sucedido por seu irmão mais novo, Amalric I, em 1163. Ansioso por ampliar seu território, Amalric atacou o Egito Fatímida que, naquela época, estava enfraquecido. O vizir mais poderoso Shawar pediu a ajuda de Nur ad-Din para defender o Egito de Amalric. Nur ad-Din enviou as tropas turcas de que precisava e elas foram lideradas por Shirkuh e seu jovem sobrinho, Saladin. Junto com as tropas fatímidas, eles derrotaram os soldados de Amalric e os levaram de volta a Jerusalém.

Saladino no Egito e o colapso da Dinastia Fatímida

Mas Shirkuh era um homem ambicioso e queria o Egito para si. Shawar percebeu rapidamente que a aliança era um erro, então ele ofereceu uma aliança a Amalric. Juntos, eles atacaram e expulsaram Shirkuh, Saladino e as tropas turcas do Egito. Shirkuh, no entanto, nunca se esqueceu do Egito e de seus sonhos de conquistá-lo. Ele voltou ao Egito com Saladino e as tropas turcas para derrotar seus inimigos em 1167. Shawar, entretanto, sabia que não duraria em sua posição, então foi a Shirkuh para negociar com ele em 1169. Saladino e seus homens o impediram quando ele estava perto do acampamento, o levou para outro lugar e o matou.

Shirkuh governou o Egito e controlou o califa fatímida al-Adid a partir de então. Ele não conseguiu desfrutar de seu novo status enquanto morreu dois meses depois. O governo do Egito passou para Saladino, após sua morte. Sete meses depois de ascender como governante do Egito, Saladino enfrentou a ameaça de uma força cruzada e bizantina combinada. Ele facilmente derrubou essa aliança, pois os cruzados e os bizantinos estavam mal equipados e muitas vezes lutaram uns contra os outros. Ele levou seu exército de volta à Terra Santa e voltou ao Egito para governar em nome de Nur ad-Din.

Em 1171, Nur ad-Din ordenou que Saladino removesse o jovem governante fatímida al-Adid para que o Egito ficasse nas mãos dos turcos. Saladin achou que essa não era uma boa ideia na época, mas depois mudou de ideia. Ele finalmente seguiu as instruções de Nur ad-Din, assim como quando o califa ficou tão doente. O califa al-Adid morreu sem saber que fora afastado de sua posição e que era o último fatímida a governar o Egito.

Saladino governou o Egito a partir de então. Ele gradualmente se tornou tão poderoso que começou a governá-lo sem prestar atenção às ordens de Nur ad-Din. Por exemplo, ele atacou o castelo cruzado de Montreal do Egito, enquanto Nur ad-Din se aproximou do mesmo castelo pelo norte. Ele abandonou a batalha e voltou para o Egito. Ele perdeu a confiança de Nur ad-Din por causa disso, e seu antigo mestre começou seus planos para remover Saladino do Egito. Mas o governante turco morreu de infecção na garganta antes que pudesse realizar seus planos em 1174. Seu filho, Al-Salih Ismail, foi deixado para governar seu reino.

Saladino sabia que essa era sua chance de conquistar a Terra Santa e a Síria para si, então foi a Damasco e se apresentou como o guardião do menino. Ele também se casou com a viúva de Nur ad-Din e o jovem Al-Salih morreu convenientemente em 1181. Com os governantes turcos fora do caminho, Saladino estava agora livre para governar a Síria e o Egito.

Divisão na Terra Santa

Enquanto isso, em Jerusalém, Balduíno IV, o Leproso, sucedeu seu pai Amalric II como Rei de Jerusalém. Como Baldwin era apenas uma criança quando seu pai morreu, Miles de Plancy se tornou seu regente. Raymond III de Trípoli e outros nobres contestaram sua reivindicação como regente. Quando Miles foi morto, sua viúva se casou com o Senhor de Oultrejourdain, chamado Reynald de Châtillon. Reynald tinha uma história de ser um encrenqueiro versátil. Suas travessuras ajudariam a provocar a queda de Jerusalém para Saladino.

Com Miles de Plancy morto, Raymond III de Tripoli estava livre para arranjar o casamento da irmã de Balduíno IV, Sybilla, com outro nobre. O casal teve um filho a quem deram o nome de Baldwin V, mas o novo marido de Sybilla e # 8217 também morreu. Seu filho foi posteriormente nomeado co-governante de seu tio Baldwin IV, enquanto sua mãe se casou com outro nobre chamado Guy de Lusignan.

Entre 1177 e 1178, Saladino derrotou as tentativas de Balduíno IV de fortalecer seu reino. Em 1182, Reynald de Châtillon liderou um ataque a uma caravana com destino à Síria. Saladin enfureceu, pois a caravana estava sob sua proteção. Ele decidiu atacar os estados cruzados no mesmo ano. Reynald provocou Saladino mais uma vez quando ele anunciou seus planos de invadir Meca pelo Mar Vermelho. Saladino os atacou pela segunda vez em 1183 por causa disso.

O rei Balduíno IV sabia que precisava enfrentar Saladino na batalha. O problema é que ele tinha lepra. Então, ele permitiu que seu novo cunhado, Guy de Lusignan, liderasse seu exército para a batalha. Guy substituiu Raymond III de Trípoli como regente, mas ele e seu exército não confrontaram Saladino na batalha - um movimento que o tornou impopular em Jerusalém. Balduíno IV removeu seu cunhado como regente e trouxe de volta Raymond III de Trípoli. Ele também anunciou que seu sobrinho, Baldwin V, iria sucedê-lo como rei. Mas o menino morreu em 1185, seguido pelo rei um ano depois.

O trono de Jerusalém estava vago, e tanto Raymond quanto Guy lutaram para ocupá-lo. Guy, Sybilla e o sempre presente Reynald de Chatillon mais tarde organizaram um golpe para remover Raymond III do governo de Jerusalém. Raymond foi forçado a buscar uma aliança com Saladino na esperança de obter Jerusalém de volta. Enquanto negociava com Saladino, porém, Reynald de Châtillon invadiu outra caravana com destino à Síria. Saladino exigiu o pagamento pelos danos. Reynald recusou e até desafiou Guy, que lhe pediu para pagar.

A Batalha de Hattin e a Queda de Jerusalém

Guy sabia que essa era a gota d'água para Saladin, então enviou seus cavaleiros para fazer as pazes com Raymond. Sua estratégia falhou quando os homens de Saladino que espreitavam no território de Raymond mataram os cavaleiros que ele enviou. Em julho do mesmo ano, Saladino trouxe até 30.000 soldados com ele e sitiou a fortaleza de Raymond em Tiberíades. Guy e suas tropas tentaram atacar Saladino na Batalha de Hattin, mas as lutas internas, a falta de água e o calor insuportável do vale dificultaram a vitória deles.

As forças cristãs sofreram uma derrota esmagadora em Hattin e todos os nobres foram capturados. Saladino tratou os nobres cristãos com cortesia, e eles acabaram sendo libertados. Mas ele escolheu Reynald de Châtillon, a quem decapitou com sua própria espada. Ele também ordenou que seus homens executassem todos os Cavaleiros Templários e Hospitalários que se juntassem à batalha.

Uma por uma, as cidades da Terra Santa renderam-se ao exército de Saladino, e os refugiados foram forçados a fugir para Jerusalém. Os residentes da cidade sagrada entraram em pânico quando souberam que as tropas de Saladino estavam vindo em sua direção, mas Balian de Ibelin chegou e liderou a defesa da cidade. No dia 20 de setembro de 1187, Saladino e seus guerreiros chegaram do lado de fora dos muros de Jerusalém. Embora estivessem dispostos a lutar, os residentes sabiam que não eram páreo para as forças muçulmanas do outro lado das muralhas.

Balian foi forçado a negociar com Saladin para salvar os residentes da cidade. Por causa dos esforços de Balian, Saladino concordou em deixar os residentes cristãos de Jerusalém saírem ilesos da cidade. Ele aceitou a rendição de Jerusalém e entrou com vitória no mesmo ano. Os muçulmanos então removeram a cruz da Cúpula da Rocha. Mais uma vez, Jerusalém estava em mãos muçulmanas.


A área logo ao sul da Igreja do Santo Sepulcro tem uma longa tradição que data dos dias de Judas Macabeu (século 2 aC) com base em incidentes registrados no Segundo Livro dos Macabeus. [1] De acordo com a lenda, o rei Antíoco V foi a Jerusalém para punir o sumo sacerdote por saquear a tumba de Davi. Enquanto estava no Gólgota, o rei foi instruído em uma visão divina a perdoar o sumo sacerdote e a construir um hospital para cuidar dos doentes e pobres naquele local. Em 1496, William Caoursin, vice-chanceler dos Hospitalários, escreveu que Judas Maccabaeus e John Hyrcanus fundaram o hospital naquele local. [2]

Período Romano Editar

Em 130, Adriano visitou as ruínas de Jerusalém, na Judéia, abandonada após a Primeira Guerra Romano-Judaica de 66-73. Ele reconstruiu a cidade, rebatizando-a Aelia Capitolina em homenagem a ele e Júpiter Capitolinus, a principal divindade romana. Adriano colocou o principal fórum da cidade na junção do Cardo principal e do Decumanus Maximus, agora o local para o (menor) Muristan. Adriano construiu um grande templo para a deusa Vênus, que mais tarde se tornou a Igreja do Santo Sepulcro. [3] A menção histórica mais antiga do local Muristan foi em 600 DC, quando um certo Abade Probus foi comissionado pelo Papa Gregório, o Grande, para construir um hospital em Jerusalém para tratar e cuidar dos peregrinos cristãos na Terra Santa. Este hospício foi provavelmente destruído cerca de quatorze anos depois, quando Jerusalém caiu nas mãos do exército persa e os habitantes cristãos foram massacrados e suas igrejas e mosteiros destruídos (veja Revolta contra Heráclio). O prédio foi provavelmente restaurado depois que Jerusalém caiu novamente sob o domínio romano em 629.

Primeiro período muçulmano Editar

O domínio árabe depois de 637 permitiu a liberdade de culto, e o hospício restaurado provavelmente teve permissão para continuar servindo ao seu propósito original. Em 800, Carlos Magno, imperador do Sacro Império Romano, ampliou o albergue e acrescentou uma biblioteca a ele. Bernard o Monge, que escreveu um relato de sua visita a Jerusalém em 870, menciona um hospital beneditino próximo à Igreja do Santo Sepulcro. Em 993, Hugh Marquês da Toscana e sua esposa doaram ao hospital consideráveis ​​propriedades na Itália.

Em 1009, o califa fatímida Al Hakim destruiu o albergue e um grande número de outros edifícios em Jerusalém. [4] Em 1023, mercadores de Amalfi e Salerno, na Itália, receberam permissão do califa Ali az-Zahir para reconstruir o hospício, mosteiro e capela em Jerusalém. Entre esses mercadores de Amalfi e Salerno estava também Mauros, comerciante de Amalfi, de uma família de Constantinopla, Mileto e Amalfi, que deu junto com sua mãe Ana e seu irmão Constantino um presente para o convento de São Lourenço em Amalfi, [5] que provavelmente tinha alguma conexão com o beato Gerardo, o fundador da Ordem dos Cavaleiros de São João de Jerusalém, os Cavaleiros Hospitalários.

Na Palestina e na Síria, houve uma revolta entre os beduínos (1024–1029). Em um acordo em 1027 entre Ali az-Zahir e Constantino VIII, Constantino VIII permitiu que o nome do califa fosse reconhecido nas mesquitas sob o domínio do imperador e que a mesquita de Constantinopla fosse restaurada. [6] O hospício, que foi construído no local do mosteiro de São João Batista, acolhia peregrinos cristãos que viajavam para visitar os locais sagrados. A leste deste hospital, separado dele por uma viela, um novo hospital para peregrinos foi construído em 1080. Ambos os hospitais permaneceram sob o controle do abade beneditino. [7] Em 1078, Jerusalém foi capturada pelos turcos seljúcidas que abusaram da população cristã, forçaram os peregrinos a pagar pesados ​​impostos para visitar os lugares sagrados e até sequestraram o patriarca de Jerusalém. Apesar da perseguição, o hospital beneditino continuou seu ministério. O arcebispo João de Amalfi registra que durante sua peregrinação a Jerusalém em 1082, ele visitou o hospital. Em agosto de 1098, os turcos foram expulsos pelo vizir egípcio, Al Afdal. [8] Perto do fim da ocupação egípcia (julho de 1099), o Hospital para Mulheres estava sendo administrado por uma nobre senhora romana, chamada Agnes, enquanto o Hospital para Homens estava sob a direção de um monge conhecido como Irmão Gerard. [9]

Edição do período cruzado

Na Primeira Cruzada, durante o cerco de Jerusalém (1099), o governador egípcio, Iftikhar ad Dawla, prendeu o irmão Gerard. Quando Jerusalém caiu nas mãos de Godfrey de Bouillon, ele libertou o irmão Gerard, permitiu-lhe retomar a administração do Hospital for Men e contribuiu com recursos para seu trabalho. Gerard adotou a política de receber todos os pacientes necessitados, independentemente da religião. Enquanto o Hospital para Mulheres permanecia sob o controle dos Beneditinos, o Irmão Gerard rompeu com a Ordem, adotou a regra agostiniana e organizou o Fratres Hospitalarii em uma Ordem Religiosa regularmente constituída sob a proteção de São João Batista. Os membros da Ordem ficaram assim conhecidos como Cavaleiros de São João ou Hospitalários.

O estabelecimento formal dos Cavaleiros Hospitalários sob o irmão Gerard foi confirmado por uma bula papal do Papa Pascal II em 1113. Gerard adquiriu território e receitas para sua ordem em todo o Reino de Jerusalém e além. Seu sucessor, Raymond du Puy de Provence, aumentou significativamente a enfermaria. A descrição mais antiga do primeiro hospital da Soberana Ordem Militar de São João em Jerusalém foi escrita por um peregrino alemão João de Würzburg que visitou Jerusalém por volta do ano 1160:

Em frente à Igreja do Santo Sepulcro, do outro lado do caminho para o sul, está uma bela igreja construída em homenagem a João Batista, anexada à qual está um hospital, onde em vários quartos está reunida uma enorme multidão de pessoas doentes. Ambos homens e mulheres. Que são cuidados e restaurados à saúde diariamente a um custo muito alto. Quando estive lá, soube que o número total desses enfermos chegava a dois mil, dos quais às vezes, no decorrer de um dia e uma noite, mais de cinquenta eram levados mortos, enquanto muitos outros novos chegavam continuamente. O que mais posso dizer? A mesma casa abastece tantas pessoas de fora como de dentro, além da caridade sem limites que diariamente concedia aos pobres que mendigavam o pão de porta em porta e não se hospedavam em casa, para que o todo soma de suas despesas certamente nunca pode ser calculada, mesmo pelos gerentes e administradores da mesma. Além de todo esse dinheiro gasto com os enfermos e outros pobres, esta mesma casa também mantém em seus vários castelos muitas pessoas treinadas para todos os tipos de exercícios militares para a defesa da terra dos cristãos contra a invasão dos sarracenos. [10]

Período aiúbida e posterior decadência Editar

Após o cerco de Jerusalém em outubro de 1187, todos os cristãos foram expulsos de Jerusalém pelo sultão Saladino. Os hospitaleiros foram autorizados a deixar dez deles na cidade para cuidar dos feridos até que pudessem viajar. Saladino entregou os edifícios dos Hospitalários à Mesquita de Omar. Seu sobrinho em 1216 instituiu um asilo para lunáticos no que havia sido a igreja conventual, e foi nessa época que a área passou a ser chamada de Muristan. [11] As instalações do hospital continuaram a ser usadas para cuidar dos doentes e feridos. O local ficou deserto no século 16, e as magníficas estruturas acabaram caindo em ruínas.

Edição do século 19

Em 1868, o sultão Mehmed VI apresentou a parte oriental desta área ao príncipe herdeiro Frederico Guilherme da Prússia, durante sua visita a Jerusalém. O príncipe era na época o Mestre da Johanniterorden, o sucessor protestante de um antigo ramo dos Cavaleiros Hospitalários. Os cavaleiros alemães construíram uma estrada através do Muristan de norte a sul, chamando-a de Prince Frederick William Street, e a propriedade se tornou o centro da colônia alemã em Jerusalém. A partir de 1841, os cristãos protestantes alemães vieram para a Palestina para apoiar a minoria cristã na área por meio do trabalho diaconal e missionário. O governo alemão contribuiu para o processo de remoção dos escombros da área e reconstrução. No final de 1800, eles reconstruíram a igreja dos cruzados de Santa Maria Latina como a Igreja Luterana do Redentor (Erlöserkirche) Os antigos claustros, refeitório e planta original da igreja medieval foram preservados no atual edifício neo-românico. O Kaiser Wilhelm II participou pessoalmente da dedicação da igreja em 31 de outubro de 1898 (Dia da Reforma), quando ele e sua esposa, Augusta Victoria, se tornaram os primeiros governantes ocidentais a visitar Jerusalém. A Igreja do Redentor, sob o controle da Igreja Evangélica na Alemanha (EKD) por meio da Fundação Evangélica de Jerusalém (Evangelische Jerusalemstiftung, EJSt) atualmente abriga a congregação de língua inglesa patrocinada pela ELCA, uma congregação de língua alemã e um árabe indígena. congregação falante. A igreja também é a sede da Propst alemã e do Bispo da Igreja Evangélica Luterana da Jordânia (ELCJ).

Para garantir uma representação igual, em 1868 o sultão atribuiu a parte ocidental do Muristan ao Patriarcado Ortodoxo Grego. Hoje é ocupada pelo bazar grego, especializado em artigos de couro. Um portal cerimonial da rua Muristan leva a essa área de Muristan, chamada Suq Aftimos, e de lá para um conjunto de pequenas ruas que se cruzam com lojas e alguns cafés. Os arranjos das ruas foram construídos em 1903 pela autoridade ortodoxa grega. No centro da área do bazar está uma fonte ornamental (século 19), no extremo norte está a Mesquita de Omar, construída em 1216 pelo filho de Saladino para comemorar a visita do califa Omar a Jerusalém em 638, quando ele orou nos degraus da Igreja do Santo Sepulcro em vez de dentro para que pudesse permanecer um lugar sagrado cristão.

Escavações do Muristan foram realizadas por volta do início do século 20 e mostraram que o complexo Hospitaleiro ocupava uma área aproximadamente quadrada medindo 160 jardas (leste-oeste) e 143 jardas (norte-sul). Nas primeiras décadas do século XX, pouco sobrou dos edifícios originais. Os vestígios incluíam a Igreja de Mar Hanna, uma série de arcos na Rua David e os vestígios da porta norte da Igreja Hospitaleira de Santa Maria Latina, que foram incorporados à moderna Igreja do Redentor. O que resta do hospital hoje é um memorial moderno situado em um pequeno recanto isolado da rua por um portão de ferro e um pátio fechado.

O parque arqueológico inaugurado em novembro de 2012 "Durch die Zeiten", localizado abaixo da nave da Igreja do Redentor oferece a possibilidade de comprometer mais de 2.000 anos de história da cidade de Jerusalém, passando por ele. [12]


Legado de Saladino: alguns pensamentos

Acima da Imagem: Imagem da capa do excelente livro de Yaacov Lev & # 8217s Saladino no Egito (Leiden: Brill, 1999).

O sultão egípcio Saladino (r. 1171-1193), um curdo muçulmano sunita, é freqüentemente celebrado por suas virtudes e feitos cavalheirescos durante a era das cruzadas. No cinema e na literatura popular e moderna, tanto no Oriente quanto no Ocidente, Saladino é retratado como um homem de honra e razão, não levado pelas paixões religiosas de sua época e, portanto, uma espécie de modelo moderno para o comportamento esclarecido da época de conflito. No entanto, tais narrativas populares heróicas de líderes militares medievais são raramente, ou nunca, totalmente precisas e, no caso de Saladino, há evidências consideráveis ​​para demonstrar que ele era muito mais um homem de sua época do que sugerido por visões romantizadas de sua carreira.

Para fornecer um dos exemplos mais conhecidos do comportamento de Saladino que apoiaria a narrativa popular enfatizando a generosidade e razoabilidade de Saladino, pode-se considerar o relato de Beha ed-Din sobre uma mulher no acampamento dos cruzados durante a Terceira Cruzada, cujo filho de três meses baby foi sequestrado uma noite por ladrões e sequestradores muçulmanos, cujo trabalho era assediar regularmente os cristãos nos campos dos cruzados dessa forma. Era costume os ladrões então trazerem tudo o que haviam levado para a tenda do sultão para apresentar a ele, após o que Saladino, então, geralmente devolvia aos ladrões para que eles pudessem lucrar com suas ações. Nesse caso, os ladrões teriam vendido a criança em um mercado de escravos. Quando a mãe cristã soube do que aconteceu, ela ficou chocada e chorando, até que os “príncipes dos francos” disseram a ela que Saladino era um homem compassivo e que eles permitiriam que ela fosse até ele e pedisse seu filho de volta. Ela fez o que eles sugeriram e Saladin ordenou que a criança fosse encontrada e devolvida a ele. Ele então devolveu a criança à mãe que chorava, e então Saladin fez com que mãe e filho voltassem em segurança para o acampamento dos cruzados.

Mais significativamente, as ações de Saladino ao lidar com a população derrotada da cidade de Jerusalém em 1187 são muito mais conhecidas do que seu tratamento da mulher cristã descrito acima. Na verdade, suas ações naquela época, ou pelo menos a narrativa popular sobre elas, são provavelmente o elemento mais importante para estabelecer seu legado popular. A conquista da cidade por Saladino foi possível por sua vitória sobre as forças cristãs três meses antes, na batalha de Hattin, onde quase exterminou o exército de Jerusalém. Depois disso, Saladino capturou muitos dos territórios vizinhos, resultando em uma crise de refugiados para a cidade de Jerusalém, pois milhares de cristãos fugiram para lá em busca de abrigo. Saladino iniciou seu cerco à cidade em setembro, não demorando muito para seu exército romper as muralhas da cidade, levando o líder das defesas da cidade, Balian de Ibelin, a negociar uma rendição em que os habitantes da cidade fariam ser capaz de partir, desde que pague um resgate. Saladino honrou o acordo, e a maioria dos habitantes da cidade seria poupada da vida ou da escravidão. Esse resultado sob o governo de Saladino muitas vezes foi contrastado com o massacre relatado que ocorreu em Jerusalém em 1099, quando os participantes da Primeira Cruzada capturaram a cidade e, segundo um cronista, cavalgaram em sangue até as rédeas de seus cavalos no Monte do Templo.

A conquista de Jerusalém por Saladino gerou grande preocupação na Europa e resultou na convocação da Terceira Cruzada. Embora os cruzados tivessem sucesso em restaurar algumas áreas importantes para o controle cristão, Jerusalém, a joia da coroa da Terra Santa, permaneceria sob o controle de Saladino. Quando Saladino morreu em 1193, ele consolidou seu governo e estabeleceu a dinastia aiúbida. Quando essas conquistas foram combinadas com suas vitórias sobre as forças cristãs na região, incluindo a conquista de Jerusalém, Saladino emergiu como um herói muçulmano. Na verdade, duas biografias foram escritas sobre ele, uma raridade para governantes muçulmanos na época, e muitos outros contemporâneos, ou quase contemporâneos, escritores muçulmanos mencionaram suas façanhas em suas histórias, tornando Saladino talvez o mais conhecido líder muçulmano da era das cruzadas.

Embora Saladino tenha sido celebrado por seu papel nas cruzadas nos séculos XII e Trinta, logo sua fama no mundo árabe diminuiria concomitantemente com o lapso de interesse no tópico mostrado por escritores muçulmanos do final da Idade Média à eras modernas. Esse processo começou com a ameaça que os mongóis representavam para o mundo muçulmano no século XIII, que eram muito mais destrutivos do que os cruzados. Quando os mongóis foram vencidos, os turcos se concentraram em uma nova era de expansão bem-sucedida em terras cristãs na Europa Oriental e no Mediterrâneo, alcançando inúmeras vitórias e expandindo seu império. Por causa desses eventos, os assentamentos cristãos latinos temporários e geograficamente limitados da era das cruzadas e os conflitos que eles provocaram tornaram-se menos importantes nas narrativas históricas muçulmanas. Como historiadores Edward Peters e Mona Hammad (Sete Mitos das Cruzadas) notaram:

“Por volta do século XIV, o mundo islâmico foi colocado em pleno curso para os sucessivos triunfos posteriores dos mamelucos e depois dos safávidas na Pérsia e no Império Otomano, do século XIV ao final do século XVII. Os cruzados retrocederam para um passado vasto e agora amplamente dominado e definido pelos otomanos. ” (Peters e Hammad, Sete Mitos das Cruzadas)

Com a diminuição do papel da era das cruzadas na história islâmica, veio a diminuição do papel histórico de Saladino como herói muçulmano e líder militar. O significado histórico das cruzadas foi minimizado, pois foram imprensadas entre dois períodos de extraordinária expansão muçulmana, para incluir a conquista árabe dos séculos sétimo e oitavo e a continuação da expansão islâmica constante durante o nono ao décimo primeiro século, e a ascensão do Os turcos e sua expansão para o oeste na Europa no final da Idade Média e no início dos períodos modernos.

Foram os ocidentais modernos, durante os séculos XIX e XX, os primeiros a reabilitar a reputação de Saladino como talvez a figura mais iluminada do movimento cruzado. Histórias romantizadas das cruzadas que foram escritas durante e influenciadas pela era do Novo Imperialismo levaram a descrições dos primeiros cruzados como os primeiros imperialistas e os precursores da variedade moderna. Algumas dessas histórias, mais tarde traduzidas para o árabe, persa e turco, também enquadraram Saladino como uma espécie de líder cavalheiresco da resistência aos imperialistas cruzados, tornando-o uma espécie de modelo para os líderes árabes e turcos do século XIX e XX que resistiram O imperialismo europeu em sua época. Historiadores ocidentais que escreveram durante o início / meados do século XX deram continuidade à narrativa. Harold Lamb, por exemplo, descreveu Saladino como brilhante e um homem de honra, enquanto René Grousset elogiou Saladino por resistir ao fanatismo de algumas de suas tropas, que queriam destruir a Igreja do Santo Sepulcro, que ele proibiu. A literatura popular, como os romances altamente influentes de Sir Walter Scott, efetivamente levou essas opiniões ao público durante o século XIX, onde elas permanecem e continuam até o presente como visto na televisão e no cinema modernos (por exemplo, a série BBC Terry Jones Cruzadas, o filme de 2005 Reino dos céus, etc…).

Embora os estudos ocidentais modernos sobre as cruzadas tenham superado as representações geralmente romantizadas das cruzadas e rejeitado em grande parte a suposta conexão das cruzadas com o imperialismo moderno, essas visões continuam nas narrativas ocidentais populares e em todo o mundo muçulmano. Muçulmanos modernos têm amplamente abraçado esta visão inspirada na Europa do século XIX sobre as cruzadas e, por extensão, uma visão heroizada de Saladino. Conforme observado acima, a chegada dos europeus como imperialistas em várias partes do mundo muçulmano nos séculos XIX e XX, também trouxe suas histórias e interpretações das cruzadas, que foram traduzidas para o árabe e outras línguas locais e influenciaram a compreensão popular de as cruzadas e Saladino até o presente. Saladino é freqüentemente homenageado por suas contribuições aos esforços muçulmanos para expulsar os cruzados. o Carta do Hamas publicado em 1988, por exemplo, nos artigos 34 e 35, homenageia Saladino por suas realizações. Antes da Guerra do Golfo Pérsico em 1991, o líder iraquiano Saddam Hussein tentou se retratar como um novo Saladino, que mais uma vez lideraria a resistência muçulmana aos novos cruzados ocidentais. Em 1993, uma enorme estátua equestre de bronze de Saladino foi erguida em Damasco, na Síria, que foi inaugurada pelo então presidente sírio Hafez Assad no 800º aniversário da morte de Saladino. Existem muitos outros exemplos do profundo respeito demonstrado por Saladino no mundo muçulmano moderno.

Acima da Imagem: A estátua de Damasco de Saladino, mencionada acima. (Fonte: Wiki commons)

Como qualquer historiador das cruzadas, há muito estou familiarizado com os contornos da importância de Saladino na era das cruzadas. Embora meu foco acadêmico seja a era da Primeira Cruzada, quase um século distante da época em que Saladin fez seu nome por eventos relacionados à Terceira Cruzada, eu, no entanto, me familiarizei com o papel de Saladino nas cruzadas e seu legado. Embora o papel militar de Saladino durante as cruzadas seja de inquestionavelmente alta importância, nunca vi seus vários feitos como uma qualificação excessiva dele como especialmente esclarecido pelos padrões modernos. Freqüentemente, Saladino podia ser tão brutal quanto os governantes militares menos nobres de sua época, mas essas ações normalmente não são destacadas nos relatos modernos. Ele certamente não era pior do que muitos líderes militares medievais, cristãos ou muçulmanos, e sem dúvida tem seus momentos de compaixão, mas se vamos julgá-lo pelos padrões modernos, como tantos parecem fazer ao celebrar seu legado de compaixão, então É importante notar que também ocorreram incidentes de horrível crueldade sob o seu comando.

No rastro da vitória de Saladino em Hattin, Imad ad-Din, companheiro e secretário de Saladino, escreveu sobre como Saladino procurou todos os Templários e Hospitalários capturados. Ele queria ter certeza de que seriam executados, em vez de resgatados por sólidos motivos militares, já que poderiam representar uma ameaça significativa mais tarde, caso fossem libertados. Como membros das ordens militares, os Templários e Hospitalários eram os mais bem treinados e motivados das forças cristãs. Portanto, a decisão de Saladino foi razoável que muitos governantes militares medievais tomariam. O problema está na maneira como ele escolheu matá-los, conforme as fontes sugerem que Saladino se deleitou com sua humilhação. Saladino ofereceu primeiro aos 200 cavaleiros capturados a oportunidade de se converterem ao Islã. Todos eles recusaram. Então ele procedeu com as execuções, que Imad-ad-Din descreve da seguinte forma:

“Ele [Saladino] ordenou que eles fossem decapitados, preferindo matá-los em vez de mandá-los para a prisão. Com ele estava todo um bando de eruditos e sufis e um certo número de homens devotos e ascetas, cada um implorando para ser autorizado a matar um deles, e desembainhou sua espada e enrolou a manga. Saladin, his face joyful, was sitting on his dais the unbelievers [Christian knights] showed black despair, the troops were drawn up in their ranks, the amirs stood in double file. There were some who slashed and cut cleanly, and were thanked for it some who refused and failed to act, and were excused some who made fools of themselves, and others took their places. I saw there the man who laughed scornfully and slaughtered, who spoke and acted how many promises he fulfilled, how much praise he won…” (Gabrieli, 138)

Saladin also receives considerable credit for allowing the inhabitants of Jerusalem to leave the city during his conquest in 1187, rather than be slaughtered as had supposedly been the case in 1099 when the crusaders took Jerusalem. But the tough negotiations of Balian of Ibelin, leader of the Christian forces during Saladin’s siege of Jerusalem, have more to do with this outcome than any magnanimity on Saladin’s part. When Saladin’s forces breached one of Jerusalem’s walls, Balian went to Saladin’s camp to negotiate the next day. He told Saladin, in what some have framed as a last desperate gamble, that if the Christian inhabitants were not allowed to leave with their lives, then they would wage total war to the death, starting by killing their own families so that they would not become slaves, slaughtering all their animals so that the Muslims would not have access to them, and slaughtering 5,000 Muslim prisoners under their control. They would also destroy all Muslim holy places in the city to include the Dome of the Rock and Aqsa Mosque before marching out in the thousands to die gloriously on the battlefield. If Balian was bluffing, it worked, as Saladin agreed to allow Christians to leave the city if they could pay a ransom for each person. This way he could protect Islamic holy sites, Muslim lives, and heavily profit from the venture, versus the dreadful alternative Balian proposed to him.

But controversy immediately emerged even because of this agreement. While the vast majority of the Christian population of Jerusalem were able to pay the ransom and leave, not all could, and thousands of Christians were left behind to be claimed as slaves by the Muslim conquerors. The Christian women and girls were then, according to Imad ad-Din, subjected to mass rape by Saladin’s soldiers.

“Women and children together came to 8,000 and were quickly divided up among us, bringing a smile to Muslim faces at their lamentations. How many well-guarded women were profaned, how many queens were ruled, and nubile girls married and noble women given away, and miserly women forced to yield themselves, and women who had been kept hidden stripped of their modesty and serious women made ridiculous, and women kept in private now set in public, and free women occupied, and precious ones used for hard work, and pretty things put to the test, and virgins dishonoured and proud women deflowered, and lovely women’s red lips kissed, and dark women prostrated, and untamed ones tamed and happy ones made to weep. How many noblemen took them as concubines, how many ardent men blazed for one of them, and celibates were satisfied by them, and thirsty men sated by them and turbulent men able to give vent to their passion….”

While there is undoubtedly some poetic license being employed by Imad ad-Din here, there is nothing to suggest it is entirely so, as historically this would not have been out of keeping with the treatment of captured enemy women. Indeed, in reading about recent treatment of Yazidi women by the soldiers of the so-called Islamic State, I was reminded of Imad ad-Din’s words here. Since the time of the Prophet Muhammad, who himself owned slaves including at least one that bore his child, the rape of slaves taken as war booty has been considered acceptable for Muslim men. Saladin would not have been acting out of turn in allowing his troops to behave this way as this sort of behavior was relatively normal for medieval combatants on all sides- Christian or Muslim (although not necessarily in the case- specifically- of the crusaders, who were vowed to chastity). But while such behavior was considered acceptable in warfare at the time, it is not today, making the modern effort to frame Saladin as exceptionally compassionate or enlightened a bit more problematic.

I might also note that the supposed slaughter of the inhabitants of Jerusalem by the crusaders in 1099, which is often contrasted with Saladin’s actions in 1187, where he allowed for ransoms, is contested by modern historians. Modern crusade historians have, mostly, rejected the scale of the claims of the massacre, arguing the claims of the sources are not physically possible. Moreover, a more recent source by al-Arabi puts the number of those slain at Jerusalem in 1099 at only 3,000 (See Benjamin Kedar’s essay in Cruzadas Vol. 3), which would represent only a small percentage of such a large city’s total inhabitants, and would not, in terms of brutality, be out of line with the realities of siege warfare as conducted by both Christian and Muslim forces at the time.

All of these things, the good and the bad, happened under Saladin’s watch. But only recently had I begun to consider Saladin’s career and rise to power prior to the era of the Third Crusade and in doing so became aware of his controversial involvement in the so-called “Battle of the Blacks.” During a conversation about Saladin with a friend and fellow historian, John D. Hosler, he mentioned the Battle of the Blacks as a potential stain on Saladin’s otherwise popular legacy, so I hit the books on the topic.

Scholar Yaacov Lev has referred to the Battle of the Blacks as the “single most important event in Saladin’s rise to power in Egypt.” The battle took place in 1167, shortly after Saladin had come to power as vizier. Fearing betrayal by an influential black eunuch that was a leader of black forces in Egypt, Saladin had the man executed and replaced him in his position with a white eunuch. An estimated 50,000 black Egyptian troops rose in rebellion, and according to one Arab chronicler they were motivated by “racial solidarity.” Indeed, historian Bernard Lewis has noted that racial elements were emphasized in Arab sources that later celebrated Saladin’s brutal victory over the black forces. One reason given for Saladin’s victory was due to a tactical move in which he sent a detachment to attack the homes and families of the black soldiers, with orders to burn down their homes, with their possessions and children in them. When black forces heard of this they attempted to return to their homes to protect their families, but they were cut off by Saladin’s troops who killed many of them. After the battle, white Fatamid soldiers were incorporated into Saladin’s army, but black units were disbanded, and would not appear as soldiers in Egyptian armies for centuries to follow (although they would be employed in menial non-combatant positions). This victory allowed Saladin to establish himself in Egypt, which would serve as a base for the eventual extension of his power into Syria and the broader Levant.

The enlightened or chivalrous image of Saladin was an appealing one in the medieval west and has grown to even greater heights in both the modern west and the modern Islamic world. Yet as historian Anne-Marie Eddé has noted, the term “myth” would be a better way to frame such modern understandings of Saladin’s legacy. The notion that Saladin was exceptionally honorable, merciful, and generous as he carved out his impressive reign in military conflict after military conflict is an invention of the medieval chanson de geste, which seeks to frame Saladin as a worthy opponent of the crusader king Richard the Lionheart. This romanticized western version of Saladin then begins to emerge in the Muslim world in the late 19 th century and has a variety of political uses in an age of western imperialism in the east. Yet the reality is that Saladin was very much a man of his time, a medieval military ruler that could be quite brutal to his enemies, even if he did have, like many other medieval rulers, moments of grace.


Muslim family holds the key to Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Following Muslim leader Saladin’s conquest of the city of Jerusalem in A.D. 1187, a dispute broke out between the different Christian denominations about the rightful owner of the key to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This prompted Saladin to order the key to the church to be retained by the Ghodayya Hashemite family, which hails from the city of Jerusalem in Palestine.

According to historical accounts, the Muslim family was entrusted with the key upon the agreement of all Christian denominations at the time. Ever since, a member of the Ghodayya family opens and closes the gate and guards the church every day.

Adib Joudeh al-Husseini al-Ghodayya, the current custodian of the church key and holder of the Holy Sepulchre Seal, told Al-Monitor that Saladin entrusted Christians with safeguarding Jerusalem, following the example of Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab, as a way to preserve the Christian religious monuments.

Ibn al-Khattab had written a letter to the people of Jerusalem during the Muslims’ conquest of the city, entrusting them with the protection of the churches and their properties, demanding that no Jew dwell in the city. The Pact of Umar is considered to be one of the most important documents in the history of Jerusalem and Palestine.

Ghodayya said that his ancestors were a noble family in Jerusalem and that Saladin entrusted them with the key to the church and with the protection of its properties. He said this was an honor to his family and a “bold and blessed” step.

He added that he has more than 165 fermans (a royal mandate or decree) issued by the sultans of the successive Islamic caliphates, providing for the appointment of his family members in positions of honor, including the custodianship of the church key.

Ghodayya opens the church gate every day at 4 a.m. and closes it at 8:30 p.m., receiving important visitors and clergymen.

In addition, he holds another position, which is the holder of the Holy Sepulchre Seal as per a decree by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Christian clerics would enter the holy sepulchre chamber in the church to inspect it and make sure that no flammable materials were found inside. The door to the tomb would be then closed with holy beeswax sealant. Ghodayya would then fix his personal seal on it on Easter Saturday every year.

When asked how he feels holding the key to this important church, Ghodayya said, “The church is my second home. When I look at its gate, I can see my grandparents and my great-grandparents. I can see Saladin standing in front of it.”

He added, “I am proud of my family who holds the key to the holiest and oldest church. This should not be a pride only to my family but to every Muslim in the world."

Ghodayya noted that his position is honorary and he does not receive any payment for his services. It is an honorary position that is passed on from one generation to another in the family since the days of Saladin, without any interference from the church, as per Saladin’s will.

For his part, Father Manuel Musallam, the head of the PLO Department of the Christian World, said that the protection of Palestine’s Christians figures in the Pact of Umar and the Holy Quran.

Musallam told Al-Monitor, “The Pact of Umar is the true key to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Omar ibn al-Khattab handed the pact along with the key to Muslims before Christians, which is a message that he entrusted Muslims with the [protection of Christians and the church].”

Musallam said that the pact had laid strong foundations for the relations between Christians and Muslims. He considered that the goal behind having a Muslim family entrusted with the key to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is for protection and to prevent any disagreement between the Christian denominations.

“The noble Muslim family [of Ghodayya] has been present in the church, providing it with protection and power. We do not coexist with Muslims, but we share living with them. We live together, we are not strangers,” Musallam added.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is seen as the most important Christian religious monument in Jerusalem and is located in the heart of the Old City. Queen Helena is considered to be the first to have ordered the construction of the church in A.D. 335.

The church is believed to house the tomb of Jesus, who according to Christian belief was resurrected three days after his crucifixion and death.

The church is also believed to include the Calvary, where Christians believe Jesus was crucified.


4. Unification of Islamic states

Saladin is credited with various religious accomplishments in the name of Islam. He is known to have fought countless battles against the crusaders. His conquests show his successful attempts at expanding Muslim sovereignty over various regions that had been ruled by the crusaders and a few non-crusaders too. Under his reign, he spread Islamic rule to places such as Yemen, Jerusalem, Syria, and Mosul among others, showing the extent of his military achievements. He is still deeply respected among Muslims, Turks, Arabs, and Kurds for his indisputable contributions to the unification of various Islamic states.


Onward, Lukewarm Christian Soldiers

In the Ridley Scott movie "Kingdom of Heaven," a French blacksmith-Balian of Ibelin-goes on crusade to Jerusalem, where he battles the Muslim leader Saladin. Thomas F. Madden, professor and chair of the department of history at Saint Louis University and editor of Crusades: The Illustrated History, spoke to Beliefnet about how the film handled religion.

What did you think of the movie?

Well, I don't think its purpose is to be a documentary. They paid a lot of attention to getting arms and armor correct, but they weren't much interested in portraying the way people in the Middle Ages viewed their religion, the Crusades, or the Holy Land.

The thing that struck me most was how little religion had to do with the Crusades in this movie. The only religious people in this movie are fanatics. All of the good guys either have no religion, or are openly hostile to religion.

Yes, they're sort of benignly agnostic, but certainly not very devout.

Those are concepts just foreign to the Middle Ages, either on the Christian or Muslim side.

How plausible is it that there would have been such tolerance between Muslims and Christians at that time and in that region?

That's plausible. In the kingdom of Jerusalem at that time, Muslims were allowed to practice their religion-not in the city, but everywhere else in the crusader kingdom. When the crusaders held Jerusalem from 1099-1187, they adopted the Muslim practice [whereby] Christians and Jews were allowed to keep their religion, but had to pay a special tax for not converting. The Christians reversed that-they charged the Muslims. The tax was seen as a bit of a humiliation.

There was no attempt to convert the Muslims.

The groups tended to keep to themselves-Christians, Muslims, Jews.

The movie portrays good Christians and bad Christians the bad ones say things like, "to kill an infidel is not murder." Wouldn't the Christians coming from predominantly Christian lands want to convert or kill Muslims, and not be interested in living peacefully?

A crusader is someone who was planning to go there and come back. There were also other people who came there to settle. They were perfectly tolerant of individual Muslims, but about a Muslim state that they saw as a threat to the Holy Land-all of the Crusades were called in reaction to the Muslims having conquered something.

The crusaders who came from Europe came to undo whatever that thing was. When they arrived, they were frequently surprised that the local Christians who had lived there for generations, including the military orders-the Templars and Hospitallers-were used to living as neighbors to Muslim states. They had deals and understandings with them.

The people who came from the west found it difficult to understand how you could make these deals with people they had come to push out of those regions.
The purpose of the kingdom was to safeguard the holy sites.

Which sites were most revered?

The most important was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, that covered Golgotha, where the crucifixion occurred, and the tomb of Christ. I thought it was odd in the movie that [Balian] has to ask some holy man where the hill is, and it's just sort of a barren hill. Everyone would know that place was within the church of the Holy Sepulchre, an incredibly ornate and beautiful church.

The religion in this movie is extremely sterilized. You would have expected in this period to see lots of religious symbolism. There are no churches in the movie. Even the crosses in the movie are all very bland--none are crucifixes, which is what crosses would have been in the Middle Ages.

You mean on the crusaders' clothes?

Not on the crusaders' clothes, but a gold cross, a processional cross or a cross on an altar would have been a crucifix. The only time you see something remotely religious is during the knighting ceremony where Balian's father gives him his oath. Behind him there's an altar with a chalice on it. It's a post-Vatican II altar-one designed for the priest to face the congregation, as near as I could tell. There's no religious artwork on it-there should be a diptych-there's just a lot of candles. Looks like a Catholic chapel you'd see today.

If you strip religion out--which he does--it's impossible to understand why they're fighting over Jerusalem.

You didn't get a feel for what Jerusalem meant to them, except maybe towards the end-and even then it was just Balian saying "it's the people of Jerusalem"-not what it represented.

Which is the opposite of the medieval view. The Christian medieval view was that Jerusalem was a precious relic, sanctified by the life of Christ, the site of his death and resurrection. Therefore it era the city that mattered--the people were there to defend the city.

It's true that Balian of Ibelin negotiated the surrender of Jerusalem (everything else in the movie is made up), and he seemed to have a good relationship with Saladin. But the reason he did was that it was a hopeless fight. Jerusalem had virtually no garrison left. Everyone had died or been captured at the Battle of Hattin.

Saladin was unwilling to make terms. That's when Balian said he would destroy the Muslim holy sites, including the Dome of the Rock. That would have undercut Saladin's whole program of jihad, his rationale that he had to unify Muslims under his rule so they could wage war against the Christians. The way he justified fighting fellow Muslims was that this was necessary to wage the great jihad against Christians to restore Jerusalem. So Saladin agreed to allow people to ransom themselves. In the movie, he just let them go.

In the movie, the bad guys are-to use modern parlance--Christian fundamentalists. The more sympathetic characters are agnostic or more tolerant. In reality, were most of the heroes on both sides devout men?

They were very devout men that's why they were there. It doesn't make sense for someone with no religion to go to the enormous expense and danger of the Crusades for the fun of it. Nothing explains it except their enormous devotion to their religion and what they thought was right, on both the Christian and Muslim side.

These are not people who have a jaded view of religion. You read [Saladin's] biographers--men who knew him and spent their lives with him--it's clear he's an extremely devout man. He prayed, he got rid of taxes that were illegal by Islamic law, and so he ended up losing a lot of money by getting rid of them. He believed strongly, the way Christians believed, that if he was a good and pious ruler, God would reward him with these victories.

He attacked because he wanted to. It's true that Reynald de Chatillon was a complete jerk, a very cruel man. He provided the excuse for Saladin to break the truce, but Saladin was going to anyway. It was just a matter of time. According to Islamic law, an Islamic leader is not allowed to make peace with an infidel state. They can make truce-which is temporary.

[Retaking Jerusalem] was going to be the crowning triumph of his reign.

What is known about Balian's religiosity?

He was very religious man. There are several occasions in the Chronicles that refer to him. In one, he goes to a town on the feast of Peter and Paul and wakes up the bishop so they can talk about these great saints.

That's another thing missing in the movie-there are no crucifixes, there's no discussion of the saints, which were incredibly important for medieval Christianity, or the Virgin Mary--

These would have motivated crusaders?

Oh, very much. There's no prayer, Christians never pray in this movie.

In one scene, Saladin picks up a cross that has fallen. What is the likelihood a Muslim leader would have shown such respect to a cross?

It didn't happen. Actually, Saladin ordered all crosses on buildings to be taken down when he took the city. Saladin allowed the church of the Holy Sepulchre to continue, he didn't take that. Crosses on the outside all had to come down-you couldn't have anything public. He made almost all the priests leave-he reduced the staff of the church to a very small number.

All of this was normal practice. In some ways, he was kinder to the Christians than he might have been. The usual Muslim practice was to select the best church and convert it into a mosque, and then allow the other churches to be held by the Christians. And the best church in town was the church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Any other thoughts about how religion is portrayed in the movie?

It's a very modern perspective on religion, a modern morality play set in the Middle Ages. The upshot is that everyone should be tolerant, and that religion, if taken too seriously, ultimately leads to everyone killing each other. The message that we shouldn't wage wars for religious reasons is a point well taken.

Yet there are people who take religion very seriously, but aren't intolerant or warmongers.

No. It's clear that Ridley Scott doesn't think much of religion, but the men and women who lived in the Middle Ages and went on Crusade did. That's why the movie, at least from an historical perspective, doesn't make much sense.


September 20, 1187: Saladin Lays Siege to Jerusalem, Ends Christian Domination of the Holy Land

On September 20, 1187, the Islamic forces of the famous Kurdish Muslim leader Saladin laid siege to the capital of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem, the holiest city in the Christian world and likewise in the Jewish world, and the third holiest city in Islam. By October 2, 1187, the siege came to an unusually quick conclusion when the Christians surrendered the city, never to regain the main object of the Crusades again. Saladin, an historical character praised for his humanity during a time of terrible excesses allowed generous terms for the Christians, including continued access to their holy places.

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At the urging of Pope Urban II European Christians mounted a Crusade (First Crusade 1095-1099) to conquer the Holy Land (mainly Jerusalem and the surrounding area including Nazareth and Bethlehem) from the Islamic worshippers that had arisen in Northeast Africa and in Southwest Asia (the Middle East) since the life and death (632 AD) of Muhammad. The holiest of the Holy Places were centered in Jerusalem, where the Holy Sepulchre (tomb of Jesus Christ), Golgotha (site of the Crucifixion of Christ), and the Via Dolorosa (path of Christ carrying the Cross). (Jewish religious tradition places Jerusalem at the holiest place on Earth, including Temple Mount and the remainder of the West Wall, while Muslims rank Jerusalem as the third most sacred city with the location of the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount.)

When the Christians of the First Crusade took the City of Jerusalem in 1099, the wild excesses of the Crusaders became a legendary bloodbath of murder, rape, and looting. Even in an age of cruelty, the sack of Jerusalem was somewhat shocking. When Saladin took Jerusalem back for the Muslims, he was far more generous in his treatment of the defeated Christians, allowing thousands to ransom themselves to be allowed to leave and those unfortunates without such means to become slaves instead of being slaughtered. The treasury of the Kingdom of Jerusalem was used to pay ransoms for those Christians that could not afford the ransom, and the Grand Masters of the Knights Templar and the Hospitallers were beseeched to also buy the freedom of Christians, but the leaders of those orders originally refused. A ruinous riot nearly broke out due to the stinginess of those monastic fighting orders and the Grand Masters reluctantly relented and paid for some ransoms. Saladin also allowed Christians to have continued access to their holy places, and pilgrimages by Christians were allowed to continue unabated. Just as Muslims had converted churches to mosques in areas they had originally conquered from Christians, the Christians had converted many mosques into churches, including the Dome of the Rock. Saladin’s Muslim forces quickly took down the golden cross that Christians had erected above the Dome of the Rock. (Observação: This author has visited Jerusalem and the surrounding area, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Dome of the Rock.)

When the Christian Crusaders first conquered Jerusalem, they established The Kingdom of Jerusalem to include Jerusalem and also the other cities in the Middle East conquered during the Crusades. When Saladin successfully reconquered Jerusalem for the Muslims, the Kingdom of Jerusalem officials retired to Tyre where they kept up the supposed administration of the Kingdom until later being forced to move their operation (capital of the Kingdom) to Acre. Catholic Christian control of the Kingdom of Jerusalem had lasted only about a century and was never a firm and convincing rule over the land. Continued squabbling and mutual distrust with Byzantine Christians headquartered in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul, Turkey) prevented a united Christian front, although admittedly the fractious Muslim states also suffered from a lack of unity. Even with a lack of Muslim unity, the Islamists always greatly outnumbered the Christians. Even the great Saladin did not establish a firmly united Muslim front, though he did manage to invoke his own brand of “Holy War” as an Islamic Crusade to push the Christians from Jerusalem.

A possible portrait of Saladin, found in a work by Ismail al-Jazari, circa 1185

Jerusalem and the surrounding area (Palestine, Israel, the Levant) has remained a fought over and contentious area over the ensuing centuries, with the establishment of Israel in 1948 starting a new era in serious conflict on the world stage over the so called Holy Land. In 1967 the Israelis took over East Jerusalem from Jordan and has held both sides of the city ever since. In December 2017, the United States agreed to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (declared the Israeli capital by Israeli law in 1980) and in turn generating severe backlash from Islamic majority countries.

Pergunta para alunos (e assinantes): Have you or anyone in your family visited Jerusalem or other places in the Holy Land? Do you think Jerusalem should be the Israeli capital or a United Nations controlled city? Do any Arab countries have a legitimate claim on Jerusalem? Do you think the Christians were right to mount the Crusades to capture the Holy Land? Informe-nos na seção de comentários abaixo deste artigo.

A battle of the Second Crusade (illustration of William of Tyre’s Histoire d’Outremer, 1337)

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The featured image in this article, which shows Balian of Ibelin surrendering the city of Jerusalem to Saladin, from Les Passages faits Outremer par les Français contre les Turcs et autres Sarrasins et Maures outremarins, c. 1490 as scanned from Terry Jones and Alan Ereira, Cruzadas (New York: Facts on File, 1995), 161, is in the domínio público in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less.

About Author

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.


History of Jerusalem: Richard the Lionheart Makes Peace with Saladin

[Adapted from Brundage] Two days later the Crusading army left Acre and marched south along the coast, trailed by Saladin's forces. An unsuccessful attempt at negotiation between Saladin and Richard broke down early in September and on September 7 battle was joined near Arsuf. The Crusading army, though hard-pressed, held its ground and at the end of the fray Richard's men retained control of the battlefield.

The army proceeded from Arsuf to Jaffa, which the Crusaders took and fortified strongly. Jaffa, they hoped, would be the base of operations in a drive to reconquer Jerusalem itself. As the winter of 1191­1192 approached, active campaigning was abandoned and further sporadic negotiations between Richard and Saladin were taken up, though without any immediate result. During the winter months Richard's men occupied and refortified Ascalon, whose fortifications had earlier been razed by Saladin.

The spring of 1192 saw continued negotiations and further skirmishing between the opposing forces. During this period Richard began to receive disturbing news of the activities of his brother John and of Philip Augustus, and as the spring gave way to summer it became evident that Richard must soon return to Europe to safeguard his own interests there. Saladin several times attacked Jaffa and once was on the point of taking the city during Richard's absence the plan, however, was foiled by Richard's unexpected return.

During the summer Richard fell ill and this, added to the news of the rapidly deteriorating situation in Europe, brought him finally to accept Saladin's peace terms . The departure of Richard the Lion­Hearted from the Holy Land in October 1192 ended the third major Western invasion of the East. On this expedition three great armies had toiled to conquer Jerusalem and the whole of Palestine for the West. But, in 1192, Jerusalem was still in Saladin's hands and the deliverance of the East from the Moslems was still a pious hope. The positive achievement of this Crusade was modest: it had re­established a tiny Latin Kingdom on the Palestinian coast. The major task of the Crusade, however, was left undone.

As his illness became very grave, the King despaired of recovering his health. Because of this he was much afraid, both for the others as well as for himself. Among the many things which did not pass unnoted by his wise attention, he chose, as the least inconvenient course, to seek to make a truce rather than to desert the depopulated land altogether and to leave the business unfinished as all the others bad done who left the groups in the ships.

The King was puzzled and unaware of anything better that he could do. He demanded of Saif ad­Din, Saladin's brother, that he act as go­between and seek the best conditions be could get for a truce between them. Saif ad­Din was an uncommonly liberal man who bad been brought, in the course of many disputes, to revere the King for his singular probity. Saif ad­Din carefully secured peace terms on these conditions: that Ascalon, which was an object of fear for Saladin's empire so long as it was standing, be destroyed and that it be rebuilt by no one during three years beginning at the following Easter.[March 28, 1193] After three years, however, whoever had the greater, more flourishing power, might have Ascalon by occupying it. Saladin allowed Joppa to be restored to the Christians. They were to occupy the city and its vicinity, including the seacoast and the mountains, freely and quietly. Saladin agreed to confirm an inviolate peace between Christians and Saracens, guaranteeing for both free passage and access to the Holy Sepulcher of the Lord without the exaction of any tribute and with the freedom of bringing objects for sale through any land whatever and of exercising a free commerce.

When these conditions of peace had been reduced to writing and read to him, King Richard agreed to observe them, for he could not hope for anything much better, especially since he was sick, relying upon scanty support, and was not more than two miles from the enemy's station. Whoever contends that Richard should have felt otherwise about this peace agreement should know that he thereby marks himself as a perverse liar.

Things were thus arranged in a moment of necessity. The King, whose goodness always imitated higher things and who, as the difficulties were greater, now emulated God himself, sent legates to Saladin. The legates informed Saladin in the hearing of many of his satraps, that Richard had in fact sought this truce for a three year period so that he could go back to visit his country and so that, when he had augmented his money and his men, he could return and wrest the whole territory of Jerusalem from Saladin's grasp if, indeed, Saladin were even to consider putting up resistance. To this Saladin replied through the appointed messengers that, with his holy law and God almighty as his witnesses, he thought King Richard so pleasant, upright, magnanimous, and excellent that, if the land were to be lost in his time, he would rather have it taken into Richard's mighty power than to have it go into the hands of any other prince whom be had ever seen.

Fontes: Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi, ed. William Stubbs, Rolls Series, (London: Longmans, 1864) VI, 27-28 (pp. 427-30), translated by James Brundage, The Crusades: A Documentary History, (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 1962), 185-86 on Internet Medieval Source Book

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Decisions: Lionheart’s Crossroads

On July 4, 1187, disaster struck the Christian world. That day Muslim and Christian armies battled on a plateau by an extinct volcano called the Horns of Hattin, near the Sea of Galilee. The Christian crusaders fought desperately but eventually surrendered. The relic of the True Cross, which they had carried into battle, fell into Muslim hands. A few months later the Muslims captured Jerusalem.

Jerusalem’s fall sparked a showdown between two charismatic leaders: Saladin, unifier of the Muslim world and conqueror of Jerusalem, and King Richard I, the Lionheart, of England. It seemed inevitable their duel would climax with a titanic battle. But it was one man’s decision to evitar battle that would decide the fate of the Holy Land.

Richard was bold—and cruel. Before becoming king in 1189 he had fought in numerous battles, sometimes against his own family. Ruthlessness had helped him to survive. He was not the type of man to compromise or back down from a fight.

When Pope Gregory VIII called for a Third Crusade to recapture the Holy Land, Richard assembled an army in France. He set out on July 4, 1190, the third anniversary of the Battle of Hattin, stopping first in Sicily and Cyprus. Would-be prophets told him he was destined to slay Saladin, free the Holy Land and perhaps even battle the Antichrist.

For Saladin, meanwhile, the triumph at Jerusalem faded. The strategically important Christian-held town of Tyre had repelled his forces, and resurgent Christians had laid siege to Muslim-held Acre. Crusaders were rumored to be on their way to recapture Jerusalem.

But Saladin didn’t lack for confidence. Now in his early 50s, he had risen from obscurity to unite the Muslim Middle East under his banner. He had won at Hattin and captured Jerusalem through bravery, skill and determination. The king of England did not worry him. Richard arrived at Tyre in June 1191 and proceeded to Acre, where his forces joined in besieging the city, which ultimately fell. Richard then marched south along the Mediterranean coast, looking for a fight with Saladin, who decided to give battle on a plain north of the village of Arsuf, about 40 miles northwest of Jerusalem.

The battle began early on September 7 with a charge of the Turkish cavalry followed by a hail of Muslim arrows. The Christians suffered grievously, but Richard held them back until a tremendous charge by his Frankish cavalry put Saladin’s men to flight. The crusader victory was complete.

Richard felt certain he could capture Jerusalem by Christmas. But infighting among the crusader leaders, bad weather and supply shortages prevented him from marching quickly on the city, and as the months passed, his army weakened. Unlike Saladin, Richard could not hope for reinforcements. Saladin’s strongest ally was time.

Sensing he might not be able to win victory by force alone, Richard opened negotiations with Saladin. He demanded Jerusalem and the True Cross in exchange for peace, but Saladin would concede neither. Meanwhile, both armies suffered through weeks of heavy rain and hail. Saladin dispersed his troops, knowing he could recall them in the spring. But Richard had no such option.

By Christmas the crusader army stood only a few days’ march from the undefended Jerusalem. But exhaustion, hunger and thirst had brought Richard’s troops to the end of their tether most hoped simply to enter Jerusalem so they could consider their vows completed and go home. Their departure would leave Richard holding an empty city with a skeleton army and with the Muslims sure to return in force.

Richard could take Jerusalem and face almost certain catastrophe or turn back and live to fight another day. With a heavy heart he chose to march for the coast. Internal factions sundered the Christian armies in the months that followed, and Richard ultimately signed a truce with Saladin and sailed for home, ending the Third Crusade.

Richard’s surprisingly pragmatic decision to turn back from Jerusalem stood in stark contrast to the Third Crusade’s ideological fervor. To abandon Jerusalem when other men might have pushed forward set Richard apart as a military commander and marked a symbolic turning point in the seesaw struggle for Palestine.


Saladin and the Christians of Jerusalem - History

The Latin dominion over Jerusalem came to an end on 2 October, 1187, when the city opened its gates to Saladin (Yusuf ibn Ayyub, Salah-ed-din, Emir of Egypt, 1169-93).

The Siege of Jerusalem was a siege on the city of Jerusalem that lasted from September 20 to October 2, 1187, when Balian of Ibelin surrendered the city toSaladin. Citizens wishing to leave paid a ransom. The defeat of Jerusalem signaled the end of the first Kingdom of Jerusalem. Europe responded in 1189 by launching the Third Crusade.

The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem was a crusader state established in the Southern Levant in 1099 after the First Crusade. The kingdom lasted nearly two hundred years, from 1099 until 1291 when the last remaining possession, Acre, was destroyed by the Mamluks, but its history is divided into two distinct periods. The sometimes so-called First Kingdom of Jerusalem lasted from 1099 to 1187, when it was almost entirely overrun by Saladin. After the subsequent Third Crusade, the kingdom was re-established in Acre in 1192, and lasted until that city’s destruction in 1291. This second kingdom is sometimes called the Second Kingdom of Jerusalem or the Kingdom of Acre, after its new capital.

Balian of Ibelin surrendering the city of Jerusalem to Saladin, from Les Passages faits Outremer par les Français contre les Turcs et autres Sarrasins et Maures outremarins, c. 1490.

The fall of Jerusalem essentially ended the first Kingdom of Jerusalem. Much of the population, swollen with refugees fleeing Saladin’s conquest of the surrounding territory, was allowed to flee to Tyre, Tripoli, or Egypt (whence they were sent back to Europe), but those who could not pay for their freedom were sold into slavery, and those who could were often robbed by Christians and Muslims alike on their way into exile. The capture of the city led to the Third Crusade, launched in 1189 and led by Richard the Lionheart, Philip Augustus and Frederick Barbarossa, though the last drowned en route

Prayer: Throughout the centuries Jerusalem has been a focus of conflict, and continues to be so today. Whilst crusading armies and invaders from other countries are no longer the immediate threat, the instability of the region, the international interests at stake, and the inimical relationships between those who inhabit the land, all prevent genuine negotiations for a lasting peace. Lord, have mercy on your people and your land, and may all nations know your saving justice and mercy. In the name of Yeshua, the Prince of Peace, we pray. Amen.

According to Gilbert, from 1099 to 1291 the Christian Crusaders “mercilessly persecuted and slaughtered the Jews of Palestine.”[91]

In 1099, the Jews were among the rest of the population who tried in vain to defend Jerusalem against the Crusaders. When the city fell, a massacre of 6,000 Jews occurred when the synagogue they were seeking refuge in was set alight. Almost all perished.[92] In Haifa, the Jews and Muslims held out for a whole month, (June–July 1099).[93]

Under Crusader rule, Jews were not allowed to hold land and involved themselves in commerce in the coastal towns during times of quiescence. Most of them were artisans: glassblowers in Sidon, furriers and dyers in Jerusalem.[citation needed] At this time there were Jewish communities scattered all over the country, including Jerusalem, Tiberias, Ramleh, Ashkelon, Caesarea, and Gaza. In line with trail of bloodshed the Crusaders left in Europe on their way to liberate the Holyland, in Palestine, both Muslims and Jews were indiscriminately massacred or sold into slavery.[94]

A large volume of piyutim and midrashim originated in Palestine at this time.[citation needed] In 1165 Maimonides visited Jerusalem and prayed on the Temple Mount, in the “great, holy house”.[95] In 1141 Spanish poet, Yehuda Halevi, issued a call to the Jews to emigrate to the Land of Israel, a journey he undertook himself.

In the crusading era, there were significant Jewish communities in several cities and Jews are known to have fought alongside Arabs against the Christian invaders.[96]

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