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Who was Saladin?

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Quick Answer

Saladin is a famous military and political figure who led Muslim armies to several important victories during the Crusades. He is most well known for his victory in the Battle of Hattin in 1187, when he defeated the European Crusaders.

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Full Answer

Saladin was born into an Islamic military family in 1137, and he rose to military and political prominence in early adulthood. His victories were mostly supported by Egypt, and his conquests made it possible for Jerusalem and other parts of Israel to be reconquered for Islam during the time period of the Crusades.

When much of his land was lost during the Third Crusade, Saladin entered into a truce with Richard I of England that allowed Islamic control of Jerusalem to continue.

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