(d. 1193 )
Also known as Saladin . Commander of Muslim forces during the third phase of the Crusades. Legends of his military and diplomatic successes circulated widely in Europe. He brought an end to the Fatimid caliphate in 1171 when he established the Ayyubid dynasty. Salah al-Din unified Egypt, Syria, and Mesopotamia into a single state, enabling him to defeat the Christian Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin in 1187 and end Latin occupation of Jerusalem. At the siege of Acre in 1192 he made a truce with Richard the Lionhearted that allowed crusading principalities to maintain a foothold on the coasts of Palestine and Syria. He is known for his humane treatment of the Christian population of Jerusalem, which is typically contrasted to the way Christian Crusaders had dealt with Muslims and Jews upon their arrival in Jerusalem. He restored the Muslim holy sites of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque to Muslim use and raised Muslim appreciation of Jerusalem as the third holiest city of Islam. Regarded Shiis as potentially more subversive enemies than Christians.