Al-Franj: the Crusaders in the Levant
Saladin in the Holy Land
‘Having unified Syria and Egypt, Saladin focussed on expelling the Franks.’
Saladin’s prominence grew during the struggle for Egypt while Nur al-Din was still alive. After Nur al-Din’s death in 569 / 1174, Saladin spent 10 years fighting fellow Muslims and consolidating his army. Having unified Syria and Egypt, and following his capture of Aleppo in 579 / 1183, Saladin focussed on expelling the Franks. His first major victory against them was at the Battle of Hittin in 583 / 1187. This opened the way to advance with his army towards Jerusalem, which he captured later that year.

Hegira 7th century / AD 13th century
The British Museum
London, England, United Kingdom
The building that is partially seen in this painted battle scene represents a fortification similar to Damascus Citadel.