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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 422



reception by bis son, El Afdhal. Saladin was nearly fiftyseven years old when he died ; his father, Aiyub, was the son of a certain Kurd, a native of Davin, named Shâdi, and a retainer of 'Emad-ed-din Zanghi, father of the celebrated Sultan Nûr-ed-din, of Damascus. From him the dynasty was called the Kurdish or Aiyubite dynasty. At the outset of his career Saladin delighted to emulate his great namesake, Yusuf es Sadik, the" Joseph of Scripture story ; in pursuance of this idea he sent for his father to Egypt, immediately upon his accession to power, and offered to give up all authority into his hands. This Aiyub declined, and contented himself with the honourable and lucrative post of Controller of the Treasury, with which his son entrusted him. The old gentleman died of a fall from his horse while his son was absent upon one of his expeditions against the Christians at Kerek. No better proof can be given of the respect and esteem which Saladin's many virtues naturally commanded than the terms upon which he lived with his brother and other relatives. In spite of the too frequent application of the proverb which says that " the Turk can bear no brother near the throne," we do not hear of a single instance of jealousy or insubordination being exhibited against his authority by any member of his house or court, while his subjects absolutely idolized him. Saladin knew how to win the affection of his troops while he made his authority felt, and his example restrained in them that license which war too often engenders. Courteous alike to friend and foe, faithful to his plighted word, noble in reverses and moderate in success, the Paynim Saladin stands forth in history as fair a model of a true knight sans peur et sans reproche as any which the annals of Christian chivalry can boast.


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