Name at birth: Salah ad-Din Al-Ayyubi
Revered as a hero of Islam, Saladin united Arab forces and recaptured the holy city of Jerusalem from Christian Crusaders in the 12th century A.D. Of Kurdish origin, Saladin became the vizier of Egypt in 1169 and then took full control of the country in 1171; he later built the famed Citadel in Cairo. His conquest of Jerusalem in 1188 prompted the Third Crusade, led by Richard I of England; Richard's forces defeated Saladin in several battles, but could not retake Jerusalem. Saladin and Richard signed an armistice in 1192, and the two are often linked in histories of the era.
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