Civilization VI: Saladin Leads Arabia

Born in 1137, Saladin was the first sultan of Egypt and Syria, and led the Muslims during the Crusades.

Saladin initially began as a multilingual and knowledgeable scholar before beginning a military career under his uncle Asad al-Din Shirkuh. In Egypt, Saladin was but an obscure figure under ruler Nur al-Din, later ascending as a military expert and becoming Vizier of Cairo.

In 1171 Saladin became ruler of Egypt and conquered Damascus after the death of Nur al-Din. With newfound wealth, he went on to conquer Aleppo and Mosul in 1183 and 1186, and in 1187 he conquered the city of Jerusalem. This prompted the third crusade led by King Richard the Lionheart. After years of conflict, the Treaty of Ramla was signed in 1192, allowing Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem although the holy city stayed under Muslim political control.  

Saladin died of a fever in 1193 in Damascus, giving away his wealth to the people, and left behind a legacy as a powerful and honorable ruler respected by both his own people and adversaries alike.

 

Unique Unit: Mamluk

The Mamluk mounted knight caste rose from the ranks of slave soldiers to become a major element of Muslim armies. Mamluk wore full heavy armor on both their person and horse, and wielded lances, shields, and scimitar-shaped Mameluke swords.

 

Unique Building: Madrasa

Schools in Arabic are known as Madrasa, and can range anywhere from primary and secondary education, to higher education. Madrasas offer either secular or religious education in a variety of different Islamic based disciplines.

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