Saladin, the Kurdish founder of the Ayyubid Dynasty, conquered Jerusalem in 1187 and repelled the Crusaders. Though he was later defeated by England's Richard I, Saladin's great skill and honourable conduct would become enshrined in European as well as Muslim lore. Sir Hamilton Gibb, Oxford University's formidable Orientalist scholar, was an admirer of Saladin. He produced this short biographical account by drawing from two chronicles written by well-placed contemporaries of the legendary leader. Meticulously annotated, Gibb's classic is an essential reference for historians as well as an excellent introduction to a fascinating historical figure.