Era of Saladin and the Ayyubid Dynasty (1171-1341) ایوبیان الأيوبيون

Map of the Ayyubid Dynasty from 1171 to 1246 (AD)

Flag of Ayyubid
Rise of the Ayyubid Dynasty and its Accomplishments

The Ayyubids were a Kurdish and Sunni Muslim dynasty. Ayyub ibn Shadhi, founded the dynasty and was the father of Saladin, the ruler of Egypt, upper Mesopotamia or Iraq, most of Syria, and Yemen, by the late 12th and early 13th centuries (English). Ayyub ibn Shadi, who died at 1173, and his brother Shirkuh, who died in the year of 1169, laid the foundations of the rise of the dynasty. In his early years, Saladin helped his uncle, Shirkuh, in three different military campaigns being part of the Nur al-Din army.

After his successes against Fatimid Egypt, Saladin moved from military commander and duties as chief administrative officer of the Egyptian aliphate to having real and all control of Egypt and Syria. After he introduced the concept of jihad (or "Holy War") against the crusader kingdoms, he took part in the Third Crusade (Page). Six months after the end of this crusade, Saladin died in Damascus, his death fracturing and factionalizing the Ayyubid Dynasty into different parts (English)

The era of Saladin was marked by the establishment of Italian trading centers off the coast. Saladin and his successors' military successes gave an opportunity for economic life to revive and flourish. Ports and cities in Syria flourished. The Ayyubid rulers patronized architecture, especially on military fortification. They also created a new land system (basing it on the early feudalism) for the grant of rights over land in return for military service (English).

Art, Religion, and Architecture

Ayyubid Vase
he art, religion, architecture and over all culture of Saladin’s reign in the Ayyubids was very detailed with decoration and details. When looking at the artwork many artists were Turkish children caught at war and trained in art. The most commonly made art pieces were vases from what archeologists have discovered in ruins and architecture.

All of the art made from this Islamic land has no representation or influence of the Islamic faith; art wasn’t used for spiritual, creative, or other inner reasons but simply for decoration and buildings (Alsech). Later on they after many years of pottery and such copper art was created and was considered one of the finer artistic modes.

Ayyubid Wall in Cairo
When the Turkish children were caught they were not only taught of art but of the Islamic religion as well, and when looking at how religion didn’t affect the art created it seemed to have an effect on architecture because many of the buildings they built were mosques and mihrabs along with all of the altars, mimbars, and Ka’ba which had religious meaning (Alsech). This all contributes to their culture because while most were Islamic many of the Turkish children taught of the Islamic way grew to be grown men in this civilization and if they didn’t fully believe in the Islamic beliefs it was portrayed in literature, art, architecture, and any other artistic output these children were taught of.

Artistic Representation of Saladin
Fall of the Ayyubid Dynasty

During the early Mongol conquests Ayyubid dynasty (1171–1260), that was founded by the Kurdish Salah-ad-Din (Saladin, 1138–93), controlled Egypt, the Levant, and much of Kurdistan. At first Kurds formed the dynasty's military core, but Sultan as-Salih Najm-ad-Din Ayyub (1240–49) exploited the flood of enslaved Qipchaqs generated by the Mongol conquest to create a regiment of trained military slaves, or Mamluks (Atwood).

Much of the Mongol army was unilaterally withdrawn to Azerbaijan, where Maragheh was chosen as the capital of the new Il-Khanate (one of four khanates of the Mongol Empire). The Ayyubids's conquest by the Mongols marked the end of their dynasty, as they had already been replaced in Egypt by the Mamluk dynasty (Atwood).
The immediate and lasting effects of the Mongols in the Middle East are varied in degree. The Mongol conquest of Hulagu ended two institutions of Islamic rule, finally ending the Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad and Ayyubid dynasty, the realm of which was already confined to Syria and parts of Palestine.

Youtube Video
(shows a great mosque in Hama and includes the burial place for the Ayyubid Kings)


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