10. Sultan Saladin and Jerusalem: Professor Jonathan Phillips (1187)

Saladin and the capture of Jerusalem: Professor Jonathan Phillips (1187)


For the Christian crusaders of the twelfth-century, Jerusalem was the ultimate prize. The holy city had been captured from the Muslims in 1099 as part of the First Crusade to the Holy Land. In 1187, the counter-crusade, led by the Sultan Saladin, was at last poised to wrest it back.


In this latest episode of Travels Through Time, Professor Jonathan Phillips of Royal Holloway University becomes our guide to the bloody events of the high Middle Ages. He takes us to watch Sultan Saladin’s decisive victory at the Battle of Hattin, which culminated in the dramatic capture of the True Cross. Then we look on as Sultan Saladin - one of the supreme military leaders of any age – marches on Jerusalem to complete the return of the sacred city.


What happened next, over the months of September and October, was surprisingly magnanimous. The events of 1187 brought to history not only one of the pivotal moments of the Medieval Age, it also established the reputation that Saladin has enjoyed ever since.


Scene One: The evening of 2 July 1187, the tent of Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem. Guy makes his fateful decision to march out to try to lift the siege of Tiberias. This is the prelude to the Battle of Hattin.


Scene Two: The Siege of Jerusalem, September 1187


Scene Three: Saladin's entry into Jerusalem on 2 October 1187


The Life and Legend of Sultan Saladin by Professor Jonathan Phillips: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/109/1093190/the-life-and-the-legend-of-the-sultan-saladin/9781847922144.html


Presenter: Peter Moore


Guest: Professor Jonathan Phillips


Producer: Maria Nolan