(1171-1252). ~ala.1;1 al-Din, having consolidated his position in Egypt, turned his attention to Syria. After several engagements with the Christians, by 1183 it was his and he was ready to unleash the Jihad (Holy War). He led many successful expeditions culminating in the capture of Jerusalem in 1187. This provoked the Third Crusade, led by Barbarossa accompanied by Richard I of England. ~alal;l al-Din died peacefully in Damascus in 1193, his father Ayyubi giving his name to the dynasty that was to follow him and, although his Syrian territories broke up into petty principalities after his death, Egypt remained firm. He had instituted great cultural change within Egypt, which was once more brought into direct contact with the central Muslim lands. The Shi9 faction was eradicated and madrasahs, schools of orthodox religious teaching, were built. A new social order was introduced, and it was a period of growth and prosperity. With expanding relations Egypt became a great Centre of Islamic scholarship. ~ala.1;1 al-Din also refortified Cairo, building a great citadel and enclosing the city in immense walls.

Adil salah al-Din’s

c Adil salah al-Din’s brother, became Sultan in 1199 and recovered the Syrian possessions. He was very capable, as was his son and ‘successor, al-Kamil I (1218). The Christians, realising that Egypt was the key to their advance in the East, initiated the Fifth Crusade specifically with the intention of invading it (the Fourth had ended with the sacking of Constantinople). The Crusaders captured Damietta in 1219 and advanced to Man!?U.rah where they entrenched but were driven out in 1221. For the next twenty years there were many battles and treaties with the Crusader states in Palestine. Al-Kamil wa:s succeeded by al-cAdil II (1238) and subsequently by Ayyiib (1240) who built up an immense army of Turkish slaves (mamluks), mainly Qipchaqs brought from the region to the north of the Black Sea and installed them in a great citadel on Rawc;lah Island in the Nile near Cairo from whence they were called Bal;lris (bal;lr; river). The Sixth Crusade was launched, led by the French king Louis IX, again aimed at subduing Egypt. Damietta was captured from the sea in June 1249 and by December the Crusaders had seized Man! iirah. Stalemate was reached and the situation dragged on until April 1250