Fighting the Antichrist

As the highly competent leader of the Muslim forces fighting against the European Crusaders, Sultan Saladin (r. 1174-1193) was feared and admired by his Western opponents. Both in literary and visual media, he appeared as an incarnation of the antichrist or as one of the seven heads of the dragon from the Book of Revelation. However, there was also room for a positive tradition, in which Saladin was allegedly baptized before his death. Thus it was attempted to incorporate this respected opponent in the Christian world order.


• Geoffrey Hindley, Saladin: Hero of Islam (2nd edition; Barnsley 2007)
• Dirk Jäckel, ‘Saladin und Antichrist. Das andere Bild von Ayyubidensultan im 12. Jahrhundert’, in: Wolfram Brandes & Felicitas Schmieder (eds.), Antichrist. Konstruktionen von Feindbildern (Berlin 2010) 117-134

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