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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen -> 
Saladin and the Nubians
    2020-09-29  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

James Baquet

We spoke before of the 1187 Battle of Hattin, in which the Muslim sultan Salah ad-Din, known to us today as Saladin, handily beat the European crusaders in present-day Israel.

In that battle, Saladin won, not because of his superior numbers, but because of his shrewd strategy. In fact, his entire rise to power was based on clever machinations.

He and his uncle Shirkuh came to Egypt from Syria in 1164 to help restore the vizier Shawar to his position under the teenage caliph al-Adid. (Shawar was a slippery guy who kept changing sides in various palace disputes.) While a power struggle ensued between Shirkuh and Shawar, Saladin took the opportunity to strengthen his position with the young caliph.

Uncle Shirkuh assassinated Shawar in 1168, and died the following year. At this time, al-Adid appointed Saladin to be his vizier.

One of his most notable acts was to put down a revolt of some 50,000 Nubian soldiers — turncoat members of the caliph’s personal guard. Ever the tactician, Saladin ordered the guards’ families’ living quarters to be set on fire. As the guards retreated to save their families, Saladin’s men slaughtered them. This shocking behavior by al-Adid’s vizier led to the assassination of the caliph in 1171, when Saladin became caliph.

The Nubian revolt had another, less-well-known, consequence. Nubia was a Christian region, which had long lived under a pact with Muslim Egypt. However, Saladin, as an outsider, was not bound to this agreement. Furthermore, his location in Egypt placed him, as he saw it, between two hostile armies of Christian crusaders.

And so, around 1173, Saladin sent his brother Turanshah with a force of Kurdish/Syrian troops to relieve the city of Aswan, near the Egypt/Nubia border, from Nubian attacks. The Nubians had departed by the time Turanshah arrived, so he pursued them into Nubian and conducted a series of raids against the Nubians. The Nubian king requested an ceasefire, which Turanshah granted only after discovering the Nubia was relatively poor, and not worth fighting for.

The Nubian threat was contained. In later centuries that country — now part of both Egypt and Sudan — also converted to Islam.

Vocabulary:

Which word above means:

1. scheming, plots

2. one who makes plans well

3. clever, tricky

4. result, effect

5. prevented from spreading

6. undependable, deceitful

7. one who changes sides

8. easily

9. advisor to a caliph

10. armistice, end of hostilities

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