In this chapter we will discuss the period during which Saladin’s successors and descendants held power in much of the Levant. After our chronological survey we will consider the later Ayyubids’ conflicts with one another, which occupied much of their attention in the half-century following Saladin’s death. We will then examine their approach to the Franks, including both their general reluctance to advance their illustrious forebear’s conquests of Frankish territory and the diplomatic and trade relations that they enjoyed with both the Latin states of the coast and European powers across the Mediterranean. Not all Muslims approved of such dealings, naturally, so we will also discuss the activities of some of the Ayyubids’ critics, considering the extent to which this was a matter of concern for their rulers.
At the time of Saladin’s death his territories were divided up, mostly among the various members of his family who had ruled on his behalf. The most important centres were ruled by the three sons mentioned previously: al-Afdal ‘Ali held the territories in Syria, with his capital at Damascus, and was designated as the new head of the confederation (r. 1186–96); al-‘Aziz ‘Uthman ruled Egypt, with his capital at Cairo (r. 1193–8); and al-Zahir Ghazi controlled the vast northern principality based at Aleppo (r. 1186–1216). The remaining territories were held by other members of the family; most notably, al-‘Adil Muhammad ruled a disparate range of territories to the north and east, including the important cities of Edessa and Harran in the north, and Transjordan, including the fortress of Kerak, in the south-east. This meant that these important and exposed regions were in the hands of a senior and experienced member of the family who could defend them effectively (Humphreys, 1977: 83–4).
This division of territories soon broke down, however. Al-Afdal ‘Ali and al-‘Aziz ‘Uthman quickly became embroiled in a struggle for supremacy, in which al-‘Adil Muhammad intervened, initially as a mediator and then as a skilful player. In 1196 he took control of Damascus from al-Afdal ‘Ali, ruling there in the name of al-‘Aziz ‘Uthman, and then in 1200 he usurped power in Egypt from the young son of the now-deceased al-‘Aziz ‘Uthman and declared himself head of the family. Two years later he compelled the submission of al-Zahir Ghazi of Aleppo. Al-‘Adil Muhammad’s sons, al-Kamil Muhammad (d. 1238) and al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa (d. 1227), became al-‘Adil’s deputies in Cairo and Damascus, respectively.
The disputes that occurred in the ten years after Saladin’s death in some senses set the tone for the decades that followed, as various members of the Ayyubid family competed with each other for power. Meanwhile the Ayyubids’ enemies, both Frankish and Muslim, took advantage of their disunity to stage attacks on Ayyubid territory; for example, immediately after Saladin’s death the Ayyubids had to deal with an attack by the Zangids, which was fended off and successfully turned into a further expansion of Ayyubid territory, while in 1197 Beirut and Sidon were lost to a fresh wave of crusaders. This mixture of internal disputes and the periodic need to deal with external threats would characterize the remainder of the Ayyubid period.
In 1217 a new force of crusaders arrived at Acre (the Fifth Crusade). After some initial action in Syria and the Holy Land, they attacked Damietta in May 1218. In August, hearing that the Franks had stormed part of the city’s defences, al-‘Adil Muhammad set out for Damietta but died en route. His territories were divided between his sons al-Kamil Muhammad, al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa and a third son, al-Ashraf Musa (d. 1237), who at the time held lands in northern Syria and the Jazira. In a last major show of unity by members of the Ayyubid family, al-Kamil Muhammad, al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa and (eventually) al-Ashraf Musa co-operated to deal with the crusader threat. In addition to providing military support, in 1219, while the crusaders were dug in at Damietta, al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa dismantled the fortifications of Jerusalem and other strongholds in his territory, to render them useless to the Franks as bases of operations should they subsequently take them. The destruction of Jerusalem’s defences caused widespread panic and led many to flee the city. Al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa also acquiesced to al-Kamil Muhammad’s repeated attempts to persuade the crusaders to evacuate Egypt in return for most of the old Kingdom of Jerusalem, including the holy city itself, territories that at the time were under al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa’s control. The offer was rejected by the crusaders, who were later forced to sue for peace themselves after becoming cut off by the Nile flood opposite al-Kamil Muhammad’s camp at al-Mansura, in the Nile Delta, in the summer of 1221. An eight-year truce was agreed, and the Franks were allowed to leave Egypt (Humphreys, 1977: 162–70; Riley-Smith, 1987: 149).
Relations between al-Kamil Muhammad and al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa soon deteriorated, and when he heard that the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (r. 1220–50) was preparing a new crusade, al-Kamil Muhammad sent an embassy to the latter in 1226, offering again to surrender Jerusalem and its surroundings, but this time in an attempt to gain aid against his brother, or at least to disquiet him (Humphreys, 1977: 184; Atrache, 1996: 93). Frederick had become the king of Jerusalem a year earlier through his marriage to the heiress Isabel (Yolanda). However, by the time that he reached the Holy Land in September 1228 circumstances had changed. In 1227 al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa had died, of dysentery, and Isabel had died in 1228 giving birth to a son, Conrad, for whom Frederick was now only a regent rather than being king in his own right. In addition, Frederick had delayed his departure due to problems at home, a delay to which the pope objected, excommunicating the emperor. Thus when Frederick arrived in the east he was in a much weaker political and ideological position. Meanwhile, al-Kamil Muhammad’s major rival had disappeared from the scene, but the sultan faced the challenge of avoiding alienating the Muslims while also avoiding seeming to the Franks to be reneging on his offer and in the process tempting them to renew hostilities. He was also at the time embroiled in negotiations with his own family over the fate of al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa’s inheritance. In the end an agreement between Frederick and al-Kamil Muhammad was made in February 1229. The precise terms are unclear, but it seems that the Franks were to receive Jerusalem, along with the villages in a corridor linking the holy city to the coast. However, the other villages surrounding Jerusalem were to remain in Muslim hands, as was the Temple Mount, though the Franks would be allowed to visit the Temple area to pray. The defences of Jerusalem were not to be rebuilt by the Franks, but the Muslim inhabitants of the city were not permitted to live there any longer. Finally, a truce was made for ten years, five months and 40 days (Gottschalk, 1958: 157; Humphreys, 1977: 202–3). The agreement was greeted with vocal protests on both sides, but Frederick crowned himself in the Holy Sepulchre on 18 March, before returning to Acre the following day, where he faced further demonstrations. On 1 May he attempted to leave Acre discreetly but was spotted as he passed by the meat market and pelted with offal (Riley-Smith, 1987: 151). Frederick, the excommunicate crusader, had managed to achieve the return of Jerusalem to Christian hands, but in a way that pleased nobody.
Jerusalem did not stay in Christian hands for long. In 1239 the Ayyubid ruler of Kerak, al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa’s son al-Nasir Dawud (d. 1258), who had ruled Damascus for less than two years before being ousted by al-Kamil Muhammad and al-Ashraf Musa, took advantage of the weakness of the Frankish forces and occupied the holy city. It was returned to the Franks the following year by al-Nasir Dawud and the Ayyubid ruler of Damascus, al-Salih Isma‘il (r. 1237 and 1239–45), in return for aid against al-Kamil Muhammad’s son al-‘Adil II Abu Bakr (r. 1238–40), but in 1244 the city was taken by Muslim troops again. The troops in question, known as Khwarazmians, were Turkish warriors who had previously served the rulers of the lower Oxus region in the Muslim east but had been displaced by the Mongol advance. They had first become involved in the twisted web of Ayyubid politics as allies of al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa in 1225, and had remained an active and undisciplined element in the northern Jazira thereafter. By now they were (loosely) in the service of al-Salih Ayyub (r. 1240–9), who had succeeded in Egypt in 1240 after the deposition of his brother al-‘Adil II Abu Bakr by discontented troops. In the early summer of 1244 they mounted a major raid into Palestine, looting and pillaging as they went, and in July they attacked Jerusalem. After a resistance of a little over a month, the city garrison surrendered, by which time the Khwarazmians had comprehensively sacked the city. Having destroyed the Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, they joined forces with an army sent by al-Salih Ayyub and defeated a coalition of Frankish and Syrian Ayyubid forces at Harbiyya (La Forbie) in October, a victory that helped al-Salih Ayyub to take Damascus from al-Salih Isma‘il the following year. However, the undisciplined Khwarazmians, who felt that they had not been adequately rewarded for their services, conducted destructive raids in the region and, in alliance with Ayyubid opponents of al-Salih Ayyub, besieged Damascus itself in March 1246, only to be attacked, defeated and scattered by troops from Homs and Aleppo (Humphreys, 1977: 274–87).
Three years later al-Salih Ayyub faced a new challenge, as on 4 June 1249 crusading forces under Louis IX of France (St Louis, r. 1226–70) attacked Damietta, taking the city after two days. Al-Salih Ayyub, like al-Kamil Muhammad before him, made his base of operations at al-Mansura, but he was by now seriously ill, and on 21 November he died. His timing could not have been worse; the sultan’s son and heir al-Mu‘azzam Turan-Shah was far away, governing territories in the northern Jazira, and the Frankish forces were preparing to advance on the Muslim camp. It seemed that Egypt would soon be lost to the crusaders.
It is important to remember that the Ayyubid dominions were a confederation rather than a single unified entity. The major territories under their control were for the most part reigned over by members of the family who operated essentially as independent rulers. While there was normally a figure who was recognized as the head of the confederation, usually the ruler of Egypt, the extent to which he could enforce his authority over the other rulers was limited. As Humphreys has noted, this familial confederative power structure was not unusual at the time, but it was also prone to disruption through the ambitions of its members (Humphreys, 1998: 5–7). The lack of a strong central figure whose authority was continuously reinforced gave the Ayyubid princes plenty of freedom to plot against each other and their nominal overlord.
Ayyubid family politics was vicious but not normally deadly. An Ayyubid ruler who was defeated by his rivals was likely to be displaced rather than killed, often ending up in a smaller appanage. This meant that he had the opportunity to continue to participate in family disputes and might attempt to regain his lost position. An illustrative example is al-Nasir Dawud, whom Joseph Drory describes as a ‘much frustrated Ayyubid prince’. Al-Nasir Dawud succeeded to the throne of his father al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa in Damascus in 1228 but, as noted above, was ousted from the city by al-Kamil Muhammad and al-Ashraf Musa in 1229. He was compensated with territories in Palestine and Transjordan, making his capital at Kerak, and from there continued to be a participant in the tense family politics of the region. Al-Nasir Dawud lost further territories to al-Kamil Muhammad and al-Ashraf Musa, and when the latter died in 1237 he was not given Damascus, despite having been promised it by al-Kamil Muhammad, who was at the time the nominal head of the family. An attempt by al-Nasir Dawud to take control of Damascus in 1238 after al-Kamil Muhammad’s death resulted only in a disastrous military defeat at the hands of its Ayyubid governor. As we have seen, al-Nasir Dawud did manage to take control of Jerusalem in 1239, but was forced to hand it back to the Franks the following year, and in the Syrian–Egyptian conflicts of the 1240s he sided with the Syrians and as a result lost more territory to the victorious Egyptians. In 1249 he was forced to leave Kerak, initially moving to Aleppo but then spending some years wandering Bilad al-Sham and the Jazira in search of a new state, which included two periods of imprisonment by other Ayyubids who saw him as a threat. Eventually al-Nasir Dawud was sent east to lead an army to support Baghdad against the Mongols, but he failed to reach the city before the latter took it in February 1258. Tired and worn out, he fell ill and died in the following May, aged 53 (Drory, 2003: passim). Thus in al-Nasir Dawud we see a figure who, after being displaced from his original holdings, continued to manoeuvre and scheme in an attempt to restore his fortunes. The predisposition of various members of the Ayyubid family to such machinations only exacerbated the political chaos of the time.
THE AYYUBIDS AND THE JIHAD
In his account of the year 628 (1230–1), Ibn al-Athir notes:
For now we do not see among the princes of Islam one who has a desire to wage the Jihad or to aid the religion. On the contrary, each of them looks to his pleasures, his sport and the oppression of his subjects. For me this is more frightening than the enemy.
(Ibn al-Athir, 2008: 304–5)
Ibn al-Athir’s description of the situation is, naturally, exaggerated, but it is striking that the period sees a shift in Ayyubid approaches to the Franks. In some senses we see a return to the early years of the crusading period, in which some rulers conducted periodic expeditions against the Franks, but at the same time concentrated more often on conflicts with other Muslim rulers, including employing the Franks as allies when the situation warranted it. We will return to the medieval critics of the Ayyubids later, but it is worth thinking in more detail about why we see a decline in attacks on the Franks by the Ayyubids.
Certainly the death of Saladin played a part; his personal charisma and skilful use of propaganda had enabled him to unite the Muslim rulers of the Levant in a way that was never duplicated by his successors. However, as we have seen, after Saladin recaptured Jerusalem in 1187 even he had encountered difficulties in holding his coalition together. Likewise, a number of the Ayyubid rulers must have recognized that without the draw of Jerusalem it would be difficult to unite their fractious relatives under their command. Jerusalem itself also seems to have been seen differently by Saladin’s successors. As Donald Little and Carole Hillenbrand have noted, the Ayyubid rulers never lost sight of the religious significance of the city, but this did not mean that they promoted settlement in the holy city or used it as a capital, and they were willing to allow pragmatism to trump principle if handing it over would free them from crusader attacks (Little, 1997: 181–5; Hillenbrand, 1999 a: 211–23). In actually doing this in 1229 al-Kamil Muhammad aroused fierce resentment among the common folk and religious classes, as we shall see, but this did not prevent him from honouring his agreement with Frederick II.
R. Stephen Humphreys has remarked on an additional factor that led to reduced enthusiasm among the Ayyubids to fight the Franks: the latter’s persistence. Despite the Franks having been driven out of Jerusalem and repeatedly defeated thereafter, there were always more of them arriving from Europe, in a seemingly inexhaustible supply. As Humphreys puts it, ‘the Ayyubids were terrified of the Franks, who, however badly mauled they might be, just kept coming back’ (Humphreys, 1998: 9–10). Thus the Ayyubids were willing to go to extraordinary lengths in making treaties and conceding territory in order to avoid provoking the arrival of fresh waves of crusaders. This does not mean that the Ayyubids allowed themselves to be passive victims of Frankish aggression, but they generally avoided conflict where they could, only engaging in military action against the Franks if severely provoked.
It is also worth considering the use of jihad propaganda by Saladin’s successors. As Hillenbrand has noted, in official rhetoric Ayyubid rulers continued to be celebrated with titles exalting their activities as mujahids, even if their actions did not match up, and Laila Atrache has noted the ongoing depiction of the Franks as polytheists and infidels in the historical sources for the period, works that could also have a propagandistic function (Hillenbrand, 1999 a: 204–7; Atrache, 1996: 71). Sivan has commented that the Ayyubids even sought to justify their activities against each other with jihad propaganda, claiming, much as Saladin had, that they were only fighting against other Muslims for the sake of the long-term goal of defending the coast against the Franks (Sivan, 1968: 135). However, it cannot be denied that by this time the grandiose titles and pious pronouncements made by the Ayyubids had begun to ring suspiciously hollow.
Yet at the same time it is important to remember that the military jihad was but one aspect of the wider jihad doctrine in Islam. As we have seen, even greater importance was given by a number of thinkers to the struggle to promote the faith within both the individual and the state. Humphreys comments, ‘In the internal jihad, Saladin’s heirs performed splendidly’, noting both the religiously educated nature of the rulers and their generosity in endowing religious buildings (Humphreys, 1998: 9). Hillenbrand remarks that even though they did not make it their capital, the Ayyubids devoted significant resources to creating and expanding religious institutions in Jerusalem (Hillenbrand, 1999 a: 211–13). In this way the Ayyubids pursued the greater, internal jihad with more enthusiasm than the lesser, military jihad through the support of the religious life of their states.
RELATIONS WITH THE FRANKS
Naturally, as before Ayyubid interactions with the Franks took on forms other than conflict on the battlefield. As we have indicated previously, the Ayyubids were content to make alliances with the Franks when it suited their purposes. Hillenbrand comments, ‘The Ayyubid period witnessed the full integration of the Franks as local Levantine rulers’ (Hillenbrand, 1999 a: 203). Certainly there is no denying that by now the Franks of the coast had become full participants in the conflicts of the Ayyubids and the surrounding states of the Levant, but we might in fact go one stage further and suggest that the period also witnessed a deepening of co-operative relations between states of the Levant and Europe, including and going beyond the intermediary territories held by the Franks on the Levantine coast. As noted in the previous chapter, trade relations had existed between the major Italian trading powers and the Levant even before the onset of the Crusades, and only expanded as the decades passed. The Ayyubid rulers continued to seek to capitalize on this relationship, allowing both Italian and other merchants to establish more funduqs in a number of cities in their territories in order to expand commerce between their states and Europe. Humphreys also suggests that the Ayyubids deliberately refrained from seeking to re-conquer coastal towns because they believed that foreign merchants would find towns under Frankish control to be more attractive trade centres, and the wealth generated in them would eventually pass to the Ayyubids’ own states through trade between these towns and the Muslim hinterland (Humphreys, 1998: 9). In addition to trade, we also have records of diplomatic contacts between the Ayyubids and European rulers, which had begun as early as 1175 with negotiations between Saladin and Frederick I Barbarossa (Eddé, 2011: 244–6). We have already seen that al-Kamil Muhammad engaged in discussions with Frederick II even before the latter’s departure for the east, with a view to strengthening his hand against al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa. In 1248 Frederick II wrote to al-Salih Ayyub, warning him of St Louis’ plans to conduct a crusade in the east, suggesting that al-Salih Ayyub hand Jerusalem over to the Franks and offering to act as a mediator between the Ayyubid sultan and the French king (Eddé, 1996: 68). We also have records of exchanges of gifts between Frederick II and al-Kamil Muhammad. Frederick sent al-Kamil Muhammad a number of horses, including his own, which bore a golden saddle encrusted with precious stones; and later a polar bear, which attracted attention because of its talents at catching fish, and a white peacock. Al-Kamil Muhammad, not to be outdone, responded with treasures from India, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Persia worth twice as much as the horses and saddle that Frederick had sent, as well as a golden saddle bearing jewels worth 10,000 Egyptian dinars (Gottschalk, 1958: 217; Atrache, 1996: 97–8 and 174). Thus the reign of the Ayyubids as a whole sees the beginning of integration of European states proper into the political affairs of the east through trans-Mediterranean diplomacy that went beyond the necessary diplomatic contacts between the Muslim rulers and their Frankish counterparts who happened to be on crusade in the Levant.
Diplomacy during actual crusading expeditions also took on new and unusual forms. One incident, recorded in the European sources, involves a visit made to al-Kamil Muhammad by St Francis of Assisi during the Fifth Crusade. Probably in September of 1219, during a period of truce and negotiations, St Francis visited al-Kamil Muhammad in his camp, remaining there for a few days before returning unharmed to the crusader side. What exactly took place during the encounter is unknown, and no contemporary Muslim source mentions it. St Francis was probably received politely and admitted into the presence of the sultan, who listened graciously to the friar’s preaching but was otherwise unmoved. Fareed Munir suggests that St Francis and al-Kamil Muhammad may have found that they shared a similar spirituality and desire for peace, seeing them as pioneers of inter-religious dialogue, but in the absence of evidence from any contemporary eyewitnesses such claims should be considered to be no more than speculation (Munir, 2008:passim). Whatever the truth of the matter, the incident captured the imaginations of European writers both at the time and in the centuries that followed, but was probably seen as just another visit from what Tolan calls ‘a barefoot Italian ascetic, a sort of Christian Sufi’. While non-Muslims were legally prohibited from seeking to convert Muslims, al-Kamil Muhammad was himself open to religious discussions and is likely to have tolerated St Francis’ preaching, though he probably did not see it as anything remarkable (Tolan, 2009: 5–6). The very different treatments of St Francis’ visit in the Frankish and Muslim sources are a salutary reminder for historians that the significance of any given event very much depends on the viewpoint of the person describing (or not describing) it.
CRITICS OF THE AYYUBIDS
As indicated previously, the Ayyubids’ approach to the Franks generated a great deal of resentment among Muslim thinkers. The hand-back of Jerusalem to Frederick II, not surprisingly, was greeted with an outpouring of hostility. Ibn al-Athir comments, ‘The Muslims were outraged and thought it monstrous. This caused them to feel such weakness and pain as are beyond description’ (Ibn al-Athir, 2008: 294). Both common people and religious scholars railed against what had happened; the best known of the latter was the immensely popular Damascene preacher Sibt ibn al-Jawzi (d. 1257), a grandson of ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Jawzi, whose account of the Second Crusade we saw in Chapter 4. Sibt ibn al-Jawzi settled in Damascus in about 1204, spending most of his time there teaching and writing, when he was not travelling on preaching tours. He devoted much of his efforts to jihad preaching, and when the agreement was made al-Nasir Dawud, at the time the ruler of Damascus but already besieged by his uncle al-Ashraf Musa, ordered Sibt ibn al-Jawzi to preach against al-Kamil and his treacherous handover of the holy city to the infidel, a task that the Damascene preacher was happy to undertake. It is thus not surprising that when al-Ashraf Musa, reinforced by al-Kamil Muhammad, compelled al-Nasir Dawud to leave Damascus, Sibt ibn al-Jawzi was obliged to leave too (Talmon-Heller, 2007 b: 71–2). In his own chronicle, Mir’at al-Zaman fi Ta’rikh al-A‘yan (The Mirror of Time concerning the History of Important People), when describing the reaction of the inhabitants of the region to the events, Sibt ibn al-Jawzi states, ‘The news of the surrender of Jerusalem to the Franks arrived, and turmoil erupted in all the lands of Islam. The misfortunes [associated with the events] were so distressing that ceremonies of mourning were held’ [Doc. 17.ii]. Thus his account corroborates that of Ibn al-Athir.
One might expect that the Ayyubids’ dealings with the Franks, and particularly the giving of Jerusalem to them, would have shattered the alliance between the religious and political classes that we saw built up in previous chapters. However, as Sivan has shown, this was not actually the case. As we have seen, the Ayyubids continued to patronize the religious classes within their states, founding religious institutions and taking a personal interest in religious affairs, something that did much to win over the religious scholars who were keen to see Islamic orthodoxy promoted in society. However, many of these scholars continued to protest against their patrons’ collaboration with the Franks and to encourage them to engage in the military jihad against the enemy, something that Hillenbrand has described as ‘an embarrassment rather than a stimulus to these sultans’ (Hillenbrand, 1999 a: 223). Yet the protest movement was never strong enough to constitute a real threat to the Ayyubids’ power, which rested first and foremost upon their armies, and so while the Ayyubid rulers could not completely neglect the role of the religious classes in supporting their authority, they could for the most part proceed as they wished (Sivan, 1968: 141–55); the fact that al-Kamil Muhammad was able to commit the hugely unpopular act of handing Jerusalem over to the Franks without being deposed by a general uprising is testimony to this. The religious–political alliance was shaken but not seriously threatened.
In the wake of the death of Saladin, the Ayyubids found themselves ruling a confederation of states that were beset by enemies on several fronts. However, distrust and ambition divided them, so that rather than forming a united front to preserve their territories, they instead engaged in conflicts with one another, in which the rulers of the surrounding territories, Muslim and Frankish, became involved as allies or opponents. At times the Ayyubids were able to take advantage of relations with other states to further their own goals, while at other times their disputes weakened them, so that the other powers were able to expand their influence or territories at Ayyubid expense. The military jihad against the Franks, in the meantime, became largely defensive in nature, with treaties and compromises being the generally preferred option, despite the protests of religious scholars and commoners alike. At the same time, the Ayyubid rulers came to rely increasingly on their military forces as the principal basis of their power. The eventual result of this policy will become apparent in the next chapter.
Probably the best starting point for further research on the Ayyubids is R. Stephen Humphreys’ From Saladin to the Mongols (1977), which, though centred on Damascus, provides a detailed history of the Ayyubid confederation. For a briefer overview of the structure of the Ayyubid state and its relations with the Franks, see his ‘Ayyubids, Mamluks and the Latin East in the Thirteenth Century’ (1998) and Carole Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (1999 a). A comprehensive treatment of the Ayyubid principality of Aleppo is Anne-Marie Eddé’s La Principauté Ayyoubide d’Alep (579/1183–658/1260) (1999). Two important biographical works on the later Ayyubids have been written by German scholars: Franz-Josef Dahlmanns’s Al-Malik al-‘Adil: Ägypten und der Vordere Orient in den Jahren 589/1193 bis 615/1218 (1975) is the author’s doctoral thesis on the career and reign of al-‘Adil Muhammad after the death of Saladin; and Hans L. Gottschalk’s Al-Malik al-Kamil von Egypten und seine Zeit: Eine Studie zur Geschichte Vorderasiens und Egyptens in der Ersten Hälfte des 7./13. Jahrhunderts (1958) is a study of the reign of al-Kamil Muhammad. For another, detailed, discussion of al-Kamil Muhammad’s responses to the Fifth and especially Frederick II’s crusades, see Laila Atrache, Die Politik der Ayyubiden (1996). On the encounter between St Francis and al-Kamil Muhammad see John Tolan, Saint Francis and the Sultan: The Curious History of a Christian–Muslim Encounter (2009); and, for a Muslim perspective, Fareed Z. Munir, ‘Sultan al-Malik Muhammad al-Kamil and Saint Francis: Interreligious Dialogue and the Meeting at Damietta’ (2008). On Muslim reactions to the Ayyubids’ diplomatic dealings with the Franks, see Emmanuel Sivan, L’Islam et la Croisade(1968); and, again, Daniella Talmon-Heller, ‘Islamic Preaching in Syria during the Counter-Crusade’ (2007 b) and Islamic Piety in Medieval Syria (2007 a).