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Ayyubid dynastyAyyubid Dynasty, Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origins which ruled Egypt, Syria, and northern Iraq in the 12th and 13th centuries.
The Ayyubid Dynasty was founded by Saladin, who, with his uncle Shirkuh, conquered Egypt for the Zengid King Nur ad-Din of Damascus in 1169. In 1171, Saladin deposed the last Fatimid Caliph, but he gradually became estranged from his former master. When Nur ed-Din died in 1174, Saladin declared war against his young son, As-Salih Ismail, and seized Damascus. Ismail fled to Aleppo, where he continued to resist Saladin until his murder in 1181. After this, Saladin seized control of the interior of the entirety of Syria, and even conquered the Jezireh in Northern Iraq. His greatest accomplishment, though, was his defeat of the Crusader States at the Battle of Hattin and conquest of Jerusalem in 1187. Saladin died in 1193, shortly after signing a treaty with Richard I of England which restored a coastal strip from Ascalon to Antioch to Crusader control.
Following Saladin's death, his sons fell to squabbling over the division of the Empire, until in 1200 Saladin's brother, Al-Adil, succeeded in securing control over the whole empire. The same process repeated at Al-Adil's death in 1218, and at his son Al-Kamil's death in 1238, but the Ayyubid state as a whole remained fairly strong. In 1250 Turanshah, the last Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt, was murdered and replaced by his Mamluk slave-general Aibek, who founded the Mamluk Dynasty.
The Ayyubids lingered on in Syria for another ten years, when they fell to the Mongols.
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