On 4 July 1187 the legendary Muslim leader Saladin destroyed the Crusader army of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem with a terrible slaughter at the battle of Hattin - and went on to restore the Holy City of Jerusalem to Islamic rule.
The carnage at Hattin was the culmination of almost a century of religious wars between Christian and Muslim in the Holy Land. It had enormous consequences for the whole medieval world because it produced an intensification of holy war between Islam and Europe for over another century - and in retrospect marked the beginning of the end for the Crusader presence in the Middle East.
In the 20th century memory of the battle was revived as a symbol of Arab hope for liberation from Crusader-Imperialism, and in the 21st it has become a rallying cry for radical Muslim fundamentalists in their struggle for the soul of Islam.
In this new volume in the Great Battles series, John France analyses the origins and course of this pivotal battle, illuminating the roots of the bitter hatred which underlay it, and explains its significance in world history - from medieval times to the present.