In the climactic scene of The Book of Saladin, the liberator of Jerusalem accepts the surrender of the city from its Christian garrison:

“Tell your people,” Salah al-Din told him, “that we shall not treat them as your forebears treated us when they first took this city. As a child I was told of what Godfrey and Tancredi did to our people. Remind these frightened Christians of what Believers and Jews suffered ninety years ago. The heads of our children were displayed on pikes. Old men and women of all ages were tortured and burnt. These streets were washed in blood, Balian. Some of the emirs would like to wash them again, but this time in your blood. They remind me that we all believe in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”


Eighteenth Century International Exhibition Medieval Literature Postcolonial Study Medieval Study 
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© John M. Ganim 2008

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