from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Flag of the Ayyubids

The Ayyubids ( Kurdish دەوڵەتی ئەییووبی Dewleta Eyûbiyan ; Arabic بنو أيوب, DMG Banū Ayyūb orالأيوبيون Aiyūbiyūn ) were a Sunni-Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin thatruled Egypt from 1171 to 1252. The dynasty is named after Nadschmuddin Ayyub , Saladin's father.


The kingdom of the Ayyubids (1171–1246) in its greatest expansion
Coin minted in the name of Ayyubid al-Adil

With the fall of the Fatimids in Egypt , increased attacks by the Crusaders of the Kingdom of Jerusalem began . Against this, the Fatimids called the Zengids , who ruled Syria , for help . They sent troops to Egypt under Shirkuh , who was appointed vizier . After his death, his nephew Saladin became a vizier in 1169. In 1171 he eliminated the dynasty of the Ismaili Fatimid caliphs and established the Kurdish dynasty of the Ayyubids.

Under Saladin (1171–1193) Egypt was reorganized and the economy further strengthened by promoting agriculture and trade in order to be able to drive the Crusaders out of Jerusalem and Palestine . By 1181, rule over Syria, Upper Mesopotamia , Yemen and Nubia was extended, so that Saladin ruled most of the Arab core countries. After consolidating his rule, he decisively defeated the Crusaders on July 4, 1187 in the Battle of Hattin near Tiberias and conquered Jerusalem. In the Third Crusade that followed, the crusaders were able to recapture some coastal cities (including Acre ), but initially they did not succeed in recapturing Jerusalem.

Since Saladin had divided the empire before his death, there were initially power struggles among his successors, in which al-Adil I (1200-1218) fought against al-Mansur (1198-1200), al-Aziz's underage son ( 1193–1198), was able to prevail. Although al-Adil also divided the empire before his death, his successor al-Kamil (1218-1238) was able to fend off the Damiette (1217-1221) crusade in Egypt and the crusade of Frederick II (1228-1229) through negotiations end to the emperor , in which the unfortified Jerusalem was ceded. Shortly before his death, al-Kamil was also able to prevail in Syria.

After the outbreak of dynastic power struggles, as-Salih (1240–1249) succeeded in reuniting large parts of the Ayyubid Empire, even if Northern Syria, Upper Mesopotamia and Yemen were finally lost. He was also able to finally conquer Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1244.

Immediately after fending off the Sixth Crusade (1249-1254), which had targeted Egypt, the last Ayyubide Turan Shah fell victim to a conspiracy of the Turkish Mamluks in the army when he wanted to limit their influence. Until 1257 his stepmother Shajar ad-Dur led the government as regent, where she married the Mamlukenführer Aybak . This rose as al-Malik al-Muizz to sultan in 1252, ended the Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt and founded the Mamluk Empire (1252-1517).

Side lines of the Ayyubids ruled in Damascus and Aleppo until 1260, in Homs until 1262 and in Hama until 1341. There were also Ayyubid rulers in Hasankeyf (Hisn Keyfa) who stayed there until the 15th century and only from the Aq Qoyunlu were eliminated.

In contrast to the Fatimids and the following Mamluks, the Ayyubids did not rule a central state. Rather, the ruler's sons and other side branches of the dynasty were involved in the administration of the empire. However, after the death of a ruler, this repeatedly led to battles for the unity of the entire empire.


Al-Azhar Park in Cairo (Ayyubid architecture)

The architecture of the Ayyubid period is shaped by old regional artistic traditions, mixed with stylistic elements of Iranian origin and the extensive experiences borrowed from the Crusader architecture.

The last-mentioned component is impressively reflected in the architecture serving military purposes, such as the most outstanding work, the citadel of Aleppo . The special architecture is expressed by a large, bare and sharp-edged structure - set back into the slope - through which a mighty archway provides access to the citadel. This monument is connected to the main entrance via a bridge, a porch with stairs.

The establishment of numerous religious foundations, such as madrasas , distributed in cities such as Aleppo, Damascus and the Egyptian Cairo , which was driven by the orthodox religious attitude of Saladin, is also significant . Examples are the al-Zahiriyya -, the Firdaus - and the al-Salihiyya -Medeses.

Ayyubid architecture also concentrated on exterior designs, such as gates (portals) and exterior decorations (niches as structuring elements, stalactite motifs ( muqarnas ) and polychrome stone compositions).

Ayyubid ruler

Rulers in Egypt

Ruler in Damascus

Emirs in Aleppo

Emirs in hama

Emirs in Homs

Emirs in Kerak

For emirs in Yemen see: Ayyubids (Yemen)

For emirs in al-Jazira see: Ortoqiden

Emirs in Hisn Keyfa


Family tree (excerpt)

Persons officiating as Sultans of Egypt are highlighted in bold .

Schadhi bin Marwan
Nadschmuddin Ayyub
an-Nasir Yusuf (Saladin)
al-Mu'azzam Turan Shah
al-Adil Abu Bakr I (Saphadin)
al-Mujahid Shirkuh
al-Aziz Uthman
az-Zahir Ghazi
al-Kamil Muhammad I.
al-Mu'azzam 'Isa
al-Ashraf Musa
as-Salih Ismail
al-Mansur Ibrahim
al-Mansur Muhammad I.
al-Aziz Muhammad
al-Mas'ud Yusuf
al-Adil Abu Bakr II
as-Salih Ayyub
Shadjar ad-Durr
al-Ashraf Musa
an-Nasir Yusuf
al-Mughith Umar
al-Mu'azzam Turan Shah
al-Ashraf Musa


The Ayyubids living in Turkey today bear the family name Eyüboğlu (Ayyub's son).

See also


  • Ulrich Haarmann : History of the Arab World. Edited by Heinz Halm . 5th edition. CH Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-47486-1 ( Beck's historical library ).
  • Peter Malcolm Holt: The Age of the Crusades. The Near East from the eleventh century to 1517. 7th edition. Longman, London et al. a. 1996, ISBN 0-582-49303-X ( History of the Near East ).
  • Richard Stephen Humphreys: From Saladin to the Mongols. The Ayyubids of Damascus, 1193-1260. State University of New York Press, Albany, 1977, ISBN 0-87395-263-4 .
  • Giuseppe Ligato: La croce in catene. Prigionieri e ostaggi cristiani nelle guerre di Saladino. 1169-1193. Fondazione Centro Italiano di Studi sull'Alto Medioevo, Spoleto 2005, ISBN 88-7988-092-6 ( Istituzioni e società 5).
  • Henri Massé: ʿImâd ad-Dîn al-Iṣfahânî (519–597 / 1125–1201). Conquête de la Syrie et de la Palestine par Saladin (al-Fatḥ al-qussî fî l-fatḥ al-Qudsî) . Paul Geuthner, Paris 1972 ( Documents relatifs à l'Histoire des Croisades publiés par l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres 10, ZDB -ID 764458-9 ).
  • Umberto Scerrato: Islam - Monuments of Great Cultures . 1972 (licensed edition).

Web links

Commons : Ayyubids  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Richard Stephen Humphreys: Ayyubids. In: Encyclopædia Iranica . Volume 3, August 18, 2011, pp. 164–167 , accessed on October 18, 2019 (English). V. Minorsky : Studies in Caucasian History: I. New Light on the Shaddadids of Ganja II. The Shaddadids of Ani III. Prehistory of Saladin In: Cambridge Oriental Series, Volume 6 (CUP Archives, 1953)
  2. Umberto Scerrato, Islam - Monuments of Great Cultures, pp. 86–89