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The Marco Institute Eleventh Annual Riggsby Lecture on Medieval Mediterranean History and Culture will feature Jonathan Phillips, professor of crusading history at Royal Holloway, University of London. He will discuss the life and legend of the iconic figure of the Sultan Saladin.

The event is at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 20, in the Lindsay Young Auditorium in John C. Hodges Library.

This event is free and open to the public.

Jonathan Phillips is a professor of crusading history who has authored many books, including Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades, and appears frequently in television and radio programs for the BBC and the History Channel.

“The Marco Institute is delighted to be able to host Professor Phillips, a leading authority on the history of the Crusades,” said Professor Heather Hirschfeld, Riggsby Director of the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. “His scholarship dovetails with the interests of many of Marco’s own faculty and graduate students, and his lecture, which speaks directly to medieval history and culture, should appeal to a wide audience, as it traces the figure of Saladin from the twelfth century to current times.”

Indeed, the Sultan Saladin remains one of the most iconic figures of the medieval age. As the man who recovered Jerusalem from the crusaders in 1187, he became the hero of Sunni Islam. Intriguingly, in the course of his clash with Richard the Lionheart and the Third Crusade, he became hugely admired in the Christian West, in large part because of his reputation for generosity and courtesy. Many centuries after his death, Saladin continues to be an immensely potent symbol of religious and military resistance to the West.

This lecture will review Saladin’s career and consider how his reputation was formed and preserved over the centuries, assessing the influences of his legacy in both the Islamic world and the West.

The lecture, “Saladin: Life and Legend,” is the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies eleventh annual Riggsby Lecture on Medieval Mediterranean History and Culture. For more information on the College of Arts and Sciences’ Marco Institute, visit

C O N T A C T: 

Vera Pantanizopoulos-Broux (865-974-1859,