The immediate cause of the Third Crusade was the fall of Jerusalem in 1187. Not surprisingly brutality was familiar to both Muslims and Christians during the fighting. There is no record of Saladin ever using his sword, except of course to kill unarmed prisoners after victory. In every respect he was the pattern of the Muslim ruler: he said his prayers regularly and kept the fast of Ramadan. He loved to listen to readings from the holy books, even when he rode down the front of a hostile army. his almsgiving was said to be so generous that when he died only one gold dinar remained in his treasury. His mercy was famous, but it was a Muslim mercy, not to be judged by Christian standards.
…Brutality was familiar to both Moselems and Christians during the fighting. Saladin’s sense of honour did nor prevent him from severing the head of Reynald of Chatillon with a stroke of his sword after that undisciplined Lord had raided a rich Arab desert caravan. Such cruelty was outdone by Richard, who calmly watched the slaughter of 2,700 Muslim survivors in Acre after the city had been won by the Christians in the summer of 1191. The image above shows the decapitated prisoners in their white robes stacked beneath the wooden gallows.
(see link at end)…Key to the campaign’s success was the capture of the port city of Acre. King Richard arrived on the scene in June 1191 to find the city under siege by a Christian army. In the distance, Saladin threatened – his army too weak to overwhelm the besiegers, but too strong to be dislodged.
Intensifying the bombardment of the city, Richard and the French King, Phillip, slowly broke the city’s walls, weakening its defenses while simultaneously starving the occupiers into submission. Finally, on July 12, the Muslim defenders and Crusaders agreed to surrender terms. In exchange for sparing the lives of the defenders, Saladin would pay a ransom of 200,000 gold pieces, release some 1500 Christian prisoners and return the Holy Cross. These actions were to be accomplished within one month after the fall of the city. Richard would hold 2,700 Muslim prisoners as hostage until the terms were met.
Saladin immediately ran into problems meeting his part of the bargain and the deadline came without payment of the terms. As a compromise, Saladin proposed that Richard release his prisoners in return for part of the ransom with the remainder to be paid at a later date. Saladin would provide hostages to Richard to assure payment. Alternatively, he proposed to give Richard what money he had and allow Richard to keep the prisoners in return for Christian hostages to be held until the remainder of the money was raised and the Muslim prisoners released. Richard countered that he would accept the partial payment but Saladin must accept his royal promise to release his prisoners when he received the remainder of the ransom. Neither ruler would accept his opponent’s terms. Richard declared the lives of the Muslim defenders of Acre forfeit and set August 20 as the date for their execn.Read More:http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/lionheart.htm