Saladin appears in Filomena’s first story (I, 3) and Panfilo’s tenth story (X, 9). In the first tale, he evaluates Melchizedek’s wisdom, and in the second, he cunningly disguises himself to gather reconnaissance on the European forces before the Third Crusade, during which time he becomes the guest of Torello and Adalieta. He is based on a historical figure, Salah ad-Din, a respected Muslim leader who lived from 1137–1193 and led the Muslim military forces during the Third Crusade. In medieval Europe, Saladin had a reputation for diplomacy, military prowess, scholarship, and generosity, all traits which he shows in his two appearances in The Decameron.
Saladin Character Timeline in The Decameron
The timeline below shows where the character Saladin appears in The Decameron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Day 1: Third Tale
Day 10: Ninth Tale
...turns to his own story, which shows another eminently worthy and generous friendship—the friendship of Saladin and Messer Torello of Strà. Before the Third Crusade begins, Saladin disguises himself as a... (full context)
...to Acre, where the Crusader army falls prey to a plague. Because so many die, Saladin easily surrounds and captures the survivors. Torello, sent to Alexandria as a prisoner, is assigned... (full context)