‘They have summarily made him give up his employment and forced him to work as a tax collector and an informant.’

All citizens of the Islamic Empire had the right to petition the ruler directly to seek justice. This petition, probably penned by a professional scribe, is from a Jew living in the Nile Delta. It addresses the famous Saladin, Salah al-Dunya wa-l-Din, described as ‘the Conqueror of the Slaves of the Cross, Sultan of Islam and the Muslims’. The Jew had been forced to work as a tax collector and informant for the government. This has damaged his reputation, and he asks Saladin to be relieved of these responsibilities.

Egypt, 12th century

Arabic, paper, Malij

T-S K2.96

Extended captions