I recently saw a documentary about the Crusades, and during the scene in which Saladin is almost assassinated by the historical order of Assassins, they are portrayed as wearing plain white clothes with red sashes. This is, of course, quite similar to the clothing portrayed in the Assassin's Creed video game series, especially the Crusades-era character, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad.

Is there any historical basis for this clothing pattern or color scheme? It seems odd to have both a video game (which is obviously fictional but which famously includes numerous true-history elements) and a genuine documentary about the period share such a specific trait if it wasn't grounded in truth, but then it could also be an in-joke or a playful nod from the costuming department of the documentary.

I can't find anything in my research, but that's mostly because I just end up finding Assassin's Creed-related images and information, not historical. (This is the problem when a historical order has such a generic name.)

Does anyone know if the red/white color scheme has any historical basis from the actual assassins of Persia and Syria? Or was that purely a fabrication for the video game series?

1 Answer 1


The preferred tactic of the so-called Assassins (or, as they called themselves, the Fida’iyyun) was to come up close to a public figure and kill him with a sword. It is difficult to see how they could have could have got so near to their victims, unchallenged, if they were wearing a distinctive uniform. The whole point was that they blended in to the crowd.

  • 3
    Although Ḥashshāshīns were a paramilitary/religious organisation. They may have had a "dress uniform" when not in action. Oct 21, 2014 at 11:05
  • 3
    "may have" is not an answer.
    – fdb
    Oct 21, 2014 at 15:29
  • But "may have" is an adequate response to "It is difficult to see how..." Good answer, either way. I would be curious to know if anyone else has other information, perhaps relevant to the robes worn by initiates during training or by masters during ceremonies, etc.
    – Nerrolken
    Oct 21, 2014 at 16:24
  • 1
    @fdb Yes, it's a comment. Oct 21, 2014 at 22:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.