The Year 600 [1203–1204]
This chapter deals with the events of the year 600 (1203-1204) in the lifetime of Ibn al-Athir. It gives an account of Khwarazm Shah’s second siege of Herat. The fighting between Khwarazm Shah and Shihab al-Din was continuous and the deaths on both sides numerous. Al-Husayn and al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Marghani moved out to meet them and killed them all but a few. When the news reached Khwarazm Shah, he was crestfallen and regretted sending his troops. The chapter describes Shihab al-Din’s return from India, his besieging Khwarazm Shah and his defeat by the Khitay. Before Shihab al-Din could reach Khwarazm, Khwarazm Shah arrived there first, blocked the route by flooding it. Subsequently, a fierce battle took place between the two armies at Qarasu in which there were many dead on both sides. The chapter also gives an account of how Constantinople was taken from the Byzantines in Sha‘ban of that year.