The Year 617 [1220–1221]
This chapter deals with the events of the year 617 (1220-1221) in the lifetime of Ibn al-Athir. It gives an account of the destruction by Tatars in the lands of Islam. The damage spread through the lands like a cloud driven on by the wind, for a people emerged from the confines of China and made for the cities of Transoxania, such as Samarqand, Bukhara and others. When they had finished with Azerbayjan and Arran, they proceeded to Darband, Shirwan and took the cities there. Another group went to Ghazna and its dependencies and to the neighbouring lands of India, Sijistan and Kirman. The chapter also describes the Tatars' desctruction of Turkestan and Transoxania. When Khwarazm Shah conquered the lands in Transoxania from the Qarakhitay and killed them, Tatars took control of Turkestan, Kashghar, Balasaghun and elsewhere, and began to make war on the troops of Khwarazm Shah.