The Year 591 [1194–1195]
This chapter deals with the events of the year 591 (1194-1195) in the lifetime of Ibn al-Athir. It gives an account of how the caliph’s vizier took Hamadhan and other parts of the lands of the ‘Ajam. The vizier, Mu’ayyad al-Din ibn al-Qassab, died at the beginning of Sha‘ban. In the battle that followed, the caliphal army was defeated and the Khwarazmians took much booty from them. The chapter describes Ibn ‘Abd al-Mu’min’s expedition against the Franks in Andalusia. After his defeat, Alfonso shaved his head, inverted his cross and took to riding a donkey. He swore that he would not ride a horse or a mule until Christendom was victorious. It was also in the year 592 that al-‘Aziz ‘Uthman, the son of Saladin, marched with his troops from Egypt to Damascus, intending to besiege it, and withdrew defeated.