The Travels of Ibn Battutah Paperback – 6 Jun 2003
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Ibn Battutah – ethnographer, bigrapher, anecdotal historian and occasional botanist – was just twenty-one when he set out in 1325 from his native Tangier on a pilgramage to Mecca . . .
About the Author
Tim Mackintosh-Smith has lived in San'a -- the Yemeni capital -- for the last twenty years. His acclaimed Travels with a Tangerine: A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah won him a Thomas Cook/ Daily Telegraph Travel Book Award.
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Top Customer Reviews
I like travelling and read travel books frequently, so it's no surprise that I enjoyed the descriptions of distant lands and strange customs, however, the biggest surprise for me was the journey into the Islamic culture and lifestyle. I think it's the first account I have read from an Islamic perspective, and a Medieval one at that. With this in mind I think this is a perfect book to open the mind about other cultures and other ways of seeing the world. To get the most from this journey it is important to read 'Travels with a Tangerine' and 'Hall of a Thousand Columns' By Mackintosh-Smith.
I hope this reworked classic inspires other translators and archivists to unearth other works from centuries gone. On a final note I am deeply envious of anyone who understands Arabic as they can read the original.
The book is an autobiography written in the first person that details and describes his extensive travels in the form of a dictated journal.
The book gives an incite to the Islamic culture, customs and habits, as well as his perceptions and prejudices (from his prospective as a Medieval Muslim). It delves into some of his interactions and private thoughts he had with other cultures, ranging from Christendom, to China, and all the different Muslim regions such as the Mughals, or even the Muslim Sultans of Ceylon.
I found that it opened up my eyes to the world, and to metaphorically see, and walk through other peoples shoes, whom although long gone come to life as the book touches on the political, as well as the social and cultural habits of the time.
Well worth the read, if you have any interest in travel, history or other cultures. An interesting contrast to Marco Polo.
It is amusing to observe that the cover picture was pinched from another jewel of medieval Arabic writing: 'The Maqamah' of Al-Hariri.
Among other things, this is a book about the generosity of Princes, for at each juncture, he was offered clothes and accommodation that enabled him to maintain his position and status.
There were at the time, two competing world visions, that of Europe and the Islamic world. However vast Europe may feel now, the late mediaeval Islamic world offered a more coherent space, and despite the limitations religion placed on cultural relativism, possibly a more open one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A really interesting story, one that I had never heard before. Gives a brilliantly detailed insight into the variety of medieval Muslim cultures, from a uniquely first-person... Read morePublished 14 months ago by George Baker
I was expecting something more deep about the personality of Ibn BattutaPublished 16 months ago by Hafassa Farida
People only read Marco Polo, but fail to read books of this quality. We forget that Medieval Islam is just as alien to us as Medieval Christianity.Published on 17 May 2014 by Lookman
The book arrived two days earlier than expected; which was great.
Ibn battutah describes each place in great detail and you feel as though are in his shoes. Read more
The book arrived in perfect condition, which is always a nice surprise. The footnotes and general layout of the book make it simple to follow even (like Ibn himself) strange... Read morePublished on 19 Aug. 2013 by Tullyandy
Really loved reading it. Stories are astonishing and each time he reaches a city you would like to know how he found its people , and their habits and custom at that time. Read morePublished on 22 April 2013 by Sana Essid
Very well written with appropriate foot notes where required. Having compared to other similar books in other languages I find that it is quite similar representation of the... Read morePublished on 6 Jan. 2013 by MOR
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