Ibn Battuta was a medieval Islamic traveller from modern day Morocco, which at the time was a great centre of culture and learning. He was a Qadi (judge) and minor scholar who travelled, lived and worked in large swathes of the ancient world ranging from China, India, Ceylon, Sub Saharan Africa, and the Middle East! A feat one wonders if ever has been repeated.
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.
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