Travels in Asia and Africa
By Ibn Battuta
Translated by H. A. R. Gibb
Routledge – 2004 – 10 pages
'One of the most fascinating travel books of all time' Times Literary Supplement
'He could not have been more 'modern' if he had been born in the twentieth century' Evening Standard
Ibn Battuta was the only medieval traveller who is known to have visited the lands of every Muhammadan ruler of his time and the extent of his journeys is estimated to be at least 75,000 miles. His work presents a descriptive account of Muhammadan society in the second quarter of the fourteenth century, which illustrates, among other things, how wide the sphere of influence of the Muslim merchants was.
Ibn Battuta's interest in places was subordinate to his interest in people and his geographical knowledge was gained entirely from personal experience. For his details he relied exclusively on his memory, cultivated by the system of a theological education. This edition, translated afresh from the Arabic text, provides extensive notes which enable the journeys to be followed in detail. Important historical and religious background to the Travels is also added by H. A. R. Gibb.