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The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: A Muslim…

The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: A Muslim Traveler of the Fourteenth Century

by Ross E. Dunn

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4611034,864 (3.72)12
"Ross Dunn here recounts the great traveler's remarkable career, interpreting it within the cultural and social context of Islamic society and giving the reader both a biography of an extraordinary personality and a study of the hemispheric dimensions of human interchange in medieval times."--
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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Mr. Dunn has written a good book about the travels of the 14th Cent. traveller. The short historical sketches of the places IB visited are very helpful to the non-specialist. The maps, alas, are not plentiful and could have been a good deal more informative. He does raise the point that some areas seem to have been very sketchily described in comparison to some of the other places visited. I offer that the actual transcriber only worked on editing the " Rihla" for a two year period,and then died. The transcriber states that IB had a vast amount of verbal reminiscences at his disposal. So, a transcriber in failing health may have "Scalped" materials rather than re-checked what the old man said. Or, the two never really got to that part of IB's career in great detail, and other later transcribers may have had to fill in the missing bits.
Fancifully, since IB records having had used opium as a part of a Malaria cure, perhaps the missing parts of his memories may have been shrouded in a drug induced haze anyway....just sayin.....
But, quibbles about what IB saw in person, and what he borrowed or made up, there is still a good many periods where IB is our only guide to what happened in parts of "Dar-al-Islam" in the 1300's.
So, a good book about another good book's author. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 3, 2013 |
Rather dry. I'll wait for the historical fiction version of the tales of this fascinating traveler. ( )
  lxydis | May 11, 2013 |
A classic retelling of the travels of Ibn Battuta, a Muslim of the 14th century.
  zenosbooks | Sep 9, 2012 |
I gave this book a 3 star due to the fact that the title is misleading. Though a very well writing and entertaining book it is more of an account of the social backdrop in which Ibn Battuta traveled and not truly his adventures. Throughout the book M. Dunn starts with a little bit of Ibn Battuta’s adventure then goes on to the political, social or economical scene of the time and area. Fantastic reading for somebody who is looking to learn more about social life in that period, but if you already know about it or you are looking for some adventures then you will find the book long and frustrating.
Consequently the title should read: Society and Muslim life thru Ibn Battuta’s travels. That would've been a more accurate title. ( )
  FriStar7406 | Mar 30, 2012 |
Abu Abdallah ibn Battuta seems to have been a very lucky man. Born in Tangiers, ibn Battuta left in 1325, age 21, on a 24 year trip that took him across North Africa, the Near East, southern Russia, India, Sumatra, and perhaps China, returning in 1349. He subsequently also visited southern Spain and crossed the Sahara to Mali and back. With the help of a young amanuensis, he then wrote a travel memoir, or rihla. I haven't read the excerpts of his memoir available in modern English translation, but from the reviews I've seen, they sound remarkably uninteresting for a person who saw so much of the world at such an interesting time.

Ross Dunn's book restores much of the excitement, and a coherent chronology, to ibn Battuta's journey. Dunn provides context to understand how the moment of ibn Battuta's arrival in each kingdom fit into the historical arc of the period. This is one of the ways ibn Battuta was lucky: he arrived at most of his destinations just in time to profit from a final flowering of power and peace, and usually left shortly before a slide into chaos. Beyond his fortuitous timing, ibn Battuta also survived two shipwrecks, several captures by brigands or pirates, and the Black Death. Ultimately, the world ibn Battuta moved through was more compelling than his recorded experience of it, and with this book, you get a fresh and well sourced look at that world. ( )
1 vote bezoar44 | Feb 6, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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