The Arab equivalent of Marco Polo, Sheikh Ibn Battuta (1304-77) set out as a young man on a pilgrimage to Mecca that ended 27 years and 75,000 miles later.
The only medieval traveler known to have visited the lands of every Muslim ruler of his time, Ibn Battuta was born into a family of highly respected religious judges and educated as a theologian. Leaving his native city of Tangier in 1326, he traveled — over the next several years — to East Africa, Byzantium, Iraq, southern Russia, India, Ceylon, and China. His account of the journey, dictated on his return, not only provides vivid accounts of an odyssey that took him to exotic lands, but also describes in great detail Muslim maritime activities in the Middle and Far East, fascinating elements of foreign architecture, and agricultural activities of diverse cultures.
A rare and important work covering the geography and history of the medieval Arab world, this primary sourcebook will be welcomed by students and scholars for its inherent historical value.