Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness

Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness

Arab Travellers in the Far North


Introduction by: Paul Lunde
Introduction by: Caroline Stone
Translator: Paul Lunde
Translator: Caroline Stone

Format
Paperback
Price
$16.00
 
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140455076
  • 256 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • 18 and up

Overview

In 922 AD, an Arab envoy from Baghdad named Ibn Fadlan encountered a party of Viking traders on the upper reaches of the Volga River. In his subsequent report on his mission he gave a meticulous and astonishingly objective description of Viking customs, dress, table manners, religion and sexual practices, as well as the only eyewitness account ever written of a Viking ship cremation. Between the ninth and fourteenth centuries, Arab travellers such as Ibn Fadlan journeyed widely and frequently into the far north, crossing territories that now include Russia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Their fascinating accounts describe how the numerous tribes and peoples they encountered traded furs, paid tribute and waged wars. This accessible new translation offers an illuminating insight into the world of the Arab geographers, and the medieval lands of the far north.

Praise

"[An] exceptional little anthology. . . . It is a fascinating book, with a nugget of curious information on each page, adding up to a picture that turns preconceptions on their head. . . . These are not just interesting books: they go a long way towards undermining the stereotypes about Islam that have become such a toxic part of our current discourse."  —The Scotsman
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