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The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: A Muslim Traveler of the Fourteenth Century, Revised Edition, with a New Preface

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  529 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
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.
Paperback, 379 pages
Published December 9th 2004 by University of California Press (first published 1987)
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Julia Simpson-Urrutia
Feb 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When I met Professor Dunn, he was already being called America's foremost authority on Ibn Battuta. As we discussed our mutually favored subject, I will never forget how he commented, "I believe I can say that I know just how a Maliki scholar in the 14th century would think."

Ibn Battuta's name should be as familiar to Near and Middle Eastern school children as Marco Polo's does to Western pupils. Born half a century after the Venetian traveler, Abu Abdallah ibn Battuta was in face more widely tr
May 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Muslims and non-Muslims
Ibn Battuta was an amazing man who with very few possessions and only trust in Almighty God travelled half the world and came back to describe it. People mention Marco Polo as the first great explorer in world history however they dismiss Ibn Batuta at their peril.

Ibn Battuta was before Marco Polo by a few hundred years. So by my reckoning Ibn Battuta should be regarded in the West and around the world as the first real great explorer, however because he was a Muslim it seems as though he never
Grady McCallie
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
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, b ...more
Apr 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
I thought this would be much easier to read than the original I had to slog through in college, and it was, but expectedly it's not nearly as exciting. And I was let down by the author's use of the original text. This should have been either a breezy travelogue or a hard-core academic book. It falls uncomfortably in between. And if Ibn Battuta lied about his travels as much as Marco Polo did, then I wanted some more explanation for that, and maybe a comparison to the works of the people who didn ...more
Peter Mcloughlin
This book was a lot more interesting than the Marco Polo book I just read. Both are stories of world travelers who experienced exotic lands and have interesting tales to tell about the world. The author of this book keeps the reader engaged with more descriptive detail and gripping stories. Marco Polo is now being made into a series based on the book I just read. I don't see what the hollywood scriptwriter saw in such a blah book. This book is much more interesting and fun to read. Good writing ...more
Rowland Pasaribu
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Ibn Battuta set off from Tangier in 1325, visiting Egypt, Mecca, Syria, Iraq, Anatolia, the Central Asian steppe, India, the Maldives and possibly China before returning home nearly twenty five years later. After additional trips to Spain and West Africa he settled down and his story was turned into a Rihla (travel narrative) by Ibn Juzayy.

The Adventures of Ibn Battuta follows Ibn Battuta's travels chronologically, but doesn't stay narrowly focused on the details of his career. It offers extensi
Jonathan Danz
Jan 19, 2011 rated it liked it
On the one hand, Ibn Battuta's journey throughout the medieval Muslim world was fascinating and the author does a nice job of capturing the flavor of the mosaic of ruling powers throughout the Near, Middle and Far East.

The drawbacks are the way Ibn Battuta's journeys were chronicled a couple of years after he returned from over 20 years of traveling. There is some doubt as to some of his journeys and there are references from scholars of Ibn Battuta's time that cast him as a liar.

At the beginni
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Acungkan tangan jika menikmati membaca buku kisah perjalanan Ibnu Battuta yg diinterpretasi oleh seorang profesor sejarah Ross E. Dunn.
Ketertarikan terhadap sejarah islam, cerita biografi adalah modal untuk membaca buku ini.
Jun 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
This was a really fun book, with a touch of dry humor to it. It's actually a really good introduction to Islam as well. For Muslims, it's hard to believe what the world was once like, and it's harder to believe Ibn Battuta traveled across it all before the advent of cars, rails, and planes.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"In any of these traveling roles, however, he regarded himself as a citizen, not of a country called Morocco, but of the Dar al-Islam, to whose universalist spiritual, moral, and social values he was loyal above any other allegiance. His life and career exemplify a remarkable fact of Afro-Eurasian history in the later Middle Period, that, as Marshall Hodgson writes, Islam 'came closer than an other medieval society to establishing a common world order of social and even cultural standards.'" (12 ...more
Bob Newman
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
From Tangier to the ends of the earth and back......

Centuries-old travelogues tend to have this archaic, dusty sort of air about them. We can't identify with the people who wrote them because the language in no way resembles ours. This is of course the fault of those who translate those documents. Then too, travellers of medieval times or earlier tended to write about things not so much of interest today. In THE ADVENTURES OF IBN BATTUTA, Ross E. Dunn has successfully avoided these problems by w
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ibn Battuta was a Berber born in Tangier. He was educated as a Moslem jurist and when he set off in 1325 to make the Hajj the adventure of travel was ignited. He spent over 40 years on the road. He mostly traveled in the Dar el Islam and spent most of his time with the moslem upper class who generally spoke Arabic and so even in Persia, Central Asia or India he could get by. In general the Moslem stricture to care for travelers’ served him well and he was often given money, camels, clothes, slav ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
While Ibn Battuta's accounts across the globe seem more like a piece of history to me than anything else, I still found a basis on which to rate this book. I especially liked the background Dunn gave on the areas Ibn Battuta traveled to prior to actually quoting the Rihla. I thought it really put the text in context and helped make for an easy read.
Of all the books that fall into the travel writing genre, I would have to say Ibn Battuta's accounts are my favorite. Upon comparing his own account
Ogi Ogas
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My ratings of books on Goodreads are solely a crude ranking of their utility to me, and not an evaluation of literary merit, entertainment value, social importance, humor, insightfulness, scientific accuracy, creative vigor, suspensefulness of plot, depth of characters, vitality of theme, excitement of climax, satisfaction of ending, or any other combination of dimensions of value which we are expected to boil down through some fabulous alchemy into a single digit.
Aatif Rashid
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful recounting of Ibn Battuta's travels that's also a broader history of the Islamic world of the 14th century, exploring Sufism, jurisprudence, trade, pilgrimage, politics, and culture in a panoramic portrait of an interconnected, cosmopolitan, globalized world.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This isn't a bad book, but I kept waiting for the "adventure" part. Much of the book read like an encyclopedia or summary. The added background sections were interesting, but I just wanted more.
Stephen Coates
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Born in 1304 in what is Tangiers, Morocco, Ibn Battuta set off on a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1325, but over the next 30 odd years, visited what are today Egypt, East Africa, Lebanon, Greece, the Caucuses, Persia, India, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, possibly China, Mali and Spain before return to Tangiers and where he, late in life, dictated his account of his travels to a scribe. Dunn essentially reproduces Ibn Battuta’s account of his travels but also notes where contemporary records – Marco Polo vis ...more
Scott Pierce
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-world
This book was assigned to my daughter for her AP World History course, and looked interesting so I decided to read it and found it worth the time. Ibn Battuta was the Marco Polo of the Muslim world in the 14th century and traveled from his home in Morocco across the Middle East, up to the Caucuses, then down to India and crossed the fault lines of various dynasties and cultures.

Some points I found interesting:

- During his travels Battuta was not treated as a Moroccan, but as a member of Dar al-I
Aug 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1325 the young Morrocan Ibn Battuta left his home to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. On the way, he became enamoured with travel and travelled half the world, from North Africa to China, before returning to his home in 1349. His record of his journeys, the Rihla, is difficult to read and chaotically organised, leading historian Ross E. Dunn to present Ibn Battuta's story in a more accessible format. The Adventures of Ibn Battuta is an extremely interesting book, and I recommend it highly to any ...more
Wulan Wuri
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Pendidikan seorang sarjana menjadi besar kemajuannya dengan melakukan perjalanan untuk mencari pengetahuan dan menjumpai guru-guru yang berwenang (bagi zamannya)." --Ibnu Khaldun. Kutipan dari buku The Muqaddimah, edisi ke-2, terjemahan F. Rosenthal, 3 jilid. (Priceton, N.J., 1967), jilid 3, hlm. 307 (dalam Petualangan Ibnu Batuta karya Ross E. Dunn)___"sarjana" di sini kata teman saya dalam bahasa Arab yang sesungguhnya lebih merujuk pada "penuntut ilmu", bukan sarjana dalam bahasa Indonesia s ...more
Mohamed Yasir Hassan
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Adventures of Ibn Battuta provides in vivid detail all the countries he had visited, including Egypt, Hijaz (present day Saudi Arabia) as well as his home country, the Maghrib (present day Morocco). The most significant part of his Rihla (journey) would have to be his stay at Mecca to perform Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca which a Muslim must perform at least once in their life) where he performed all the religious rites necessary alongside thousands of Muslims from all over the world. What I ...more
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
A clear study of Ibn Battuta's travelogue for the non-specialist. It's most accurate to call it an abridgement of the travels with commentary, with context about the medieval world of the time. The introduction admits that much itself. Dunn makes quick mention about historiographical issues, like chronology and text-lifting from other contemporary writings (plagiarism was viewed differently in the medieval Muslim literati, apparently), and hides the denser details in the end-of-chapter footnotes ...more
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I gave this a quick skim. It's pretty much a summary of the original rihla work, with the odd paragraph on the technicalities of sea-faring and navigation in this period. It would have been interesting to see some analysis of the rihla as a literary genre or some other analytical material; he doesn't engage too deeply on the question of what could have been faked here, one of the most interesting issues related to the work. Material taken from tabaqat on ibn Battuta and presented here is interes ...more
Claire Wankiewicz
Mar 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with a grade 10 reading level
Recommended to Claire by: book review on line
I was enchanted by the description of an era of peace and prosperity whereby a young man full of education and not sure that he wants to 'settle down' yet -- my, how nothing much changes under the sun! -- could safely travel the entire Muslim world, most of Africa, pretty much all of the middle east, and even India, and be recieved wherever he went by the local head mogul who would treat him with respect and a generous welcome. Ibn Battuta himself seemed so ordinary. No hero or whiz kid at all, ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biographic
Good book. It was more of an abridged itinerary of Ibn Battuta's Rihla with commentary than an actual reproduction. I found parts of it hard to follow because of the simplicity of the maps and the sheer number of places he visited, but it certainly improved my geographic knowledge. Alhough it was mostly patchy on descriptions of places (a fault of the original account, not the author of the book), it exposed me to a few historic empires that I hadn't heard of, and left me with a lot of future re ...more
Aug 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
When I first started reading this book I was very disappointed; it was a generally paraphrased scholarly treaty of the original work and the the history and geography of the places mentioned in the book with little or no direct quotes from the original. I got so upset that I skipped the first chapter after a few pages and went straight to the third chapter hoping that it gets better and it actually grew on me. After finishing the third chapter I went back to first and read steadily til the end o ...more
David Usharauli
Good book. Mostly contains an overview of Ibn Battuta's travel itinerary with background information about countries he visited. If you are interested in world history in the first half of the 14th century (when Mongol world domination was about to end), then definitely read this book. I did not know much about Ibn battuta before this book. Very lucky guy, if you ask me. To travel so extensively and then to able to return back home in Morocco and even to survive the black death of 1347? remarkab ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was ok

Memulakan tahun 2014 dengan bacaan yg baik.
Walaupun aku tak menyukai keseluruhan isi buku ini.
Keseluruhan isi buku ini hanyalah memberi gambaran sudut sosio-politik zaman ibn battuta dalam rangka menyangkal kesahihan catatan pengembaraan musafir agung islam ini.

oleh kerana aku belum pernah membaca karya asal ibn battuta yg berjudul'rihla' itu, membaca kritik ini sama seperti kita membaca ruangan komen yg melarat di youtube tanpa menonton sedikitpun video pencetus polemiknya. sama sekali tak mas
If this were fiction, it would get only 2 stars, because it is, I'm afraid, a bit of a yawner. However, I stuck with it (doggedly, a chapter at a time between novels) because the information--geography and history of the Islamic world in the early 14th century--is interesting. I feel better educated for having read it--which is silly because I will remember very little of the material, knowing me.

In addition, having read the last chapter and the introduction, I'm even mildly fascinated by Ibn B
Rezky Ramadiansyah
Oke, yang gue baca covernya agak beda (lebih baru), tapi penerbitnya sama (Obor) jadi asumsikan sama aja lah ya.
Secara konten sangat menarik (sejarah + agama, kombinasi favorit pribadi) tapi terjemahannya terlalu kasar.
Kadang ada makna/ungkapan yang jadinya garing gara-gara diterjemahin mentah-mentah sama translatornya.
Mungkin lebih oke kalau baca versi originalnya.
Karena kurang enak dibaca terjemahannya (IMHO), akhirnya bacanya skip-skip aja ke bab-bab tertentu, jadi mohon maaf untuk rating yan
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