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Medieval Sourcebook:
Ibn Batuta (1307-1377 CE):
Travels


Travels of Ibn Batuta in Asia and Africa

Ibn Battuta was the Arab equivalent of Marco Polo. He traveled around the world and has much to say about peoples of the world.

A few lines from the Editors;

In his book he not only lays before us a faithful portrait of himself, with all his virtues and his failings, but evokes a whole age as it were from the dead....It is impossible not to feel a liking for the character it reveals, generous to excess, bold (did ever medieval traveller fear the sea less?), fond of pleasure and uxorious to a degree, but controlled withal by a deep vein of piety and devotion, a man with all the makings of a sinner, and something of a saint."

SELECTIONS

Page 30 - On Slavery

...There was consequently less stigma attached to slavery, and in no other society has there been anything resembling the system by which, as has been shown in the preceding section, the white slaves came to furnish the privileged cadre whence the high officers of state, commanders, governors, and at length even Sultans, were exclusively drawn.

The following story, told by a theologian of the third century, represents without serious distortion the relation, as numerous parallels in Arabic literature indicate, often existed between master, wife and slave.

I saw a slave-boy being auctioned for thirty dinars, and as he was worth three hundred I bought him. I was building a house at the time, and I gave him twenty dinars to lay out on the workmen. He spent ten on them and bought a garment for himself with the other ten. I said to him "What's this?" to which he replied "Don't be too hasty; no gentleman scolds his slaves." I said to myself "Here have I bought the Caliph's tutor without knowing it." Later on I wanted to marry a woman unknown to my cousin (i.e. my first wife), so I swore him to secrecy and gave him a dinar to buy somethings, including some of the fish called haziba. But he bought something else, and when I was wroth with him he said "I find that Hippocrates disapproves of haziba." I said to him "You worthless fool, I was not aware that I had bought a Galen," and gave him ten blows with the whip. But he seized me and gave me seven back saying "Sir, three blows is enough as a punishment, and the seven I gave you are my rightful retaliation." So I made at him and gave him a cut on the head, whereupon he went off to my cousin, and said to her "Sincerity is a religious duty, and whoever deceives us is not one of us. My master has married and he swore me to silence, and when I said to him that my lady must be told of it he broke my head." So my cousin would neither let me into her house nor let me have anything out of it, until at last I had to divorce the other woman. After that she used to call the boy "The honest lad," and I could not say a word to him, so I said to myself "I shall set him free, and then I shall have peace."

Page 123 - On Turks

Note that Ibn Batuta refers to today's Turks as Turkmen. You'll see that when he crosses into the Black Sea steppes he'll call the Turkic peoples of that region "Turks".

At Ladhiqiya we embarked on a large galley belonging to the Genoese, the master of which was called Martalmin, and set out for the country of the Turks known as Bilad ar-Rum [Anatatolia], because it was in ancient times their land. {1} Later on it was conquered by the Muslims, but there are still large numbers of Christians there under the government of the Turkmen Muslims. We were ten nights at sea, and the Christian treated us kindly and took no passage money from us. On the tenth we reached Alaya where the province begins. This country is one of the best in the world; in it God has united the good features dispersed thorughout other lands. Its people are the most comely of men, the cleanest in their dress, the most exquisite in their food, and the kindliest folk in creation. Wherever we stopped in this land, whether at a hospice or a private house, our neighbors both men and women(these do not veil themselves) came to ask after us. When we left them they bade us farewell as though they were our relatives and our own folk, and you would see the women weeping. They bake bread only once a week, and the men used to bring us gifts of warm bread on the day it was baked, along with delicious viands saying "The women have sent this to you and beg your prayers." All the inhabitants are orthodox Sunnis; there are no sectarians or heretics among them, but they eat hashish [Indian hemp], and think no harm of it.

The city of Alaya is a large town on the seacoast.{2} It is inhabited by the Turkmens, and is visited by the merchants of Cairo, Alexandria, and Syria. The district is well-wooded, and wood is exported from there to Alexandrietta and Damietta, whence it is carried to the other cities of Egypt. There is a magnificent and formidable citadel, built Sultan Ala ad-Din, at the upper end of town. The qadi of the town rode out with me to meet the king of Alaya, who is Yusuf Bek, son of Qaraman, bek meaning king in their language. He lives at a distance of ten miles from the city. We found him sitting by himself on the top of a hillock by the shore, with the amirs and wazirs below him, and the troops on his right and left. He has his hair dyed black. I saluted him and answered his questions regarding my visit to his town, and after my withdrawal he sent me a present of money.

From Alaya I went to Antaliya [Adalia], a most beautiful city {3}. It covers an immense area, and though of vast bulk is one of the most attractive towns to be seen anywhere, besides being exceedingly populous and well laid out. Each section of the inhabitants lives in a separate quarter. The Christian merchants live in a quarter of the town known as the Mina[the Port], and are surrounded by a wall, the gates of which are shut upon them from without at night and during the Friday service. {4}. The Greeks, who were its former inhabitants, live by themselves in another quarter, the Jews in another, and the king and his court and mamluks in another, each of these quarters being walled off likewise. The rest of the Muslims live in the main city. Round the whole town and all the quarters mentioned there is another great wall. The town contains orchards and produces fine fruits, including an admirable kind of apricot, called by them Qamar ad-Din, which has a sweet almond in its kernel. This fruit is dried and exported to Eqypt, where it is regarded as a great luxury.

We stayed here at the college mosque of the town, the principal of which was Shaykh Shihab ad-Din al-Hamawi. Now in all the lands inhabited by the Turkmens in Anatolia, in every district, town and village, there are to be found members of the organization known as the Akhiya or Young Brotherhood. Nowhere in the world will you find men so eager to welcome strangers, so prompt to serve food and to satisfy the wants of others, and so ready to suppress injustice and to kill [tyrannical] agents of police and the miscreants who join with them. A Young Brother, or akhi in their language, is one who is chosen by all members of his trade [guild], or the other young unmarried men, or those who live in ascetic retreat, to be their leader. This organization is known also as the Futuwa, or the Order of Youth. The leader builds a hospice and furnishes it with rugs, lamps, and other necessary appliances. The members of his community work during the day to gain their livelihood, and bring him what they have earned in the late afternoon. With this they buy fruit, food, and the other things which the hospice requires for their use. If a traveler comes to town that day they lodge him in their hospice; these provisions serve for his entertainment as their guest, and he stays with them until he goes away. If there are no travelers they themselves assemble to partake of the food, and having eaten it they sang and dance. On the morrow they return to their occupations and bring their earnings to their leader in the late afternoon. The members are called fityan (youths), and their leader, as we have said, is the akhi. {5}

FOOTNOTES: 1-5

[The spelling "Seljuk" is now preferred to the author's "Saljuq". Seljuks of Rum are the Seljuk Turks of Anatolia. The "Rum" reference is to the fact that Anatolia at that time was known to the MiddleEasterners as "Rome" i.e. Eastern Roman Empire.]

1. Bilad ar-Rum, literally "the land of the Greeks", though used of the Byzantine territories generally, was applied more specially, to the frontier province of Anatolia. After some temporary conquests in earlier centuries, it had been finally overrun by the Saljuq Turks between 1071 and 1081. Down to the end of the thirteenth century, the whole peninsula, except those sections which were held by the Christians (Byzantium, Trebizond, and Armenia) or the ruler of Iraq, owed allegiance to the Saljuq sultan of Konia, but from a little before 1300 it was parceled out between score of local chiefs, whose territories were gradually absorbed into the Ottoman Empire.

2. The port Alaya was constructed by one of the greatest of the Saljuq sultans of Rum, Ala ad-Din Kay-Qubad I (1219-37), and was renamed after him. To the Western merchants it was known as Candelor (from its Byzantine name kalon oros). Egypt, being notoriously deficient in wood, has always needed to import large quantities of it for the building of fleets, etc.

3. Adaliya, known to the Western merchants as Satalia, was the most important trading station on the south coast of Anatolia, the Egyptian and Cypriote trade being most active. The lemon is still called Addaliya in Egypt.

4. The closing of the city gates and exclusion of Christians at night and during the hours of Friday service was observed until quite recently in a number of places on the Mediterranean seaboard, such as Sfax, probably as a measure of precaution against surprise attacks.

5. The history of the organizations called by the name of Futuwa is still obscure. They appear first in the twelfth century in several divergent forms, which can probably all be traced to the Sufis, or darwish orders. The word futuwa, "manliness," had long been applied amongst the latter in a moral sense, defined as "to abstain from injury, to give without stint, and to make no complaint," and the patched robe, mark of a Sufi, was called by them libas al-futuwa, "the garment of manliness." It was applied in a more aggressive sense among the guilds of "Warriors for the Faith," especially as the latter degenerated into robber bands, and it is in reference to the ceremony of admission into one such band at Baghdad in the middle of the twelfth century that trousers are first mentioned as the symbolic libas al-futuwa (Ibn al-Athir XI, 41). A few years later Ibn Jubayr found in Damascus an organization called the Nubuya, which was engaged in combatting the fanatical Shi'ite sects in Syria. The members of the warrior guild, whose rule it was that no member should call for assistance in any misfortune that might befall him, elected suitable persons and similarly invested them with trousers on their admission.

In 1182 the Caliph an-Nasir, having been invested with the libas or trousers by a Sufi shaykh, conceived the idea of organizing the Futuwa on the lines of an order of Chivalry (probably on the Frankish model), constituted himself sovereign of the order, and bestowed the libas as its insignia on the ruling princes and other personages of his time. The ceremony of installation included the solemn putting-on of the trousers and drinking >From the 'cup of manhood'(ka's al-futuwa), which contained not wine but salt and water. The order took over from its Sufi progenitors a fictitious geneology back to the Caliph Ali, and continued to exist for some time after the reign of nasir in a languishing state. The Brotherhood which Ibn Batutta found in Konia, and which was distinguished from the other guilds in Anatolia by its special insignia of the trousers and its claim to spiritual descent from Ali was probablay a relic of the order founded by the romantic Caliph. The remaining Anatolian organizations seem to have been local trade-guilds with a very strong infusion of Sufism, oddly combined with a political tendency towards local self-government and the keeping in check of the tyranny of the Turkish sultans. (See generally Thorning, Turkische Bibliothek, Band XVI (Berlin, 1913), and Wacif Boutros Ghali, La Tradition Chevaleresque des Arabes (Paris, 1919), pp.1-33).

Page 126 - In Anatolia

The day after our arrival at Antaliya one of these youths came to Shaykh Shihab ad-Din al-Hamawi and spoke to him in Turkish, which I did not understand at that time. He was wearing old clothes and had a felt bonnet on his head. The shaykh said to me "Do you know what he is saying?" "NO" said I "I do not know." He answered "He is inviting you and your company to eat a m meal with him." I was astonished but I said ""Very well," and when the man had gone I said to the shaykh "He is a poor man, and is not able to entertain us, and we do not like to a be a burden on him." The shaykh burst out laughing and said "He is one of the shaykhs of the Young Brotherhood. He is a cobbler and a man of generous disposition. His companions, about two hundred men belonging to differetn trades, have made him their leader and have built a hospice to entertain their guests. All that they earn by day they spend at night."

After I had prayed the sunset prayer the same man came back for us and took us to the hospice. WE found [ourselves in] a fine building, carpeted with beautiful Turkish rugs and lit by a large number of chandeliers of Iraqi glass. A number of young men stood in rows in the hall, wearing long mantles and boots, and each had a knife about two cubits long attached to a girdle around his waist. On their heads were white woolen bonnets, and attached to the peak of these bonnets was a piece of stuff a cubit long and two fingers breadth. When they took their seats, every man removed his bonnet and set it donw in front of him, and kept on his head another ornamental bonnet of silk or other material. In the centre of their hall was a a sort of platform placed there for the visitors. When we took our places, they served up a great banquet followed by fruits and sweetmeats, after which they began to sing and dance. We were filled with admiration and were greatly astonished at their openhandedness and generosity. We took leave of them at the close of the night at left them in their hospice....

From Burdur we went on to Sabarta [Isparta] and then to Akridur [Egirdir], a great and populous town with fine bazaars. There is a lake with sweet water here on which boats go in two days to Aqshahr and Baqshahr and other towns and villages. The sultan of Akridur is one of the principal rulers in this country. He is a an of upright conduct.......

He sent some horsemen to escort us to the town of Ladhiq [DEnizli], as the country is infested by a troop of brigands called Jarmiyan [Kermian] who possess a town called Kutahiya......

As we entered the town we passed through a bazaar. Some men got down from their booths and took our horses bridles, then some others objected to their action and the altercation went on so long that some of them drew knives. We of course did not know what they were saying and were afraid of them, thinking they were brigands and that this was their town. At length God sent us a man who knew Arabic and he explained that they were two branches of the "Young Brotherhood", each of whom wanted to lodge with them. We were amazed at their generosity. It was decided finally that they should cast lots, and that we should lodge with the winner.......

After receiving the sultan's gift we left for the city of Quniya [Konia]. It is a large town with fine buildings and has many streams an fruit gardens. The streets are exceedingly broad adn the bazaars are admirably planned with each craft in a bazaar of its own. It is said that the city was built by Alexander.....

In this town is the mausoleum of the pious shaykh Jalal ad-Din [ar-Rumi], known as Mawlana ["Our Master"] {see below}. He was held in high esteem, and there is a brotherhood in Anatolia who claim spiritual affiliation with him and are called after him the Jalaliya.

The story goes that Jalal ad-Din was in early life a theologian and a professor. One day a sweetmeat seller caem into the college-mosque with a tray of sweetmeats on his head and having given him a piece went out again. The shaykh left his lesson to follow him and disappeared for some years. Then he came back, but with a disordered mind, speaking nothing but Persian verses which no one could understand. His disciples wrote down his productions, which they collected into a book called The Mathnawi. This book is greatly revered by the people of this country; they meditate on it, teach it and read it in their religious houses on Thursday nights. From Quniya we traveled to Laranda [Karaman], the capital of the sultan of Qaraman. I met this sultan outside the town as he was coming back from hunting, and on my dismounting to him, he dismounted also. It is the custom of the kings of this country to dismount if a visitor dismounts to them. This action on his part pleases them and they show him greater honour; if on the other hand he greets them while on horseback they are displeased adn the visitor forfeits their goodwill in consequence. This happened to me once with one of these kings. After I had greeted the sultan we rode back to the town together, and he showed me the greatest hospitality....

The reference to "Mawlana" [or "Mevlana" in Turkish] is to the great poet and Sufi Rumi.

Page 131 - In Iraq

We then entered the territories of the king of Iraq, visiting Aqsara [Akserai] where they make sheeps wool carpets which are exported as far as India,China, and the lands of the Turks, and journeyed thence through Nakda [Nigda] to Qaysariya, which is one of the largest towns in the country. In this town resides one of the Viceroys's khatuns, who is related to the king of Iraq and like all the sultna's relatives has the title of Agha which means Great. We visited her and and she treated us courteously, ordering a meal to be served for us and when we withdrew sent us a horse with a saddle and bridle and a sum of money. At all these towns we lodged in a convent belonging to the Young Brotherhood. It is the custom in this country that in towns that are n not theresidence of a sultan one of hte Young Brothers acts as governor, exercising the same authority and appearing in public with the same retinue as the king.....

We journeyed thence to Amasiya, a large and beautiful town with broad streets, Kumish [Gumush Khanah], a populous town which is visted by merchants from Iraq and Syria and has silver mines, Arzanjan where Armenians form the greater part of the population and Arz ar-Rum. This is a vast town but is mostly in ruins as a result of civil war between two Turkmen tribes. We lodged there at the convent of the "Young Brother" Tuman, who is said to be more than a hundred and thirty years old.....

We journeyed next to Bursa [Brusa], a great city with fine bazaars and broad streets, surrounded by orchards and running springs. Outside it are two thermal establishments, one for men and the other for women, to which patients come from the most distant parts. They lodge there for three days at a hospice which was built by one of the Turkmen kings. In this town I met the pious Shaykh Abdullah the Egyptian, a traveller, who went all round the world, except that he never visited China, Ceylon, the West or Spain or the Negrolands, so that in visiting these countries I have surpassed him. The sultan of Bursa is Orkhan Bek, son of Othman Chuk. {Mine: It seems that the founder of the Ottoman Empire was a little guy!}..

He is the greatest of the Turkmen kings and the richest in wealth, lands and military forces, and posesses nearly a hundred fortresses which he is continually visiting for inspection and putting to rights. He fights with the infidels and besieges them. It was his father who captured Bursa from the Greeks and it is said that he besieged Yaznik [Nicaea] for about twenty years, but died before it was taken.....

We set out next morning and reached Muturni [Mudurlu] where we fell in with a pilgrim who knew Arabic. We besought him to travel with us to Qastamuniya which is ten days' journey from there...He turned out to be a wealthy man, but of base character....We put up with him because of our difficulties in not knowing Turkish, but things went so far that we used to say to him in the evenings "Well, Hajji, how much have you stolen today ?" He would reply "So much" and we would laugh and make the best of it. We came next to the town of Buli, where we stayed at the convent of the Young Brotherhood. What an excellent body of men these are, how nobleminded, how unselfish and full of compassion for the stranger, how kindly and affectionate they are to him, how warm their welcome to him ! A stranger coming to them is made to feel as though he were meeting the dearest of his own folk. Next morning we traveled on to Garadi Buli, a large and fine town situated on a plain, with spacious streets and bazaars, but one of the coldest in the world. It is composed of several different quarters, each inhabited by different communities, none of which mixes with any of the others......

We sent on through a small town named Burlu to Qatamuniya, a very large..... From Qastamuniya we traveled to Sanub [Sinope], a populous town combining strength with beauty.....

We stayed at Sanub about forty days waiting for the weather to become favorable for sailing to the town of Qiram.{Mine: Crimea} Then we hired a vessel belonging to the Greeks.....At length we did set sail....We made for a harbour called Karsh [Kerch], intending to enter it....

The place was in the Qipchaq desert[steppe] which is green and verdant, but flat and treeless. There is no firewood so they make fires of dung... The only method of travelling in this desert is in waggons; it extends for six months' journey, of which three are in the territories of Sultan Muhammad Uzbeg. The day after our arrival one of the merchants in our company hired some waggons from the Qipchaqs who inhabit this desert, and who are Christians and we came to Kafa, a large town extending along the sea-coast, inhabited by Christians, mostly Genoese, whose governor is called Damdir [Demetrio].....

We hired a waggon and traveled to the town of Qiram, which forms part of the territories of Sultan Uzbeg Khan and has a governor called Tuluktumur...

He was on the point of setting out for the town of Sara, the capital of the Khan, so I prepared to travel along with him and hired waggons for this purpose. These waggons have four large wheels and.....on the waggon is put a light tent made of wooden laths ....and it has grilled windows so that the person inside can see without being seen. One can do anything one likes inside, sleep, eat, read or write during the march...

At every halt the Turks loose their horses, oxen and camels and drive them out to pasture at liberty, night or day, without shepherds or guardians. This is due to the severity of their laws against theft. Any person found in posession of a stolen horse is obliged to restore in with nine others; if he cannot do this, his sons are taken instead, and if he has no sons he is slaughtered like a sheep. They do not eat bread nor any solid food, but prepare a soup with kind of millet, and any meat they may have is cut into small pieces and cooked in this soup. Everyone is given his share in a plate with curdled milk and they drink it, afterwards drinking curdled mare's milk which they call qumizz. They also have a fermented drink prepared from the same grain, which they call buza [beer] and regard it as lawful to drink....

The horses in this country are very numorous and the price of them is negligible. A good one costs a dinar of our money. The livelihood of the people depends on them, and they are as numerous as sheep in our country, or even more so. A single Turk will posess thousands of horses. They are exported to India in droves of six thousand or so....

>From Azaq {Azov} I went on to Majar, travelling behind the amir Tuluktumur. It is one of the finest of the Turkish cities and is situated on a great river{22}.

...A remarkable thing which I saw in this country was the respect shown to women by the Turks, for they hold a more dignified position than the men. The first time that I saw a princess was when, on leaving Qiram, I saw the wife of the amir in her waggon. The entire waggon was covered with rich blue woolen cloth, and the windows and doors of the tent were open. With the princess were four maidens, exquisitely beautiful and richly dressed, and behind her were a number of waggons with maidens belonging to her suite. When she came near the amir's camp she alighted with about thirty of the maidens who carried her train..When she reached the amir, he rose before her and sat her beside him, with the maidens standing around her. Skins of qumizz were brought and she, pouring some into a cup, knelt before him and gave it to him, afterwards pouring out a cup for her brother. Then the amir poured a cup for her and food was brought in and she ate with him. He then gave her a robe and she withdrew. I saw also the wives of the merchants and commonality. One of them will sit in a waggon which is being drawn by horses, attended by three or four maidens...

The windows of the tent are open and her face is visible for the Turkish women do not veil themselves. Sometimes a woman will be accompanied by her husband and anyone seeing him would take him for one oher servants; he has no garment other than a sheep's woold cloak and a high cap to match.

NOTES: 22. The ruins of Majar (now Burgomadzhari) lie on the Kuma river S.W. of Astrakhan, 110 kilometeres N.E. of Georgiewsk, at 44.50 N., 44.27 E.

The Qipchaqs [Kipchaks] also known as Kumans/Cumans in the West are known as the Polovtsy in the Russian chroniclers and history. The famous Russian myth The Tale of the Host of Igor is about Igor's war against the Kipchaks.

He's now around the Caucasus in Russia. He calls the people which are now called Tartars, Turks, whereas before in Anatolia, he called the people today called Turks, Turkomans!

Page 147

We then prepared for the journey to the sultan's camp, which was four day's march from Majar in a place called Bishdagh, which means "Five mountains" {23}. In these mountains there is a hot spring in which the Turks bathe, claiming that it prevents illness....

Thereupon the mahalla approached (the name they give to it is the ordu) {Ordu==Army} and we saw a vast town on the move with all its inhabitants, containing mosques and bazaars, the smoke from the kitchens rising in the air (for they cook while on the march), and horse drawn waggons transporting them. On reaching the encampment they took the tents off the waggons and set them upon the ground, for they were very light, and they did the same with the mosques and shops......

I had heard of the city of Bulghar {25} and desired to visit it, in order to see for myself what they tell of the extreme shortness of the night there...

I returned from Bulghar with the amir whom the sultan had sent to accompany me...and came to the town of Hajj Tarkhan [Astrakhan]. It is one of the finest cities, with great bazaars, and is built on the river Itil [Volga], which is one of the great rivers of the world. In the winter it freezes over and the people travel on it in sledges...

Ibn Batuta's account of travel to Constantinople is skipped.

Page 165 - Astrakhan

On reaching Astrakhan where we had parted from Sultan Uzbeg, we found that he had moved and was living in the capital of his kingdom....On the fourth day we reached the city of Sara, which is the capital of the sultan{37}. We visited him, and after we had answered his questions about our journey and the king of the Greeks and his city he gave orders for our maintenance and lodging. Sara is one of the finest of towns, of immense extend and crammed with inhabitants, with fine bazaars and wide streets. We rode out one day with one of the principal men of the town, intending to make a circuit of the place and find out its size. We were living at one end of it and we set out in the morning, and it was after midday when we reached the other. One day we walked across the breadth of the town, and the double journey, going and returning, took half a day, this too through a continuous line of houses, with no ruins and no orchards. It has thirteen cathedral and a large number of other mosques. The inhabitants belong to diverse nations; among them are the Mongols, who are the inhabitants and rulers of the country and are in part Muslims, As [Ossetes], who are Muslims, and Qipchaqs[Turks], Circassians, Russians,and Greeks, who are all Christians. Each group lives in a separate quarterwith its own bazaars. Merchants and strangers from Iraq, Egypt, Syria and elsewhere, live in a quarter surrounded by a wall, in order to protect their property.

FOOTNOTES: 23. Beshtaw, one of the foothills of the Caucasus, is a wooded hill rising to a height of nearly 1,400 metres, just north of Pyatigorsk, about 35 kilometres S.W. of Georgiewsk.

[ The author makes a mistake here. Pyatigorsk means exactly "Besh Tau" or "Besh Dagh" i.e. Five Mountains]

25. Bulghar, the ruins of which lie on the left bank of the Volga just below the junction of Kama, was the capital of the medieval kingdom of Great Bulgaria [Turkish], annexed by the Mongols in the thirteenth century. It possessed great commercial importance as the distributing centre for Russian and Siberian products. It is difficult to understand however, how Ibn Battuta could have made the journey from Majar to Bulghar, some 800 miles, in ten days!

37. There were two cities of "Sarray in the land of Tartarye", which were successively the capital of the Khans of the Golden Horde; Old Sarai, situated near the modern village of Selitrennnoe, 74 miles above Astrakhan, and New Sarai, which embraced the modern town of Tsarev, 225 miles above Astrakhan. Sultan Muhammad Uzbeg moved the capital from Old Sarai about this period, most probably a few years before. Ibn Batuta's description agrees best with New Sarai, ruins of which extend over a distance of more than forty miles, and cover an area of over twenty square miles. (See F. Balodis, in Latvijas Universitates Raksti (Acta Universitatis Latviensis, XIII (Riga, 1926), pp. 3-82.

 


from Ibn Battuta: Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354. Translated and selected by H.A.R. Gibb. Edited by Sir E. Denison Ross and Eileen Power. (New York: Robert M. McBride & Company,)

[note: I saved this while browsing the net. I am not sure who supplied the notes]


This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

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Paul Halsall Feb 1996
halsall@murray.fordham.edu