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Ibn Battuta, the Traveler of Islam

2017-08-02 | 🔗

Ibn Battuta's 14th-century travels were extensive. He was away from home for roughly 24 years and during that time traveled through virtually every Muslim nation and territory, becoming the traveler of the age.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Here's the thing: saving money with Geico was almost better than playing pick up basketball, because there's always that guy who joined your game He never passes the rock he constantly bricks theories and who completely you and then put his hands up and say no foul, no foul with Geico, it's easy to switch save on car insurance, no need to fake an ankle sprain, because you're absolutely exhausted so which in save with back it's almost better than speed We continue stuff, you missed in history class from Housetop works, dotcom low and welcomes the cats. I am Tracy E mails, Holly FRY, so back in the spring of twenty dean written upon cast on young, her reverie John? I do indeed I led a fleet of treasure ships on huge and far reaching voyages from China to Southern Asia.
The arabian Peninsula and Eastern Africa in the fifteenth century and one of them If we made an that episode was that it wasn't necessarily accurate to call young her an explorer because he wasn't there exploring as following that were known already and we said that in some cases they were actually routes that a man named Ibn Bertuccio had travelled from the opposite direction. A century before. today we are finally going to talk about a boo, Abdullah habit, even of Della even an ear. Heem Lahti, autopsy about a tutor who has been stood by some listeners, including Julie and Jennifer, and he's commonly just known as urban. But you d like young her. but through two wasn't so much an explorer has travels, took him to places that were already known within the muslim world and they were part of the world
mostly he travelled along well travelled routes. But these travels were extensive. He was away from home for roughly twenty four years, and during that time traveled through virtually every muslim nation and territory becoming the traveller of the age even but to TAT was born on February twenty fifth, thirteen o four, which was the year seven o three in the Islamic calendar, ways on multiple different conversions of the exact date in the islamic
you're. So keep that in mind. They differ by one to two days and I don't trust my own conversion enough to rely on that. He was born in tangier, which is a port city and Morocco, and although it was it, Morocco, busiest port, Tangiers position between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic meant that it was a frequent departure point for ships bound across the Straits of Gibraltar to the Iberian peninsula or to other parts of Europe and Africa. And this meant that although Tangier was a muslim city, it also saw lots of Christian visit and merchants who arrived from places like Genoa, Marcin and Majorca. Apart from the father and grandfather who were reference than his name even mean son of a don't really know a lot about urban, but tutors family. They were sunni Muslims who were of an indigenous north african people, known as the latter and several were caddies or judges, or
otherwise, scholars of islamic law. Even the tutor upbringing was probably typical for a muslim child living in northern Africa. In the fourteenth century he would have attended school either at a mosque or through private tutor. His early education would have focused on the Koran along with subjects: Laker, rhythmic tick and grammar and literature in history, for students from more prominent families which had been beaten, was more advanced study owed, as children got older. We do know for sure that even battues, a study of the Koran and of islamic LAW were really lifelong. He learned the whole Koran by heart and
wrote of reciting it to himself from beginning to end, as he traveled, sometimes twice when he felt like him, you too, to bolster himself up a little more and when he was twenty one by the gregorian calendar and twenty two by the Islamic Lunar calendar even but you to begin preparing for the harsh the pilgrimage to MECCA. That is one of the five pillars of Islam, and this was for him a religious duty. It's an obligation for all Muslims who are physically and financially able to go and whose families won't be harmed by their being away, and it was also something he genuinely wanted to do describing himself, as quote swayed by an overmastering impulse within me, and a desire long cherished. In my bosom too. These illustrious sanctuaries, Ebon Battues has pilgrimage was also an opportunity to further his education. Although Tangier was a notable port city, it wasn't particularly known for its scholars and it didn't have a college, so impetus pilgrim.
This would allow him to study with legal scholars and with Supremest Dixon cities like Tunis, Alexandria and Cairo along the way studying with more prominent scholars, was an opportunity for even but to dare to deepen his own knowledge of islamic law. It's the body of guiding rules and principles that govern Muslims, daily lives and worship, also known as sharia and enhancing his legal training would give him access to more prestigious work, but this wasn't simply a means to moving up the career ladder, because the law, if invitation was studying, was rooted in the islamic faith and was inseparable from that faith. His religious and legal education's were also inseparable from one other on top of the inner nature of his religious and legal education. The concept of seeking knowledge is an important part of Islam in general. Both the Koran and the high beef, which is a record of the sayings and actions of the prophet Mohammed, have
multiple references to learning and seeking knowledge, including how to seek knowledge in a way that ethical incompatible with Islam. So ITALY's seeking knowledge is an act of worship and its incumbent upon all Muslims to learn. What had he that frequently comes up in relation to even the tutor is seek knowledge even as far as China, although there are some questions about whether that one is correctly attributed those same basic concepts are definitely present in others. Ibn Bertuccio left for MECCA on June, fourteenth of thirteen twenty five, which was the year seven twenty five in the islamic calendar. Although many pilgrims travelled to MECCA as part of an official organised caravan and even battues, it may have been planning to join a caravan later on in the journey. The initial
set off alone, overland following the north african coast, and even now, even but you two embarked alone. The hodge is an annual religious observance, so other Muslims were also setting out from MECCA on their own pilgrimages generally following the same roads and routes through northern Africa. So after about three weeks, he fell in with two companions, although they separated after they both sick due to the severe summer heat, one companion actually died and the other returns that person's body home a little later in the journey across Northern Africa Ibn, but to two fell ill as well. One of several serious illnesses he contracted during his travels when someone suggested he stay in a town for a while to recover. Even the tutor replied. If God decrees my death, it shall be on the road with my face set toward the land,
of her jaws ass. He traveled, even but outta, would stop for a time in cities and towns, and the length of his stay would depend on everything from his health to the travel conditions. Do whether there were any born scholars and residence. For example, he spent two months in Tunis. Studying at the college of the booksellers and being a point cutty of a Pilgrim caravan when he left there, he also entered into a marriage contract with the daughter of a tunisian official who was part of that caravan. The two men eventually had some kind of falling out and broke that contract shortly thereafter, even but you two entered into a marriage contract with a different woman, the daughter of another pilgrim who was a scholar from fares, and she would be the first of several wives and concubines, some of them in slaved that but but you too, would bring into his life even better in the company of pilgrims he was travelling with arrived in Alexandria at the now River Delta and the early spring of thirteen twenty six. He stayed there
For about a month visiting wholly sites studying, also doing some sightseeing, including touring the city's textile district, but eventually decided time to move on again the timing. his journey and the time he spent in Alexandria meant that at this point he was lined up with the season for pilgrimage caravans anymore. So there was no official company for him to join. He was once again on his own. His plan was to follow the banks of the Nile River south to a town near the modern border with Sudan and from there he would travel overland to the Red Sea border boat to get up and travel overland from there to MECCA the trip up. The Nile took about three weeks. But then, when he got to the Red Sea, it turned out that most of the boats in the port had been destroyed during a dispute between the local ruling family and the governor. So we had to turn back this time. Taking about down the Nile
back to Alexandria and about eight days spending one night there before leaving for Syria and the reason he only spent one night was that at this point, the season for official travel to MECCA was approaching any thought. If you made good enough time, he could join a caravan leaving out of Damascus on the way he stayed for about a week in Jerusalem, but even so, he got to Damascus with enough time to spare that he stayed there for nearly a month. Although he had been continuing his studies throughout the trip in Damascus, he can t them formally earning several official certifications, indifferent law texts in Damascus, given but too to finally did join an official caravan bound for MECCA that he stayed with for the rest of the trip there, which we will talk about after a quick sponsor break. Here's the saving money with Geico was almost better than playing pick up basketball, because there's always that guy who joined your game,
He never passes the rock he constantly bricks theories and who completely you and then put his hands up and say no foul, no foul with Geico it's easy to switch. save on car insurance. No, the vacant fake, an ankle sprain because you're absolutely exhausted so which, in save with Geiger it's almost better than sport. A bit better out with a large caravan of pilgrims from Damascus on September, first, thirteen, twenty six. This was more than a year after leaving his home in tangier. He doesn't specifically say How many people were in this caravan, but it was likely. Several thousand official caravans travelling to MECCA were and are very large,
First, they went the Medina, which is about eight hundred twenty miles or roughly thirteen hundred kilometers away from Damascus and the travel there took about fifty days once their pilgrims took part in several days of religious rituals, including at the mosque of the press.
And then from Medina was another two hundred miles or three hundred twenty kilometers to MECCA where, even but too, to finally arrived in October of thirteen twenty six after the harsh, which involves several days of religious observances and rituals, most pilgrims returned home, but even Batista did not only in his journey. He had a dream of a great bird sweeping him away over a far distance. It also meant and ascetic who told him that he would meet and offer greetings to the aesthetics three brothers, one in India when in sinned in one in China. Sin is now Pakistan, but aside from these more romantic ideas, even but you two thought that, if he continued to travel, he could continue to learn and to find work is a copy and instead.
turning whence toward home. He went norms and then ease toward what's now Iraq in the company of returning pilgrims from that region, although he did make several stops alarm away his primary goal. At this point was to visit the city of Baghdad, Baghdad had been besieged, and then sacks during the Mongol invasion in twelve fifty eight, and that was a little less than seventy years before. Even but who does arrival, that sacking is JANET We considered to be the end of the islamic Golden age. So when even the two went there, with envisioning it sort of witnessing one of the great cities that had been the also, ass in most of the major cities in the area and took a tour of the Tigris River from the air. He returned to MECCA with another Hodge Caravan, this time. Staying for at least a year, during which time he both studied and perform. The rituals associated with the lesser pilgrimage
a number of times he loved to MECCA again and either thirteen twenty eight or thirteen thirty exactly when is a little bit unclear, but whichever it widens, he spent the next two years, travelling mainly by boat to cities along the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Arabian see he went as far south as Cuba on the african coast in what's now Tanzania, but was at the time part of the keel was sultanate after two years of most,
Lee seafaring wandering. He once again joined a pilgrimage Caravans Rebecca travelling over land across the entirety of the arabian peninsula before observing the hard for a third time by this point, if it but Cheetah had learned that the Sultan of Delhi Mohammed to look had invited scholars to India and that many who made their way there were finding themselves with prestigious appointments that came along with lavish gifts. The Sultan had made a practice of specifically filling posts with foreign visitors and even Batista hoped to be one of them, but to get there and to get an appointment, he needed a guide who spoke purse. new India well and had contacts there who could help even battues her on his way. His initial plan seems to have been to try to find such a guide in Genoa and then to have a relatively straightforward sea voyage to India, but he couldn't find someone with this
rules and connections that he needed. So instead he set off on a much much more circuitous route. Overland, perhaps thinking that he might be I'm on along the way he virtually in his way back to Cairo and from there to the port city of LE talk here on the syrian coast before taking a ship across the Mediterranean Sea to alone you in an aetolia on the coast of what is now Turkey any then undertook a very round about two year track that went to Constantinople through the Byzantine empire across the asian step and then through Afghanistan. Finally, crossing the Indus River in thirteen thirty three or thirteen thirty five, he essentially went quite far to the north following a zigzag path between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea
for dropping southeast into India. If you look at a map, this was not just an indirect way to go crossing. The asian step was also far more difficult than going by sea or by following some of the other overland roots, taking the path it was both the law way and the hard way may have been because even Bertuccio had already seen several of the cities along the arabian see that they would have passed through if he had gone that way. Instead, he had resolved said, never travel, a path that he had travelled before if there was some other option available assumes that you would so problematic in a hurry. where did mirror there are lots of maps of his voyages online, and there is very Little like the arrow going to directions on the same
and when it is, it's usually like ok here that there is not really a different way to go if it Medusa spent about eight years in India, where he was named caddy of Delhi, although for his first several months there, he spent his time accompanying the sultan on hunting expeditions rather than hearing legal cases. He also had some trouble with money. He had purchased gifts for the Sultan, including horses, camels and enslaved people, along the way, with the hope that it was going to help him secure a good appointment, and although his appointment as Cutty came with an income, he just didn't have the same pool of wealth as many of the other Delhi elite to draw from, and he was expected to maintain an opulent like
style and to spend some of his income on gifts and payments to others, so he was soon in depth. Apart from his financial problems, is years in India Overall also weren't particularly easy, due to a combination of famines, uprisings and political entry. At this point, India had majority hindu population that was being ruled by a minority muslim government which lets you ongoing up,
as things than religious violence around thirteen forty given but to TAT, was appointed to lead an envoy from Delhi to China and he laughed in the summer of thirteen forty one. He was tasked with ensuring the safety of a huge retinue, including hundreds of people and gifts, including textiles, dish where and weapons. Although they travelled under armed Guard, they were attacked by hindu insurgents. Only a few days out from Delhi even potato was attacked and robbed a second time while waiting for reinforcements after that first incident, and then he became lost for six days after escaping from his captors. After this, in a specious beginning, the expedition ended disastrously in early thirteen, forty two, when the whole fleet of four ships this winter,
had moved to a sea voyage was forced a ground and wrecked in a storm of the port of calico on the south western coast of India, most of their retinue was also killed in the storm and shipwrecks, including the other sue highest, ranking officials that had been dispatched from Delhi. Two to only survived, because he had moved from the junk where the diplomatic envoy was supposed to be sleeping to another ship, because the room that was assigned to him on the diplomatic junk was just too small for his taste. Although he wanted to return to Delhi and tell the Sultan what had happened, he didn't feel like you could at least not right away not only have the entire retinue and all of its goods been lost on his watch, but he would also have to explain why he had survived, while the other officials had not heed also lost nearly everything he had in that storm. He wound up stranded four months before finally, finding passage to hone of our on the western coast of India on a few
of ships the belonged to the Sultan when they got there, though, the situation was not much better, he had hoped to find it patron and some kind of appointment. That would allow him the time and the resources to figure out what he should do next and perhaps even to recoup some of his lost income, Instead, he wound up spending most of the summer of thirteen. Forty two in devotional seclusion praying in reciting the Koran twice through every day. He was basically offered housing in it like this one person's room and he was like, I don't really have worked for you. You can stay here, though, so he basically stayed there in prayer for months and finally, he decided to go to China on his own, staying for a time in the Maldives and acting again as Cutty before going on to China by sea. By this point, he had been to so many places and could tell stories of so many other courts that he was received enthusiastically and he was compensated generously once he left
The Maldives bears some dispute about exactly how far into China he did go in part because he didn't give a lot of detail about China when he wrote about his travels with lack of detail, has led some critics to suggest that he did not go to China at all. While he probably did not get nearly as far as the account of his trip suggests, with some of that we being embellished when it was being written, he almost Certainly did visit the more south eastern parts of China has lack of deeds, it is more likely because the muslim population there was relatively small and thou, really what he was most interested in learning from and writing about. So he just had a lot less interest in China and a lot less to say about it, and it was after visiting China that, given the tutor decided at last to return home after undertaking the Hodge one last time or in a talk about all of that after we have a little sponsor break
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We bring the car rights, your house rodeo. Now that's easy. Lisa Finally, abandoning the idea of returning to India to explain what had happened to the convoy Matilda began, working his way toward home and thirteen forty six. and by way of one last pilgrimage to MECCA that would be his fourth. During his lifetime Rather than waiting for the next pilgrimage season, he took a wandering route through Persia. Iraq, Syria and Egypt and in the mass
Syria. He learned TAT. His father had died about fifteen years before he decided to travel to Aleppo in the summer of thirteen. Forty eight, which turned out to be just as the black death began, moving through the region and for the next several months. His travels took him through cities and towns that were ravaged by the plague. For a time he got ahead of the spread of the disease, but it caught up with him again in MECCA where he spent four months awaiting the Hodge. After his fourth hives, he began travelling fine
way toward tangier, but once he arrived there after his decades of absence, he learned that his mother had died of the plague only about six months before even Battista didn't stay at home for long. He soon set out once again for a brief tour of Granada across the Straits of Gibraltar, followed by a return to Africa and a tour to the south crossing the Sahara Desert to the kingdom of Molly and the city of Timbuktu, even the two to finally returns affair. Switch was then the capital of Morocco in thirteen fifty four and as far as we know, he spent the rest of his life in or near Morocco. The Sultan Abu in on ask him to write an account of his journey, In doing this, even Bertuccio worked within Amanuensis avenges day. He was also a court poet. And you say, made these language poetic added, some actual poems and probably embellished a few things.
While also bringing even Medusas account in line with literary standards of the time. The end result of all this work was finished on December thirteenth. Thirteen fifty five, its full arabic title roughly translates to a gift to those who contemplate the wonders of cities and the marvels of travelling. it's more commonly known as the real of realer is really a genre, essentially a travelogue within old islamic literature, The two to chronicles has travel through, essentially the entire fourteenth century muslim world. He had garb seventy five thousand miles or a hundred and twenty thousand kilometers. That is three times farther than Marco Polo journeys and three times the circumference of the earth
along the way he visited. What's now, forty different modern countries, he met at least sixty heads of state and a wealth of lesser leaders and dignitaries, and he served as an adviser to at least twelve different rulers. He also met all three bread. Years of the acidic that he had heard about so early in his journey, him did indeed offer them greetings. Three LE is about one thousand pages long and since he was reconstructing it from memory after the end,
his travels, its chronology is sometimes a little bit mixed up or vague, but otherwise it stands as a wide, ranging account of what the Islamic World was like in the fourteenth century. The world was, and still is huge, but is not at all monolithic. Its people are united by the core belief in the Koran and by the idea that the tenets of Islam create a bond that is greater than its necessity or race. Yet here, if you're, looking at the chronology of his travels- and you can't go, does that make sense you may have even thought. Does that make sense in some of this episode so far? It's because he was basically reconstructing it later on in and sometimes talking about places that he passed through more than one time so sometimes a little seems little mixed up as even but who travelled. He observed the diversity of Islam, seeing how was filtered through arab, persian, turkish and Mongol cult.
how's he wrote about how people worshiped, how they interpreted the law and what their holy sites were like along with describing the cities themselves in there clean and their environment, and things like whether they were clean. The book gradually reveals some of it, but it is personality and tells us a little about the world view of an educated, devout fourteenth century muslim. He was a pious man who could sometimes come off as a bit of a busybody even beyond what might be expected of a man whose job was to be a judge, but he was also gregarious and highly curious about the world. Otherwise, though, there is really very little about his personal life, for example, he married at least seven women and children with at least some of them in addition to having numerous concubines. Although none of these people play a part in the text beyond the mention of their marriage or occasionally their death, and we also get nothing about his home coming and what
happened when he met friends and family, that he'd been separated from for almost a quarter of a century or when he learned how many of them had died in the black death, and this was really typical of writing. At the time it was night considered really appropriate to be talking about your personal business in public way. So it would have been doubly inappropriate if he had filled his book up with a lot of personal details about his life so like. That is not a typical at all. Also when we He comes off sometimes a bit of a busybody by this. That's me, supervised at the best as there is. There is one part in his real lower. He writes about going into a bath house and some of them. didn't have waste coverings on and his response to. This was to go to the governor of the town and to tell governor of the town that there were some men in the bath house, they didn't have ways coverings on and then
the governor all riled up about it, that the ILO behind a crackdown on whether there were waste coverings in the back houses. On the one hand, our system is expected that men would have coverings I re. On the other hand, there were definitely alot of people involved in the situation who were like man ever do too business, he went right to escalation, about what that so a lot of people in their descriptions of of even the tutor use. Words like kind of a first budget or little judgment all, and that that kind of that kind of account is why so this book was largely unknown until the nineteenth century, really even in the arabic speaking world, although various edition exist in libraries in North Africa and the Middle EAST dating from the time,
after it was written. It does not seem to have been very widely read between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries. However, in a weird turn of events, french scholars found five manuscripts in Algeria, after the French occupied Algeria in the eighteen thirties, and these scholars began trying to piece together translations. A lot of translations in English were very heavily abridged. Unsurprisingly, because it s a thousand pages long and a complete english language. Translation project started in nineteen, twenty, nine, the happily at society, which is an English. finally that publishes scholarly editions of primary source texts about travel and geography Does that amazingly specific mixing published the first
three volumes by the mid twentieth century. But the fourth volume didn't come out, and so I think ninety ninety four and it's actually unclear when even but you two died, although it was in the year seven hundred in the Islamic calendar, which would have been thirteen sixty or thirteen sixteen The two men tangier is traditionally considered to be his, but we don't actually know if that's the case today. There is also a shopping mall name for him in Dubai, and its courts are all themed after places that he went and a lot of time, leaders are like that serve even between that would have thought this was cool or not le he'd like he'd that he demi. Obviously he travelled for all those. order of a century and a time when travel was a lot more uncomfortable and and time consuming
It is in a lot of the world today, but the like the fact that he he was so particular about things. Sometimes people like whatever to walk in. be like our yeah. This is cool. I like to look at this place, or would he be more like now share? No, we don't know, don't really hey Tracy the listener mail. From far The old I should do, and it is a correction from Jacob- takes us dear tracing. We shall have the show and have heard almost every episode going all the way back, I'm so glad you're covering such a fascinating. and dramatic period of history, especially since there is so much mythology and downright ignorance about it I should take a moment and now we're talking about our Dunkirk evacuation episodes here precisely in the title, but I did not read the title I couldn't help but notice. You said
Germany invaded Denmark and Norway in May of nineteen forty, essentially simultaneously with the invasion of the low countries in France. I believe the scandinavian invasions began in early April mighty forty roughly one month before the start of the western offensive, and while certainly the two operations were well coordinated, they were not quite simultaneous thanks again for the great programme best Jacob Jacob is exactly right. Not only was, One hundred percent, my error, it isn't it I introduced in my own revisions of the script that was like I had written it correctly. In the first place, and then, as I was Rina reading through in reading through and making sure we thing was right. I was like what am I have been talking about. This was not an April. This was in May, it was not in May it was an April. I had it right the first time, so That is my error. I apologize especially because that is
an error that meaning fully changes our description of things. It was not lit, but the next day after invading the scandinavian countries that Germany invaded the low countries. So what you're telling me is it you're? Not a perfect history? Robot, I'm super, not a perfect shocking. I think this has all the categories of error that I hate the most. It is a mistake I made and not a mistake. It was like repeated a lot of places that I also picked up and is also a mistake that meaningfully change what we were saying rather than like. We said that with
stay, and it was really Wednesday and it doesnt really affect anything in along grand scheme of things. The sum bid. So I apologise and thank you for giving me a couple of other people who have written to point that out fear like to write to us about this or any other podcast where it history, Podcast House works, dot, com for also on Facebook and Facebook, dot, com, slash miss than history and on twitter. This than history, our tumblr and our pinterest, and our instagram are all also missed in history. You can come to our parent companies website, which is Hasta horse dot com and find all crimes of information about anything, your heart desires, can come to our website, which is missed in history. Dot com, where you will find it shone out for all the episodes that Holly and I have done on the show. You will find a searchable archive of pretty much every episode ever, I shouldn't even say pretty much. It is literally every episode we have ever done. The show you can do all that a whole lot more at Helstone Work Stock, alarmist in history.
Com for more on this and thousands of other topics visit Housetop work Sarka. I am battleground work and my party has beyond the bleeding shell from her radio. I'm here to be sitting down different people each week that I believe we can all learn from. I hurt radio is number one prepared, but don't take my word for it. Listen to beyond the beauty. I hurt radio hobbled, hard cash or ever you get your podcast, because we all have something to learn about the real me