Ibn Battuta was born in Tangier in 1304. Between 1324 and 1354 he journeyed through North Africa and Asia Minor and as far as China. On a separate voyage he crossed the Sahara to the Muslim lands of West Africa. His journeys are estimated to have covered over 75,000 miles and he is the only medieval traveller known to have visited every Muslim state of the time, besides the 'infidel' countries of Istanbul, Ceylon and China. This first volume records the earliest journeys through Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Arabia, on pilgrimage to the Holy Places of Islam. Among the detailed descriptions of towns on the road and of their inhabitants, he gives a particularly circumstancial account of Medina and Mecca. Sir Hamilton Gibb's edition is in four volumes with introduction and full notes. This first complete and scholarly edition in English has proved essential to orientalists and illuminating to medievalists. The travels are a major source for the political and economic life of large regions of Asia and Africa. The observations of this intelligent representative of Islamic culture on almost all the known inhabited world beyond Europe provide fruitful comparisons with the life and geographical knowledge of the West. Translated with revisions and new annotation from the Arabic text edited by C. Defrémery and B.R. Sanguinetti. Covers travels in North-West Africa, Egypt, Syria, and to Mecca. Continued in Second Series 117, 141, and 178, and with the index in 190. The main pagination of all the volumes is continuous. This is a new print-on-demand hardback edition of the volume first published in 1958.
Routledge is pleased to be the publisher for the Hakluyt Society.
The Hakluyt Society has for its object the advancement of knowledge and education, particularly in relation to the understanding of world history. The society publishes scholarly editions of primary sources on the 'Voyages and Travels' undertaken by individuals from many parts of the globe. These address the geography, ethnology and natural history of the regions visited, covering all continents and every period over the last two thousand years. Such texts, many previously available only in manuscript or in unedited publications in languages other than English, are the essential records of the stages of inter-continental and inter-cultural encounter.
Established in 1846, the Society has to date published over 350 volumes. All editions are in English. Although a substantial number of the Society's past editions relate to British ventures, with documentary sources in English, the majority concern non-British enterprises and are based on texts in languages other than English. Material originally written in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French or Dutch has regularly appeared, material in Russian, Greek, Latin, Ethiopic, Chinese, Persian or Arabic occasionally.
All editions contain an introduction and scholarly annotation, giving both the general reader and the student a degree of assistance in understanding the material and providing guidance on the relevance of the episodes described, within the context of global development and world history. Volumes are often generously furnished with maps and contemporary illustrations.
Information about the Society may be obtained from the Administrative Assistant at the following address:
Hakluyt Society, c/o Map Library, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DG, UK