Sunday 4 February 2024

Ibn Battuta, The Great Explorer

Ibn Battuta (1304 – 1369), was a Maghrebi traveller, explorer and scholar. Over a period of thirty years from 1325 to 1354, he visited most of North Africa, the Middle East, East Africa, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, China, the Iberian Peninsula, and West Africa.

Ibn Battuta was born in Morocco  and set out on his travels at the age of 21 from his home town on a hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca. He was eager to learn more about far-away lands and craved adventure. No one knew he would not return to Morocco again for almost three decades.

However, unlike many pilgrims , Ibn Battuta's thirst for adventure and knowledge led him to continue traveling far beyond the holy city for nearly three decades.

During his explorations, Ibn Battuta took on various roles and responsibilities, such as a judge (qadi), diplomat, and advisor, which allowed him to gain insights into the societies and cultures he encountered.

His adventurous spirit and curiosity for exploring new lands and cultures earned him the title of one of the greatest travelers of all time.

His account in the book  "Rihla" which means "The Journey" is the only source for Ibn Battuta's adventures.

He travelled more than any other explorer in pre-modern history, totalling around 73,000 mi, surpassing Zheng He with about  31,000 mi and Marco Polo with 15,000 mi. Ibn Battuta's travels covered a far wider geographical area than those of Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus. Unlike Marco Polo, who mainly focused on trade and commerce, and Christopher Columbus, who had a more colonial agenda, Ibn Battuta's travels were driven by a genuine curiosity and interest in exploring new lands and cultures.

Ibn Battuta's accounts of his travels have been highly influential in shaping our understanding of the medieval world and continue to be studied by historians and scholars today.

Source: -The Travels of Ibn Battuta, AD 1325–1354,H.A.R. GIBB AnD C.F. BECkInGHAm.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...