Siddiqui 1 Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far North —A Short Essay Ahmed Ibn Fadlan was an Arab traveller from Baghdad, Iraq;. Ibn Fadlan was a 10th-century Arab Muslim traveler, famous for his account of his travels as a . Paul and Caroline Stone (trans.), Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far North (London: Penguin Classics, ). The Political Divisions of Eurasia, PENGUIN CLASSICS IBN FADLAN AND THE LAND OF DARKNESS ibn fadlAn’s account of his journey from Baghdad to.

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Search the history of over billion web fadoan on the Internet. Qudama ibn Ja’far on Alexander in China 2. Ibn Hayyan on the Viking attack on Seville 4.

Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far North

Zuhri on Viking ships c. Ibn Khurradadhbih on the routes of the Radhanlya and the Rus c. Ibn al-Faqlh on the Radhanlya 7. Ibn Khurradadhbih on exports from the western Mediterranean 8. Ibn Rusta on the Khazars 9. Ibn Rusta on the Burtas Ibn Rusta on the Bulkars Ibn Rusta on the Magyars Ibn Rusta on the Saqaliba Ibn Rusta on the Rus Mas’udi on the Iron Gates Mas’udI on the Khazar capital Mas’udI on the Khazars Mas’udI on the Land of the Midnight Sun Mas’udI on the Saqaliba Mas’udI on the Rus Mas’udI on a Viking raid on the Caspian c.

Miskawayh on the Rus raid on Bardha’a Istakhri on the Khazars and their neighbours c. Mas’udI on the fur trade Ibrahim ibn Ya’qub on northern Europe MuqaddasI on exports from Bulghar MuqaddasI on the land of the Khazars Ibn Hawqal on the trade in eunuchs Ibn Hawqal on the fur trade and the Rus attack on Itil and Bulghar Ibn Hawqal on Khwarazm and its trade Ibn Hawqal on the Rus destruction of Itil BIrunI on dog sleds, skates and silent barter c.

MarwazI on the Rus c. MarwazI on Bulghar and the far north c. MarwazI on the Saqaliba c. Yaqut on Hungary Qazwlnl on Gog and Magog Marco Polo on dog sleds and the Land of Darkness Ibn Battuta on travel in the Land of Darkness Ibn Battuta on a winter journey to New Sarai The Routes of the Radhanlya Merchants, c. The Trade Routes of the Rus, 10th century V.

Sent as an emissary of the Abbasid caliph Muqtadir, his mission was to deliver a message and gifts from the caliph to the recently converted khan, who sought religious instruction for his people and wished to forge an alliance with the Abbasids to protect himself against his powerful Jewish overlords, the Khazars.

The Bulghar encampment was far beyond the frontiers of the Islamic heartlands, and Ibn Fadlan faithfully recounts the customs, dress and religious beliefs of the peoples through whose territory he passed, all of whom were still pagan. In Bulghar he encountered Viking traders who were pioneering trade routes along the Russian rivers.

He witnessed and meticulously describes a Viking ship burial, the only such description we have. Nothing is known of Ibn Fadlan from other sources. Inhe travelled to North Africa, where he spent more than ten years, before sailing for Alexandria in En route, he passed the island of Sicily and observed Mount Etna in full eruption. Later years saw him travelling to Faslan, Damascus, Baghdad and Iran, before settling for two decades in the great trading city of Saqsin.


InAbu Hamid went to Hungary, where he developed close ties with the king, Geza II, and was employed to recruit Peceneg Muslims into the cavalry. He was allowed to depart from Hungary only on condition that he leave his son hostage darkmess his return. Inhe returned to Saqsin, before making the pilgrimage to Mecca. He left for Aleppo innad five years later made the last journey of his remarkable life, to Damascus. He died there is at the age of ninety.

Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness

He has travelled widely in the Middle East and spent many years researching Arabic geographical literature in the Vatican Library in Rome. He is now based in Cambridge, concentrating on the maritime history of the Indian Ocean.

Caroline stone was educated at Cambridge and Kyoto University, Japan. After living many years in Rome, she currently divides her time between Seville and Cambridge, where she is editing and translating a series of travel accounts – Travellers in the Wider Levant – for the Civilizations in Contact Project, funded by the Golden Web Foundation.

First Muslim community founded by the Prophet Muhammad in Medina.

Beginning of Arab conquests. Arab armies reach the Indus.

Ahmad ibn Fadlan – Wikipedia

Cicek, daughter of the Khazar khaqan, married to Constantine V. The last Umayyad caliph, Marwan, leads an army of 40, into Khazar territory, anf is driven back by torrential rains.

The khaqan flees to the territory of the Finno-Ugric Burtas, but is captured and converted to Islam; 20, Slavs living in Khazar territory are deported. No permanent Muslim occupation results. Around this date the Azov Bulghars, fleeing their former Khazar masters, settle at the Samara bend of the Volga.

Approximate date of the foundation of Staraia Ladoga. The Abbasid dynasty and the Khazars finally make peace. Harun al-Rashld sends the gift of an elephant to Charlemagne, who becomes Holy Roman Emperor this year. The elephant is delivered by the Aghlabid ruler of North Africa to the port of Pisa.

Their capital is Bukhara, and the rich silver mine of Panshir in Afghanistan is in their territory. They hold power untiltrading throughout Central Asia. His account is preserved by Ibn al-Faqih. Sallam returns from his mission. Cyril and Methodius attempt to convert the Khazars to Christianity and preach at the Khazar capital. Approximate date of the foundation of Riurikovo Gorodishche by Swedish adventurer named Riurik; later grows into Novgorod.

He is the first historically attested ruler of Poland, and is mentioned by Ibrahim ibn Ya’qub. Famous for murdering his brother St Wenceslas, he ruled until his death in or Ibrahim ibn Ya’qub visited Prague during the last years of his reign.

He is the first Rus of Kiev to bear a Slavic name. Ibrahim ibn Ya’qub visits a number of cities in northern Europe, including Mainz, Prague and Schleswig. Slavs complete destruction of Hedeby, begun by the Norwegian king Harald Hardrada in The traditional date for the end of the Viking Age.

Introduction Inan Arab envoy from Baghdad named Ibn Fadlan encountered a party of Viking traders on the upper reaches of the Volga River, not far south of the modern city of Kazan, while on a mission to the Muslim ruler of the Bulghars. In his subsequent report he included a meticulous and astonishingly objective description of Viking customs, dress, table manners, religion and sexual practices, as well as the only eyewitness account ever written of a Viking ship cremation.


That the earliest description we have of the Viking way of life – and death – should be written in the Arabic language may seem surprising. The meeting between Viking traders and an emissary of the Abbasid caliph was not, however, as unexpected as might at first appear, and is only one of many intriguing glimpses of life in the northern world to be found in Arabic sources.

By the time of Ibn Fadlan, Vikings had been in contact with the Muslim world, both as raiders and traders, for more than a century. During the late eighth century Vikings from Sweden began trading along the Russian river systems, opening routes from the Baltic to the Black and Caspian Seas and ultimately to the two richest markets for slaves and furs in the world, Christian Constantinople and Muslim Baghdad.

The Viking northern trade network overlapped with the Muslim, first at the Khazar capital of Itil, 1 at the mouth of the Volga where it flows into the Caspian, and then at Bulghar on the upper Volga at its confluence with the Kama.

It is our good fortune that when the two parties met, Ibn Fadlan should have been present to record it. The encounter between the representatives of two such disparate worlds was the result of a series of complex religious, political and economic shifts that followed the creation of the Islamic empire, which by stretched from Spain to the borders of India.

With the coming to power of the Abbasids ina network of maritime and overland routes was established that linked Europe to China for the first time since the fall of the Roman empire. As good a symbolic date as any for its inception isthe year Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor and received the congratulatory gift of an Indian elephant from the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashld, shipped to Pisa from a North African port. Clearly, sea lanes and overland routes between east and west were already open at this early date.

It was the capital of the Abbasid empire and the largest and richest city west of China, rivalled in wealth and size only by Cordoba, the capital of Muslim Spain. As a multicultural and multilingual imperial capital, Baghdad was a clearing house for geographic, commercial and political information. News brought by merchants of the opening up of far northern lands to commercial exploitation, along with information about other distant trading partners such as India, China and the Indonesian archipelago, filtered into the works of the geographers, historians and scholars working in Baghdad and regional cultural centres.

He completed the final version of his Book of Roads and Kingdoms inbut it contains material dating back to the early decades of the ninth century.