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Ibn Fadlan's Journey To Russia: A Tenth-Century Traveler From Baghdad To The Volga River Paperback

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Specifications

LanguageEnglish
PublisherMarkus Wiener Publishing Inc
Publication Date12/19/2009
EditorRichard Frye
Book DescriptionThis is the first English translation of the famous risala, letters by the tenth-century traveler Ibn Fadlan, one of the great Medieval travelers in world history, akin to Ibn Batutta. Ibn Fadlan was an Arab missionary sent by the Caliph in Baghdad to the king of the Bulghars. He journeyed from Baghdad to Bukhara in Central Asia and then continued across the desert to the town of Bulghar, near present Kazan. He describes the tribes he meets on his way and gives an account of their customs. His is the earliest account of a meeting with the Vikings, called Rus, who had reached the Volga River from Sweden. His description of the Rus, or Rusiya as he calls them, has produced much discussion about their origins, shockingly free sexual morals standards, customs, treatment of slaves and women, burial traditions, and trading habits, all explained in detail by Ibn Fadlan. The story of his travels has fascinated scholars and even prompted Michael Chrichton to write the popular novel ""Eaters of the Dead,"" which was made into a film entitled ""The 13th Warrior.
Editorial ReviewThis is the first complete English translation of one of the great documents of world history--Ibn Fadlan's account of his journey to Baghdad to the King of the Bulghars of the middle Volga (921CE). This historical as well as ethnological document contains observations uncharacteristically devoid of flattery and exaggerations. As such, it represents the earliest notice of the customs and beliefs of the so-called "Rus" people. Invaluable commentaries by translator Frye (emer., Harvard), a distinguished specialist in the history of the peoples of Middle East and Central Asia, accompanies the original text. Frye's background enables him to correctly interpret the passages referring to the Rus as covering a mixture of Slavs and Vikings preoccupied in mutually gainful trade. Another benefit to having both original text and commentaries are the eyewitness examples of certain ways of life of the ancestors of other people of Russia, such as the Bulghars (modern Tatars) and Alans (modern Ossetians), as well as the historical Khazars. Especially significant are the descriptions of burial customs, which help specialists to draw reliable ethnological parallels. The reconstruction of historical trading connections is another attraction of this edition. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -- Review in Choice magazine
About the AuthorAbout Richard N. Frye: Richard N. Frye, professor emeritus at Harvard University, is the author of Ibn Fadlan's Journey to Russia, The Heritage of Central Asia and numerous other books, which have been translated into several languages.
Number of Pages158
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Ibn Fadlan's Journey To Russia: A Tenth-Century Traveler From Baghdad To The Volga River Paperback

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