Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness

Author: Ibn Fadlan
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141975040
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In 922 AD, an Arab envoy from Baghdad named Ibn Fadlan encountered a party of Viking traders on the upper reaches of the Volga River. In his subsequent report on his mission he gave 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. Between the ninth and fourteenth centuries, Arab travellers such as Ibn Fadlan journeyed widely and frequently into the far north, crossing territories that now include Russia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Their fascinating accounts describe how the numerous tribes and peoples they encountered traded furs, paid tribute and waged wars. This accessible new translation offers an illuminating insight into the world of the Arab geographers, and the medieval lands of the far north.

Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness

Author: Aḥmad Ibn Faḍlān
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0140455078
Format: PDF, Docs
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"In 922 AD, an Arab envoy from Baghdad named Ibn Fadlan encountered a party of Viking traders on the upper reaches of the Volga River. In his subsequent report on his mission he gave 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. Between the ninth and fourteenth centuries, Arab travellers such as Ibn Fadlan journeyed widely and frequently into the far north, crossing territories that now include Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. Their fascinating accounts describe how the numerous tribes and peoples they encountered traded furs, paid tribute and waged wars. This ... new translation offers an ... insight into the world of the Arab geographers, and the medieval lands of the far north"--Publisher's website.

Mission to the Volga

Author: Ahmad Ibn Fadlan
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479829757
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Earliest surviving instance of sustained first-person travel narrative in Arabic. “A compelling account which is, among other things, the earliest first-hand description of travel from the Muslim world.” —Times Literary Supplement A pioneering text of peerless historical and literary value. In its pages, we move north on a diplomatic mission from Baghdad to the upper reaches of the Volga River in what is now central Russia. In this colorful documentary from the tenth century, the enigmatic Ibn Fa?lan relates his experiences as part of an embassy sent by Caliph al-Muqtadir to deliver political and religious instruction to the recently-converted King of the Bulghars. During eleven months of grueling travel, Ibn Fa?lan records the marvels he witnesses on his journey, including an aurora borealis and the white nights of the North. Crucially, he offers a description of the Viking Rus, including their customs, clothing, body painting, and a striking account of a ship funeral. Together, these anecdotes illuminate a vibrant world of diversity during the heyday of the Abbasid Empire, narrated with as much curiosity and zeal as they were perceived by its observant beholder.

Seven Viking Romances

Author: none
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141966807
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Combining traditional myth, oral history and re-worked European legend to depict an ancient realm of heroism and wonder, the seven tales collected here are among the most fantastical of all the Norse romances. Powerfully inspired works of Icelandic imagination, they relate intriguing, often comical tales of famous kings, difficult gods and women of great beauty, goodness or cunning. The tales plunder a wide range of earlier literature from Homer to the French romances - as in the tale of the wandering hero Arrow-Odd, which combines several older legends, or Egil and Asmund, where the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops is skilfully adapted into a traditional Norse legend. These are among the most outrageous, delightful and exhilarating tales in all Icelandic literature.

Chronicles of the First Crusade

Author: Christopher Tyerman
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141970871
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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'O day so ardently desired! O time of times the most memorable! O deed before all other deeds!' The fall of Jerusalem in the summer of 1099 to an exhausted and starving army of Western European soldiers was one of the most extraordinary events of the Middle Ages.It was both the climax of a great wave of visionary Christian fervour and the beginning of what proved to be a futile and abortive attempt to implant a new European kingdom in an overwhelmingly Muslim world.The legacy of these events continues to be argued over more than nine centuries later.This remarkable collection of first-hand accounts brings to life the First Crusade in all its cruelty and strangeness.

The Book of Contemplation

Author: Usama ibn Munqidh
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141919175
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The volume comprises lightly annotated translation of a key medieval Arabic text that bears directly on the Crusades and Crusader society and the Muslim experience of them.

The History and Topography of Ireland

Author: Gerald of Wales
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141915560
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Gerald of Wales was among the most dynamic and fascinating churchmen of the twelfth century. A member of one of the leading Norman families involved in the invasion of Ireland, he first visited there in 1183 and later returned in the entourage of Henry II. The resulting Topographia Hiberniae is an extraordinary account of his travels. Here he describes landscapes, fish, birds and animals; recounts the history of Ireland's rulers; and tells fantastical stories of magic wells and deadly whirlpools, strange creatures and evil spirits. Written from the point of view of an invader and reformer, this work has been rightly criticized for its portrait of a primitive land, yet it is also one of the most important sources for what is known of Ireland during the Middle Ages.

Two Arabic Travel Books

Author: Ahmad Ibn Fadlan
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479803502
Format: PDF, Mobi
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"Two Arabic Travel Books combines two exceptional exemplars of Arabic travel writing, penned in the same era but chronicling wildly divergent experiences. Accounts of China and India is a compilation of reports and anecdotes on the lands and peoples of the Indian Ocean, from the Somali headlands to China and Korea ... In this account, we first travel east to discover a vivid human landscape, including descriptions of Chinese society and government, Hindu religious practices, and natural life from flying fish to Tibetan musk-deer and Sri Lankan gems. The juxtaposed accounts create a jigsaw picture of a world not unlike our own, a world on the road to globalization ... In Mission to the Volga, we move north on a diplomatic mission from Baghdad to the upper reaches of the Volga River in what is now central Russia. This colorful documentary by Ibn Faḍlān relates the trials and tribulations of an embassy of diplomats and missionaries sent by caliph al-Muqtadir to deliver political and religious instruction to the recently-converted King of the Bulghārs ... Mission to the Volga is also the earliest surviving instance of sustained first-person travel narrative in Arabic--a pioneering text of peerless historical and literary value"--

Chronicle of the Narv ez Expedition

Author: Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780142437070
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This riveting true story is the first major narrative detailing the exploration of North America by Spanish conquistadors (1528-1536). The author, Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, was a fortune-seeking Spanish nobleman and the treasurer of an expedition sent to claim for Spain a vast area of today's southern United States. In simple, straightforward prose, Cabeza de Vaca chronicles the nine-year odyssey endured by the men after a shipwreck forced them to make a westward journey on foot from present-day Florida through Louisiana and Texas into California. In thirty-eight brief chapters, Cabeza de Vaca describes the scores of natural and human obstacles they encountered as they made their way across an unknown land. Cabeza de Vaca's gripping account offers a trove of ethnographic information, including descriptions and interpretations of native cultures, making it a powerful precursor to modern anthropology.

The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition

Author: Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698166760
Format: PDF, Mobi
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For the first time in English, a catalog of the world through fourteenth-century Arab eyes—a kind of Schott’s Miscellany for the Islamic Golden Age An astonishing record of the knowledge of a civilization, The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition catalogs everything known to exist from the perspective of a fourteenth-century Egyptian scholar and litterateur. More than 9,000 pages and thirty volumes—here abridged to one volume, and translated into English for the first time—it contains entries on everything from medieval moon-worshipping cults, sexual aphrodisiacs, and the substance of clouds, to how to get the smell of alcohol off one’s breath, the deliciousness of cheese made from buffalo milk, and the nesting habits of flamingos. Similar works by Western authors, including Pliny’s Natural History, have been available in English for centuries. This groundbreaking translation of a remarkable Arabic text—expertly abridged and annotated—offers a look at the world through the highly literary and impressively knowledgeable societies of the classical Islamic world. Meticulously arranged and delightfully eclectic, it is a compendium to be treasured—a true monument of erudition. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.