The Adventure Of IBN BATTUTA Historic Collections


Ibn battuta

Historic collections


Created by

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

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Copyright @ Dr Iwan 2012




        Ibn Battuta stayed in Fathabad, a suburb of Bukhara, where there was a large zaviya and a mausoleum, which struck him by its dimensions, near the tomb of a sacred hermit Saif at-Din al-Baharzi. The Sheikh of the zaviya invited Ibn Battuta to his place, as well as all notables of the city, and ‘…reciters read the holy Koran in their pleasant voices, while the preacher made a sermon. They sang wonderful songs in Turkic and Persian. That was the most wonderful night of all nights.’ There is nothing like these lively details retained in the memory of an inquisitive and well-wishing person! And there are a lot of such excerpts in the manuscript, that is why the book is considered a masterpiece of rihla – geographic description of a country a traveller saw with his own eyes. Biographies of historical personalities often contain data that cannot be found in other sources.

        The next city Ibn Battuta visited was Samarkand. ‘It is one of the largest and most beautiful cities,’ Ibn Battuta writes, and remarks with bitterness that ‘most of Samarkand was turned into a shambles.’ The traveler could not but admire the beautiful mausoleums of the Shah-in-Zinda ensemble. He made special mention of a Muslim sanctity – the tomb of Sheikh Kusan ibn-Abbas of whom a legend says that he is Prophet Mukhammad’s cousin. ‘Over the grave is erected a dome on four supports, each of them flanked with twin marble columns of green, black, white and red colours. The walls of the mausoleum are decorated with multicoloured gilded inlay; its roof is covered with lead; the tomb is made of inlaid ebony, with silver-studded corners, and three silver lamps are hung inside. The floor of the mausoleum is covered with wool and cotton carpets…’

        From Samarkand the Moroccan traveler set his feet to Termez, which was a large city for that time, with beautiful buildings and market-places and an abundance of orchards and vineyards. Ibn Battuta pointed out some curious details of local everyday life. ‘In the baths city dwellers wash their heads with sour milk,’ he recalls. ‘Each bathhouse attendant has a lot of jugs filled with sour milk. Everyone who comes to the baths pours some milk into a small bowl and washes his head. This milk freshens the hair and makes it soft…’

        Of great importance for historians are Ibn Battuta’s data on the movement of sarbedars, which started in Khorasan in the 1330s as an expression of social and political protest of representatives of the middle class against the policy of Mongolian invaders. In 1365 the sarbedars headed an uprising in Samarkand and won. Their independent state existed in Khorasan from 1337 through 1381. They had their own army, minted their own coins, and abolished some taxes imposed by the Mongols. Meanwhile, there is practically no evidence of eyewitnesses about this movement in written sources

Abu Abdallah ibn Battuta was born in 1304 in Tangier, Morocco, across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain. He came from a Muslim family of legal scholars and judges. Like them, he studied the Sharia, the sacred law of the Muslims based on the Koran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. This prepared him to become a qadi, a Muslim judge.

Because of the gold trade, several successive empires arose in West Africa south of the Sahara. The Empire of Mali took over this area in the early 1200s and soon adopted Islam as its official religion. Mali included many different African peoples as well as Arab and Berber immigrants. Its gold financed a strong army of bowmen and an armored cavalry. But the real source of Mali’s success was its flourishing commerce with Muslim merchants and caravan traders. Africans traded gold, ivory, hides, and slaves for Arab and Berber salt, cloth, paper, and horses. The peak of Mali power and wealth took place under Mansa Musa and his successor, Mansa Sulayman whom Ibn Battuta met on his journey


Timbuktu was founded around 1100 as a market town bordering the Sahara. Almost from the beginning, it seems to have been a Muslim town. It was self-governing until Mansa Musa annexed it without bloodshed to the Mali Empire in 1325. Even after that, the city continued running its own affairs with little control from the Mali kings. Black African farmers and river people as well as white Arab and Berber merchants populated the city, making it an ethnically mixed settlement. It became known as a place open to newcomers and a city of refuge






Ibn Battuta’s Journey to the Hajj
Ibn Battuta arrived to southeren china in 1346

At age 21, Ibn Battuta left his parents to go on a hajj. This was a pilgrimage to Mecca, the holy city of Islam. After traveling across North Africa to Egypt, he took a detour through Palestine and Syria.

After Ibn Battuta studied for a while in Mecca, he left in 1328 to make his way down the Red Sea. He boarded a trading ship and sailed halfway down the east coast of Africa. Muslim merchants had established trading ports in East Africa, mainly to trade for African gold. Ibn Battuta next traveled north through the Middle East and Persia to Russia and then eastward into Central Asia


Ibn Battuta had decided to cross the sea and take the longer route to reach India. He spent about a month or more in Sinope waiting for a favorable wind to take him and his companions to the Crimean peninsula.

The ship’s captain, for some reason, decided to launch into the open sea and make a straight course for the Crimea instead of keeping close to the coasts. A storm had hit them three nights later, nearly blowing back to Sinope. The storm passed a few days later, and Ibn and his companions disembarked somewhere along the rural Crimean coast, not in a port. In al-Qiram, he traveled under the imperial escort of Tuluktemur to Azak. Near Azak, he was able to meet with Ozbeg khan, who was currently not at New Saray. Ibn Battuta was amazed by how women were treated in Mongol states. He had met with one of Ozbeg’s khatuns, or wives, and later joined her on a journey to Constantinople where she gave birth to her child. Apparently, she was the daughter of Andronicus III. After a month, he reached Astrakhan, and after finding out Ozbeg returned to New Saray, he set off once again. Ibn Battuta found the capital city “of boundless size” and “choked with its inhabitants.” From New Saray, he traveled south to Sarachik and traveled parts of Khawrzim, Transoxiana, and possibly Khurasan.

Ibn Battuta decided to travel from Anatolia to India by taking an alternative route across the Black Sea and the Central Asian Steppe. Along the route Ibn witnessed a high amount of violence and storms. For example, at the port of Kerch, he saw people trying to signal his ship not to dock and feared there may have been pirates. The following quote was during a violent storm experienced on the Black Sea:

We were in the sore of straits and destruction visibly before our eyes. I was in the cabin along with a man named Abu Bakr, and I bade him to go up on deck to observe the state of the sea. He did so and came back to me in the cabin saying to me “I commend you to God.”

Customs under Mongol and Turkish rule were immensely different from his hometown. In Persia, Ibn traveled under the mahalla of the Mongol King to al-Qiram and took a 700 mile wagon journey with the imperial court under the supervision of guides. Over the next year, Ibn traveled across Turkey in two and four wheeled carts. In May 1332 he had the privelege of traveling with the Ozbeg khan. He realized women were treated different under Mongol Rule. Mongol women had freedom, respect, and were near equal to men, which was different than the customs of Arab countries. Islamic customs were also different. In 1332-1333, Ibn traveled through: Astrakhan, New Saray, Sarachik, Ugench, Bukhara, Nakhshab, Samarkand, Tirmidh, Balkh, Qunduz, Charikar, and Kabul before arriving in Ghazna. He may have also taken a detour west from Balkh. From Ghazna Ibn moved southward in the company of merchants and arrived in India with 4,000 horses. They traveled through the Sulayman Mountains through the Khyber pass. On September 12, 1333 he reached the Indus River. Ibn Battuta was about to become a servant to Muhammad Tughluq at the court of Delhi.


Ibn Battuta crossed the Black Sea to Kaffa. There was only one mosque in the town since most of the people were Christians and Ibn Battuta was not very happy when the church bell rang. When he got ot al-Qiram he heard some good news. He could make the 700 mile trip to the Volga River with the King of the Golden Horde. So he bought 3 caravans and rushed to catch up to the king. Soon they caught up to the Khan, Ozbeg, and Ibn Battuta met with him an described the treatment of the women. He also described the food eaten by these Turks and was shocked about the fact that they drank an alchoholic drink called buza, he reminds me of Dr. Drew whenever he shows such disapproval to the drinks and drugs of a region. When they reached Astrakan it was discovered that the 3rd wife of the Khan was pregnant. So she was given permisssion to go and visit her father in Constantinople and Ibn Battuta got permission to go with her. Ibn Battuta stayed in Constantinople for a month and got to meet the emperor, Andronicus lll. Ibn Battuta was returning to the steps when a teribble winter was beginning. They traveled north from Astrakan to meet the Khan at New Saray. Ibn Battuta left New Saray heading in the direction of India, passing ruins of places attacked by Mongols along the way

After crossing the Black Sea and being continuously hit by severe storms, Ibn Battuta reached the central Asian Steppe. The Golden Horde khan, Ozbeg Khan had already proposed Islam as the main religion for the entire state, and Ibn was quite delighted. He described the Khan as one of “the seven kings who are great and mighty kings of the world”. He also met Princess Bayalun, the khan’s 3rd ranking wife, who had experienced the same feeling of “homesickness” as she was from Byzantium. From region to region, he learned more about the differences of Islam which were very unlike the practices he observed in his hometown. Ibn Battuta also managed to stay in Constantinople for a while and got plenty of gifts… (why do the people he meets keep giving him so much FREE stuff!?!)

Ibn Battuta eventually arrived in Hindu Kush after a 3-4 month journey. As he ends his stay in the Central Asian Steppes, so did the first part of the Rihla, signifying an important transition in his career. Though, he still has a lot more to explore….


Ibn Battuta visits the Steppes of Central Asia, homeland of the Turkish and the Mongols. It is here that he learns of the differences in the religion of Islam by region. The Muslims of Russia and modern-day Mongolia observe different religious practices for the month of Ramadan (A month of fasting during daylight hours) and praying towards Mecca 5 times a day. These differences occur because they are farther North and the daytime is much longer. We also find that, once again, Ibn Battuta is lucky to be travelling at the time he has chosen to do so. The Golden Horde Khanate had just recently chosen Islam as the state religion and so a large influx of scholars, qadis and jurists had filled the newly constructed Mosques and provided for a comfortable stay in the cities of Astrakhan and New Saray.


Ibn Battuta sailed west into the Mediterranean bound for Anatolia. He was attempting to go to India, but was sailing in the wrong direction. After not finding a translator in Jidda, he travelled down the Nile to Cairo. While in Cairo he met a legal scholar who he would remain friends with for years. They travelled through the mountains and boarded a ship to Alanya and Antalya. In Antalya, Ibn made the mistake of confusing a shaykh of the Akhis as a poor man. The fityan organization or Akhis were a group who provided hospitalitiy to travelers. He was “greatly astonished at their generosity and innate nobility”. They may be important throughout the coming chapters. While crossing the Sakarya River, Ibn’s Turkish horsewomen guide and her servent fell from their horses and were washed downstream. The women was rescued, but her servant died. While in a Turcoman village, Ibn hired another guide, but the man fled with money and left Ibn and his party in the snow.  While in Mudurnu, Ibn realized he needed an interpretor who spoke Arabic. He hired a local educated man, but the man proved to be a theif and attempted to steal and sell anything he could get his hands on. They were forced to continue using his services to get through the mountains. To add to Ibn’s misfortune, his slave girl almost drowned crossing another river. Luckily, Ibn finally arrived at Kastamonu. From there he traveled northeast into the Pontic.

After his third pilgrimage to Mecca, Ibn Battuta couild not stop thinking about getting a high paying job under the Sultan of Delhi. So he went to Jidd in search of a guide who could speak Persian and knew India well. But his search in India was not a success, so he traveled back to Egypt and went with a caravan to Damascus. From there he traveled, by Geonoese trading ship, to Alanya. While pleased with the Turks hospitality and faith, Ibn Battuta was suprised that “they eat hashish, and think no harm of it.” From Alanya he traveled to Antaliya which he described as ” one of the most attractive towns seen anywhere.” In every town that he trveled to Ibn Battuta was greeted heartily, lavished with gifts, and recommded to someone he could stay with in the next town. After getting to Sinop, the port in the Black Sea, it was decided that he would travel into the steppe lands. The Land of the Golden Horde


After returning to Mecca from his travels along the coast of Eastern Africa Ibn Battuta decided to set out for India a second time. Once again, however he became side tracked and ventured Northward, visiting the Nile valley in Egypt and Palestine once again, but then continuing farther North into Anatolia (Modern-Day Turkey). After sailing from Palestine to the Southern coast of Anatolia he travelled to many of the in-land cities there before winding up at Sinop, a town on the Black Sea. He sailed to Kerch in the Northern Black Sea and then travelled to Kaffa, Sudak, al-Qiram, and then on a long land route to Constantinople and back. Ibn Battuta ends his travels in this chapter at the city of Kastamonu, where he enjoyed feasting and staying with other scholars.

Then, riding northeastward into the Pontic, he crossed one of the high passes and descended through the dense forests of the northen slopes, the Black Sea and the land of the Golden Horde before him.

There seemed to be a lot of confusion on Ibn Battuta’s exact itinerary through Anatolia. No one seems to be sure which way he went after leaving Egridir, although logic would suggest that he continues eastward over the Sultan Daghlari mountains to Konya at the southwestern edge of the central plateau and arriving there sometime around early January 1331. The most interesting part in the book I found was when Ibn Battuta was introduced to the fityan associations of Anatolia, the institution that would later see to him through more than 25 different towns and cities. The fityan were a group of unmarried young men representing generally the artisan classes of Anatolian towns. Their purpose was essentially “the social one of providing a structure of solidarity and mutual aid in the urban environment.” Their code of conduct went by the name of futuwwa. They expressed the qualities of nobility, honesty, loyalty, and courage. Each association had a distinctive costume, and members met regularly in their lodges or their own homes. Ibn Battuta was “greatly astonished at their generosity and innate nobility.”


Ibn Battuta, yet again returned to Mecca to make his third pilgrimage. Although nobody knows how long he stayed there or what else he did, we know that it’s where he decided to actually go to India. He learns that the Sultan of Delhi was inviting many Muslim scholars and his first step was to find a guide, or more likely a translator who knew how to speak Persian. Unfortunate nobody to guide to India.

He ventured back to the Nile Valley (Egypt) and Palestine and finally continuing on to Anatolia. He visited the cities of Alanya, and Anatilya thereafter. Among the people that he meeted were other Muslim scholars that greeted him with food and shelter. Finally, he arrived at the port of Sinop in the Black Sea, where his next stop would be the steppes.

 indonesian version

Tahun Ibnu Batutah lahir
Feb 24, 1304
Abu Abdallah ibn Battuta dilahirkan di 1304 di Tangier, Maroko, melintasi Selat Gibraltar dari Spanyol. Dia datang dari keluarga Muslim sarjana hukum dan hakim. Seperti mereka, ia mempelajari Syariah, hukum suci umat Islam berdasarkan Al-Quran dan ajaran Nabi Muhammad. Ini menyiapkan dirinya untuk menjadi kadi, seorang hakim Muslim.

Ibnu Battua bertemu perjalanannya

Karena perdagangan emas, kerajaan berturut-turut muncul beberapa di Afrika Barat selatan Sahara. Kekaisaran Mali mengambil alih wilayah ini pada 1200 awal dan segera mengadopsi Islam sebagai agama resmi. Mali termasuk banyak orang Afrika yang berbeda serta imigran Arab dan Berber. Emas membiayai tentara yang kuat dari para pemanah dan kavaleri lapis baja.

Namun sumber nyata dari keberhasilan Mali

adalah perdagangan berkembang dengan pedagang Muslim dan pedagang karavan. Afrika diperdagangkan emas, gading, kulit, dan budak bagi Arab Berber dan garam, kain, kertas, dan kuda. Puncak kekuasaan dan kekayaan Mali berlangsung di bawah Mansa Musa dan penggantinya, Mansa Sulaiman yang Ibn Batutah bertemu di perjalanan

Timbuktu didirikan sekitar 1100 sebagai sebuah kota pasar yang berbatasan dengan Sahara.
Timbuktu didirikan sekitar 1100 sebagai sebuah kota pasar yang berbatasan dengan Sahara. Hampir dari awal, tampaknya telah menjadi kota muslim. Itu adalah pemerintahan sendiri sampai Mansa Musa mencaploknya tanpa pertumpahan darah ke Kekaisaran Mali di 1325. Bahkan setelah itu, kota terus menjalankan urusan sendiri dengan sedikit kontrol dari raja-raja Mali. Petani Afrika hitam dan orang-orang sungai serta pedagang Arab dan Berber putih penduduk kota, sehingga penyelesaian etnis campuran. Ini dikenal sebagai tempat terbuka untuk pendatang baru dan kota perlindungan

KUNO Mekah

Ibnu Batutah Perjalanan ke Haji
Ibnu Batutah datang untuk southeren cina tahun 1346

Pada usia 21, Ibnu Batutah meninggalkan orang tuanya untuk pergi pada haji. Ini adalah ziarah ke Mekah, kota suci Islam. Setelah bepergian di Afrika Utara ke Mesir, ia mengambil jalan memutar melalui Palestina dan Suriah.

Ibnu Batutah daun Mekkah untuk membuat jalan ke Laut Merah
Setelah Ibnu Batutah belajar untuk sementara waktu di Mekah, ia meninggalkan di 1328 untuk membuat jalan nya ke Laut Merah. Dia naik kapal perdagangan dan berlayar di tengah pantai timur Afrika. Pedagang Muslim telah mendirikan pelabuhan dagang di Afrika Timur, terutama untuk perdagangan untuk emas di Afrika. Ibnu Batutah berikutnya perjalanan ke utara melalui Timur Tengah dan Persia ke Rusia dan kemudian ke timur ke Asia Tengah

Ibnu Batutah telah memutuskan untuk menyeberangi laut dan mengambil rute yang lebih panjang untuk mencapai India. Dia menghabiskan sekitar satu bulan atau lebih di Sinope menunggu angin yang menguntungkan untuk mengambil dia dan teman-temannya ke Semenanjung Krimea.

Kapten kapal, untuk beberapa alasan, memutuskan untuk meluncurkan ke laut terbuka dan membuat kursus langsung Krimea bukannya menjaga dekat dengan pantai. Badai telah memukul mereka tiga malam kemudian, hampir meniup kembali ke Sinope. Badai berlalu beberapa hari kemudian, dan Ibnu dan teman-temannya turun di suatu tempat di sepanjang pantai Krimea pedesaan, bukan di port. Dalam al-Qiram, ia melakukan perjalanan di bawah pengawalan kekaisaran Tuluktemur untuk Azak. Dekat Azak, ia dapat bertemu dengan Ozbeg khan, yang saat ini tidak di Saray Baru. Ibnu Batutah kagum dengan bagaimana wanita diperlakukan di negara Mongol. Dia telah bertemu dengan salah satu khatuns Ozbeg, atau istri, dan kemudian bergabung dengannya dalam perjalanan ke Konstantinopel di mana ia melahirkan anaknya. Rupanya, dia adalah putri Andronikus III. Setelah sebulan, ia mencapai Astrakhan, dan setelah mencari tahu Ozbeg kembali ke New Saray, ia berangkat sekali lagi. Ibnu Batutah menemukan ibukota “ukuran tak terbatas” dan “tercekik dengan penghuninya.” Dari Saray Baru, ia melakukan perjalanan ke selatan untuk Sarachik dan melakukan perjalanan bagian Khawrzim, Transoxiana, dan mungkin Khurasan.

 Stepa ini
Ibnu Batutah memutuskan untuk melakukan perjalanan dari Anatolia ke India dengan mengambil rute alternatif menyeberangi Laut Hitam dan Asia Tengah Steppe. Sepanjang rute Ibnu menyaksikan sejumlah kekerasan yang tinggi dan badai. Sebagai contoh, di pelabuhan Kerch, ia melihat orang yang mencoba untuk sinyal kapalnya ke dermaga dan tidak takut mungkin ada bajak laut. Kutipan berikut ini selama badai kekerasan yang dialami di Laut Hitam:

Kami berada di selat dan sakit dari kehancuran tampak di depan mata kita. Saya berada di kabin bersama dengan seorang pria bernama Abu Bakar, dan aku menyuruhnya untuk naik di dek untuk mengamati keadaan laut. Ia melakukannya dan kembali ke saya dalam kabin berkata kepadaku “Aku memuji kita kepada Allah.”

Bea bawah kekuasaan Mongol dan Turki sangat berbeda dari kota kelahirannya. Di Persia, Ibnu perjalanan bawah Mahalla Raja Mongol ke al-Qiram dan mengambil perjalanan 700 mil gerobak dengan istana kekaisaran di bawah pengawasan panduan. Selama tahun berikutnya, Ibnu perjalanan melintasi Turki dalam dua dan empat roda gerobak. Pada Mei 1332 ia memiliki hak istimewa untuk bepergian dengan Ozbeg khan. Dia menyadari perempuan diperlakukan berbeda di bawah Peraturan Mongol. Mongol wanita memiliki kebebasan, rasa hormat, dan berada di dekat setara dengan laki-laki, yang berbeda dari kebiasaan negara-negara Arab. Pabean Islam juga berbeda. Pada 1332-1333, Ibnu perjalanan melalui: Astrakhan, Baru Saray, Sarachik, Ugench, Bukhara, Nakhsyab, Samarkand, Tirmidh, Balkh, Qunduz, Charikar, dan Kabul sebelum tiba di Ghazna. Dia mungkin juga mengambil jalan memutar dari Balkh barat. Dari Ghazna Ibnu pindah selatan di perusahaan pedagang dan tiba di India dengan 4.000 kuda. Mereka melakukan perjalanan melalui Pegunungan Sulaiman melalui Khyber lulus. Pada September 12, 1333 ia mencapai Sungai Indus. Ibnu Batutah akan menjadi hamba kepada Muhammad Tughluq di pengadilan Delhi.

Diposkan oleh michaelwp2 dalam Bab 08, Michael Wright | 2 Comments »

Stepa ini
Ibnu Batutah menyeberangi Laut Hitam ke Kaffa. Hanya ada satu masjid di kota karena sebagian besar orang Kristen dan Ibnu Batutah tidak terlalu senang ketika lonceng gereja berbunyi. Ketika dia ot al-Qiram ia mendengar beberapa kabar baik. Dia bisa melakukan perjalanan 700 mil ke Sungai Volga dengan Raja Horde Emas. Jadi dia membeli 3 karavan dan bergegas untuk mengejar raja. Segera mereka terjebak ke Khan, Ozbeg, dan Ibnu Batutah bertemu dengan dia sebuah menggambarkan perlakuan terhadap perempuan. Dia juga menggambarkan makanan yang dimakan oleh Turki dan terkejut tentang fakta bahwa mereka minum minuman beralkohol yang disebut buza, dia mengingatkan saya pada Dr Drew setiap kali dia menunjukkan ketidaksetujuan tersebut untuk minuman dan obat-obatan suatu daerah. Ketika mereka sampai Astrakan ditemukan bahwa istri ke-3 Khan sedang hamil. Jadi dia diberi permisssion untuk pergi dan mengunjungi ayahnya di Konstantinopel dan Ibnu Batutah mendapat izin untuk pergi bersamanya. Ibnu Batutah tinggal di Konstantinopel selama satu bulan dan harus memenuhi kaisar, Andronikus III. Ibnu Batutah adalah kembali ke langkah ketika musim dingin teribble mulai. Mereka melakukan perjalanan ke utara dari Astrakan untuk memenuhi Khan di New Saray. Ibnu Batutah meninggalkan Saray Baru menuju ke arah India, melewati reruntuhan tempat diserang oleh bangsa Mongol di sepanjang jalan

Stepa ini
Setelah menyeberangi Laut Hitam dan yang terus menerus dilanda badai parah, Ibnu Batutah mencapai Steppe Asia Tengah. Golden Horde khan, Ozbeg Khan sudah mengusulkan Islam sebagai agama utama untuk seluruh negara bagian, dan Ibnu cukup senang. Dia menggambarkan Khan sebagai salah satu “tujuh raja yang hebat dan raja dunia”. Ia juga bertemu Putri Bayalun, istri peringkat 3 khan, yang pernah mengalami perasaan yang sama dari “kerinduan” karena dia dari Byzantium. Dari daerah ke daerah, ia belajar lebih banyak tentang perbedaan Islam yang sangat berbeda dengan praktek yang diamati di kota kelahirannya. Ibnu Batutah juga berhasil untuk tinggal di Konstantinopel untuk sementara waktu dan mendapat banyak hadiah … (mengapa orang-orang yang bertemu tetap memberikan begitu banyak barang GRATIS?!!)

Ibnu Batutah akhirnya tiba di Hindu Kush setelah perjalanan 3-4 bulan. Saat ia berakhir tinggal di padang Stepa Asia Tengah, begitu pula bagian pertama dari Rihla tersebut, menandakan sebuah transisi penting dalam kariernya. Meskipun, ia masih memiliki lebih banyak untuk mengeksplorasi ….

Diposkan oleh francispp2 dalam Bab 08, Bab, Francis Pioquinto | 2 Comments »

Stepa ini

Ibnu Batutah mengunjungi stepa Asia Tengah, tanah air dari Turki dan Mongol. Di sinilah ia belajar dari perbedaan dalam agama Islam menurut wilayah. Kaum Muslim Rusia dan Mongolia modern mengamati praktik-praktik keagamaan yang berbeda selama bulan Ramadhan (bulan puasa Sebuah selama siang hari) dan berdoa menuju Mekah 5 kali sehari. Perbedaan ini terjadi karena mereka lebih jauh Utara dan siang hari jauh lebih panjang. Kami juga menemukan bahwa, sekali lagi, Ibn Batutah yang beruntung bisa bepergian pada saat ia telah memilih untuk melakukannya. Para Khanate Golden Horde baru-baru ini memilih Islam sebagai agama negara dan sehingga gelombang besar ulama, qadi dan ahli hukum telah memenuhi Masjid yang baru dibangun dan disediakan untuk tinggal yang nyaman di kota-kota Astrakhan dan New Saray.


Ibnu Batutah berlayar ke Mediterania barat menuju Anatolia. Dia mencoba untuk pergi ke India, tapi berlayar ke arah yang salah. Setelah tidak menemukan penerjemah di Jedah, ia pergi ke Sungai Nil ke Kairo. Sementara di Kairo ia bertemu seorang sarjana hukum yang ia akan tetap berteman dengan selama bertahun-tahun. Mereka melakukan perjalanan melalui pegunungan dan naik kapal ke Alanya dan Antalya. Di Antalya, Ibnu membuat kesalahan dengan membingungkan seorang syekh dari Akhis sebagai orang miskin. Organisasi fityan atau Akhis adalah kelompok yang memberikan hospitalitiy untuk wisatawan. Dia “sangat takjub kemurahan hati mereka dan bangsawan bawaan”. Mereka mungkin penting di seluruh bab-bab berikutnya. Sementara menyeberangi Sungai Sakarya, Turki horsewomen Ibnu membimbing dan servent dia jatuh dari kuda-kuda mereka dan dicuci hilir. Para wanita itu diselamatkan, tetapi pelayannya meninggal. Sementara di sebuah desa Turcoman, Ibnu menyewa panduan yang lain, tapi pria itu melarikan diri dengan Ibnu uang dan kiri dan partainya di salju. Sementara di Mudurnu, Ibnu menyadari bahwa ia membutuhkan sebuah interpretor yang berbicara bahasa Arab. Dia menyewa seorang pria berpendidikan lokal, tetapi pria itu terbukti menjadi pencuri dan mencoba untuk mencuri dan menjual apapun yang dia bisa mendapatkan tangannya. Mereka dipaksa untuk terus menggunakan jasanya untuk melewati pegunungan. Untuk menambah kemalangan Ibnu, gadis budak nyaris tenggelam menyeberang sungai lain. Untungnya, Ibnu akhirnya tiba di Kastamonu. Dari sana ia pergi ke timur laut Pontic tersebut.

Setelah ziarah ke Mekah ketiga, Ibnu Batutah couild tidak berhenti berpikir tentang mendapatkan pekerjaan dengan gaji tinggi di bawah Sultan Delhi. Jadi dia pergi ke Jidd mencari pemandu yang dapat berbicara Persia dan India juga tahu. Namun pencarian di India tidak sukses, sehingga ia bepergian kembali ke Mesir dan pergi dengan karavan ke Damaskus. Dari sana ia pergi, dengan kapal dagang Geonoese, ke Alanya. Sementara senang dengan Turki perhotelan dan iman, Ibnu Batutah terkejut bahwa “mereka makan ganja, dan berpikir tidak ada salahnya itu.” Dari Alanya ia pergi ke Antaliya yang dia digambarkan sebagai Dalam setiap “salah satu kota paling menarik dilihat di mana saja.” kota yang dia trveled Ibnu Batutah disambut sungguh-sungguh, mencurahkan dengan hadiah, dan recommded kepada seseorang ia bisa tinggal bersama di kota berikutnya. Setelah sampai ke Sinop, pelabuhan di Laut Hitam, maka diputuskan bahwa ia akan bepergian ke tanah padang rumput. Tanah Horde Emas


Setelah kembali ke Mekkah dari perjalanan sepanjang pantai Afrika Timur Ibnu Batutah memutuskan untuk berangkat ke India untuk kedua kalinya. Sekali lagi, namun ia menjadi sisi dilacak dan berani utara, mengunjungi lembah Nil di Mesir dan Palestina sekali lagi, tetapi kemudian terus jauh ke Utara Anatolia (Turki modern-hari). Setelah berlayar dari Palestina ke daerah pantai selatan Anatolia ia berkunjung ke banyak kota di-tanah di sana sebelum penutupan di Sinop, sebuah kota di Laut Hitam. Dia berlayar ke Kerch di Laut Hitam Utara dan kemudian pergi ke Kaffa, Sudak, al-Qiram, dan kemudian pada sebuah rute darat yang panjang dan kembali ke Konstantinopel. Ibnu Batutah berakhir perjalanannya di bab ini di kota Kastamonu, di mana ia menikmati pesta dan tinggal dengan penerima beasiswa lainnya.

Kemudian, naik ke timur laut Pontic, ia melintasi salah satu melewati tinggi dan turun melalui hutan lebat dari lereng utara, Laut Hitam dan tanah Horde Emas di hadapannya.

Tampaknya ada banyak kebingungan pada jadwal yang tepat Ibnu Batutah melalui Anatolia. Tidak seorang pun tampaknya untuk memastikan arah mana ia pergi setelah meninggalkan Egridir, meskipun logika akan menunjukkan bahwa ia terus ke timur selama Daghlari Sultan pegunungan ke Konya di tepi barat daya dataran tinggi pusat dan tiba di sana pada sekitar awal Januari 1331. Bagian yang paling menarik dalam buku ini saya temukan adalah ketika Ibnu Batutah diperkenalkan kepada asosiasi fityan Anatolia, lembaga yang kemudian akan melihat kepadanya melalui lebih dari 25 kota yang berbeda dan kota. Para fityan adalah sekelompok pemuda yang belum menikah umumnya mewakili kelas tukang kota Anatolia. Tujuan mereka adalah dasarnya “satu sosial menyediakan struktur solidaritas dan saling membantu di lingkungan perkotaan.” Kode etik mereka pergi dengan nama futuwwa. Mereka menyatakan kualitas bangsawan, kejujuran, kesetiaan, dan keberanian. Setiap asosiasi memiliki kostum khas, dan anggota bertemu secara teratur di loge mereka atau rumah mereka sendiri. Ibnu Batutah adalah “sangat heran pada kemurahan hati mereka dan bangsawan bawaan.”

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Ibnu Batutah, lagi-lagi kembali ke Mekkah untuk berziarah ketiga. Meskipun tidak ada yang tahu berapa lama ia tinggal di sana atau apa lagi yang dia lakukan, kita tahu bahwa itu tempat ia memutuskan untuk benar-benar pergi ke India. Dia belajar bahwa Sultan Delhi mengundang cendekiawan Muslim dan langkah pertamanya adalah menemukan panduan, atau lebih mungkin seorang penerjemah yang tahu bagaimana berbicara Persia. Disayangkan tidak ada untuk membimbing ke India.

Ia memberanikan diri kembali ke Lembah Nil (Mesir) dan Palestina dan akhirnya melanjutkan ke Anatolia. Ia mengunjungi kota-kota Alanya, dan Anatilya setelahnya. Di antara orang-orang bahwa dia adalah sarjana muslim meeted lain yang menyambutnya dengan makanan dan tempat berlindung. Akhirnya, ia tiba di pelabuhan Sinop di Laut Hitam, di mana berhenti berikutnya akan menjadi padang rumput.


Ibnu Batutah mencapai India
Ibnu Batutah sampai di India pada 1333. Sultan muslim (raja) memerintah sebagian dari India. Sekarang, banyak yang mendengar tentang Ibnu Batutah dan perjalanannya. Sultan Delhi menyambut dia dengan hadiah dan uang, suatu bentuk keramahan bahwa ia datang ke harapkan dari para penguasa yang ia kunjungi. Ketenaran telah membuatnya mendapatkan kekayaan. Dia tidak lagi pergi sendirian, tapi dengan pelayan dan harem. Sultan juga membuatnya menjadi kadi, seorang hakim Muslim. Dia diadakan ini selama beberapa tahun. Ketika pemberontakan meletus, namun, sultan menjadi curiga banyak di sekitarnya, bahkan Ibnu Batutah. Ibnu Batutah sempat ditangkap. Ketika dirilis, ia melarikan diri Delhi. Tapi sultan memanggilnya kembali. Banyak kejutan Ibn Bathuthah itu, sultan menunjuk dia sebagai duta kepada kaisar Cina



Ibn Battuta reached India in 1333. Muslim sultans (kings) ruled most of India. By now, many had heard of Ibn Battuta and his travels. The sultan of Delhi welcomed him with gifts and money, a form of hospitality that he came to expect from the rulers he visited. His fame had earned him wealth. He no longer traveled alone, but with servants and a harem. The sultan also made him a qadi, a Muslim judge. He held this post for several years. When a rebellion broke out, however, the sultan grew suspicious of many around him, even of Ibn Battuta. Ibn Battuta was briefly arrested. When released, he fled Delhi. But the sultan called him back. Much to Ibn Battuta’s surprise, the sultan appointed him as his ambassador to the emperor of China



In 1333

the Moor, Abu Abdullah Ibn Battuta (1304-1377)

described Samarkand

as “one of the largest and most perfectly beautiful cities in the world.” [1] For the nineteenth century poet, James Elroy Flecker, Samarkand was on a par with Heaven: “Death has no repose warmer and deeper than that Orient sand.” [2] Many others, including Keats, Milton, and Oscar Wilde, have also written about its charms – a spectacular oasis in the desert plains.

From a long history of invasion and a crucial position on the East/West trade routes emerged a city fit for kings – its name derives from Cimes-quinte, literally ‘great town’. Arguably, Samarkand’s most renowned ruler was the Turko-Mongol warrior Tamerlane (1336-1405) or Timur the Lame , who rebuilt the city on the Zarafshan River after the Mongols had largely destroyed it during its capture under Ghengis Khan in 1221. Tamerlane made the city the seat of his considerable power. His successor, Shah Rukh, moved his capital to Herat leaving his son Ulugh Bek to rule Samarkand.

If Tamerlane’s legacy in Asia was a vast empire, in Samarkand it was architecture to reflect such might and magnificence. As an old Arab proverb remarks on one of the buildings “if you want to know about us, observe our buildings.” [3] Principle among these was the Bibi Khanum Mosque, which is still standing, and was to be grander than anything Tamerlane had seen during his conquests. It was built between 1399 and 1404 by 600 slaves and 100 elephants from India, and 200 architects, artists, master craftsmen and masons. It was declared that “its dome would have been unique had it not been for the heavens, its portal would have been unique if it were not for the Milky Way.” [4] Another example of such architecture is the Taj Mahal in Agra, built by Shah Jahnon who himself was a Timurid.



Samarkand also boasted a population fit for such a capital. Tamerlane brought captives from every land he conquered. “From Damascus he brought weavers of silk, and men who made bows, glass and earthenware… From Turkey he brought archers, masons, and silversmiths.” [5] There were also stone-masons from Azerbaijan, Isfahan and Delhi and mosaic-workers from Shiraz, all in such numbers that “the city was not large enough to hold them.” [6]

The population was reported to be over half a million, and netting half the commerce of Asia – such as leather, wool, linen, spices, silk, precious stones, fruit, hounds, horses and even leopards and lions. This was because the city was positioned at the heart of the Great Silk Road, a trading network running from Europe to Japan. The stops along the way, including Samarkand, were points of contact, not just for trade, but also for ideas, philosophies, knowledge and opinions.


Tamerlane’s descendants shared his love of creation, if not his love of war and conquest, and under the Timurid dynasty this part of Asia experienced a period of Muslim learning in the arts and sciences. It was noted that “from the time of Adam until this day no age, period, cycle or moment can be indicated in which people enjoyed such peace and tranquility.” [7]

The city was invaded by the Uzbeks in 1447, and again 50 years later, when they stayed to set up a new Turkic dynasty. Samarkand’s modern-day fate was sealed by the Russian invasion in 1868. Following the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1990 the city now stands as the second major city of Uzbekistan.

[1] Umid World

[2] from the poem, The Golden Journey to Samarkand by James Elroy Flecker, available on-line.

[3] Cited by Lisa Golombek, lecture, University of Victoria, 25 February 1988, Oxus Communications


[5] ‘Narrative of the Embassy of Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo to the Court of Timour at Samarcand AD 1403-6′, New York: Burt Franklin p171

The Golden Road to Samarkand.

Mural, Samarkand,


  • 1342

Ib Battuta set sail for China in 1342, but was shipwrecked. He eventually arrived by sea in southern China in 1346. This was about a half-century after Marco Polo had left China

Ibn Battuta arrived in Tangier late in 1349

Ibn Battuta arrived in Tangier late in 1349. He had been away from home for 24 years. He learned that his mother had died of the plague a few months earlier, and his father had died years before

Ibn Battuta left the Mali capital early in 1353, heading down the Niger River for Timbuktu. This city of about 10,000 people was never a military stronghold or seat of a king. Instead, its fame rested on its reputation as a city of scholars


After visiting with the qadi, scholars, and merchants of Timbuktu, Ibn Battuta joined a caravan going north to Morocco. He arrived home early in 1354. This ended his travels to foreign lands. Altogether, he covered about 75,000 miles in 29 years, meeting with 60 rulers in Asia and Africa. He probably had several wives. (Islamic law permitted a man up to four wives at once


From Wikipedia


Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Al Lawati Al Tanji Ibn Battuta

Full name Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Al Lawati Al Tanji Ibn Battuta Born February, 1304 Tangier, Morocco Died 1368 or 1369

Ibn Battuta was a Moroccan Berber Muslim scholar and traveller who is known for the account of his travels and excursions called the Rihla (Voyage) in Arabic. His journeys lasted for a period of nearly thirty years and covered almost the entirety of the known Islamic world and beyond, extending from North Africa, West Africa, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the West, to the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China in the East, a distance readily surpassing that of his predecessors and his near-contemporary Marco Polo. With this extensive account of his journey, Ibn Battuta is often considered as one of the greatest travellers ever.

A 13th century book illustration produced in Baghdad by al-Wasiti showing a group of pilgrims on a Hajj. All that is known about Ibn Battuta’s life comes from the autobiographical information included in the account of his travels. Ibn Battuta was born into a family of Islamic legal scholars in Tangier, Morocco, on February 24, 1304 during the time of the Marinid dynasty.[2] As a young man he would have studied the Sunni Maliki “school” of Muslim law which was dominant in North Africa at the time.[3] In June 1325, when he was twenty one years old, Ibn Battuta set off from his hometown on a hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca, a journey that would take 16 months, but he would not see Morocco again for 24 years. His journey to Mecca was by land, and followed the North African coast crossing the sultanates of Abd al-Wadid and Hafsid. His route passed through Tlemcen, Béjaïa and then to Tunis where he stayed for two months. He usually chose to join a caravan to reduce the risk of being attacked. In the town of Sfax, he got married for the first of several occasions on his journeys. In the early spring of 1326, after a journey of over 3,500 km (2,200 mi), Ibn Battuta arrived at the port of Alexandria, then part of the Bahri Mamluk empire.

He spent several weeks visiting the sites and then headed inland to Cairo, a large important city and capital of the Mamluk kingdom, where he stayed for about a month. Within Mamluk territory, travelling was relatively safe and he embarked on the first of his many detours. Three commonly used routes existed to Mecca, and Ibn Battuta chose the least-travelled: a journey up the Nile valley, then east to the Red Sea port of Aydhab.[4] However, upon approaching the town he was forced to turn back due to a local rebellion. Returning to Cairo, Ibn Battuta took a second side trip to Damascus (then controlled by the Mamluks), having encountered a holy man during his first trip who prophesied that he would only reach Mecca after a journey through Syria. An additional advantage to the side journey was that other holy places lay along the route—Hebron, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem—and the Mamluk authorities made great efforts to keep the routes safe for pilgrims. After spending the Muslim month of Ramadan in Damascus, he joined up with a caravan travelling the 1,500 km (930 mi) from Damascus to Medina, burial place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. After 4 days in the town, he journeyed on to Mecca. There he completed the usual rituals of a Muslim pilgrim, and having graduated to the status of al-Hajji, faced his return home but instead decided to continue journeying. His next destination was the Ilkhanate situated in modern-day Iraq and Iran. Iraq and Persia

An interactive display about Ibn Battuta in Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates On 17 November 1326, after a month in Mecca, Ibn Battuta joined a large caravan of pilgrims returning across the Arabian Peninsula to Iraq.[5] The caravan first went north to Medina and then, travelling at night, headed northeastwards across the Nejd plateau to Najaf, a journey lasting approximately 44 days. In Najaf he visited the mausoleum of Ali (Ali ibn Abi Talib), the fourth Rashidun (rightly guided Caliph), and son-in-law of Muhammad, a site venerated particularly by the Shi’a community. At this point, instead of continuing on to Baghdad with the caravan, Ibn Battuta started a 6 month detour that took him into Persia. From Najaf he journeyed to Wasit and then south following the Tigris to Basra. His next destination was the town of Esfahan across the Zagros Mountains in Persia. From there he headed south to Shiraz, a large flourishing city which had been spared the destruction wrought by the Mongol invasion on many more northerly towns. Finally, he headed back across the mountains to Baghdad arriving there in June 1327. Parts of the city were in ruins as it had been heavily damaged by the army of Hulagu Khan. In Baghdad he found that Abu Sa’id, the last Mongol ruler of the unified Ilkhanid state was leaving the city and heading north with a large retinue. Ibn Battuta travelled with the royal caravan for a while, then turned north to Tabriz on the Silk Road. It had been the first major city in the region to open its gates to the Mongols and had become an important trading centre after most of its nearby rivals were razed. On returning again to Baghdad, probably in July, he took an excursion northwards following the Tigris, visiting Mosul, then Cizre and Mardin, both in modern Turkey. On returning to Mosul he joined a “feeder” caravan of pilgrims heading south for Baghdad where they met up with the main caravan that crossed the Arabian Desert to Mecca. Ibn Battuta was ill with diarrhea on this crossing and arrived back in Mecca weak and exhausted for his second hajj. East Africa

Ibn Battuta then stayed for some time in Mecca. He suggests in the Rihla that he remained in the town for three years: from September 1327 until autumn 1330. However, because of problems with the chronology, commentators have suggested that he may have spent only one year and left after the hajj of 1328.[6] Leaving Mecca after the hajj in 1328 (or 1330) he made his way to the port of Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea and from there caught a series of boats down the coast. His progress was slow as the vessels had to beat against the south easterly winds. Arriving in the Yemen he visited Zabid, and then the highland town of Ta’izz where he met the Rasulid Malik (king) Mujahid Nur al-Din Ali. Ibn Battuta also mentions visiting Sana’a, but whether he actually did is doubtful.[7] It is more likely that he went directly from Ta’izz to the port of Aden, arriving at around the beginning of 1329 (or 1331).[8] Aden was an important transit centre in the trade between India and Europe. In Aden, he embarked on a ship heading first to Zeila on the African shore of the Gulf of Aden and then on around Cape Guardafui and down the East African coast. Spending about a week in each of his destinations, he visited Mogadishu, Mombasa, Zanzibar, and Kilwa, among others. With the change of the monsoon, he returned by ship to Arabia and visited Oman and the Strait of Hormuz. He then returned to Mecca for the hajj of 1330 (or 1332). Byzantine Empire, Golden Horde, Anatolia, Central Asia and India

After spending another year in Mecca, Ibn Battuta resolved to seek employment with the Muslim Sultan of Delhi, Muhammad bin Tughluq. Needing a guide and translator for his journey, he set off in 1330 (or 1332) to Anatolia, then under the control of the Seljuqs, to join up with one of the caravans that went from there to India. A sea voyage from the Syrian port of Latakia on a Genoese ship landed him in Alanya on the southern coast of modern-day Turkey. From Alanya he travelled by land to Konya and then to Sinope on the Black Sea coast.[9] Crossing the Black Sea, Ibn Battuta landed in Caffa (now Feodosiya), in the Crimea, and entered the lands of the Golden Horde. He bought a wagon and fortuitously was able to join the caravan of Ozbeg, the Golden Horde’s Khan, on a journey as far as Astrakhan on the Volga River. Upon reaching Astrakhan, the Khan allowed one of his pregnant wives, Princess Bayalun, supposedly an illegitimate daughter of Byzantine Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos, to return to her home city of Constantinople to give birth. Ibn Battuta talked his way into this expedition, his first beyond the boundaries of the Islamic world.[10] Arriving in Constantinople towards the end of 1332 (or 1334), he met the Byzantine emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos and saw the outside of the great church of Hagia Sophia. After a month in the city, he retraced his route to Astrakhan, then continued past the Caspian and Aral Seas to Bukhara and Samarkand. From there, he journeyed south to Afghanistan, the mountain passes of which he used to cross into India.[11] The Delhi Sultanate was a new addition to Dar al-Islam, and Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq had resolved to import as many Muslim scholars and other functionaries as possible to consolidate his rule. On the strength of his years of study while in Mecca, Ibn Battuta was employed as a qazi (“judge”) by the sultan. Tughlaq was erratic even by the standards of the time, and Ibn Battuta veered between living the high life of a trusted subordinate, and being under suspicion for a variety of treasons against the government. Eventually he resolved to leave on the pretext of taking another hajj, but the Sultan asked him to become his ambassador to Yuan Dynasty China. Given the opportunity to both get away from the Sultan and visit new lands, Ibn Battuta took the opportunity. Southeast Asia and China

En route to the coast, he and his party were attacked by Hindus,[12] and, separated from the others, he was robbed and nearly lost his life.[13] Nevertheless, he managed to catch up with his group within ten days and continued the journey to Khambhat (Cambay). From there, they sailed to Kozhikode (Calicut) (two centuries later, Vasco da Gama also landed at the same place). However, while Ibn Battuta visited a mosque on shore, a storm came up, and one of the ships of his expedition were sunk.[14] The other then sailed away without him and ended up being seized by a local king in Sumatra a few months later. Fearful of returning to Delhi as a failure, he stayed for a time in the south of India under the protection of Jamal-ud-Din. Jamal-ud-Din was ruler of a small but powerful Nawayath sultanate on the banks of the Sharavathi River on the Arabian Sea coast. This place is presently known as Hosapattana and is located in the Honavar tehsil of Uttara Kannada district. When the sultanate was overthrown, it became necessary for Ibn Battuta to leave India altogether. He resolved to carry on to China, with a detour near the beginning of the journey to the Maldives. He spent nine months in the Maldive Islands, much longer than he had intended. As a qadi, his skills were highly desirable in these formerly Buddhist islands that had been recently converted to Islam, and he was half-bribed, half-kidnapped into staying.

Appointed chief judge and marrying into the royal family of Omar I, he became embroiled in local politics and ended up leaving after wearing out his welcome by imposing strict judgments in the laissez-faire island kingdom. In the Rihla he mentions his dismay at the local women going about with no clothing above the waist, and remarking his criticism of this practice, but being ignored by the locals. From there, he carried on to Sri Lanka for a visit to Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada). Setting sail from Sri Lanka, his ship nearly sank in a storm, then the ship that rescued him was attacked by pirates. Stranded on shore, Ibn Battuta once again worked his way back to Kozhikode, from where he then sailed to the Maldives again before getting on board a Chinese junk and trying once again to get to the Mongol Yuan Dynasty China. This time he succeeded, reaching in quick succession Chittagong, Sumatra, Vietnam, the Philippines and then finally Quanzhou in Fujian Province, China. From there, he went north to Hangzhou, not far from modern-day Shanghai. He also described travelling further north, through the Grand Canal to Beijing, although it is considered unlikely that he actually did so.[15] Return home and the Black Death

Returning to Quanzhou, Ibn Battuta decided to return home to Morocco. Returning to Calicut(Kozhikode now) once again, he considered throwing himself at the mercy of Muhammed Tughlaq but thought better of it and decided to carry on to Mecca. Returning via Hormuz and the Ilkhanate, he saw that the state had dissolved into civil war with Abu Sa’id having died since his previous trip there. Returning to Damascus with the intention of retracing the route of his first hajj, he learned that his father had died. Death was the theme of the next year or so, for the Black Death had begun, and Ibn Battuta was on hand as it spread through Syria, Palestine, and Arabia. After reaching Mecca, he decided to return to Morocco, nearly a quarter century after leaving it. During the trip he made one last detour to Sardinia, then returned to Tangier to discover that his mother had also died, a few months before. Andalus and North Africa

After a few days in Tangier, Ibn Battuta set out for a trip to al-Andalus—Muslim Iberia. Alfonso XI of Castile and León was threatening the conquest of Gibraltar, and Ibn Battuta joined up with a group of Muslims leaving Tangier with the intention of defending the port. By the time he arrived, the Black Death had killed Alfonso, and the threat had receded, so Ibn Battuta decided to visit for pleasure instead. He travelled through Valencia and ended up in Granada. Leaving al-Andalus, he decided to travel through one of the few parts of the Muslim world that he had never explored: Morocco. On his return home, he stopped for a while in Marrakech, which was nearly a ghost town after the recent plague and the transfer of the capital to Fez. Once more he returned to Tangier, and once more he moved on. Two years before his own first visit to Cairo, the Malian Mansa (king of kings) Musa had passed through the same city on his own hajj and had caused a sensation with his extravagant riches—West Africa contained vast quantities of gold, previously unknown to the rest of the world. While Ibn Battuta never mentions this specifically, hearing of this during his own trip could have planted a seed in his mind, for he decided to set out and visit the Muslim kingdom on the far side of the Sahara desert. The Sahara Desert to Mali and Timbuktu

A 13th century book illustration produced in Baghdad by al-Wasiti showing a slave-market in the town of Zabid in Yemen. In the autumn of 1351, Ibn Battuta left Fes and made his way to the town of Sijilmasa on the northern edge of the Sahara desert in present day Morocco.[16] There he bought some camels and stayed for four months. He set out again with a caravan in February 1352 and after 25 days, arrived at the salt mines of Taghaza which were situated in the bed of a dry salt lake. The buildings were constructed from slabs of salt by slaves of the Masufa tribe, who cut the salt in thick slabs for transport by camel. Taghaza was a commercial centre and awash with Malian gold, though Ibn Battuta did not have a favourable impression of the place: the water was brackish and the place was plagued with flies. After a 10 day stay in Taghaza the caravan set out for the oasis of Tasarahla (probably Bir al-Ksaib)[17] where it stopped for 3 days to prepare for the last and most difficult leg of the journey across a vast sand desert. From Tasarahla a Masufa scout was sent ahead to the oasis town of Oualata to arrange for a party to bring water a distance of four days travel to meet the thirsty caravan. Oualata was the southern terminus of the trans-Saharan trade route and had recently become part of the Mali Empire. Altogether, the caravan took two months to cross the 1,600 km (990 mi) of desert from Sijilmasa.[18] From there, he travelled southwest along a river he believed to be the Nile (it was actually the Niger River) until he reached the capital of the Mali Empire.[19] There he met Mansa Suleyman, king since 1341. Dubious about the miserly hospitality of the king, he nevertheless stayed for eight months. Ibn Battuta disapproved that female slaves, servants and even the daughters of the sultan went about completely naked. He left the capital in February and journeyed overland by camel to Timbuktu.[20] Though in the next two centuries it would become the most important city in the region, at the time it was small and unimpressive, and Ibn Battuta soon moved on by boat to Gao where he spent a month. While at the oasis of Takedda on his journey back across the desert, he received a message from the Sultan of Morocco commanding him to return home. He set off for Sijilmasa in September 1353 accompanying a large caravan transporting 600 black female slaves. He arrived back in Morocco early in 1354. The Rihla

After returning home from his travels in 1354 and at the instigation of the Sultan of Morocco, Abu Inan Faris, Ibn Battuta dictated an account of his journeys to Ibn Juzayy, a scholar whom he had met previously in Granada. The account, recorded by Ibn Juzayy and interspersed with the latter’s own comments, is the only source of information on his adventures. The title of the manuscript may be translated as A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling but is often simply referred to as the Rihla or “The Journey”. There is no indication that Ibn Battuta made any notes during his 29 years of travelling, so, when he came to dictate an account of his adventures, he had to rely on his memory and to make use of manuscripts produced by earlier travellers. When describing Damascus, Mecca, Medina and some other places in the Middle East, Ibn Juzayy clearly copied passages from the 12th century account by Ibn Jubayr.[21] Similarly, most of Ibn Juzayy’s descriptions of places in Palestine were copied from an account by the 13th century traveller Muhammad al-Abdari.[22]

House in the Medina of Tangier perhaps lodging Ibn Battuta’s grave.

Western Orientalists do not believe that Ibn Battuta visited all the places that he described and argue that in order to provide a comprehensive description of places in the Muslim world Ibn Battuta relied on hearsay evidence and made use of accounts by earlier travellers. For example, it is considered very unlikely that Ibn Battuta made a trip up the Volga River from New Sarai to visit Bolghar[23] and there are serious doubts about a number of other journeys such as his trip to Sana’a in Yemen,[24] his journey from Balkh to Bistam in Khorasan[25] and his trip around Anatolia.[26] Some orientalists have also questioned whether he really visited China.[27] Nevertheless, whilst apparently fictional in places, the Rihla provides an important account of many areas of the world in the 14th century. Ibn Battuta often experienced culture shock in regions he visited where local customs of recently converted peoples did not fit his orthodox Muslim background. Among Turks and Mongols, he was astonished at the way women behaved (he remarked that on seeing a Turkish couple, and noting the woman’s freedom of speech, he had assumed that the man was the woman’s servant, but he was in fact her husband) and he felt that dress customs in the Maldives, and some sub-Saharan regions in Africa were too revealing. After the completion of the Rihla in 1355, little is known about Ibn Battuta’s life. He was appointed a judge in Morocco and died in 1368 or 1369.[28] For centuries his book was obscure, even within the Muslim world, but in the early 1800s extracts were published in German and English based on manuscripts discovered in the Middle East containing abridged versions of Ibn Juzayy’s Arabic text. When French forces occupied Algeria in the 1830’s they discovered five manuscripts in Constantine including two that contained more complete versions of the text.[29] These manuscripts were brought back to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and studied by the French scholars, Charles Defrémery and Beniamino Sanguinetti. Beginning in 1853, they published a series of four volumes containing the Arabic text, extensive notes and a translation into French.[30] Defrémery and Sanguinetti’s printed text has now been translated into many other languages. Ibn Battuta has grown in fame and is now a well-known figure.


Places visited by Ibn Battuta


. Ibn Battuta travelled almost 75,000 miles in his lifetime. Here is a list of places he visited. Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia Tangier Fes Marrakech Tlemcen (Tilimsan) Miliana Algiers Djurdjura Mountains Béjaïa Constantine – Named as Qusantînah. Annaba – Also called Bona. Tunis – At that time, Abu Yahya (son of Abu Zajaria) was the sultan of Tunis. Sousse – Also called Susah. Sfax Gabès Libya Tripoli Mamluk Empire Cairo Alexandria Jerusalem Bethlehem Hebron Damascus Latakia Egypt Syria Arabian Peninsula Medina – Visited the tomb of Prophet Muhammad. Jeddah – A major port for pilgrims to Mecca. Mecca – Performed the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Rabigh – city north of Jeddah on the Red Sea. Oman Dhofar Bahrain Al-Hasa Strait of Hormuz Yemen Qatif Byzantine Empire and Eastern Europe Konya Antalya Bulgaria Azov Kazan Volga River Constantinople Central Asia Khwarezm and Khorasan (now Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Eastern Iran and Afghanistan) Bukhara and Samarqand Pashtun areas of eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan) India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh Punjab region (now in Pakistan and northern India) Delhi Uttar Pradesh Deccan Konkan Coast Kozhikode Malabar Coromandel Coast- In India. Bengal now Bangladesh and West Bengal Brahmaputra River in Bangladesh visited the area on his way to China. Meghna River near Dhaka Sylhet met Muslim saint Hazrat Shah Jalal Yamani, commonly known as Shah Jalal. China Quanzhou – as he called in his book the city of donkeys Hangzhou — Ibn Battuta referred to this city in his book as “Madinat Alkhansa”.

He also mentioned that it was the largest city in the world at that time; it took him three days to walk across the city. Beijing – Ibn Battuta mentioned in his journey to Beijing how neat the city was. Other places in Asia Burma (Myanmar) Maldives Sri Lanka – Known to the Arabs of his time as Serendip. Sumatra Malay Peninsula Malaysia Philippines – Ibn Battuta visited the Kingdom of Sultan Tawalisi, Tawi-Tawi, the country’s southernmost province. Somalia and East Africa Mogadishu Berbera Kilwa Mombasa Mali West Africa Timbuktu Gao Takedda Mauritania Oualata (Walata) During most of his journey in the Mali Empire, Ibn Battuta travelled with a retinue that included slaves, most of whom carried goods for trade but would also be traded as slaves. On the return from Takedda to Morocco, his caravan transported 600 female slaves, suggesting that slavery was a substantial part of the commercial activity of the empire.[31]

Popular culture

Ibn Battuta was depicted in the 2009 Hollywood film Ninja Assassin. Ibn Batuta pehen ke joota is a popular Hindi nursery rhyme from the 1970s, written by the poet Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena.[32] Ibn-E-Batuta is a song from the 2010 Bollywood film Ishqiya, titled after Ibn Batuta. See also

Geography in medieval Islam

List of explorers Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai Ibn Battuta (crater), the lunar landmark Xuanzang, Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveller, and translator, who travelled around the same region of the Silk Road and India. Evliya Çelebi Way Journey to Mecca (2009 film) Benjamin of Tudela


^ Nehru, Jawaharlal (1989). Glimpses of World History. Oxford University Press. pp. 752. ISBN 0195613236.. After outlining the extensive route of Ibn Battuta’s Journey, Nehru notes: “This is a record of travel which is rare enough today with our many conveniences…. In any event, Ibn Battuta must be amongst the great travellers of all time.”

^ Dunn 2005, p. 19 ^ Dunn 2005, p. 22

^ Aydhad was a port situated on the west coast of the Red Sea at 22°19’51? N 36°29’25? E. See Peacock,

David; Peacock, Andrew (2008), “The enigma of ‘Aydhab: a medieval Islamic port on the Red Sea coast”, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 37: 32–48, doi: 10.1111/j. 1095-9270.2007.00172. x

^ Dunn 2005, pp. 89-103

^ Ibn Battuta states that he stayed in Mecca for the hajj of 1327, 1328, 1329 and 1330 but gives comparatively little information on his stay. After the hajj of 1330 he left for East Africa, arriving back again in Mecca before the 1332 hajj. He states that he then left for India and arrived at the Indus river on 12 September 1333; however, although he does not specify exact dates, the description of his complex itinerary and the clues in the text to the chronology suggest that this journey to India lasted around three years. He must have therefore either left Mecca two years earlier than stated or arrived in India two years later. The problems with the chronology are discussed by Gibb 1962, pp. 528-537 Vol. 2, Hrbek 1962 and Dunn 2005, pp. 132-133.

^ Dunn 2005, pp. 115-116, 134 ^ Gibb 1962, p. 373 Vol. 2 ^ Dunn 2005, pp. 137-156 ^ Dunn 2005, pp. 169-171 ^ Dunn 2005, pp. 171-178 ^ Dunn 2005, p. 215

^ Gibb & Beckingham 1994, pp. 773-782 Vol. 4; Dunn 2005, pp. 213-217

^ Gibb & Beckingham 1994, pp. 814-815 Vol. 4 ^ Dunn 2005, pp. 259-261

^ Defrémery & Sanguinetti 1853, p. 376 Vol. 4; Levtzion & Hopkins 2000, p. 282; Dunn 2005, p. 295

^ Levtzion & Hopkins 2000, p. 457. Bir al-Ksaib (also Bir Ounane or El Gçaib) is in northern Mali at 21°17’33? N 5°37’30? W. The oasis is 265 km (165 mi) south of Taghaza and 470 km (290 mi) north of Oualata.

^ Defrémery & Sanguinetti 1853, p. 385 Vol. 4; Levtzion & Hopkins 2000, p. 284; Dunn 2005, p. 298

^ Ibn Battuta’s itinerary is uncertain as the location of the capital of the Mali Empire is not known.

^ Defrémery & Sanguinetti 1853, p. 430 Vol. 4; Levtzion & Hopkins 2000, p. 299; Gibb & Beckingham 1994, pp. 969-970 Vol. 4; Dunn 2005, p. 304

^ Dunn 2005, pp. 313-314 ^ Dunn 2005, pp. 63-64

^ Dunn 2005, p. 179 ^ Dunn 2005, p. 134 Note 17 ^ Dunn 2005, p. 180 Note 3

^ Dunn 2005, p. 157 Note 13

^ Dunn 2005, p. 253 and 262 Note 20

^ Gibb 1958, p. ix Vol. 1; Dunn 2005, p. 318

^ Defrémery & Sanguinetti 1853, p. xx

^ Defrémery & Sanguinetti 1853-1858 ^ Candice Goucher, Charles LeGuin, and Linda Walton, Trade, Transport, Temples, and Tribute: The Economics of Power, in In the Balance: Themes in Global History
(Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998)

^ Jyothi Prabhakar (4 February 2010). “Why credit for Ibn-e-Batuta asks Gulzar”. The Times of India. Retrieved 2010-03-14.


Defrémery, C.; Sanguinetti, B. R. trans. and eds. (1853-1858), Voyages d’Ibn Batoutah (Arabic and French text) 4 vols., Paris: Société Asiatic. Google books: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4.

Dunn, Ross E. (2005), The Adventures of Ibn Battuta, University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-24385-4. First published in 1986, ISBN 0-520-05771-6.

Gibb, H. A. R. trans. (1929), Ibn Battuta Travels in Asia and Africa (selections), London: Routledge. Reissued several times. Extracts are available on the Fordham University site.

Gibb, H. A. R.; Beckingham, C. F. trans. and eds. (1958, 1962, 1971, 1994, 2000), The Travels of Ibn Ba?? u? a, A. D. 1325–1354 (full text) 4 vols. + index, London: Hakluyt Society, ISBN 978-0904180374.

Hrbek, Ivan (1962), “The chronology of Ibn Battuta’s travels”, Archiv Orientalni 30: 409–486.

Levtzion, Nehemia; Hopkins, John F. P., eds. (2000), Corpus of Early Arabic Sources for West Africa, New York, NY: Marcus Weiner Press, ISBN 1-55876-241-8. First published in 1981. Pages 279-304 contain Ibn Battuta’s account of his visit to West Africa.

Mackintosh-Smith, Tim (ed.) (2003), The Travels of Ibn Battutah, Picador, ISBN 0-330-41879-3.

Further reading

Gordon, Stewart. 2008. When Asia was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks who created the “Riches of the East.” Da Capo Press, Perseus Books. ISBN 0-306-81556-7. External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Ibn Battuta

A Tangerine in Delhi — Saudi Aramco World article by Tim Mackintosh-Smith (March/April 2006).

The Longest Hajj: The Journeys of Ibn Battuta — Saudi Aramco World article by Douglas Bullis (July/August 2000).

Google Books — link to a 2004 reissue of Gibb’s 1929 translation.

Ibn Battuta — educational site of Harcourt School Publishers.

The Adventures of Ibn Battuta — excerpts from the book by Ross Dunn on the San Francisco Unified School District site. French text from Defrémery and Sanguinetti (1853–1858) with an introduction and footnotes by Stéphane Yérasimos published in 1982: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3.


bn Battuta first set foot in a boat in 1330. He was 27 years old and already an experienced and resourceful traveler. The boat was a jalba, one of the notorious Red Sea craft described more than a millennium earlier in The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, made of planks sewn together with coir and waterproofed with shark oil.


This detail is from a 1598 painting in the manuscript of the “Baburnama,” and it shows the walls of Gwalior. NATIONAL MUSEUM, DELHI / JEAN-LOUIS NOU / AKG-IMAGES

He was in Jiddah, about to embark for Yemen and possibly one of the Gujarati ports beyond, for he had already heard that the Muslim ruler of Delhi was recruiting learned men to help with the administration of his sultanate. His companion, Mansur, urged Ibn Battuta to join him in his own jalba, but Ibn Battuta declined: “I did so because his jalba was also loaded with a number of camels, and since I had never before made a sea voyage, this terrified me.”

He was right to be worried. After two days’ sail, the wind shifted and the little fleet was driven off course. A storm rose, waves broke over the gunwales, and the passengers were seasick. The boats were finally beached not in Yemen but on the opposite shore, on the African coast between ‘Aydhab and Suakin.

The travelers hired camels and made their way south through the desert to the little island of Suakin, in the center of a deep bay surrounded by coral reefs. The ruler was Zayd ibn Abi Numayy, son of the governor of Makkah and, as it happened, brother of Ibn Battuta’s traveling companion. Their return trip across the Red Sea took six days, for although the distance is short, the lateral crossing of the Red Sea can be extremely difficult unless the winds are right.

The travelers made their way inland. Ta‘izz was the capital of Yemen and the residence of the sultan of the governing dynasty, the Rasulids, a Turkish military elite like many other dynasties of the time. Later, Ibn Battuta would find that court ceremonies here resembled those of Delhi, “but I don’t know whether the sultans of India copied the sultans of Yemen, or the sultans of Yemen copied those of India.”

Ibn Battuta next went to Aden, at the time the largest and richest of all the emporia on the Indian Ocean. “It is a big city,” he says, “but no crops, trees or water are found there; during the rainy season water is collected in reservoirs. These lie some distance from the town and the Bedouin often cut the road and prevent the townspeople from reaching them unless they are bribed with money and pieces of cloth…. It is the port for the merchants of India.” He goes on to list the Indian ports whose ships called, all on the west coast of India.

If Aden was as rich as Ibn Battuta says, how could the inhabitants allow the Bedouin to cut them off from their water supply? Though the traveler notes this almost in passing, it tells us something about the nature of the ruling dynasties of the 14th-century world.

Quite simply, the Rasulids of Yemen, the Mamluks of Egypt and Syria and the Delhi sultans all ruled vast dominions with too few troops. Control of their hinterlands, the spaces between major cities, was almost impossible. Even at the best of times, the ruler’s authority weakened as distance from the capital increased.

These military dynasties, whose efficacy lay in their “otherness,” had constantly to purchase new members in order to perpetuate themselves. Saladin, the founder of the Ayyubid Dynasty that ruled Egypt and Syria (and, briefly, Yemen), was a Kurd, and the sultans of Delhi and the Rasulids of Yemen were Turks, linguistically and culturally alien to the people they ruled.

The extreme example of this is the Mamluk Dynasty of Egypt, composed of Turco-Mongols and Circassians. Only slaves purchased in Central Asia or the Caucasus, usually as children, were allowed to join the ranks of the ruling caste. They were put through a rigorous course of training in the martial arts, at the completion of which they were granted their freedom.

After visiting Aden, Ibn Battuta sailed in 1331 to the East African coast, where he found another kind of state—port cities that might almost be called merchant republics. Mogadishu, now in Somalia, was the first he visited: “Mogadishu is a very large town. The people are merchants and very rich. They own large herds of camels…and also sheep. Here they manufacture the textiles called after the name of the town; these are of superior quality and are exported to Egypt and other places.”


As soon as he was settled in Mogadishu, the sultan sent him two small welcoming gifts: a plate of betel leaves and areca nuts, and a vial of Damascus rosewater. The first was the ritual welcoming gift of India, a custom that had spread to East Africa, and the rosewater from Damascus was to rinse his hands—another indication of far-flung commercial contact. The ceremonial meal that followed makes a similar, if more elaborate, point:

They eat rice cooked with ghee, which is served on a large wooden platter. On top they set dishes of kushan. These are relishes, composed of chicken, meat, fish and vegetables. In one dish they serve green bananas in fresh milk, in another yogurt with pickled lemon, bunches of pepper pickled in vinegar and salt, green ginger and mangoes. These are like apples, but with a pit. They are very sweet when ripe, but when immature are acid like lemons; they pickle the unripe mangoes in vinegar. They eat a mouthful of rice, then some of the salted and pickled relishes.

The Indian influence on this meal is obvious, but it has been adapted to local tastes. The rice and pepper would have been imported, but the mangoes were probably now grown locally, as was another Indian fruit, the jammun or jambul (Eugenia jambolana, java plum), which he encountered in Mombasa. Bananas also came to East Africa from India, perhaps as early as the 10th century. Although Ibn Battuta does not mention it, the meal was almost certainly served in Chinese bowls, much prized all along the East African coast. Special niches were built into the walls of dwellings in order to display the finer pieces.

After Mogadishu, Ibn Battuta sailed further south to Mombasa and Kilwa, both important trading cities. The wealth of these cities was later to strike the Portuguese, for it was based on the export not only of gold, but also of iron, which was sent to India, worked into steel, then re-exported to the Middle East. Ivory and tortoise-shell were other valuable exports. From Kilwa Ibn Battuta sailed to Dhufar, on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula, now in Oman. This was the Incense Coast of classical times. Millet and barley, he reports, were grown near the town, irrigated from deep wells, and rice was imported from India.

The people of Dhufar are traders and have no other means of livelihood. When a ship arrives from India, the sultan’s slaves go out to meet it in little boats, taking a full set of robes for the owner and captain, as well as for the kirani, the ship’s accountant…. Everyone on board is granted hospitality for three days; when the three days are up, they are fed in the sultan’s residence. The people do this in order to win the friendship of the ship-owners. They wear cotton clothes imported from India, fastening a length of cloth around their waist in place of trousers….They manufacture silk, cotton and linen cloth of excellent quality.

The fact that a local manufacturing industry was based on imported raw materials shows how regular shipping must have been, and how Indian Ocean traffic was not just in high-value, low-bulk items like spices. Textiles were always the bread and butter of the Indian Ocean trade, their production involving many ancillary techniques and employing thousands.

Bananas and betel, both of Indian origin, were cultivated in irrigated plantations on the outskirts of Dhufar. Since remote antiquity, southern Arabia, with its maritime links to India and Ethiopia, had been the corridor for plant introductions from both East and West. Durum wheat, sorghum, cotton, sugarcane, taro, indigo, oranges, lemons and many other plants had traveled this way. Some, like wheat and sorghum, returned from India in improved varieties and were then widely diffused in Africa and Europe.


From top: From Aden, at the farthest western reach of the Indian Ocean and one of the richest emporia of its time, Ibn Battuta sailed down the east coast of Africa. Among his ports of call was Mombasa (center), known for exports of gold and iron. He traveled as far south as Kilwa, still well north of Sofala, the most distant Arab port on the coast (lower). The progression from Aden’s cosmopolitan bustle to Sofala’s isolation is easily seen in these colored engravings from the late 16th century. BRAUN AND HOGENBERG, CIVITATES ORBIS TERRARUM, 1572 (3)

After visiting Oman, Ibn Battuta sailed across the Gulf to Hormuz. Until 1300, Hormuz had been located on the mainland. But in that year the ruler moved to the island of Jarun for greater security. “New Hormuz” was appallingly hot and dependent on the mainland for food, fuel and water, but it was strategically placed, controlling both sides of the Gulf at its narrowest point. It was “a big handsome city with excellent markets, for it is the port of India and Sind. Indian goods are exported from here to the two Iraqs, Fars and Khurasan.” Later, Hormuz would grow to rival Aden as the western hub of Indian Ocean commerce, replacing earlier Gulf emporia like Siraf, Kish and Suhar.

On September 12, 1333, after a two-year detour through Iran, Anatolia and Central Asia, Ibn Battuta finally stood on the banks of the Indus River, the western border of the domain of Muhammad Shah II, Sultan of Delhi.

To discourage casual visitors, each person wanting to enter India had to sign a statement in front of a notary swearing that he would remain forever. He also had to bring a substantial gift for the sultan—there were agents at the border who would advance money to travelers for this purpose—in order to demonstrate the seriousness of the immigrant’s intentions; when he presented his gifts in Delhi, the newcomer would receive many times their value in reciprocal gifts from the sultan. This exchange cemented a bond with tacitly understood mutual obligations.

Ibn Battuta was advanced money by an Iraqi merchant from Tikrit and bought 30 horses and a camel-load of arrows. These were acceptable gifts for a ruler engaged in enlarging his domains, and Ibn Battuta’s prudent investment was rewarded with the post of chief jurist (qadi) of Delhi at an annual salary of 12,000 dirhams—the revenues of two villages—and a lump-sum sweetener of 12,000 dinars. Overnight, the obscure Moroccan law student became a rich man.

Two years later, famine broke out in the sultan’s territories and lasted for seven years, leading to widespread rebellion. Ibn Battuta saw that the Delhi sultanate was unraveling and applied for permission to make the pilgrimage to Makkah, the only politic way of leaving the sultan’s service. At the last minute, the sultan asked him instead to lead 15 Chinese envoys and several shiploads of gifts to the Mongol Yuan emperor Toghon Temur. Ibn Battuta leapt at the chance for a graceful exit from a difficult situation combined with the opportunity to visit a new country.

The official delegation set out in the late summer of 1341 for the port of Cambay. It was attacked on the way by Hindu marauders, showing Muhammad Shah’s tenous hold on the countryside. Ibn Battuta was captured, escaped and rejoined his party. In Cambay he found a port whose wealth was based on the export of the finest cotton textiles in India, produced in the villages of Gujarat.

The mission met the sea captain and shipowner Ibrahim, who owned six ships. They must have been large, for into one of them, the Jakar, they loaded 70 horses, gifts for the Chinese emperor. They loaded 30 other horses, together with their own mounts, into the Manurt. Ibn Battuta embarked in the Jakar, along with 50 bowmen and 50 Abyssinian warriors: “They are the lords of this sea, for even if there is only one of them in a ship, pirates and Hindus think twice about attacking.”

As they sailed down the west coast of India, Ibn Battuta counted 12 semi-autonomous states, each of which owed its existence to the Indian Ocean trade. Whether the rulers were Muslim or Hindu, commerce was largely in the hands of Muslim merchants of the most varied origins. The rajas of these little states collected a percentage from every transaction and in return allowed the merchant communities freedom of worship.


How far into China Ibn Battuta traveled during his few months there is debatable. He claimed he reached Beijing, but his description of it is uncharacteristically thin. This painting from the early 15th century shows the houses of Kinsai, China, with characteristically curved roofs and bridges over canals. BIBLIOTHEQUE NATIONALE / ARCHIVES CHARMET / BRIDGEMAN ART LIBRARY (BOUCICAUT MASTER)

The richest towns of all were along the Malabar coast, the main source of the pepper that commanded such high prices in the markets of China, Alexandria and Venice but also of the teak used for building ships. The romance of the spice trade often obscures the fact that the bulk of Indian Ocean shipping was devoted to cargoes like rice, hardwoods, tin, iron ore, horses, weapons, textiles and other essential commodities.

When the little fleet reached Calicut, there were 13 junks anchored in the harbor, into which their cargo was transferred for the voyage to China. Their construction fascinated Ibn Battuta, who was especially struck by the self-contained compartments into which the hull was divided to minimize the danger of sinking. The junks had large cabins in which a number of people could travel in comfort, with private bathrooms and even stewards. A large junk could carry a crew of 1000, he wrote. This seems incredible, and scholars hotly debate the question of the size of medieval junks.

That night, a storm arose. Two large junks into which everything had been loaded put to sea, only to run aground and be smashed to pieces. Most of the passengers drowned, and the gifts for the Chinese emperor sank to the bottom.

Ibn Battuta escaped, for he had gone ashore to attend Friday prayers in the mosque. A small junk, called a kakam, with his wife aboard, also put to sea. With no possessions but his prayer rug and 10 dinars, Ibn Battuta set off on foot for Quilon, 300 kilometers (180 mi) down the coast, where he was told her ship was bound. There, he found no sign of the kakam. He later learned it had been captured by ships from Sumatra and that his wife was dead and all his possessions lost. Ibn Battuta nevertheless decided to continue to China on his own. After multiple stops and multiple mishaps, he reached Sonargaon, in today’s Bangladesh, where he bought passage on a junk for Sumatra.

Samudra, the port on the northern coast of Sumatra that has lent the island its name, was the first outpost of Islam in the huge Hindu–Buddhist area of what is now the Indonesian archipelago; it was the model for the Malay-speaking Muslim principalities which, over the next 300 years, were to spring up there.

The ruler of Samudra, Al-Malik al-Zahir, sent Ibn Battuta on to Guangzhou, the city Marco Polo called Zaitun, in a junk outfitted at his own expense. He set sail in April 1346 as soon as the southwest monsoon began to blow.

China at the time was ruled by the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, whose most famous ruler had been Kubilai Khan, who ruled during the years Marco Polo traveled in China. Although not Muslim, the Yuan relied heavily on Muslim officials and military advisors and encouraged Muslim trade. It was under the Yuan that Muslim merchants established themselves at key nodes along the rivers and canals of the empire. This harnessing of the hugely productive Chinese economy to the overseas maritime routes stimulated the growth of the new Muslim principalities in the Indonesian archipelago and the establishment there of Chinese merchant communities. Malaya and Indonesia became the turntable through which Chinese manufactures were distributed to the West.

Though Ibn Battuta was impressed with China, particularly with paper money and the quality of Chinese silks and porcelain, it was the only country he ever visited that affected him with culture shock. “Every time I left my house, I saw reprehensible things. I was so disturbed that I stayed home most of the time, only going out when necessary.” Yet at the same time, he opined, “China is the safest and pleasantest country in the world for the traveler.”

His account of travels within China lacks the characteristic detail that makes the rest of Ibn Battuta’s travels so entertaining, and his trips to Hang-chou and what is now Beijing are so vaguely described as to raise the suspicion that they are invented. His stay was brief, and by December 1346 he was back in Quilon, en route to his native Morocco.


Ibn Battuta

Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Lawati al-Tanji ibn Battuta
أبو عبد الله محمد ابن عبد الله اللواتي الطنجي بن بطوطة

Ibn Battuta


February, 1304
Tangier, Morocco






Islamic scholar/Explorer


Sunni Maliki

Abū ‘Abd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Baṭūṭah (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد ابن بطوطة‎), or simply Ibn Battuta, also known as Shams ad–Din[1] (February 25, 1304–1368 or 1369), was a Muslim Moroccan explorer, known for his extensive travels published in the Rihla (literally, “The Journey”). Over a period of thirty years, he visited most of the known Islamic world, including North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Africa, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the West, to the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China in the East, a distance surpassing his near-contemporary Marco Polo. Ibn Battuta is considered one of the greatest travellers of all time.[2] He journeyed more than 75,000 miles (121,000 km), a figure unsurpassed by any individual explorer until the coming of the Steam Age some 450 years later.[1]


Early life and his first hajj



A 13th century book illustration produced in Baghdad by al-Wasiti showing a group of pilgrims on a Hajj.

The Rihla supplies biographical background. Ibn Battuta was born into a Berber family of Islamic legal scholars in Tangier, Morocco, on 25 February 1304, during the reign of the Marinid dynasty.[3] As a young man he would have studied at a Sunni Maliki madhhab, (Islamic jurisprudence school), the dominant form of education in North Africa at that time.[4] In June 1325, at the age of twenty-one, Ibn Battuta set off from his hometown on a hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca, a journey that would take sixteen months. He would not see Morocco again for twenty-four years.

“I set out alone, finding no companion to cheer the way with friendly intercourse, and no party of travellers with whom to associate myself. Swayed by an overmastering impulse within me, and a long-cherished desire to visit those glorious sanctuaries, I resolved to quit all my friends and tear myself away from my home. As my parents were still alive, it weighed grievously upon me to part from them, and both they and I were afflicted with sorrow.”[5]

He travelled to Mecca overland, following the North African coast across the sultanates of Abd al-Wadid and Hafsid. The route took him through Tlemcen, Béjaïa and then Tunis where he stayed for two months.[6] For safety, Ibn Battuta usually joined a caravan to reduce the risk of an attack by wandering Arab bedouin. He took a bride in the town of Sfax, the first in a series of marriages that would feature in his travels.[7]

In the early spring of 1326, after a journey of over 3,500 km (2,200 mi), Ibn Battuta arrived at the port of Alexandria, then part of the Bahri Mamluk empire.[8] He spent several weeks visiting sites in the area then headed inland to Cairo, the capital of the Mamluk Sultanate and even at that time an important large city. After spending about a month in Cairo,[9] he embarked on the first of many detours within the relative safety of Mamluk territory. Of the three usual routes to Mecca, Ibn Battuta chose the least-travelled, which involved a journey up the Nile valley, then east to the Red Sea port of Aydhab,[10] Upon approaching the town however, a local rebellion forced him to turn back.[11]

Ibn Battuta returned to Cairo and took a second side trip, this time to Mamluk-controlled Damascus. During his first trip he had encountered a holy man, Shaykh Abul Hasan al Shadili, who prophesied that he would only reach Mecca by travelling through Syria. The diversion held an added advantage; due to the holy places that lay along the way, including Hebron, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, the Mamluk authorities spared no efforts in keeping the route safe for pilgrims. Without this help many travelers would be robbed and murdered.

After spending the Muslim month of Ramadan in Damascus, he joined a caravan travelling the 1,500 km (930 mi) south to Medina, burial place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. After four days in the town, he journeyed on to Mecca where completing his pilgrimage he took the honorific status of El-Hajji. Rather than return home, Ibn Battuta instead decided to continue on, choosing as his next destination the Ilkhanate, a Mongol Khanate, to the northeast.

Iraq and Persia



An interactive display about Ibn Battuta in Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

On 17 November 1326, following a month spent in Mecca, Ibn Battuta joined a large caravan of pilgrims returning to Iraq across the Arabian Peninsula.[12] The group headed north to Medina and then, travelling at night, turned northeast across the Nejd plateau to Najaf, on a journey that lasted about two weeks. In Najaf he visited the mausoleum of Ali ibn Abi Talib (Ali), the first Shi’a Imam, a site venerated by the Shi’a community to this day.

Then, instead of continuing on to Baghdad with the caravan, Ibn Battuta started a six-month detour that took him into Persia. From Najaf he journeyed to Wasit then followed the river Tigris south to Basra. His next destination was the town of Esfahān across the Zagros Mountains in Persia. He then headed south to Shiraz, a large flourishing city spared the destruction wrought by Mongol invaders on many more northerly towns. Finally, he returned across the mountains to Baghdad, arriving there in June 1327.[13] Parts of the city were still ruined from the damage inflicted by Hulago Khan’s invading army in 1255.

In Baghdad he found Abu Sa’id, the last Mongol ruler of the unified Ilkhanate, leaving the city and heading north with a large retinue.[14] Ibn Battuta joined the royal caravan for a while, then turned north on the Silk Road to Tabriz, the first major city in the region to open its gates to the Mongols and by then an important trading centre as most of its nearby rivals had been razed by the Mongol invaders.

Ibn Battuta left again for Baghdad, probably in July, but first took an excursion northwards along the river Tigris, visiting Mosul, Cizre and Mardin, in modern day Iraq and Turkey. Once back in Mosul, he joined a “feeder” caravan of pilgrims heading south to Baghdad where they would meet up with the main caravan that crossed the Arabian Desert to Mecca. Ill with diarrhea, he arrived in the city weak and exhausted for his second hajj.[15]

Arabian peninsula

Ibn Battuta remained in Mecca for some time (the Rihla suggests about three years, from September 1327 until autumn 1330). Problems with chronology however, lead commentators to suggest that he may have left after the 1328 hajj.[16]

After the hajj in either 1328 or 1330, he made his way to the port of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast. From there he followed the coast in a series of boats making slow progress against the prevailing south-easterly winds. Once in the Yemen he visited Zabīd and later the highland town of Ta’izz, where he met the Rasulid dynasty king (Malik) Mujahid Nur al-Din Ali. Ibn Battuta also mentions visiting Sana’a, but whether he actually did so is doubtful.[17] In all likelihood, he went directly from Ta’izz to the important trading port of Aden, arriving around the beginning of 1329 or 1331.[18]




The port and waterfront of Zeila.

From Aden, Ibn Battuta embarked on a ship heading for Zeila on the coast of Somalia. He then moved on to Cape Guardafui further down the Somalia seaboard, spending about a week in each location. Later he would visit Mogadishu, the then pre-eminent city of the “Land of the Berbers” (بلد البربر Bilad al Barbar, the medieval Arabic term for the Horn of Africa).[19][20][21]

When he arrived in 1331, Mogadishu stood at the zenith of its prosperity. Ibn Battuta described it as “an exceedingly large city” with many rich merchants, noted for its high quality fabric that was exported to other countries including Egypt.[22][23] He added that the city was ruled by a Somali Sultan, originally from Berbera in northern Somalia, who spoke both Somali (referred to as Mogadishan, the Benadir dialect of Somali) and Arabic with equal fluency.[24][25] The Sultan also had a retinue of wazirs (ministers), legal experts, commanders, royal eunuchs, and assorted hangers-on at his beck and call.[24]

Swahili Coast



The Great Mosque of Kilwa Kisiwani, made of Coral Stones is the largest Mosque of its kind.

Battuta continued by ship south to the Swahili Coast, a region then known in Arabic as the Bilad al-Zanj (“Land of the Zanj“),[26] with an overnight stop at the island town of Mombasa.[27] Although relatively small at the time, Mombasa would become important in the following century.[28] After a journey along the coast, Ibn Battuta next arrived in the island town of Kilwa in present day Tanzania,[29] which had become an important transit centre of the gold trade.[30] He described the city as “one of the most beautiful and well-constructed towns in the world”.[31]

Ibn Battuta recorded his visit to the Kilwa Sultanate in 1330, and commented favorably on the humility and religion of its ruler, Sultan al-Hasan ibn Sulaiman, a descendant of the legendary Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi. He further wrote that the authority of the Sultan extended from Malindi in the north to Inhambane in the south and was particularly impressed by the planning of the city, believing it to be the reason for Kilwa’s success along the coast. From this period date the construction of the Palace of Husuni Kubwa and a significant extension to the Great Mosque of Kilwa, which was made of Coral Stones the largest Mosque of its kind. With a change in the monsoon winds, Ibn Battuta sailed back to Arabia, first to Oman and the Strait of Hormuz then on to Mecca for the hajj of 1330 (or 1332).

Byzantine Empire, Golden Horde, Anatolia, Central Asia and India


Andronikos III Palaiologos

After spending another year in Mecca, Ibn Battuta decided to seek employment with the Muslim Sultan of Delhi, Muhammad bin Tughluq. In 1330 (or 1332), in need of a guide and translator for his journey, he set off for the Seljuq controlled territory of Anatolia to join one of the caravans that went from there to India. From the Syrian port of Latakia, a Genoese ship took him to Alanya on the southern coast of modern-day Turkey. He then travelled overland to Konya and afterwards to Sinope on the Black Sea coast.[32]

From Sinope he took a sea route to Crimea, arriving so in the Golden Horde realm. He went to port town of Azov, where he met with emir of the Khan, then to the large and rich city of Majar. He left Majar to meet with Uzbeg Khan traveling court (horde), which was in the time near Beshtau mountain. From there he made a journey to Bolghar, which became the northernmost point he reached, and noted its unusually (for subtropics dweller) short nights in summer. Then he returned to Khan’s court and with it moved to Astrakhan.

When they reached Astrakhan, Uzbeg Khan had just given permission for one of his pregnant wives, Princess Bayalun, a daughter of Byzantine Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos, to return to her home city of Constantinople to give birth. Ibn Battuta talked his way into this expedition, which would be his first beyond the boundaries of the Islamic world.[33]

Arriving in Constantinople towards the end of 1332 (or 1334), he met the Byzantine emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos. He visited the great church of Hagia Sophia and spoke with a Christian Orthodox priest about his travels in the city of Jerusalem. After a month in the city, Ibn Battuta returned to Astrakhan, then arrived in the capital city Sarai al-Jadid and reported his travelling account to Sultatn Mohammad Uzbek. Thereafter he continued past the Caspian and Aral Seas to Bukhara and Samarkand. From there, he journeyed south to Afghanistan, then crossed into India via the mountain passes of the Hindu Kush. In the Rihla he mentions these mountains and the history of the range.[34]

Muhammad Ibn Tughluq was renowned as the wealthiest man in the Muslim World at that time. He patronised various scholars, sufis, Qadis, Viziers and other functionaries in order to consolidate his rule. As with Mamluk Egypt, the Tughlaq Dynasty was a rare vestigial example of Muslim rule in Asia after the Mongol Invasion. On the strength of his years of study in Mecca, Ibn Battuta was appointed a Qadi, or judge, by the Sultan. He found it difficult to enforce Islamic laws beyond the Sultan’s court in Delhi due to lack of Islamic appeal in India.[35]

From the Rajput Kingdom of Sarsatti, he visited Hansi in India, describing it as “among the most beautiful cities, the best constructed and the most populated; it is surrounded with a strong wall, and its founder is said to be one of the great infidel kings, called Tara”.[36] Upon his arrival in Sindh, Ibn Battuta mentions the Indian Rhinoceros that lived on the banks of the Indus River.

The Sultan was erratic even by the standards of the time, and for six years Ibn Battuta veered between living the high life of a trusted subordinate, and falling under suspicion of treason for a variety of offences. His plan to leave on the pretext of taking another hajj was stymied by the Sultan who asked him to instead become his ambassador to Yuan Dynasty China. Given the opportunity to get away from the Sultan and visit new lands, he readily accepted.

India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and China



Tomb of Muhammad ibn Tughluq in Delhi. Ibn Battuta served as a Qadi for 6 years during Tughluq’s reign

En route to the coast at the start of his journey to China, Ibn Battuta and his party were attacked by a group of Hindus.[37] Separated from his companions, he was robbed and nearly lost his life.[38] Despite this setback, within ten days he had caught up with his group and continued on to Khambhat in the Indian state of Gujarat. From there, they sailed to Kozhikode (Calicut), where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama would land two centuries later. While Ibn Battuta visited a mosque on shore, a storm arose, and one of the ships of his expedition was sunk.[39] The other ship then sailed without him only to be seized by a local Sumatran king a few months later .

Afraid to return to Delhi and be seen as a failure, he stayed for a time in southern India under the protection of Jamal-ud-Din, ruler of the small but powerful Nawayath sultanate on the banks of the Sharavathi River next to the Arabian Sea. This area is today known as Hosapattana and lies in the Honavar administrative district of Uttara Kannada. Following the overthrow of the sultanate, Ibn Battuta had no choice but to leave India. Although determined to continue the journey to China, he first took a detour to visit the Maldive Islands.



A view of an island in the Maldives.

He spent nine months on the islands, much longer than he had intended. As a Chief Qadi, his skills were highly desirable in the formerly Buddhist nation that had recently converted to Islam. Half-kidnapped into staying, he became chief judge and married into the royal family of Omar I. He became embroiled in local politics and left when his strict judgments in the laissez-faire island kingdom began to chafe with its rulers. In the Rihla he mentions his dismay at the local women going about with no clothing above the waist, and the locals taking no notice when he complained.[40] From the Maldives, he carried on to Sri Lanka and visited Sri Pada and Tenavarai temple.

Ibn Battuta’s ship almost sank on embarking from Sri Lanka, only for the vessel that came to his rescue to suffer an attack by pirates. Stranded on shore, he worked his way back to Kozhikode, from where he returned to the Maldives and boarded a Chinese junk, still intending to reach China and take up his ambassadorial post.

He reached the port of Chittagong in modern-day Bangladesh intending to travel to Sylhet. Ibn Battuta went further north into Assam, then turned around and continued with his original plan.

In the year 1346 Ibn Battuta travelled on to Sumatra Indonesia where he notes in his travel log, that the ruler of Samudera Pasai was a Muslim, who performs his religious duties in his utmost zeal. The madh’hab he observed was Imam Shafi’i with the similar customs he had seen in coastal India especially among the Mappila Muslim (who were also the followers of Imam Shafi’i).[41] Ibn Battuta then sailed to Malacca, Vietnam, the Philippines and finally Quanzhou in Fujian Province, China.



Ibn Battuta arrived in the Chinese port city of Quanzhou, also known as Zaytun).

On arriving in China in the year 1345, one of the first things he notes is the local artists and their mastery in making portraitures of newly arrived foreigners. Ibn Battuta also mentions Chinese cuisine and its usage of animals such as frogs. While in Quanzhou he ascended the “Mount of the Hermit” and briefly visited a well-known Taoist monk. From there, he went north to Hangzhou, which he describes it as one of the largest cities he has ever seen,[42] and he noted its charm, describes the city sat on a beautiful lake and is surrounded by gentle green hills.[43] During his stay at Hangzhou, he was particularly impressed by the large number of well-crafted and well-painted Chinese wooden ships with colored sails and silk awnings assembling in the canals later he attends a banquet of the Yuan Mongol administrator of the city named Qurtai, who according to Ibn Battuta, was very fond of the skills of local Chinese conjurers.[44] He also described traveling further north, through the Grand Canal to Beijing, but as he neared the capital an internal power struggle among the Yuan Mongols erupted, causing Ibn Battuta and his Hui guides to return to the south coast. On boarding a Chinese Junk heading for Southeast Asia, Ibn Battuta was unfairly charged a hefty sum by the crew and lost much of what he had collected during his stay in China.[45] Ibn Battuta also reported “the rampart of Yajuj and Majuj” was “sixty days’ travel” from the city of Zeitun (Quanzhou);[46] Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb notes that Ibn Battuta believed that Great Wall of China was built by Dhul-Qarnayn to contain Gog and Magog as mentioned in the Quran.[46]

Return home and the Black Death

After returning to Quanzhou in 1346, Ibn Battuta began his journey back to Morocco.[47] In Kozhikode, he once again considered throwing himself at the mercy of Muhammad bin Tughluk, but thought better of it and decided to carry on to Mecca. On his way to Basra he passed through the Strait of Hormuz, where he learned that Abu Sa’id, last ruler of the Ilkhanate Dynasty had died in Persia. Abu Sa’id’s territories had subsequently collapsed due to a fierce civil war between the Persians and Mongols.[48]

In 1348, Ibn Battuta arrived in Damascus with the intention of retracing the route of his first hajj. He then learned that his father had died 15 years earlier[49] and death became the dominant theme for the next year or so. The Black Death had struck, and he was on hand as it spread through Syria, Palestine, and Arabia. After reaching Mecca, he decided to return to Morocco, nearly a quarter of a century after leaving home.[50] On the way he made one last detour to Sardinia, then in 1349 returned to Tangier by way of Fez, only to discover that his mother had also died a few months before.[51]

Al-Andalus and North Africa



Ibn Battuta visited the Emirate of Granada, which was the final vestige of the Muladi populace in Al-Andalus.

After a few days in Tangier, Ibn Battuta set out for a trip to the Moor controlled territory of al-Andalus on the Iberian Peninsula. King Alfonso XI of Castile and León had threatened to attack Gibraltar, so in 1350 Ibn Battuta joined a group of Muslims leaving Tangier with the intention of defending the port.[52] By the time he arrived, the Black Death had killed Alfonso and the threat of invasion had receded, so he turned the trip into a sight-seeing tour, traveling through Valencia and ending up in Granada.[53]

Following his departure from al-Andalus, he decided to travel through Morocco, one of the few parts of the Muslim world that he had never explored. On his return home, he stopped for a while in Marrakech, which was almost a ghost town following the recent plague and the transfer of the capital to Fez.[54]

Once more Ibn Battuta returned to Tangier, but only stayed for a short while. In 1324, two years before his first visit to Cairo, the West African Malian Mansa, or king of kings, Musa had passed through the same city on his own hajj and caused a sensation with a display of extravagant riches brought from his gold-rich homeland. Although Ibn Battuta never mentioned this visit specifically, when he heard the story it may have planted a seed in his mind as he then decided to cross the Sahara and visit the Muslim kingdoms on its far side.

The Sahara to Mali and Timbuktu



Ibn Battuta mentions the well built homes, city planning and water preservation systems in the city of Oualata, a crucial town in the trans-Saharan trade.

In the autumn of 1351, Ibn Battuta left Fes and made his way to the town of Sijilmasa on the northern edge of the Sahara in present-day Morocco.[55] There he bought a number of camels and stayed for four months. He set out again with a caravan in February 1352 and after 25 days, arrived at the dry salt-lake bed of Taghaza with its salt mines. All of the local buildings were made from slabs of salt by slaves of the Masufa tribe, who cut the salt in thick slabs for transport by camel. Taghaza was a commercial centre and awash with Malian gold, though Ibn Battuta did not form a favourable impression of the place, recording that it was plagued by flies and the water was brackish.

After a ten-day stay in Taghaza, the caravan set out for the oasis of Tasarahla (probably Bir al-Ksaib)[56] where it stopped for three days in preparation for the last and most difficult leg of the journey across the vast desert. From Tasarahla, a Masufa scout was sent ahead to the oasis town of Oualata, where he arranged for water to be transported a distance of four days travel where it would meet the thirsty caravan. Oualata was the southern terminus of the trans-Saharan trade route and had recently become part of the Mali Empire. Altogether, the caravan took two months to cross the 1,600 km (990 mi) of desert from Sijilmasa.[57]

From there, Ibn Battuta travelled southwest along a river he believed to be the Nile (it was actually the river Niger), until he reached the capital of the Mali Empire.[58] There he met Mansa Suleyman, king since 1341. Dubious about the miserly hospitality of the king, he nevertheless stayed for eight months. Ibn Battuta disapproved of the fact that female slaves, servants and even the daughters of the sultan went about completely naked.[59] He left the capital in February and journeyed overland by camel to Timbuktu.[60] Though in the next two centuries it would become the most important city in the region, at that time it was a small and growing city there Ibn Battuta was acquainted by a local Malian merchant named Abu Bakr Ibn Yaqub, together they ventured around Timbuktu and sailed to Gao, it was during their travels that Ibn Battuta first encounters the Hippopotamus, which was feared among the local boatmen because it drowned or killed local inhabitants, however Ibn Battuta also mentions an ingenious trick used by locals that allowed them to hunt Hippopotamus for both their flesh and hides.[44] Ibn Battuta is known to have sailed by boat to Gao where he spent a month learning about its inhabitants and geography. While at the oasis of Takedda on his journey back across the desert, he received a message from the Sultan of Morocco commanding him to return home. He set off for Sijilmasa in September 1353 accompanying a large caravan transporting 600 black female slaves and arrived back in Morocco early in 1354.

The Rihla

Main article: Rihla

After returning home from his travels in 1354, and at the instigation of the Sultan of Morocco, Abu Inan Faris, Ibn Battuta dictated an account of his journeys to Ibn Juzayy, a scholar whom he had previously met in Granada. The account is the only source for Ibn Battuta’s adventures. The full title of the manuscript تحفة الأنظار في غرائب الأمصار وعجائب الأسفار may be translated as A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling but is often simply referred to as the Rihla الرحلة, or “The Journey”.



House in the Medina of Tangier, possible site of Ibn Battuta’s grave

There is no indication that Ibn Battuta made any notes during his twenty-nine year of travels. When he came to dictate an account of them, he had to rely on memory and manuscripts produced by earlier travellers. When describing Damascus, Mecca, Medina and some other places in the Middle East, Ibn Juzayy clearly copied passages from the 12th-century account by Ibn Jubayr.[61] Similarly, most of Ibn Juzayy’s descriptions of places in Palestine were copied from an account by the 13th-century traveller Muhammad al-Abdari.[62]


Handmade oil painting reproduction of Ibn Battuta in Egypt, a painting by Hippolyte Leon Benett.

Western Orientalists do not believe that Ibn Battuta visited all the places he described and argue that in order to provide a comprehensive description of places in the Muslim world, he relied on hearsay evidence and made use of accounts by earlier travellers. For example, it is considered very unlikely that Ibn Battuta made a trip up the Volga River from New Sarai to visit Bolghar[63] and there are serious doubts about a number of other journeys such as his trip to Sana’a in Yemen,[64] his journey from Balkh to Bistam in Khorasan[65] and his trip around Anatolia.[66] Some orientalists have also questioned whether he really visited China.[67] Nevertheless, while apparently fictional in places, the Rihla provides an important account of much of the 14th-century world.

Ibn Battuta often experienced culture shock in regions he visited where the local customs of recently converted peoples did not fit in with his orthodox Muslim background. Among the Turks and Mongols, he was astonished at the way women behaved, remarking that on seeing a Turkish couple, and noting the woman’s freedom of speech, he had assumed that the man was the woman’s servant, but he was in fact her husband. He also felt that dress customs in the Maldives, and some sub-Saharan regions in Africa were too revealing.

After the completion of the Rihla in 1355, little is known about Ibn Battuta’s life. He was appointed a judge in Morocco and died in 1368 or 1369.[68]

For centuries his book was obscure, even within the Muslim world, but in the early 19th century extracts were published in German and English based on manuscripts discovered in the Middle East containing abridged versions of Ibn Juzayy’s Arabic text. During the French occupation of Algeria in the 1830s, five manuscripts were discovered in Constantine, including two that contained more complete versions of the text.[69] These manuscripts were brought back to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and studied by the French scholars Charles Defrémery and Beniamino Sanguinetti. Beginning in 1853, they published a series of four volumes containing the Arabic text, extensive notes and a translation into French.[70] Defrémery and Sanguinetti’s printed text has now been translated into many other languages while Ibn Battuta has grown in reputation and is now a well-known figure.

indonesian version

Pada 1333

orang Moor, Abu Abdullah Ibnu Batutah (1304-1377)

dijelaskan Samarkand

sebagai “salah satu kota terbesar dan paling sempurna indah di dunia.” [1] Untuk penyair abad kesembilan belas, James Elroy menodai, Samarkand adalah setara dengan Surga: “Kematian tidak memiliki istirahat lebih hangat dan lebih dalam dari itu pasir Orient.” [2] Banyak orang lain, termasuk Keats, Milton, dan Oscar Wilde, juga menulis tentang pesona nya – sebuah oase yang spektakuler di dataran gurun.

Dari sejarah panjang invasi dan posisi penting di Timur / Barat muncul rute perdagangan cocok kota untuk raja – namanya berasal dari Cimes-quinte, harfiah ‘kota besar’. Diperdebatkan, penguasa Samarkand yang paling terkenal adalah prajurit Mongol Turko-Timurleng (1336-1405) atau Timur yang Pincang, yang membangun kembali kota di Sungai Zarafshan setelah sebagian besar telah dihancurkan Mongol selama menangkap di bawah Ghengis Khan di 1221. Timurleng membuat kota kursi kekuasaan yang cukup besar itu. Penggantinya, Shah Rukh, memindahkan ibukotanya ke Herat meninggalkan anaknya Ulugh Bek untuk memerintah Samarkand.

Jika warisan Timurleng di Asia adalah sebuah kerajaan yang luas, di Samarkand itu mungkin mencerminkan arsitektur tersebut dan kemegahan. Sebagai ucapan pepatah lama Arab di salah satu gedung “jika Anda ingin tahu tentang kami, mengamati gedung-gedung kami.” [3] Prinsip antaranya adalah Bibi Khanum Masjid, yang masih berdiri, dan harus megah dari apa Timurleng telah terlihat selama penaklukan. Dibangun antara 1399 dan 1404 oleh 600 budak dan 100 gajah dari India, dan 200 arsitek, seniman, master pengrajin dan tukang batu. Ini menyatakan bahwa “kubah akan menjadi unik kalau bukan untuk langit, portal akan menjadi unik jika bukan karena Bima Sakti.” [4] Contoh lain dari arsitektur tersebut adalah Taj Mahal di Agra, dibangun oleh Shah Jahnon yang dirinya adalah seorang Timurid.


Samarkand juga membanggakan populasi cocok untuk seperti modal. Timurleng membawa tawanan dari setiap tanah yang ditaklukkan. “Dari Damaskus ia membawa penenun sutra, dan pria yang membuat busur, kaca dan gerabah … Dari Turki ia membawa pemanah, tukang batu, dan perak.” [5] Ada juga batu-tukang batu dari Azerbaijan, Isfahan dan Delhi dan mosaik-pekerja dari Syiraz, semua angka tersebut bahwa “kota itu tidak cukup besar untuk menahan mereka.” [6]

Penduduk dilaporkan lebih dari setengah juta, dan jaring setengah perdagangan di Asia – seperti kulit, wol, linen, rempah-rempah, sutra, batu mulia, buah, anjing, kuda dan bahkan macan tutul dan singa. Ini karena kota itu diposisikan di jantung Jalan Sutera Besar, jaringan perdagangan berjalan dari Eropa ke Jepang. Berhenti di sepanjang jalan, termasuk Samarkand, adalah titik kontak, tidak hanya untuk perdagangan, tetapi juga untuk ide-ide, filosofi, pengetahuan dan pendapat.


Keturunan Timurleng berbagi cintanya penciptaan, jika tidak cintanya perang dan penaklukan, dan di bawah dinasti Timurid bagian Asia ini mengalami masa belajar Islam dalam seni dan ilmu. Telah dicatat bahwa “dari zaman Adam sampai hari ini tidak usia, periode, siklus atau saat dapat ditunjukkan di mana orang menikmati damai dan ketenangan.” [7]

Kota itu diserbu oleh Uzbek tahun 1447, dan lagi 50 tahun kemudian, ketika mereka tinggal untuk mendirikan sebuah dinasti Turki baru. Modern nasib Samarkand itu disegel oleh invasi Rusia pada tahun 1868. Setelah runtuhnya imperium Soviet pada tahun 1990 kota sekarang berdiri sebagai kota besar kedua dari Uzbekistan.

[1] Umid Dunia

[2] dari puisi, Perjalanan Emas ke Samarkand oleh James Elroy menodai, tersedia on-line.

[3] Dikutip oleh Lisa Golombek, kuliah, Universitas Victoria, 25 Februari 1988, Oxus Komunikasi


[5] ‘Narasi dari Kedutaan Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo ke Pengadilan Timour di Samarcand 1403-6 AD’, New York: Burt Franklin p171

Jalan Emas ke Samarkand.

Mural, Samarkand,



Ib Batutah berlayar untuk China di 1342, tapi terdampar. Dia akhirnya tiba lewat laut di China selatan pada 1346. Ini adalah sekitar satu abad setengah setelah Marco Polo telah meninggalkan Cina

Ibnu Batutah tiba di Tangier pada akhir 1349

Ibnu Batutah tiba di Tangier pada akhir 1349. Dia telah pergi dari rumah selama 24 tahun. Dia belajar bahwa ibunya telah meninggal karena wabah beberapa bulan sebelumnya, dan ayahnya telah meninggal beberapa tahun sebelumnya

Ibnu Batutah meninggalkan ibukota Mali
Ibnu Batutah meninggalkan ibukota Mali di awal 1353, pos menyusuri Sungai Niger untuk Timbuktu. Kota ini sekitar 10.000 orang tidak pernah menjadi benteng militer atau kursi raja. Sebaliknya, ketenaran beristirahat pada reputasinya sebagai kota sarjana


Ibnu Batutah bergabung dengan kafilah ke utara ke Maroko.
Setelah mengunjungi dengan kadi, ulama, dan pedagang dari Timbuktu, Ibnu Batutah bergabung dengan kafilah ke utara ke Maroko. Dia tiba di rumah pada awal 1354. Ini berakhir perjalanannya ke negara asing. Secara keseluruhan, ia menutupi sekitar 75.000 mil dalam 29 tahun, pertemuan dengan 60 penguasa di Asia dan Afrika. Dia mungkin memiliki beberapa istri. (Hukum Islam diperbolehkan seorang pria hingga empat istri sekaligus

Ibn Batutah Maroko
Dari Wikipedia

Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Al Lawati Al Tanji Ibn Batutah

Nama lengkap Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Al Lawati Al Tanji Ibn Battuta Lahir Februari, 1304 Tangier, Maroko Meninggal 1368 atau 1369

Ibnu Batutah adalah Berber Maroko sarjana muslim dan wisatawan yang dikenal untuk kepentingan perjalanan dan wisata yang disebut Rihla (Voyage) dalam bahasa Arab. Perjalanan-Nya berlangsung selama hampir tiga puluh tahun dan hampir mencakup keseluruhan dari dunia Islam dikenal dan seterusnya, membentang dari Afrika Utara, Afrika Barat, Eropa Selatan dan Eropa Timur di Barat, ke Timur Tengah, benua India, Asia Tengah , Asia Tenggara dan Cina di Timur, jarak yang mudah melampaui pendahulunya dan dekat-kontemporer Marco Polo. Dengan account ini luas perjalanannya, Ibnu Batutah sering dianggap sebagai salah satu wisatawan terbesar yang pernah.

Sebuah ilustrasi buku abad ke-13 yang diproduksi di Baghdad oleh al-Washiti menunjukkan sekelompok peziarah pada haji. Semua yang diketahui tentang kehidupan Ibnu Batutah datang dari informasi autobiografi termasuk dalam rekening perjalanannya. Ibnu Batutah dilahirkan dalam sebuah keluarga sarjana hukum Islam di Tangier, Maroko, pada 24 Februari 1304 pada masa dinasti Marinid [2]. Sebagai seorang pemuda dia akan mempelajari Sunni Maliki “sekolah” hukum Islam yang dominan di Afrika Utara pada waktu itu [3] Pada bulan Juni 1325, ketika ia berusia dua puluh satu tahun, Ibnu Batutah berangkat dari kampung halamannya pada haji (ziarah) ke Mekkah, sebuah perjalanan yang akan mengambil 16 bulan,. tapi dia tidak akan melihat lagi Maroko selama 24 tahun. Perjalanan ke Mekah adalah dengan tanah, dan diikuti pantai Afrika Utara menyeberangi kesultanan Abd al-Wadid dan Hafsid. Rutenya melewati Tlemcen, Bejaia dan kemudian ke Tunis di mana dia tinggal selama dua bulan. Dia biasanya memilih untuk bergabung dengan kafilah untuk mengurangi risiko diserang. Di kota Sfax, ia menikah untuk yang pertama dari beberapa kesempatan dalam perjalanannya. Pada awal musim semi 1326, setelah perjalanan lebih dari 3.500 km (2.200 mil), Ibnu Batutah tiba di pelabuhan Alexandria, kemudian bagian dari kerajaan Mamluk Bahri.

Ia menghabiskan beberapa minggu mengunjungi situs dan kemudian menuju pedalaman ke Kairo, sebuah kota penting besar dan ibukota kerajaan Mamluk, di mana dia tinggal selama sekitar sebulan. Dalam wilayah Mamluk, perjalanan relatif aman dan ia memulai yang pertama dari sekian banyak jalan memutar. Tiga rute yang biasa digunakan ada ke Mekkah, dan Ibnu Batutah memilih paling-perjalanan:. Sebuah perjalanan ke lembah Nil, kemudian timur ke pelabuhan Laut Merah Aydhab [4] Namun, setelah mendekati kota ia dipaksa untuk kembali karena untuk pemberontakan lokal. Kembali ke Kairo, Ibnu Battuta mengambil sisi perjalanan kedua untuk Damaskus (kemudian dikendalikan oleh Mamluk), memiliki ditemui orang suci selama perjalanan pertamanya yang meramalkan bahwa ia hanya akan mencapai Mekah setelah perjalanan melalui Suriah. Keuntungan tambahan untuk perjalanan sisi adalah bahwa tempat-tempat suci lainnya tergeletak di sepanjang rute-Hebron, Yerusalem, dan Betlehem dan penguasa Mamluk melakukan upaya besar untuk menjaga rute aman bagi peziarah. Setelah menghabiskan bulan Ramadhan di Damaskus, ia bergabung dengan sebuah kafilah perjalanan 1.500 km (930 mil) dari Damaskus ke Madinah, tempat pemakaman Nabi Muhammad Islam. Setelah 4 hari di kota, ia melanjutkan perjalanan ke Mekah. Di sana ia menyelesaikan ritual biasa peziarah Muslim, dan setelah lulus dengan status al-Haji, dihadapkan kembali ke rumah tapi malah memutuskan untuk melanjutkan perjalanan. Tujuan berikutnya adalah Ilkhanate terletak di zaman modern Irak dan Iran. Irak dan Persia

Sebuah layar interaktif tentang Ibnu Batutah Ibnu Battuta di Mall di Dubai, Uni Emirat Arab Pada 17 November 1326, setelah sebulan di Mekah, Ibnu Batutah bergabung dengan kafilah besar peziarah kembali di Semenanjung Arab ke Irak [5]. Yang pertama kafilah pergi utara ke Madinah dan kemudian, bepergian di malam hari, menuju ke timur laut di dataran tinggi Najd ke Najaf, perjalanan berlangsung sekitar 44 hari. Di Najaf ia mengunjungi makam Ali (Ali bin Abi Thalib), yang Rasyidin keempat (Khalifah yang mendapat petunjuk), dan anak-dalam-hukum Muhammad, sebuah situs dihormati terutama oleh komunitas Syiah. Pada titik ini, bukan melanjutkan ke Baghdad dengan karavan, Ibnu Batutah memulai memutar 6 bulan yang membawanya ke Persia. Dari Najaf dia melakukan perjalanan ke Wasit dan lalu ke selatan berikut Tigris ke Basra. Tujuan berikutnya adalah kota Esfahan di Pegunungan Zagros di Persia. Dari sana ia menuju selatan ke Shiraz, sebuah kota berkembang besar yang telah luput dari kehancuran yang ditimbulkan oleh invasi Mongol di utara kota yang lebih banyak. Akhirnya, ia kembali melintasi pegunungan ke Baghdad tiba di sana pada Juni 1327. Bagian kota itu dalam reruntuhan sebagai sudah rusak berat oleh tentara Hulagu Khan. Di Baghdad ia menemukan bahwa Abu Sa’id, penguasa Mongol terakhir dari negara Ilkhanid bersatu meninggalkan kota dan menuju utara dengan rombongan besar. Ibnu Batutah bepergian dengan kafilah kerajaan untuk sementara waktu, kemudian berbelok ke utara ke Tabriz di Jalur Sutra. Ini telah menjadi kota besar pertama di wilayah ini untuk membuka gerbang kepada Mongol dan telah menjadi pusat perdagangan penting setelah sebagian besar dari saingan dekatnya yang dihancurkan. Pada kembali lagi ke Baghdad, mungkin pada bulan Juli, ia mengambil perjalanan berikut Tigris utara, mengunjungi Mosul, kemudian Cizre dan Mardin, baik di Turki modern. Pada kembali ke Mosul ia bergabung dengan sebuah “pengumpan” kafilah peziarah menuju selatan Baghdad di mana mereka bertemu dengan kafilah utama yang melintasi Gurun Arab ke Mekkah. Ibnu Batutah sakit dengan diare pada persimpangan ini dan tiba kembali di Mekkah lemah dan habis untuk nya haji kedua. Afrika Timur

Ibnu Batutah kemudian tinggal untuk beberapa waktu di Mekah. Dia menyarankan dalam Rihla bahwa dia tetap di kota ini selama tiga tahun: dari September 1327 sampai musim gugur 1330. Namun, karena masalah dengan kronologi, komentator telah menyarankan bahwa ia mungkin telah menghabiskan hanya satu tahun dan meninggalkan setelah haji dari 1328 [6] Meninggalkan Mekkah setelah haji di 1328 (atau 1330) dia berjalan ke pelabuhan. Jeddah di pantai Laut Merah dan dari sana menangkap serangkaian perahu di pantai. Kemajuannya lambat sebagai kapal harus mengalahkan melawan angin timur selatan. Tiba di Yaman ia mengunjungi Zabid, dan kemudian kota dataran tinggi Ta’izz mana ia bertemu dengan Malik Rasulid (raja) Mujahid Nuruddin Ali. Ibnu Batutah juga menyebutkan mengunjungi Sana’a, tapi apakah dia benar-benar diragukan [7]. Hal ini lebih mungkin bahwa ia pergi langsung dari Ta’izz ke pelabuhan Aden, tiba di sekitar awal 1329 (atau 1331). [8] Aden merupakan pusat transit yang penting dalam perdagangan antara India dan Eropa. Di Aden, ia memulai sebuah kapal pos pertama untuk Zeila di pantai Afrika Teluk Aden dan kemudian pada sekitar Cape Guardafui dan ke bawah pantai Afrika Timur. Menghabiskan sekitar seminggu di setiap tujuan, ia mengunjungi Mogadishu, Mombasa, Zanzibar, dan Kilwa, antara lain. Dengan perubahan musim hujan, dia kembali dengan kapal ke Arabia dan mengunjungi Oman dan Selat Hormuz. Dia kemudian kembali ke Mekkah untuk haji dari 1330 (atau 1332). Kekaisaran Bizantium, Golden Horde, Anatolia, Asia Tengah dan India

Setelah menghabiskan satu tahun lagi di Mekah, Ibnu Batutah memutuskan untuk mencari pekerjaan dengan Sultan Delhi Muslim, Muhammad bin Tughluq. Membutuhkan panduan dan penerjemah bagi perjalanannya, ia berangkat pada 1330 (atau 1332) ke Anatolia, kemudian di bawah kendali Saljuk, untuk bergabung dengan salah satu kafilah yang pergi dari sana ke India. Sebuah perjalanan laut dari pelabuhan Suriah Latakia di kapal Genoa mendarat dia di Alanya di pantai selatan Turki modern. Dari Alanya ia melakukan perjalanan darat ke Konya dan kemudian ke Sinope di pantai Laut Hitam [9] Menyeberangi Laut Hitam, Ibnu Batutah mendarat di Caffa (sekarang Feodosiya), di Krimea,. Dan memasuki tanah Horde Emas. Dia membeli gerobak dan kebetulan bisa bergabung dengan kafilah Ozbeg, Golden Horde Khan, dalam perjalanan sejauh Astrakhan di Sungai Volga. Setelah mencapai Astrakhan, Khan mengizinkan salah satu dari istri hamil, Putri Bayalun, konon merupakan anak tidak sah dari Kaisar Bizantium Andronikos III Palaiologos, untuk kembali ke rumahnya kota Konstantinopel untuk melahirkan. Ibnu Batutah berbicara jalan ke ekspedisi ini, pertama melampaui batas-batas dunia Islam. [10] Sesampainya di Konstantinopel pada akhir 1332 (atau 1334), ia bertemu dengan kaisar Bizantium Andronikos III Palaiologos dan melihat bagian luar yang besar gereja Hagia Sophia. Setelah satu bulan di kota, ia menelusuri kembali rute ke Astrakhan, kemudian dilanjutkan melewati Laut Kaspia dan Aral ke Bukhara dan Samarkand. Dari sana, dia melakukan perjalanan ke Afghanistan selatan, gunung melewati yang ia gunakan untuk menyeberang ke India. [11] Kesultanan Delhi tambahan baru ke Dar al-Islam, dan Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq telah memutuskan untuk mengimpor sarjana Muslim sebanyak dan fungsionaris lain mungkin untuk mengkonsolidasikan kekuasaannya. Pada kekuatan dari tahun-tahun studi, sementara di Mekkah, Ibnu Batutah dipekerjakan sebagai kadi (“hakim”) oleh sultan. Tughlaq tidak menentu bahkan oleh standar waktu, dan Ibnu Batutah berbelok antara hidup hidup yang tinggi dari seorang bawahan terpercaya, dan berada di bawah kecurigaan untuk berbagai treasons terhadap pemerintah. Akhirnya ia memutuskan untuk meninggalkan dengan alasan mengambil haji yang lain, tetapi Sultan memintanya untuk menjadi duta untuk Dinasti Yuan Cina. Diberi kesempatan untuk baik pergi dari Sultan dan mengunjungi tanah baru, Ibnu Batutah mengambil kesempatan. Asia Tenggara dan Cina

En rute ke pantai, ia dan partainya diserang oleh orang Hindu, [12] dan, dipisahkan dari yang lain, dia dirampok dan hampir kehilangan nyawanya. [13] Namun demikian, ia berhasil mengejar ketinggalan dengan kelompoknya dalam waktu sepuluh hari dan melanjutkan perjalanan ke Khambhat (Cambay). Dari sana, mereka berlayar ke Kozhikode (Calicut) (dua abad kemudian, Vasco da Gama juga mendarat di tempat yang sama). Namun, sementara Ibnu Batutah mengunjungi sebuah masjid di pantai, badai datang, dan salah satu kapal ekspedisi tenggelam. [14] Yang lainnya kemudian berlayar pergi tanpa dia dan akhirnya disita oleh seorang raja lokal di Sumatera beberapa bulan kemudian. Takut kembali ke Delhi sebagai kegagalan, ia tinggal selama beberapa waktu di selatan India di bawah perlindungan Jamal-ud-Din. Jamal-ud-Din penguasa kesultanan Nawayath kecil tapi kuat di tepi Sungai Sharavathi di pantai Laut Arab. Tempat ini sekarang dikenal sebagai Hosapattana dan terletak di Tehsil Honavar dari Uttara Kannada kabupaten. Ketika kesultanan digulingkan, menjadi perlu bagi Ibnu Batutah meninggalkan India sama sekali. Dia memutuskan untuk melanjutkan ke Cina, dengan jalan memutar dekat awal perjalanan ke Maladewa. Dia menghabiskan sembilan bulan di Kepulauan Maldive, lebih lama daripada yang ia dimaksudkan. Sebagai kadi, keterampilan yang sangat diinginkan di pulau-pulau sebelumnya Buddha yang baru saja masuk Islam, dan ia setengah-menyuap, setengah diculik ke tinggal.

the end@copyright Dr Iwan suwandy 2012


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The rare and Amizing Pictures Of antiquarian Book Illustrations Collections


 Pictures Illustrations Collections



Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA

Private limited E-Book Edition in CD-ROM

Copyright@Dr Iwan suwandy 2011


Many rare, strange and amizing antiquarian Books illustrations as the God Creations through  Human hand still exist now although still many undiscovered, that is why we must save that rare and amizing collections in other to save the human haritage.

Due to that , I sarting in 25 years to save that human harirtage ,some upload in Driwancybermuseum blog


Because the spece og blog not enough,the complete information were put in E-BOOK in CD_ROM, and If the collectors want to have the complete informations please asked via comment,but before you must subscribed as the premium member via comment

Jakarta ,january 2012

Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA



Dutch Brazil, which officially called itself ‘Nieuw Holland,’ was a short-lived (1630-1654) state in the north-east of Brazil that resulted from the Dutch Republic’s aggressive policy of territorial expansion at the expense of the Portuguese colonies in the first half of the seventeenth century — a policy that also led to the Dutch occupation of Portuguese Angola between 1641 and 1648 and a number of annexations in Portuguese India, including the city of Cochin (see below).

These devestating defeats for the Portuguese crown sprang from a combination of factors — the Dutch were a nation on the rise in this period, and the Portuguese, junior partners in the Iberian Union of the 1580-1640 period, found themselves with diminished resources and man-power to defend their far-flung empire. The tide began to turn in the 1620s (see my previous post on the Portuguese-Spanish defeat of the Dutch in Bahia, 1625), but the Dutch retained a foothold in Pernambuco and the north Amazon region until the 1650s, as shown by the map below.

One result of these geopolitical misadventures was a fascinating episode in the history of European art and the print culture of early modern natural history. The Dutch government encouraged painters, botanists and other observers of nature to visit the new colonies and record their observations of the strange new tropical lands that had fallen into the hands of the Dutch Republic. The painter Albert Eckhout (1610-1665) was perhaps the most outstanding of these imperial observers. Below are a selection of some of his wonderfully observed paintings of Brazil’s flora, fauna, landscapes and peoples. All images are from the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen unless otherwise noted, and were painted during Eckhout’s travels in Brazil between 1637 and 1644:

“East Indies Fruits.”
Tupi Indian woman with child.
Tupi Indian man. Interestingly, this figure appears to be the model for one of the flanking figures in Piso’s Natural History of Brazil.
Willem Piso’s 1668 Historia Naturalis Brasilia (Natural History of Brazil), hand-colored frontispiece. Compare the figure at left to the Tupi Indian painted by Eckhout above. Piso traveled on the same expedition as Eckhout and fellow painter Frans Post, serving as a physician.

The Dutch-Portuguese wars also led to a vacuum of European power in Formosa, present-day Taiwan. Weakened Dutch forces were chased from the island by Chinese military leader and admiral Zheng Chenggong ( 郑成功), known to Europeans as Koxinga, in 1662. The resulting cut-off of European communication with the island allowed the famous eighteenth century impostor George Psalmanazar to invent a series of outlandish falsehoods about Formosa, as detailed in my previous post on this fascinating figure.

For more on these beautiful paintings, see Rebecca Parker Brienen’s Visions of Savage Paradise (2007). Boxer’s monograph The Dutch in Brazil is unfortunately out of print, but Benjamin Schmidt’s Innocence Abroad: the Dutch Imagination and the New World (2006) is a great general survey of Dutch empire and observation in the seventeenth century Americas – highly recommended.


PARRHASIUS, it is said, entered into a pictorial contest with Zeuxis, who represented some grapes, painted so naturally that the birds flew towards the spot where the picture was exhibited. Parrhasius, on the other hand, exhibited a curtain, drawn with such singular truthfulness, that Zeuxis, elated with the judgment which had been passed upon his work by the birds, haughtily demanded that the curtain should be drawn aside to let the picture be seen. Upon finding his mistake, with a great degree of ingenuous candour he admitted that he had been surpassed, for that whereas he himself had only deceived the birds, Parrhasius had deceived him, an artist. – Pliny the Elder, The Natural History (circa 77 CE), Book 35, Chapter 36.

Bronzino’s Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time detail, (c. 1545).

THE ability to trompe-l’œil (“deceive the eye” in French) was among the most highly prized artistic skills of Pliny’s day, as evidenced by the many tales of Greek and Roman painters who boasted that their works were capable of fooling both man and beast. Although most figurative paintings offer an illusionistic “window” into a false reality to some degree, trompe-l’œil works take such verisimilitude to the level of optical illusion. The technique has been called a “triumph of the gaze over the eye.”

My favorite examples of trompe-l’œil come from the Renaissance and Baroque periods (roughly speaking c. 1500 to c. 1700). European culture of this era displayed a strong fascination with the interplay between the beautiful and the hideous, the secret and the visible, and the concept of truth. In the arts, these preoccupations were expressed through masks, stage plays (whose actors often functioned as a metaphor for life in seventeenth-century poetry), and the mask-like, mysterious figures of Mannerist painters, most famously exemplified in the brilliant and vaguely creepy works of Agnolo Bronzino.

It is not surprising, then, that paintings which expressly sought to fool the eye (and the mind) by experimenting with the boundaries between the artificial and the real enjoyed a high level of popularity throughout the 1500 through 1700 period — nor that these works could function as profound reflections on the nature of visible reality rather than as clever but gimmicky visual tricks, which is how we tend to approach trompe-l’œil today. Below are some of my favorite examples.

Domenico Remps, A Cabinet of Curiosity, 1690s.

I included this painting in an earlier post on curiosity cabinets, but wanted to revisit it here to show Remps’ incredible ability to evoke illusionistic details. Notice, for instance, the reflection of the mirror in the upper left part of the cabinet, which, much like Jan van Eyck’s famous Arnolfini Wedding, reveals the room in which it was painted:


Even as Remps points out the artificial nature of the painting by revealing the site of its creation, however, he also creates the illusion that an actual curiosity cabinet (rather than its mere representation on canvas) stands before us. This photo-realistic effect is achieved by clever touches such as the broken glass on the right hand cabinet window.

Portraying paintings within a painting, as Remps does here, was an extremely popular approach — I suppose because it highlighted the painter’s skill in multiple genres while also maximizing the visual delight of the viewer by offering several vistas and scenes at once (modern tastes tend to be more minimalist, but the seventeenth century was all about maximalism). The ultimate example of this that I have seen is David Tenier’s incredibly over-the-top depiction of Archduke Leopold Wilhem‘s gallery:

David Teniers the Younger, ca. 1650, Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in his Gallery in Brussels, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Another typical approach of the period which I find to be in many ways more interesting was that of including written texts in paintings. This technique is actually visible in a surprisingly large number of famous works (for instance, in Hans Holbein’s famous portrait of a German merchant). It reached an extreme form, however, in paintings such as the following:
Jean-François de Le Motte, c. 1670, Still Life, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon.
A detail of the texts, which include a letter to the artist, a printed pamphlet and what appears to be an accounting
Cornelius Gijsbrechts (c.1630 – 1675), Trompe l’oeil, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Gent, Belgium.
 Edward (or Edvart) Collier, Trompe l’Oeil of Newspapers, Letters and Writing Implements
on a Wooden Board

Incidentally, this last work offers a fascinating glimpse into the origins of the modern newspaper. One of the early “intelligencers” depicted here, the Apollo Anglicanus, can be previewed on Google Books. (Check out the blog Merciurius Politicus for more along these lines).
One interesting example of a painting of an illuminated manuscript can be found on Palazo Strozzi’s online exhibit of trompe l’œil works:

Detail showing early sheet music of a psalm.

Finally, there is the related style of “quadratura,” or painting architectural objects in an illusionistic manner. Perhaps the most famous example of this is Andrea Mantegna’s playful and highly original ceiling fresco for the the Ducal Palace in Mantua, Italy, a detail from which heads this post:

Andrea Mantegna, fresco, Camera degli Sposi, Ducal Palace, Mantua, c. 1470.

An even more interesting off-shoot is anamorphosis, which employs distorted perspective to create coded images that only become understandable when viewed from the right angle. The most famous example of anamorphosis is to be found in Hans Holbein’s The Ambassadors (one of my favorite paintings), where a strange blur at the bottom of the painting…

…revolves into a skull when viewed from the right angle, designed to remind the viewer of the ever-presence of death:

I’ll stop there. For those interested in learning more, the Palazzo Strozzi museum in Florence has an online exhibit on trompe l’œil with many beautiful images and some interesting thoughts on


The Photochrom photographic process was developed in Zürich, Switzerland in the 1880s by the printing firm Orell Füssli (apparently still in business as a producer of “highly secure banknotes” and “identity documents” — see link). The famous Detroit Publishing Company (née Detroit Photographic Company) purchased exclusive American rights to the process in 1897, which was highly prized prior to the advent of true color film owing to its ability to yield mass reproductions of tinted black and white photographs. Photochroms sold briskly throughout the 1890s. As you can see below, the most popular images were of exotic tourist destinations, crowded urban scenes and landscapes. Today, they fascinate because of the enormously high resolution of the photographic negatives, coupled with the color tinting of an era that we usually view in black and white. I recommend clicking on the photos to get a better of the enormous amount of detail these images contain.

The Photochrom process involved the transfer of black and white film negatives directly onto a series of lithographic plates, which were then inked with various colors matching the scene. Wikipedia provides some further technical info (perhaps more than you wanted to know). Below are some representative images from Wikimedia Commons and the Library of Congress Photochrom collection:

Mulberry Street in the Lower East Side of New York City, circa 1900.
Belgian milk peddlers, 1890s.
“Bedouin Chief of Palmyra,” 1890s, from a photograph by Felix Bonfils.

Since these images are easily accesible on Wikimedia and Library of Congress sites I linked to above, I’ll just restrict myself to pointing out a few neat details in larger photochroms:

A beautifully out of focus shot of two young men crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.
Tough-looking children and wagon-drivers in Mulberry Street.
A medieval-era town hall in Saxony – this almost feels like peering into a fifteenth-century city high street.
And my favorite photochrom of all, a wonderfully crisp and evocative portrait of an Irish weaver.

A sampling of more old fashioned, extremely hi-res photographs can be found on the photoblog Shorpy. I’ve also posted previously about an early color photographic technique that was used to document pre-Soviet Russia to great effect. More technical details on the photochrom process can be found here. Finally, the website of NYC’s Museum of Modern Art has an interactive website devoted to explaining the workings of lithography, for those interested in how color images were made before the advent of color film

 I was surprised to find that these images exist, but I’m glad they do. Apparently produced as part of a visual ethnography of the world’s cultures written by a Japanese interpreter for the Dutch merchant community in Nagasaki named Nishikawa Joken, they depict “people from each of the 42 barbarian countries outside of Japan.” (My main source for this information, and the images themselves, comes from the wonderful database of early American images maintained by the John Carter Brown library.) Alas, I have only found two of the forty two online, but those two are quite fascinating. The first appears to depict two South American Indians, perhaps Amazonian judging by their dress, while the second portrays a “Native American Patagonian giant.” I would be fascinated to learn what the accompanying Japanese text has to say about these and other New World cultures. If anyone reading this has any further information, please contact me!

“Two South American Indians” in Nishikawa Joken, Shijûni-koku Jinbutsu zusetsu (Kyoto, 1720). Xylograph print on paper with hand coloring, 31.1 x 18.2 cm.
“Patagonian Giant” in Nishikawa Joken, Shijûni-koku Jinbutsu zusetsu (Kyoto, 1720). Xylograph print on paper with hand coloring, 31.1 x 18.2 cm. 
I have yet to read this particular work, but according to the JCB’s online catalog entry the great historian Charles Boxer touches upon these images in his work Jan Compagnie in Japan, 1600-1850, pg. 18-19. A cursory Google search of Joken’s name also turns up this interesting-looking recent essay on Merchants and Society in Tokugawa Japan by Charles D. Sheldon.

Image of the Week 3: “Cats Forming the Characters for ‘Catfish'”


Today’s image is a surreal print by one of the last great masters of traditional Japanese woodblock printing, Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861). An assemblage of black and white, tan and calico cats, looking quite content with themselves, float in an abstract color field of steel gray, cream and blue, their twisting bodies forming an approximation of the Japanese character for ‘catfish.’ I have no idea what the historical background for this image is, but I really like it.

A couple of others by the same artist:

“Scribbling on the Storehouse Wall,” seemingly an attempt to memorialize graffiti and the public doodles of strangers in a print.


“Cats Suggested as the Fifty-Three Stations of Tokaido,” an even more elaborate depictions of cats that playfully alludes to Hiroshige‘s famous print series.

the end@copyright dr Iwan suwnady 2012


Dedicated to Mr Jim Brown

The Creation of Vietnam

Pre-Dynastic era

The area now known as Vietnam has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, and some archaeological sites in Thanh Hóa Province purportedly date back several thousand years. Archaeologists link the beginnings of Vietnamese civilization to the late Neolithic, Early Bronze Age, Phung Nguyen culture, which was centered in Vĩnh Phúc Province of contemporary Vietnam from about 2000 to 1400 BCE.

By about 1200 BCE, the development of wet-rice cultivation and bronze casting in the Ma River and Red River plains led to the development of the Dong Son culture, notable for its elaborate bronze drums. The bronze weapons, tools, and drums of Dong-Sonian sites show a Southeast Asian influence that indicates an indigenous origin for the bronze-casting technology.

Many small, ancient copper mine sites have been found in northern Vietnam. Some of the similarities between the Dong-Sonian sites and other Southeast Asian sites include the presence of boat-shaped coffins and burial jars, stilt dwellings, and evidence of the customs of betel-nut-chewing and teeth-blackening.

Dynastic era

The legendary Hồng Bàng Dynasty of the Hùng kings is considered by many Vietnamese as the first Vietnamese state, known as Văn Lang. In 257 BCE, the last Hùng king lost to Thục Phán, who consolidated the Lạc Việt tribes with his Âu Việt tribes, forming Âu Lạc and proclaiming himself An Dương Vương. In 207 BCE, a Chinese general named Zhao Tuo defeated An Dương Vương and consolidated Âu Lạc into Nanyue. In 111 BCE, the Chinese Han Dynasty consolidated Nanyue into their empire.

For the next thousand years, Vietnam was mostly under Chinese rule. Early independence movements such as those of the Trưng Sisters and of Lady Triệu were only briefly successful. It was independent as Vạn Xuân under the Anterior Lý Dynasty between 544 and 602. By the early 10th century, Vietnam had gained autonomy, but not independence, under the Khúc family.

In 938 CE, a Vietnamese lord named Ngô Quyền defeated Chinese forces at the Bạch Đằng River and regained independence after a millennium under Chinese control. Renamed as Đại Việt (Great Viet), the nation went through a golden era during the and Trần Dynasties. During the rule of the Trần Dynasty, Đại Việt repelled three Mongol invasions. Buddhism flourished and became the state religion.

Following the brief Hồ Dynasty, Vietnamese independence was momentarily interrupted by the Chinese Ming Dynasty, but was restored by Lê Lợi, the founder of the Lê Dynasty. Vietnam reached its zenith in the Lê Dynasty of the 15th century, especially during the reign of Emperor Lê Thánh Tông (1460–1497). Between the 11th and 18th centuries, Vietnam expanded southward in a process known as nam tiến (southward expansion),[10] and it eventually conquered the kingdom of Champa and part of the Khmer Empire.

From the 16th century onwards, civil strife and frequent infighting engulfed much of Vietnam. First, the Chinese-supported Mạc Dynasty challenged the Lê Dynasty’s power. After the Mạc Dynasty was defeated, the Lê Dynasty was reinstalled, but with no actual power. Power was divided between the Trịnh Lords in the North and the Nguyễn Lords in the South, who engaged in a civil war for more than four decades before a truce was called in the 1670s. During this time, the Nguyễn expanded southern Vietnam into the Mekong Delta, annexing the Champa in the central highlands and the Khmer land in the Mekong.

The division of the country ended a century later when the Tây Sơn brothers defeated both and established their new dynasty. However, their rule did not last long and they were defeated by the remnants of the Nguyễn Lords led by Nguyễn Ánh with the help of the French. Nguyễn Ánh unified Vietnam, and established the Nguyễn Dynasty, ruling under the name Gia Long.


The history of Vietnam begins around 2,700 years ago. Successive dynasties based in China ruled Vietnam directly for most of the period from 207 BC until 938 when Vietnam regained its independence.Vietnam remained a tributary state to its larger neighbor China for much of its history but repelled invasions by the Chinese as well as three invasions by the Mongols between 1255 and 1285.Emperor Trần Nhân Tông later diplomatically submitted Vietnam to a tributary of the Yuan to avoid further conflicts. The independent period temporarily ended in the middle to late 19th century, when the country was colonized by France (see French Indochina). During World War II, Imperial Japan expelled the French to occupy Vietnam, though they retained French administrators during their occupation. After the war, France attempted to re-establish its colonial rule but ultimately failed in the First Indochina War. The Geneva Accords partitioned the country in two with a promise of democratic election to reunite the country.

However, rather than peaceful reunification, partition led to the Vietnam War. During this time, the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union supported the North while the United States supported the South. After millions of Vietnamese deaths, the war ended with the fall of Saigon to the North in April 1975. The reunified Vietnam suffered further internal repression and was isolated internationally due to the continuing Cold War and the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia. In 1986, the Communist Party of Vietnam changed its economic policy and began reforms of the private sector similar to those in China. Since the mid-1980s, Vietnam has enjoyed substantial economic growth and some reduction in political repression, though reports of corruption have also risen.

History of Vietnam
Hồng Bàng Dynasty prior to 257 BC
Thục Dynasty 257–207 BC
First Chinese domination 207 BC–39 AD
Triệu Dynasty 207–111 BC
Trưng Sisters 40–43
Second Chinese domination 43–544
Lady Triệu’s Rebellion 248
Early Lý Dynasty 544–602
Triệu Việt Vương  
Third Chinese domination 602–905
Mai Hắc Đế 722
Phùng Hưng 791–798
Autonomy 905–938
Khúc Family 906–930
Dương Đình Nghệ 931–937
Kiều Công Tiễn 937–938
Ngô Dynasty 939–967
The 12 Lords Rebellion 966–968
Đinh Dynasty 968–980
Early Lê Dynasty 980–1009
Lý Dynasty 1009–1225
Trần Dynasty 1225–1400
Hồ Dynasty 1400–1407
Fourth Chinese domination 1407–1427
Later Trần Dynasty 1407–1413
• Lam Sơn Rebellion 1418–1427
Later Lê Dynasty 1428–1788
• Early Lê 1428–1527
• Restored Lê 1533–1788
Mạc Dynasty 1527–1592
Southern and
 Northern Dynasties
TrịnhNguyễn War 1627–1673
Tây Sơn Dynasty 1778–1802
Nguyễn Dynasty 1802–1945
Western imperialism 1887–1945
Empire of Vietnam 1945
Indochina Wars 1945–1975
Partition of Vietnam 1954
Democratic Republic
 of Vietnam
State of Vietnam 1949–1955
Republic of Vietnam 1955–1975
Provisional Revolutionary
Socialist Republic of Vietnam from 1976

Map of Vietnam showing the conquest of the south (the Nam tiến, 1069-1757). Orange: Before the 11th century. Yellow: 11th century. Light Green: 15th century. Dark Green: 16th century. Purple: 18th century. Lai Chau and Dien Bien (the Northwest): 19th century.

Map of Vietnam showing (roughly) the areas controlled by the Trịnh, Nguyễn, Mac, and Champa about the year 1640. Brown: Trịnh Territory. Yellow: Nguyễn Territory. Green: Champa (under Nguyễn overlordship). Pink (Cao Bang): Mạc Territory.


Map of Văn Lang, 500 BC.
Southeast Asia circa 1010 AD. Đại Việt lands in yellow, Champa in green and Khmer Empire in purple
Trần royal battle standard.

Early kingdoms

Evidence of the earliest established society other than the prehistoric Iron Age Đông Sơn culture in Northern Vietnam was found in Cổ Loa, an ancient city situated near present-day Hà Nội.

According to myth, the first Vietnamese people were descended from the Dragon Lord Lạc Long Quân and the Immortal Fairy Âu Cơ. Lạc Long Quân and Âu Cơ had 100 sons before deciding to part ways. 50 of the children went with their mother to the mountains, and the other 50 went with their father to the sea. The eldest son became the first in a line of early Vietnamese kings, collectively known as the Hùng kings (Hùng Vương or the Hồng Bàng Dynasty). The Hùng kings called their country, located on the Red River delta in present-day northern Vietnam, Văn Lang. The people of Văn Lang were known as the Lạc Việt.

Văn Lang is thought to have been a matriarchal society, similar to many other matriarchal societies common in Southeast Asia and in the Pacific islands at the time. Various archaeological sites in northern Vietnam, such as Đông Sơn have yielded metal weapons and tools from this age. Most famous of these artifacts are large bronze drums, probably made for ceremonial purposes, with sophisticated engravings on the surface, depicting life scenes with warriors, boats, houses, birds and animals in concentric circles around a radiating sun at the center.

Many legends from this period offer a glimpse into the life of the people. The Legend of the Rice Cakes is about a prince who won a culinary contest; he then wins the throne because his creations, the rice cakes, reflect his deep understanding of the land’s vital economy: rice farming. The Legend of Giong about a youth going to war to save the country, wearing iron armor, riding an armored horse, and wielding an iron staff, showed that metalworking was sophisticated. The Legend of the Magic Crossbow, about a crossbow that can deliver thousands of arrows, showed extensive use of archery in warfare.

Recent research has unlocked the discovery of artificial circular earthworks in the areas of present day southern Vietnam and overlapping to the borders of Cambodia. These archaeological remains are estimated to be economic, social and cultural entities from the 1st millennium BC

By the 3rd century BC, another Viet group, the Âu Việt, emigrated from present-day southern China to the Red River delta and mixed with the indigenous Văn Lang population. In 258 BC, a new kingdom, Âu Lạc, emerged as the union of the Âu Việt and the Lạc Việt, with Thục Phán proclaiming himself “King An Dương Vương”. At his capital Cổ Loa, he built many concentric walls around the city for defensive purposes. These walls, together with skilled Âu Lạc archers, kept the capital safe from invaders for a while. However, it also gave rise to the first recorded case of espionage in Vietnamese history, resulting in the downfall of King An Dương Vương.

In 207 BC, an ambitious Chinese warlord named Triệu Đà (Chinese: Zhao Tuo) defeated King An Dương Vương by having his son Trọng Thủy (Chinese: Zhong Shi) act as a spy after marrying An Dương Vương’s daughter. Triệu Đà annexed Âu Lạc into his domain located in present-day Guangdong, southern China, then proclaimed himself king of a new independent kingdom, Nam Việt (Chinese: 南越, Nan Yue). Trọng Thủy, the supposed crown prince, drowned himself in Cổ Loa out of remorse for the death of his wife in the war.

Some Vietnamese consider Triệu‘s rule a period of Chinese domination, since Triệu Đà was a former Qin general. Others consider it an era of Việt independence as the Triệu family in Nam Việt were assimilated to local culture. They ruled independently of what then constituted China’s (Han Dynasty). At one point, Triệu Đà even declared himself Emperor, equal to the Chinese Han Emperor in the north.

Period of Chinese domination (111 BC – 938 AD)

In 111 BC, Chinese troops invaded Nam Việt and established new territories, dividing Vietnam into Giao Chỉ (Chinese: 交趾 pinyin: Jiaozhi, now the Red River delta); Cửu Chân from modern-day Thanh Hoá to Hà Tĩnh; and Nhật Nam, from modern-day Quảng Bình to Huế. While the Chinese were governors and top officials, the original Vietnamese nobles (Lạc Hầu, Lạc Tướng) still managed some highlands.

In 40 AD, a successful revolt against harsh rule by Han Governor Tô Định (蘇定 pinyin: Sū Dìng), led by the noblewoman Trưng Trắc and her sister Trưng Nhị, recaptured 65 states (include modern Guangxi), and Trưng Trắc became the Queen (Trưng Nữ Vương). In 42 AD, Emperor Guangwu of Han sent his famous general Mã Viện (Chinese: Ma Yuan) to quell the revolt. After a torturous campaign, Ma Yuan defeated the Trưng Queen, who committed suicide. To this day, the Trưng Sisters are revered in Vietnam as the national symbol of Vietnamese women. Learning a lesson from the Trưng revolt, the Han and other successful Chinese dynasties took measures to eliminate the power of the Vietnamese nobles. The Vietnamese elites would be coerced to assimilate into Chinese culture and politics. However, in 225 AD, another woman, Triệu Thị Trinh, popularly known as Lady Triệu (Bà Triệu), led another revolt which lasted until 248 AD.

During the Tang dynasty, Vietnam was called Annam (Giao Châu), until the early 10th century AD. Giao Chỉ (with its capital around modern Bắc Ninh province) became a flourishing trading outpost receiving goods from the southern seas. The “History of Later Han” (Hậu Hán Thư, Hou Hanshu) recorded that in 166 AD the first envoy from the Roman Empire to China arrived by this route, and merchants were soon to follow. The 3rd-century “Tales of Wei” (Ngụy Lục, Weilue) mentioned a “water route” (the Red River) from Jiaozhi into what is now southern Yunnan. From there, goods were taken overland to the rest of China via the regions of modern Kunming and Chengdu.

At the same time, in present-day central Vietnam, there was a successful revolt of Cham nations. Chinese dynasties called it Lin-Yi (Lin village). It later became a powerful kingdom, Champa, stretching from Quảng Bình to Phan Thiết (Bình Thuận).

In the period between the beginning of the Chinese Age of Fragmentation to the end of the Tang Dynasty, several revolts against Chinese rule took place, such as those of Lý Bôn and his general and heir Triệu Quang Phục; and those of Mai Thúc Loan and Phùng Hưng. All of them ultimately failed, yet most notable were Lý Bôn and Triệu Quang Phục, whose Anterior Lý Dynasty ruled for almost half a century (544 AD to 602 AD) before the Chinese Sui Dynasty reconquered their kingdom Vạn Xuân.

Early independence (938 AD – 1009 AD)

Early in the 10th century, as China became politically fragmented, successive lords from the Khúc family, followed by Dương Đình Nghệ, ruled Giao Châu autonomously under the Tang title of Tiết Độ Sứ, Virtuous Lord, but stopping short of proclaiming themselves kings.

In 938, Southern Han sent troops to conquer autonomous Giao Châu. Ngô Quyền, Dương Đình Nghệ’s son-in-law, defeated the Southern Han fleet at the Battle of Bạch Đằng River (938). He then proclaimed himself King Ngô and effectively began the age of independence for Vietnam.

Ngô Quyền’s untimely death after a short reign resulted in a power struggle for the throne, the country’s first major civil war, The upheavals of Twelve warlords (Loạn Thập Nhị Sứ Quân). The war lasted from 945 AD to 967 AD when the clan led by Đinh Bộ Lĩnh defeated the other warlords, unifying the country. Dinh founded the Đinh Dynasty and proclaimed himself First Emperor (Tiên Hoàng) of Đại Cồ Việt (Hán tự: ; literally “Great Viet Land”), with its capital in Hoa Lư (modern day Ninh Bình). However, the Chinese Song Dynasty only officially recognized him as Prince of Jiaozhi (Giao Chỉ Quận Vương). Emperor Đinh introduced strict penal codes to prevent chaos from happening again. He tried to form alliances by granting the title of Queen to five women from the five most influential families.

In 979 AD, Emperor Đinh Bộ Lĩnh and his crown prince Đinh Liễn were assassinated, leaving his lone surviving son, the 6-year-old Đinh Toàn, to assume the throne. Taking advantage of the situation, the Chinese Song Dynasty invaded Đại Cồ Việt. Facing such a grave threat to national independence, the court’s Commander of the Ten Armies (Thập Đạo Tướng Quân) Lê Hoàn took the throne, founding the Former Lê Dynasty. A capable military tactician, Lê Hoan realized the risks of engaging the mighty Chinese troops head on; thus he tricked the invading army into Chi Lăng Pass, then ambushed and killed their commander, quickly ending the threat to his young nation in 981 AD. The Song Dynasty withdrew their troops yet would not recognize Lê Hoàn as Prince of Jiaozhi until 12 years later; nevertheless, he is referred to in his realm as Đại Hành Emperor (Đại Hành Hoàng Đế). Emperor Lê Hoàn was also the first Vietnamese monarch who began the southward expansion process against the kingdom of Champa.

Emperor Lê Hoàn’s death in 1005 AD resulted in infighting for the throne amongst his sons. The eventual winner, Lê Long Đĩnh, became the most notorious tyrant in Vietnamese history. He devised sadistic punishments of prisoners for his own entertainment and indulged in deviant sexual activities. Toward the end of his short life – he died at 24 – Lê Long Đĩnh became so ill that he had to lie down when meeting with his officials in court.

Independent period of Đại Việt (1010 AD – 1527 AD)

When the king Lê Long Đĩnh died in 1009 AD, a Palace Guard Commander named Lý Công Uẩn was nominated by the court to take over the throne, and founded the Lý dynasty. This event is regarded as the beginning of a golden era in Vietnamese history, with great following dynasties. The way Lý Công Uẩn ascended to the throne was rather uncommon in Vietnamese history. As a high-ranking military commander residing in the capital, he had all opportunities to seize power during the tumultuous years after Emperor Lê Hoàn’s death, yet preferring not to do so out of his sense of duty. He was in a way being “elected” by the court after some debate before a consensus was reached.

Lý Công Uẩn, posthumously referred as Lý Thái Tổ, changed the country’s name to Đại Việt (Hán tự: ; literally “Great Viet”). The Lý Dynasty is credited for laying down a concrete foundation, with strategic vision, for the nation of Vietnam. Leaving Hoa Lư, a natural fortification surrounded by mountains and rivers, Lý Công Uẩn moved his court to the new capital in present-day Hanoi and called it Thăng Long (Ascending Dragon). Lý Công Uẩn thus departed from the militarily defensive mentality of his predecessors and envisioned a strong economy as the key to national survival. Successive Lý kings continued to accomplish far-reaching feats: building a dike system to protect the rice producing area; founding Quốc Tử Giám, the first noble university; holding regular examinations to select capable commoners for government positions once every three years; organizing a new system of taxation; establishing humane treatment of prisoners. Women were holding important roles in Lý society as the court ladies were in charge of tax collection. The Lý Dynasty also promoted Buddhism, yet maintained a pluralistic attitude toward the three main philosophical systems of the time: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. During the Lý Dynasty, the Chinese Song Dynasty officially recognized the Đại Việt monarch as King of Giao Chỉ (Giao Chỉ Quận Vương).

The Lý Dynasty had two major wars with Song China, and a few conquests against neighboring Champa in the south. The most notable battle took place on Chinese territory in 1075 AD. Upon learning that a Song invasion was imminent, the Lý army and navy totalling about 100,000 men under the command of Lý Thường Kiệt, Tông Đản used amphibious operations to preemptively destroy three Song military installations at Yong Zhou, Qin Zhou, and Lian Zhou in present-day Guangdong and Guangxi, and killed 100,000 Chinese. The Song Dynasty took revenge and invaded Đại Việt in 1076, but the Song troops were held back at the Battle of Như Nguyệt River commonly known as the Cầu river, now in Bắc Ninh province about 40 km from the current capital, Hanoi. Neither side was able to force a victory, so the Lý Dynasty proposed a truce, which the Song Dynasty accepted.

Toward the end of the Lý Dynasty, a powerful court minister named Trần Thủ Độ forced king Lý Huệ Tông to become a Buddhist monk and Lý Chiêu Hoàng, Huệ Tông’s young daughter, to become queen. Trần Thủ Độ then arranged the marriage of Chiêu Hoàng to his nephew Trần Cảnh and eventually had the throne transferred to Trần Cảnh, thus begun the Trần Dynasty. Trần Thủ Độ viciously purged members of the Lý nobility; some Lý princes escaped to Korea, including Lý Long Tường.

After the purge most Trần kings ruled the country in similar manner to the Lý kings. Noted Trần Dynasty accomplishments include the creation of a system of population records based at the village level, the compilation of a formal 30-volume history of Đại Việt (Đại Việt Sử Ký) by Lê Văn Hưu, and the rising in status of the Nôm script, a system of writing for Vietnamese language. The Trần Dynasty also adopted a unique way to train new kings: as a king aged, he would relinquish the throne to his crown prince, yet holding a title of August Higher Emperor (Thái Thượng Hoàng), acting as a mentor to the new Emperor.

Mongol invasions

During the Trần Dynasty, the armies of the Mongol Empire under Mongke Khan and Kublai Khan, the founder of the Yuan dynasty invaded Vietnam in 1257 AD, 1284 AD, and 1288 AD. Đại Việt repelled all attacks of the Yuan during the reign of Kublai Khan. The key to Đại Việt’s successes was to avoid the Mongols’ strength in open field battles and city sieges – the Trần court abandoned the capital and the cities. The Mongols were then countered decisively at their weak points, which were battles in swampy areas such as Chương Dương, Hàm Tử, Vạn Kiếp and on rivers such as Vân Đồn and Bạch Đằng. The Mongols also suffered from tropical diseases and loss of supplies to Trần army’s raids. The Yuan-Trần war reached its climax when the retreating Yuan fleet was decimated at the Battle of Bạch Đằng (1288). The military architect behind Đại Việt’s victories was Commander Trần Quốc Tuấn, more popularly known as Trần Hưng Đạo. In order to avoid disastrous campaigns, the Tran and Champa acknowledged Mongol supremacy.


It was also during this period that the Trần kings waged many wars against the southern kingdom of Champa, continuing the Viets’ long history of southern expansion (known as Nam Tiến) that had begun shortly after gaining independence from China. Often, they encountered strong resistance from the Chams. Champa troops led by king Chế Bồng Nga (Cham: Po Binasuor or Che Bonguar) killed king Trần Duệ Tông in battle and even laid siege to Đại Việt’s capital Thăng Long in 1377 AD and again in 1383 AD. However, the Trần Dynasty was successful in gaining two Champa provinces, located around present-day Huế, through the peaceful means of the political marriage of Princess Huyền Trân to a Cham king.

Ming occupation and the rise of the Lê Dynasty

The Trần dynasty was in turn overthrown by one of its own court officials, Hồ Quý Ly. Hồ Quý Ly forced the last Trần king to resign and assumed the throne in 1400. He changed the country name to Đại Ngu (Hán tự: ) and moved the capital to Tây Đô, Western Capital, now Thanh Hóa. Thăng Long was renamed Đông Đô, Eastern Capital. Although widely blamed for causing national disunity and losing the country later to the Chinese Ming Dynasty, Hồ Quý Ly’s reign actually introduced a lot of progressive, ambitious reforms, including the addition of mathematics to the national examinations, the open critique of Confucian philosophy, the use of paper currency in place of coins, investment in building large warships and cannon, and land reform. He ceded the throne to his son, Hồ Hán Thương, in 1401 and assumed the title Thái Thượng Hoàng, in similar manner to the Trần kings.

In 1407, under the pretext of helping to restore the Trần Dynasty, Chinese Ming troops invaded Đại Ngu and captured Hồ Quý Ly and Hồ Hán Thương. The Hồ Dynasty came to an end after only 7 years in power. The Ming occupying force annexed Đại Ngu into the Ming Empire after claiming that there was no heir to Trần throne. Almost immediately, Trần loyalists started a resistance war. The resistance, under the leadership of Trần Quĩ at first gained some advances, yet as Trần Quĩ executed two top commanders out of suspicion, a rift widened within his ranks and resulted in his defeat in 1413.

In 1418, a wealthy farmer, Lê Lợi, led the Lam son revolution against the Ming from his base of Lam Sơn (Thanh Hóa province). Overcoming many early setbacks and with strategic advices from Nguyễn Trãi, Lê Lợi’s movement finally gathered momentum, marched northward, and launched a siege at Đông Quan (now Hanoi), the capital of the Ming occupation. The Ming Emperor sent a reinforcement force, but Lê Lợi staged an ambush and killed the Ming commander, Liễu Thăng (Chinese: Liu Sheng), in Chi Lăng. Ming troops at Đông Quan surrendered. The Lam son revolution killed 300,000 Ming soldiers. In 1428, Lê Lợi ascended to the throne and began the Hậu Lê dynasty (Posterior or Later Lê). Lê Lợi renamed the country back to Đại Việt and moved the capital back to Thăng Long.

he Lê Dynasty carried out land reforms to revitalize the economy after the war. Unlike the Lý and Trần kings, who were more influenced by Buddhism, the Lê kings leaned toward Confucianism. A comprehensive set of laws, the Hồng Đức code was introduced with some strong Confucian elements, yet also included some progressive rules, such as the rights of women. Art and architecture during the Lê Dynasty also became more influenced by Chinese styles than during the Lý and Trần Dynasty. The Lê Dynasty commissioned the drawing of national maps and had Ngô Sĩ Liên continue the task of writing Đại Việt’s history up to the time of Lê Lợi. King Lê Thánh Tông opened hospitals and had officials distribute medicines to areas affected with epidemics.

In 1471, Le troops led by king Lê Thánh Tông invaded Champa and captured its capital Vijaya. This event effectively ended Champa as a powerful kingdom, although some smaller surviving Cham kingdoms still lasted for a few centuries more. It initiated the dispersal of the Cham people across Southeast Asia. With the kingdom of Champa mostly destroyed and the Cham people exiled or suppressed, Vietnamese colonization of what is now central Vietnam proceeded without substantial resistance. However, despite becoming greatly outnumbered by Kinh (Việt) settlers and the integration of formerly Cham territory into the Vietnamese nation, the majority of Cham people nevertheless remained in Vietnam and they are now considered one of the key minorities in modern Vietnam. The city of Huế, founded in 1600 lies close to where the Champa capital of Indrapura once stood. In 1479, King Lê Thánh Tông also campaigned against Laos and captured its capital Luang Prabang. He made further incursions westwards into the Irrawaddy River region in modern-day Burma before withdrawing.

Divided period (1528–1802)

The Lê dynasty was overthrown by its general named Mạc Đăng Dung in 1527. He killed the Lê emperor and proclaimed himself emperor, starting the Mạc Dynasty. After defeating many revolutions for two years, Mạc Đăng Dung adopted the Trần Dynasty’s practice and ceded the throne to his son, Mạc Đăng Doanh, who became Thái Thượng Hoàng.

Meanwhile, Nguyễn Kim, a former official in the Lê court, revolted against the Mạc and helped king Lê Trang Tông restore the Lê court in the Thanh Hóa area. Thus a civil war began between the Northern Court (Mạc) and the Southern Court (Restored Lê). Nguyễn Kim’s side controlled the southern part of Đại Việt (from Thanhhoa to the south), leaving the north (including Đông Kinh-Hanoi) under Mạc control. When Nguyễn Kim was assassinated in 1545, military power fell into the hands of his son-in-law, Trịnh Kiểm. In 1558, Nguyễn Kim’s son, Nguyễn Hoàng, suspecting that Trịnh Kiểm might kill him as he had done to his brother to secure power, asked to be governor of the far south provinces around present-day Quảng Bình to Bình Định. Hoang pretended to be insane, so Kiem was fooled into thinking that sending Hoang south was a good move as Hoang would be quickly killed in the lawless border regions. However, Hoang governed the south effectively while Trịnh Kiểm, and then his son Trịnh Tùng, carried on the war against the Mạc. Nguyễn Hoàng sent money and soldiers north to help the war but gradually he became more and more independent, transforming their realm’s economic fortunes by turning it into an international trading post.

The civil war between the Lê/Trịnh and Mạc dynasties ended in 1592, when the army of Trịnh Tùng conquered Hanoi and executed king Mạc Mậu Hợp. Survivors of the Mạc royal family fled to the northern mountains in the province of Cao Bằng and continued to rule there until 1667 when Trịnh Tạc conquered this last Mạc territory. The Lê kings, ever since Nguyễn Kim’s restoration, only acted as figureheads. After the fall of the Mạc Dynasty, all real power in the north belonged to the Trịnh Lords.

In the year 1600, Nguyễn Hoàng also declared himself Lord (officially “Vương”, popularly “Chúa”) and refused to send more money or soldiers to help the Trịnh. He also moved his capital to Phú Xuân, modern-day Huế. Nguyễn Hoàng died in 1613 after having ruled the south for 55 years. He was succeeded by his 6th son, Nguyễn Phúc Nguyên, who likewise refused to acknowledge the power of the Trịnh, yet still pledged allegiance to the Lê king.

Trịnh Tráng succeeded Trịnh Tùng, his father, upon his death in 1623. Tráng ordered Nguyễn Phúc Nguyên to submit to his authority. The order was refused twice. In 1627, Trịnh Tráng sent 150,000 troops southward in an unsuccessful military campaign. The Trịnh were much stronger, with a larger population, economy and army, but they were unable to vanquish the Nguyễn, who had built two defensive stone walls and invested in Portuguese artillery.

The Trịnh-Nguyễn War lasted from 1627 until 1672. The Trịnh army staged at least seven offensives, all of which failed to capture Phú Xuân. For a time, starting in 1651, the Nguyễn themselves went on the offensive and attacked parts of Trịnh territory. However, the Trịnh, under a new leader, Trịnh Tạc, forced the Nguyễn back by 1655. After one last offensive in 1672, Trịnh Tạc agreed to a truce with the Nguyễn Lord Nguyễn Phúc Tần. The country was effectively divided in two.

The Trịnh and the Nguyễn maintained a relative peace for the next hundred years, during which both sides made significant accomplishments. The Trịnh created centralized government offices in charge of state budget and producing currency, unified the weight units into a decimal system, established printing shops to reduce the need to import printed materials from China, opened a military academy, and compiled history books.

Meanwhile, the Nguyễn Lords continued the southward expansion by the conquest of the remaining Cham land. Việt settlers also arrived in the sparsely populated area known as “Water Chenla”, which was the lower Mekong Delta portion of Chenla (present-day Cambodia). Between the mid-17th century to mid-18th century, as Chenla was weakened by internal strife and Siamese invasions, the Nguyễn Lords used various means, political marriage, diplomatic pressure, political and military favors,… to gain the area around present day Saigon and the Mekong Delta. The Nguyễn army at times also clashed with the Siamese army to establish influence over Chenla.

In 1771, the Tây Sơn revolution broke out in Quynhơn, which was under the control of the Nguyễn. The leaders of this revolution were three brothers named Nguyễn Nhạc, Nguyễn Lữ, and Nguyễn Huệ, not related to the Nguyễn lords. By 1776, the Tây Sơn had occupied all of the Nguyễn Lord’s land and killed almost the entire royal family. The surviving prince Nguyễn Phúc Ánh (often called Nguyễn Ánh) fled to Siam, and obtained military support from the Siamese king. Nguyễn Ánh came back with 50000 Siamese troops to regain power, but was defeated at the Battle of Rạch Gầm–Xoài Mút and almost killed. Nguyễn Ánh fled Vietnam, but he did not give up.

The Tây Sơn army commanded by Nguyễn Huệ marched north in 1786 to fight the Trịnh Lord, Trịnh Khải. The Trịnh army failed and Trịnh Khải committed suicide. The Tây Sơn army captured the capital in less than two months. The last Lê emperor, Lê Chiêu Thống, fled to China and petitioned the Chinese Qing Emperor for help. The Qing emperor Qianlong supplied Lê Chiêu Thống with a massive army of around 200,000 troops to regain his throne from the usurper. Nguyễn Huệ proclaimed himself Emperor Quang Trung and defeated the Qing troops with 100,000 men in a surprise 7 day campaign during the lunar new year (Tết). During his reign, Quang Trung envisioned many reforms but died by unknown reason on the way march south in 1792, at the age of 40.

During the reign of Emperor Quang Trung, Đại Việt was actually divided into 3 political entities. The Tây Sơn leader, Nguyễn Nhạc, ruled the centre of the country from his capital Qui Nhơn. Emperor Quang Trung ruled the north from the capital Phú Xuân Huế. In the South, Nguyễn Ánh, assisted by many talented recruits from the South, captured Gia Định (present day Saigon) in 1788 and established a strong base for his force.

After Quang Trung’s death, the Tây Sơn Dynasty became unstable as the remaining brothers fought against each other and against the people who were loyal to Nguyễn Huệ‘s infant son. Nguyễn Ánh sailed north in 1799, capturing Tây Sơn’s stronghold Qui Nhơn. In 1801, his force took Phú Xuân, the Tây Sơn capital. Nguyễn Ánh finally won the war in 1802, when he sieged Thăng Long (Hanoi) and executed Nguyễn Huệ’s son, Nguyễn Quang Toản, along with many Tây Sơn generals and officials. Nguyễn Ánh ascended the throne and called himself Emperor Gia Long. Gia is for Gia Định, the old name of Saigon; Long is for Thăng Long, the old name of Hanoi. Hence Gia Long implied the unification of the country. The Nguyễn dynasty lasted until Bảo Đại‘s abdication in 1945. As China for centuries had referred to Đại Việt as Annam, Gia Long asked the Chinese Qing emperor to rename the country, from Annam to Nam Việt. To prevent any confusion of Gia Long’s kingdom with Triệu Đà‘s ancient kingdom, the Chinese emperor reversed the order of the two words to Việt Nam. The name Vietnam is thus known to be used since Emperor Gia Long’s reign. Recently historians have found that this name had existed in older books in which Vietnamese referred to their country as Vietnam.

The Period of Division with its many tragedies and dramatic historical developments inspired many poets and gave rise to some Vietnamese masterpieces in verse such as the epic poem The Tale of Kieu (Truyện Kiều) by Nguyễn Du, Song of a Soldier’s Wife (Chinh Phụ Ngâm) by Đặng Trần Côn and Đoàn Thị Điểm, and a collection of satirical, erotically charged poems by the female poet Hồ Xuân Hương.

19th century and French colonization

The West‘s exposure in Vietnam and Vietnam’s exposure to Westerners dated back to 166 BC with the arrival of merchants from the Roman Empire, to 1292 with the visit of Marco Polo, and the early 1500s with the arrival of Portuguese and other European traders and missionaries.[citation needed] Alexandre de Rhodes, a French Jesuit priest, improved on earlier work by Portuguese missionaries and developed the Vietnamese romanized alphabet Quốc Ngữ in Dictionarium Annamiticum Lusitanam et Latinum in 1651.

Between 1627 and 1775, two powerful families had partitioned the country: the Nguyễn Lords ruled the South and the Trịnh Lords ruled the North. The Trịnh-Nguyễn War gave European traders the opportunities to support each side with weapons and technology: the Portuguese assisted the Nguyễnin the South while the Dutch helped the Trịnh in the North.

Main articles: Gia Long and Minh Mạng

In 1784, during the conflict between Nguyễn Ánh, the surviving heir of the Nguyễn Lords, and the Tây Sơn Dynasty, a French Catholic Bishop, Pigneaux de Behaine, sailed to France to seek military backing for Nguyễn Ánh. At Louis XVI‘s court, Pigneaux brokered the Little Treaty of Versailles which promised French military aid in return for Vietnamese concessions. The French Revolution broke out and Pigneaux’s plan failed to materialize. Undaunted, Pigneaux went to the French territory of Pondicherry, India. He secured two ships, a regiment of Indian troops, and a handful of volunteers and returned to Vietnam in 1788. One of Pigneaux’s volunteers, Jean-Marie Dayot, reorganized Nguyễn Ánh’s navy along European lines and defeated the Tây Sơn at Qui Nhơn in 1792. A few years later, Nguyễn Ánh’s forces captured Saigon, where Pigneaux died in 1799. Another volunteer, Victor Olivier de Puymanel would later build the Gia Định fort in central Saigon.

After Nguyễn Ánh established the Nguyễn Dynasty in 1802, he tolerated Catholicism and employed some Europeans in his court as advisors. However, he and his successors were conservative Confucians who resisted Westernization. The next Nguyễn emperors, Ming Mạng, Thiệu Trị, and Tự Đức brutally suppressed Catholicism and pursued a ‘closed door’ policy, perceiving the Westerners as a threat, following events such as the Lê Văn Khôi revolt when a French missionary Joseph Marchand encouraged local Catholics to revolt in an attempt to install a Catholic emperor. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese and foreign-born Christians were persecuted and trade with the West slowed during this period. There were frequent uprisings against the Nguyễns, with hundreds of such events being recorded in the annals. These acts were soon being used as excuses for France to invade Vietnam. The early Nguyễn Dynasty had engaged in many of the constructive activities of its predecessors, building roads, digging canals, issuing a legal code, holding examinations, sponsoring care facilities for the sick, compiling maps and history books, and exerting influence over Cambodia and Laos. However, those feats were not enough of an improvement in the new age of science, technology, industrialization, and international trade and politics, especially when faced with technologically superior European forces exerting strong influence over the region. The Nguyễn Dynasty is usually blamed for failing to modernize the country in time to prevent French colonization in the late 19th century.

the end @ copyright Dr Iwan suwandy 2011