Ibn Fadlān and the Land of Darkness

Arab Travellers in the Far North

Recommended by Peter Frankopan, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #61 in Islamic History

In 922 AD, an Arab envoy from Baghdad named Ibn Fadlan encountered a party of Viking traders on the upper reaches of the Volga River. In his subsequent report on his mission he gave a meticulous and astonishingly objective description of Viking customs, dress, table manners, religion and sexual practices, as well as the only eyewitness account ever written of a Viking ship cremation.

Between the ninth and fourteenth centuries, Arab travellers such as Ibn Fadlan journeyed widely and frequently into the far north, crossing territories that now include Russia, Uzbekistan and...

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Peter Frankopan In the early 10th century, Ibn Fadlan is sent on a mission to Vulgar Bulgaria, which is a long way into the north of Russia. He reports on all the different peoples he meets on the way. (Source)

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