The Travels of Ibn Battuta to India, the Spice Islands, and China

battuta cover design 4 (1) The era in which Ibn Baṭṭūṭa traveled to the East was exciting but turbulent, cursed by the Black Plague and the   fall  of mighty dynasties. His chronicle provides a first-hand account of increased globalization due to the rise of   Islam, as well as the relationship between the Western world and India and China in the 14th century. Readers are   given insight into the complex power dynamics of the time as well a personal glimpse of the author’s life as he   sought to survive them, always staying on the move. The Riḥla is of great value as a historical document and for its religious commentary, especially regarding the marvels and miracles that Ibn Baṭṭūṭa encountered. It is  also an entertaining narrative with a wealth of anecdotes, often humorous or shocking, and in many cases  touchingly human. The book records the journey of Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, a Moroccan jurist who travels to the East, operating at high levels of government within the vibrant Muslim network of India and China in the 14th century.  It offers fascinating details about the cultures and dynamics of that region, and a dazzling narrative that goes well beyond the standard travelogue. Tragedies and wonders fill its pages, shared for the greater glory of Allah  and the edification of readers both past and present.

The late Noël King, University of California, was the author and editor of numerous books, including Ibn Battuta in Black Africa. Albion M. Butters, University of Turku, is the editor of Studia Orientalia Electronica.