22 April 2007

Book review: Ibn Battuta in the Maldives and Ceylon, transl. by Albert Gray, *****

Portrait of Ibn Battuta at the museum of Malè
The diary of Ibn Battuta, the famous Arab traveler of the XIV century who spent about nine months there between 1343 and 1344. He became a court advisor, married and divorced several times, shared his abode with concubines and slaves, and tried, unsuccessfully, to make Maldivian women cover their bodies. His account remains one of the most interesting ever written, except perhaps that of Pyrard de Laval.

This edition is a reprint of the translation by Albert Gray, first published in 1882 in Ceylon.

A must read for anyone interested in understanding Maldivian history.

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