Translations of the Rihla

Gibb's full translation | Internet selections | Mackintosh-Smith selections from Gibb's translation | Other paper collections

Gibb's full translation

With few exceptions, all passages from Ibn Battuta on the web, the only complete printed copy, and the only comprehensive condensation come from the H. R. R. Gibb translation.

Amazon. Volumes 1-3 were published in the 50s and 60s.

Amazon. The fourth volume, completed by C. F. Beckingham, was published in 1994 by the Hakluyt Society. It is very expensive.

Amazon. The fifth volume is the index, recently published and also expensive.

Internet selections

Ibn Battuta: Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354, a lengthy excerpt from Gibb's translation, from Paul Halsall's Internet Medieval Source Book.

Selections from above by Steve Muhlberger for his Nipissing University course, History of Islamic Civilization.

Mackintosh-Smith selections from Gibb's translation

Amazon. Travels of Ibn Battutah edited by Tim Mackintosh-Smith. Publishers blurb.

"Even to the borders of China" review by James Buchan, Guardian, December 21, 2002.

"What Mackintosh-Smith conveys in his abridgement is the sheer scope, both geographical and mental, of Islamic civilisation in its climactic phase between the Mongol devastations of the 13th century and the revival of Christendom in the 15th. At Sijilmasah, a place now in ruins to the south of the Atlas mountains in the Maghrib, ibn Battutah stayed with a jurist whose brother he had met at Qanjanfu (Fuzhou) on the Chinese mainland. "How far apart they are," he comments."

Positive non-academic review by Ann Skea, for Eclectica Magazine. Skea does however remark "I was much more at home with Tim Mackintosh Smith's brief, easy-going, humorous style than I was with Ibn Battutah's."

Other paper collections

Amazon. Ibn Battuta in Black Africa by Ibn Batuta. Selections from his writings are translated and commented upon by Said Hamdun and Noel Quinton King. Publisher's blurb.

See this site's Regions and Travelogues, Sub-Saharan Africa for more on this book.

Amazon. Corpus of early Arabic sources for West African history, translated by J.F.P. Hopkins; edited and annotated by Hopkins and N. Levtzion. Excerpts many authors, including Ibn Battuta. Apparently out-of-print in hardcover. The Publisher's blurb excerpts the TLS review, which complains of the hardcover version "Only its grotesque price will prevent it from reaching the shelves of the teachers of West African history for whom it was designed."

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.

If you enjoy this site you may also like my other sites:

Ibn Khaldun on the Web. Everything about the great 14th century Arab historian and philosopher of history.

Sir Richard F. Burton on the Web Guide to the explorer and translator of the Arabian Nights and the Kama Sutra.

The Complete Petra. Comprehensive guide to Petra, the "lost" city of Jordan.