Ibn Batuta

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Ibn Batuta (Ĭ´bən bätōō´tä), 1304?–1378?, Muslim traveler, b. Tangier. No other medieval traveler is known to have journeyed so extensively. In 30 years (from c.1325) he made a series of journeys recorded in a dictated account. He traveled overland in North Africa and Syria to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. Afterward he visited Arabia, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Asia Minor. He made a journey by way of Samarkand to India, where he resided for almost eight years at the court of the sultan of Delhi, who sent him to China as one of his ambassadors. Ibn Batuta visited the Maldives, the Malabar coast, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and Sumatra. He returned c.1350 to Tangier. Later he went to Spain, then to Morocco, and from there he crossed the Sahara to visit Timbuktu and the Niger River. Batuta is still considered a most reliable source for the geography of his period and an authority on the cultural and social history of Islam. For annotated selections from his writings, see Travels of Ibn Battūta (tr. by H. A. R. Gibb, 3 vol., rev. ed. 1958–71).

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Ibn Batuta (1304?–68?) Arab traveller and writer. Born in Tangier, Morocco, he began his adventures in c.1325 with a pilgrimage to Mecca by way of Egypt and Syria. Travel was to occupy the next 30 years of his life, when he visited parts of Africa, Asia and Europe. In c.1350, he returned to Morocco to write an account of his travels.