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  Wikipedia: Ibn Rustah

Wikipedia: Ibn Rustah
Ibn Rustah
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Ibn Rustah was a tenth century Arab chronicler. He traveled to Novgorod with the Rus' and many other places compiling books for Arab and Byzantine peoples.

He wrote of tenth-century Novgorod, a Viking city:

"As for the Rus, they live on an island ...that takes three days to walk round and is covered with thick undergrowth and forests; it is most unhealthy....They harry the Slavs, using ships to reach them; they carry them off as slaves and...sell them. They have no fields but simply live on what they get from the Slav's lands....When a son is born, the father will go up to the newborn baby, sword in hand; throwing it down, he says, "I shall not leave you with any property: You have only what you can provide with this weapon.'"(1)

His account of a Viking funeral at Birka is well known among historians.

Of ancient Croatia he wrote in the chronical "Al-Djarmi",:

"Their ruler is crowned ...He dwells in the midst of the Slavs...He bears the title of "ruler of rulers" and is called sacred malik. He is more powerful than the zupan (viceroy), who is his deputy...His capital is called Drzvab where is held a fair three days of the month."

And about a certain king of the Caucasus Ibn Rustah wrote:
"He prayed on Fridays with the Muslims, on Saturdays with the Jews and on Sundays with the Christinas. "Since each religion claims that it is the only true one and that the others are invalid", the king explained, "I have decided to hedge my bets."

He also traveled extensively in Arabia and is one of the early Arab travelers to describe the city of Sana'a. In his Book of Precious Records,

"It is the city of Yemen--there not being found in the highland or the Tihama or the Hijaz a city greater, more populous or more prosperous, of nobler origin or more delicious food than it. ...San'a is a populous city with fine dwellings, some above others, but most of them are decorated with plaster, burned bricks, and dressed stones."


  • 1. National Geographic, March 1985.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona