“Viaggi e viaggiatori arabi” by Francesco Gabrieli

This article is also available in: Italiano

“Viaggi e viaggiatori arabi” by Francesco Gabrieli is a small treasure of inestimable value that will tell us the story of the 10 greatest Arab travelers of all time, some of which cannot be found elsewhere

Viaggi e viaggiatori arabi

The Arabs, or rather the Muslims all of Arabic expression, were great travelers, and their scientific and practical experiences have left us a rich literature, important as documentation of science and culture, and often of fresh, curious and attractive humanity. This quick sketch aims to give, framed in the general line of development of the genre, essays by at least some of the personalities and works of this travel literature, from geographers and travelers of the early Middle Ages to those of the Renaissance, already on the threshold of colonial penetration European.

The 10 greatest travelers in the Arab world

In this book, as particular as it is rare, Francesco Gabrieli, one of the most famous Italian Arabists of all time, will take us to discover the story of the 10 greatest travelers of the Arab world; in particular: Sulaiman al-Tajir , Harun ibn Yahya, Ibn Fadlan, al Mas’udi, Ibn Hawqal, al Muqaddasi, Abu Hamid al Gharnati, Ibn Jubayr, Ibn Battuta and Ibn Majid. What makes this book so valuable, beyond the beautiful introduction on the concept of “travel” in the Arab world, is that much of the information gathered here is almost impossible to find elsewhere.

Viaggi e viaggiatori arabi

In fact, stories like that of Sulaiman al-Tajir or Harun ibn Yahya, although important in the formation of the Arab imaginary, are de facto absent in all other European languages, making this little book a little gem. To this it should be added that, for each traveler, there will be a small extract of his main work, transforming “Arab Travels and Travelers” into a real gem with a very high historical and cultural value both for the Italian-speaking public and for the world one. Attention: the last reprint known to me dates back to 1975, if you want to find it you have to look for it above all in used book stores; a perfect treasure for a book hunter.

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