Written more than eight hundred years ago and now translated into English, this is the first-hand account of a wise and scholarly Spanish Muslim’s pilgrimage to Makkah and Madinah, the holy cities of Islam, and of his travel to Baghdad, the city of the Caliphs, to the first onslaught of Saladin, and to the island of Sicily at its most splendid Norman–Saracen period under the dynasty of Norse brigands. The reader is kept closely en rapport with the original author, the translation being as exact as English syntax and style will permit, abiding faithfully by the words, arrangement and imagery, and following the rigorous canons of oriental scholarship. Ronald Broadhurst has worked under the guidance of Professor Arberry, Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge. The book is provided with full notes that include not only those of a specialist character that a scholarly work of this type requires but also those that will help and even entertain the general reader. A glossary explains the Arabic words that most appear in the text, and a comprehensive introduction sets the scene and describes the dramatis personae.
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