(Photo by Nimravik, Wikimedia Commons) Replica of a Chinese Junk at the Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai

In our third travelers episode, we catch up with the explorer and diplomat Ibn Battuta, as he narrowly avoids disaster in Southern India, though his entourage is not so lucky. We also get some of the first written descriptions of the people of the Maldives, and discuss the status of slaves in Ibn Battuta’s traveling household.

This episode includes modified versions of recordings originally by Samuel Corwin and Nimisha Shankar, used under the CC-BY license.
Today’s Text:
  • Ibn Batuta, Mohammed. The Travels of Ibn Batuta. Edited and translated by Samuel Lee, Oriental Translation Committee, 1829. Google Books.
  • Ibn Baṭūṭṭa. The Travels of Ibn Battūta: A.D. 1325-1354. Translated by H.A.R. Gibb, vol. 1, Hakluyt Society Second Series no. 110, Cambridge UP, 1958.
  • Ibn Baṭūṭṭa. The Travels of Ibn Battūta: A.D. 1325-1354. Translated by H.A.R. Gibb and C.F. Beckingham, vol. 4, Hakluyt Society Second Series no. 178, Cambridge UP, 1994.


  • Tolmacheva, Marina A. “Concubines on the Road: Ibn Battuta’s Slave Women.” Concubines and Courtesans: Woman and Slavery in Islamic History, edited by Matthew S. Gordon and Kathryn A. Hain, Oxford, UP, 2017, pp. 163-189.

Image: A replica of a Chinese Junk on display in the Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai. Photo by Nimravic, Wikimedia Commons.

Note: Patrons can access a special appendix to this episode featuring a letter by Samuel Lee narrating how he taught himself a whole range of ancient languages while working as a carpenter. You can become a patron at http://www.patreon.com/mdtpodcast.