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History Essay 3

753 words - 4 pages

Ibn Fadlan was an expert in the philosophy of Islamic law. Ibn was sent on a journey by the celiph in order to help the king of Balgars. During his trip Fadlan recorded experiences he had while traveling along what we now know as Ukraine and Russia. During the time of Fadlans journey the rivers of Eastern Europe and Central Asia were inhabited by "vikings" Known to Arabs as the "Rus". Historians have used Fadlans recordings of his journey as one of the principle textual source we have about the Rus and other people populating Inner Asia. Faldan writes about many shocking observations. He was surprised to see how they treated the ill. If a person was to become sick they put him in a far off tent with some bread and water. He is not visited or spoken to until he is better. If he dies he is buried. Fadlan also wrote about an experience he had at a chiefs funeral. The first thing the people did when their chief died was to put him in a grave and set up a shelter over him. This gave them 10 days to arrange the ceremony and make the robes he would be buried in. During this time one of his slaves violenteers to die with her master. The slave that volunteers is watched closely until she is killed. Before she dies one of the Chief's friends has intercourse with her. After she is killed, put beside her master along with delicious food and drink and together they are burned. Fadlan is very impressed with the bodies of the Rus he says, "I have never seen more perfect physiques than theirs—they are like palm trees(…)" According to the account of Fadlan the Rus men are dressed in cloaks that cover only half of their bodies. On everyman their is an axe, a danger, and a sword. The men are also covered from head to foot in green stripes. Fadlan also describes how the women look. Rings made from silver, gold, or copper hung around their necks, these symbolized their husbands wealth. For every ten thousand dirhams. The woman also prize green beads which the men buy and string together for their wives. Although Fadlan describes the way they look with high admiration he is not so...

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