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Primary Source Paper

681 words - 3 pages

Ibn Battuta had many experiences when making a voyage to Mali. During his travel a man accompanied Ibn and wrote down accounts of their journey. Battuta made his journey to Mali on February 1352 to December 1353. The accounts of the voyage that are written down are not all verbatim from Ibn Battuta. How well Ibn and his companion knew geography and how well the facts were will be shown. The reason why Battuta made this journey to Mali is explained. Ibn’s overall impression and understanding of certain aspects of life in western Sudan is examined.
Ibn Battuta was a geographer. His geography was not good on the trip. According to Ibn Battuta he describes the Nile as descending from Timbuktu eastward to Nubia. “Ibn Battuta’s description of the “Nile,” which descends from Timbuktu eastwards to Nubia and over the cataracts to Egypt”(67). Ibn Juzzay was the appointed scribe to Battuta. Juzzay was the one who wrote down all accounts that took place. Once Juzzay and Battuta returned from Mali it took Juzzay an additional two years to publish what concurred on the journey. According to Levitzion and Hopkins, “The latter appointed a scribe, Ibn Juzzay, to write down Ibn Battuta’s account, which he completed in December 1355, two years after Ibn Battuta’s returns from the Sudan. Ibn Juzzay was busy for an additional three months improving the text”(66). Moreover, questions have evolved about the reliability of Juzzay’s accounts since it was very similar to another author named al-‘Umari. Al ‘Umari’s work was done seventeen years prior to Juzzay writing his accounts which ultimately raise questions about the similarities of the two works.
Ibn Battuta is the only author who travelled across the Sahara Desert to visit Mali. He was sent on this journey by a Moroccan sultan Abu ‘Inan. He heard about how Mansa Musa was the king of Mali and how generous he was. After Ibn left the first sultan he was recalled by a new sultan from Takedda. “Ibn Battuta took leave from the sultan...

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