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Rewriting Baranī? The description of the Delhi Sultanate in the Riḥla of Ibn Baṭṭūṭa/Ibn Djuzayy and the Tārīkh-i Fīrūz Shāhī of Ḍiyā’ al-Dīn Baranī


Trausch, T (2010). Rewriting Baranī? The description of the Delhi Sultanate in the Riḥla of Ibn Baṭṭūṭa/Ibn Djuzayy and the Tārīkh-i Fīrūz Shāhī of Ḍiyā’ al-Dīn Baranī. Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques, 64(1):139-172.

Abstract

The Riḥla of the famous Moroccan Ibn Baṭṭūṭa describes his travels, which led him through the whole Islamic world and beyond that to the South Seas and China, in an elaborate and rousing way: different people and their mannerisms, famous metropolises, the flora and fauna of distant territories and, last but not least, his adventures on the road. All this made the Riḥla, besides its being an entertaining and enthralling text, one of the main sources on the relatively poorly documented Islamic World of the 14th century. It retained this status until today. The fact that over the years more and more forgeries and plagiarisms could be proven to Ibn Baṭṭūṭa has not principally altered the approach to regard this text as an authentic travelogue as long as no opposite is definitively proven. This article deals with the issue of what one needs to write a travelogue; this is, besides writing skill and imaginativeness, information. It focuses on the question where this information comes from or, to get to the heart of it, whether one needs to have travelled. The subject of this study is one of the most significant parts of the Riḥla, Ibn Baṭṭūṭa’s description of the Delhi Sultanate. If he probably never was in India, how could he have gained his vast amount of information about this distant region? The answer to this question is, as I think, the Tārīkh-i Fīrūz Shāhī of the Indian court scribe Ḍiyā’ al­-Dīn Baranī.

The Riḥla of the famous Moroccan Ibn Baṭṭūṭa describes his travels, which led him through the whole Islamic world and beyond that to the South Seas and China, in an elaborate and rousing way: different people and their mannerisms, famous metropolises, the flora and fauna of distant territories and, last but not least, his adventures on the road. All this made the Riḥla, besides its being an entertaining and enthralling text, one of the main sources on the relatively poorly documented Islamic World of the 14th century. It retained this status until today. The fact that over the years more and more forgeries and plagiarisms could be proven to Ibn Baṭṭūṭa has not principally altered the approach to regard this text as an authentic travelogue as long as no opposite is definitively proven. This article deals with the issue of what one needs to write a travelogue; this is, besides writing skill and imaginativeness, information. It focuses on the question where this information comes from or, to get to the heart of it, whether one needs to have travelled. The subject of this study is one of the most significant parts of the Riḥla, Ibn Baṭṭūṭa’s description of the Delhi Sultanate. If he probably never was in India, how could he have gained his vast amount of information about this distant region? The answer to this question is, as I think, the Tārīkh-i Fīrūz Shāhī of the Indian court scribe Ḍiyā’ al­-Dīn Baranī.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 64 (2010) > 1
Dewey Decimal Classification:950 History of Asia
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:26 Jul 2010 07:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:12
Publisher:Schweizerische Asiengesellschaft / Verlag Peter Lang
ISSN:0004-4717
Related URLs:http://www.sagw.ch/de/asiengesellschaft/publikationen/Asiatische-Studien.html (Publisher)
http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?vID=86850&vLang=D&vHR=1&vUR=4&vUUR=11 (Publisher)
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-35192

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