BTS 109

Journey to the Sublime Porte. The Arabic Memoir of a Sharifian Agent's Diplomatic Mission to the Ottoman Imperial Court in the era of Suleyman the Magnificent

Blackburn, Richard

2005. 390 pp English text with 1 map and accompanying Mini-CD. English Brochur
ISBN 978-3-89913-441-4

This volume’s basis forms the travel report of the Sunni religious scholar an-Nahrawali (1511-82) whose notes on his journeys through the Arabian Peninsula serve as excellent sources for historians and researchers on the Ottoman Empire. The edition by the historian Richard Blackburn comprises an English translation of the original manuscript, a substantial commentary in form of footnotes, a detailed introduction into the text as well as an index and a vast bibliography. Comments and notes on the understanding of the content are clearly marked, thorough and competent and the text’s structure remains strictly chronological. This piece of work is yet another example of travel literature serving as a source for the study of social and intellectual history.

 Dr. Richard Blackburn has been teaching Arabic language and Ottoman history at the University of Toronto until his recent retirement. His research topics focused mainly on the Ottoman Empire, as well as Yemen in the 16th century whereby he attained the information on the volume in concern.