A cool book found me this morning at the library: an Islamic text about a Viking funeral

There are several descriptions from the Islamic world relating to the Vikings. One of the most famous is that of Ibn Fadlan, a member of an embassy sent by the caliph of Baghdad to the king of the Bulgars on the Volga River in the early 920s. His first-hand account, known as the Risala (Writing), described the journey and the peoples with whom the embassy came into contact, including a group of Swedish Rus merchants. About one-fifthy of Faldan’s surviving text is devoted to these Rus, including spectacular description of a funeral (see also doc. 62).

Source: trans. Albert S. Cook, “Ibn Fadlan’s Account of Scandanavian Merchants on the Volga in 922.: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 22 (1923):59-63

I was told that the least of what they do for their chiefs when they die, is to consume them with fire.

The Viking Age: A Reader, edited by Angus A. Somerville and R. Andrew McDonald

3 thoughts on “A cool book found me this morning at the library: an Islamic text about a Viking funeral

  1. You might already be aware of this, but Ibn Fadlan’s time among the Vikings was used as a reference and basis for Michael Crichton’s EATERS OF THE DEAD, from which we get THE 13TH WARRIOR. Antonio Banderas’ role in that movie is supposed to be Ibn Fadlan.

    History is awesome on its own, but it can also inspire pretty amazing stuff. And, yes, I do consider THE 13TH WARRIOR pretty amazing–maybe not a great film but a fun movie. It was a big inspiration for KISS MY AXE.

  2. Yah, we’re giving up on Batwoman. I think the father-daughter relationship is still there, but needs to be there more strongly. But, that wouldn’t be a dealbreaker in itself. It’s more that a big fat nothing’s been going on for too long.

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