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aksss · 2020-09-11 · Original thread
Penguin Classics has a great book containing translations of Ibn Fadlan and other similar Arab accounts, and has a great introduction describing the Arab world view of the time, particularly how the North was regarded.

This book really torpedoed any romantic notions I had of those eras. Basically you just had a lot of motorcycle gangs running around in the forest - imagine Negen from TWD and you get an idea —- it would have sucked to have been alive then. Fascinating talk of the slaving “season”, and comparison of prices for buying a blonde-haired girl at various points along the river. Life was very cheap and might made right. No thanks, man. Not to offend anyone, but it also makes me appreciate the gradual changes that Christianity brought to those forests and to European peoples in time.

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