Iz dis Nazi land so gut? Vood you leave it if you could? Ja this Nazi land ist gut! Ve vouldn't leave even if we could!

swimmerguy's picture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os9SrKSj7Lc

The book I'm reading right now is interesting for a lot of reasons... It's called Trickster Travels, about a sort of Ibn Battuta kind of guy who widely traveled the Muslim and Christian world in the first half of the 1500's.
It lets me know a lot of history I didn't know before about golden age-era Islam.
But one of the most interesting things is how many names the guy has. In the West he's mostly known because he was captured and kept in Italy for 9 years during his travels, and he wrote a famous and valuable book while there, called The Description of Africa. So in the West, like on his Wikipedia page, he's usually known as Leo Africanus, the name he published the book under, or sometimes as his baptismal name after he supposedly converted to Christianity in Italy, Giovan Lioni Africano.
But probably the most accurate name, his Muslim name, the one he used for most of his life, is al-Hasan ibn Muhhamad ibn Ahmad al-Wazzan al-Fasi al-Gharnati.
Al-hasan is sorta his first name, "ibn Muhhamad" means his dad is named Muhhamad, "ibn Ahmad al-Wazzan" means his grandpa on his dad's side was named that, "al-Fasi" means he was brought up in the city of Fez, and "al-Gharnati" means he was born in Granada.

I'm not sure how the naming conventions worked back then, but most often the author calls him al-Hasan al-Wazzan, but not always. For example, if someone else's name has one or both of those parts, he might call him ibn Muhhamad or ibn Ahmed al-Wazzan. But, for example, to distinguish him from his father, Muhhamad ibn Ahmad al-Wazzan, the author might call him al-Hasan al-Fasi or something of the like.

The names are all pretty confusing, because so many can be used, and there's so many Muhhamad something-or-other's. But I think it's kinda interesting. In a scholarly text about a Western person, of course, you'd just use their last name for the most part. So it'd be interesting to have so many names for the same person, with a lot of people sharing names so you have to find the right combination that describes only one agreed-upon person...

Comments

elph's picture

Uh... "we?"

It'd be equally interesting to look into the development of surnames in European cultures. Historically... relatively recent!

jeff's picture

Hmm...

Not something I'd ever want to read, but have fun, I guess?! ;-)

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

anarchist's picture

You should read House of Leaves.

It's very good and reading it right before (attempting to) sleep is fun and happy.

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

Fun and happy?

Thou trollest, friend.

* * *

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.

jeff's picture

Nope...

I'm writing now, so need to stick to non-fiction and previously-read fiction for a while.

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

elph's picture

An Arabian Peninsula Journey

If you're interested in a journey across the Arabian peninsula (1862-1863), I can recommend Personal Narrative of a Year's Journey Through Central and Eastern Arabia by William Gifford Palgrave. A photocopy of the original book in the Library of University of Toronto has just been republished by "Forgotten Books." It is now available at a very reasonable price from Amazon. It's like any ordinary book, except it's a photocopy of the original!

This is a true classic journey that gives one a very vivid picture of the Bedouin in north and central Arabia 150 years ago!

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

I'd be willing to bet...

It'd be FAR more interesting to read about a journey not made by a man from the West.

* * *

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.