One of the earliest detailed descriptions of Northern Europe is reported in the account written by the Arab Muslim writer and traveler Ahmad Ibn Fadhlan, who was sent in 921 CE as the secretary to an ambassador from the Abbasid Caliph al-Muqtadir from Baghdad to the Volga Bulgars by the Black Sea and the Caspian. Ibn Fadhlan's travel account was the source of inspiration to many fictional narratives in Western literature and art, such as the the well known novel Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton, filmed as The 13th Warrior directed in 1999 by John McTiernan, and the film Beowulf, released in November 2007.
Ahmad Ibn Fadhlan in Northern Europe: A Survey of his Account of Russian Vikings in the 10th Century
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Figure 1: Sarajevo skyline. (Source: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=597483&page=66).
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