Sumatra and Java Islands in medieval ottoman and Arabic literature

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Sumatra and Java’s strategic locations have long attracted traders and explorers from around the world, particularly medieval Arab traders. The first Arab historian to mention the islands was Zakariya Al Qazwiny, who wrote that “Jâwah,” located between China and India, was a source of sandalwood, lime, cloves, and Chinese medicine. One of the first Arab explorers to visit Indonesia was Ibn Battuta, who visited the Kingdom of Samudra Pasai in 1345 AD on his way from India to China after visiting Sri Lanka and other countries. As, according to Sartono Kartodirdjo, medieval travel records can be used as sources in historical studies, the surviving descriptions of Indonesia by Arab and Ottoman visitors should be more widely known among modern historians. This paper identifies several useful sources from the medieval period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1338-1348
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Science and Technology
Issue number3 Special Issue
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Arab Historian
  • History
  • Indonesia
  • Ottoman


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