Exploration usually demands the qualities of bravery, curiosity and organising ability. Arabia demanded more of the voyager: linguistic ability of a high order, scholarship and an imaginative temperament. It was also necessary to be able to pass as a native, if not of Arabia then of part of the Islamic world. The early explorers faced untold dan

chapter Chapter 1|21 pages

Lodovico Varthema

Gentleman of Rome 1503–1508

chapter Chapter 2|20 pages

Joseph Pitts

An Englishman at Mecca c. 1687

chapter Chapter 3|29 pages

Carsten Niebuhr

Survivor of a Tragic Expedition 1762

chapter Chapter 4|30 pages

Jean Louis Burckhardt

A Swiss in the Holy Cities 1814

chapter Chapter 5|32 pages


The Pilgrim 1853

chapter Chapter 6|40 pages


Through Central and Eastern Arabia 1862

chapter Chapter 7|31 pages

Carlo Guarmani

The Italian Horse-Coper 1864

chapter Chapter 8|43 pages


In Arabia Deserta 1876–1878

chapter Chapter 9|21 pages

The Blunts’

Journey to Hail 1879