Ahmad ibn Rustah

Ahmad ibn Rustah Isfahani, more commonly known as Ibn Rustah, was a tenth-century Persian explorer and geographer born in Rosta district, Isfahan, Persia. He wrote a geographical compendium known as Kitāb al-A‘lāk al-Nafīsa. The information on his home town of Isfahan is especially extensive and valuable. Ibn Rustah states that, while for other lands he had to depend on second-hand reports, often acquired with great difficulty and with no means of checking their veracity, for Isfahan he could use his own experience and observations or statements from others known to be reliable. Thus we have a description of the twenty districts of Isfahan containing details not found in other geographers' works. Concerning the town itself, we learn that it was perfectly circular in shape, with a circumference of half a farsang, walls defended by a hundred towers, and four gates.

Recorded information

His information on the non-Islamic peoples of Europe and Inner Asia makes him a useful source for these obscure regions and for the prehistory of the Turks and other steppe peoples.
He traveled to Novgorod with the Rus' and compiled books relating his own travels, as well as second-hand knowledge of the Khazars, Magyars, Slavs, Bulgars and other peoples.
. Известия о хозарах, буртасах, болгарах, мадьярах, славянах и руссах. — СПб.: тип. Императорской Академии Наук, 1869.