This was a very interesting video. I have already written about some of the things contained therein but I found it very informative and well-made.
I would like to add two more things about what Ibrahim ibn Ya’qub said about Bohemian slavs (11:22 in the video).
- “Strange as it seems, the Bohemians are dark-skinned and black-haired. A blond person can rarely be found among them” – I like to quote this one to any Slavic racists and white supremacists (there is no shortage of those, unfortunately). This Arabic merchant saw a thousand years ago that Slavic people look so markedly different from Germanic tribes who also live in Northern Europe, that he thought it worth writing down.
- “In Bawaymah they make light cloths shaped like a half moon and having the form of a net. They do not fit to anything. At every time their value is of ten cloths for a qinshar. They use them for purchases and transactions and possess entire jars of them. For them, they are money and the most precious thing with which one can buy wheat, flour, horses, gold, silver, and all the rest” – This is thought to be information about using small pieces of cloth that have no other purpose than to be used as money – essentially the early medieval equivalent of paper money. There are no written Slavic sources from this time so information about early Slavic cultures is very scarce and this particular thing is not AFAIK mentioned anywhere else. But it seems to be corroborated by etymology – the Czech verb “platit” and Slovak “platiť” (to pay) are derived from word “plátno” (cloth). The same goes for Polish płacić and for Russian (плати́ть) and Ukrainian (плати́ти) too. (I do not know why FtB messes up Cyrillic script, it just does).(Edit: the script is messed up in the writing interface but it looks ok in the published article. curiouser and curiouser).