Difference between revisions of "Prester John"

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Otto of Freisingen in his Chronicon of 1145 reports that in 1144, he had met, in the presence of pope Eugene II in Viterbo, a certain Hugo, bishop of Gabala, who told him that Prester John was a Nestorian Christian, was descended from one of the Three Magi, and had defeated the Mohammedans in a great battle "not many years ago". After this battle, Prester John allegedly set out for Jerusalem to rescue the Holy Land, but the swollen waters of the Tigris compelled him to return to his own country. He was said to be enormously wealthy, his sceptre, for example, being of pure emeralds.
 
Otto of Freisingen in his Chronicon of 1145 reports that in 1144, he had met, in the presence of pope Eugene II in Viterbo, a certain Hugo, bishop of Gabala, who told him that Prester John was a Nestorian Christian, was descended from one of the Three Magi, and had defeated the Mohammedans in a great battle "not many years ago". After this battle, Prester John allegedly set out for Jerusalem to rescue the Holy Land, but the swollen waters of the Tigris compelled him to return to his own country. He was said to be enormously wealthy, his sceptre, for example, being of pure emeralds.
   
What is very definite is a letter, the Letter of Prester John, believed to be a forgery, which was supposedly written to the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus (1143-1180) by Prester John, the King of India. The letter later came, copied, to the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. This letter, appearing around 1165, which recounted many marvels of richness and magic, captured the imagination of Europeans and circulated in ever more embellished form for centuries and shortly after the invention of printing in printed form, being still current in the popular culture during the period of European exploration. <br>
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What is very definite is a letter, the Letter of Prester John, believed to be a forgery, which was supposedly written to the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus (1143-1180) by Prester John, the King of India. The letter later came, copied, to the [[Holy Roman Emperor]] Frederick Barbarossa. This letter, appearing around 1165, which recounted many marvels of richness and magic, captured the imagination of Europeans and circulated in ever more embellished form for centuries and shortly after the invention of printing in printed form, being still current in the popular culture during the period of European exploration. <br>
 
The letter included details (about St.Thomas, about peppers, and about elephants) which indicate that the writer (whoever he was) placed Prester John in [[India]], possibly toward the eastern coast. Its details also bore close resemblances to fictional accounts of the life of '''Alexander the Great''' in India, mentioning things such as cannibals, trivers flowing from Paradise/Eden, pygmies and men without heads, which appear in both sources (see [http://faculty.biu.ac.il/~barilm/presjohn.html this article] for further details). <br>
 
The letter included details (about St.Thomas, about peppers, and about elephants) which indicate that the writer (whoever he was) placed Prester John in [[India]], possibly toward the eastern coast. Its details also bore close resemblances to fictional accounts of the life of '''Alexander the Great''' in India, mentioning things such as cannibals, trivers flowing from Paradise/Eden, pygmies and men without heads, which appear in both sources (see [http://faculty.biu.ac.il/~barilm/presjohn.html this article] for further details). <br>
 
It also offered an Emperor with a house-steward who was a patriarch and a king, a cup-bearer who was an archbishop and a king, and a chamberlain who was a bishop and a king. <br>
 
It also offered an Emperor with a house-steward who was a patriarch and a king, a cup-bearer who was an archbishop and a king, and a chamberlain who was a bishop and a king. <br>

Revision as of 21:06, 27 June 2005