Prester john Sentence Examples
The king of Portugal next despatched Bartolomeu Diaz in 1486 to continue discoveries southwards; while, in the following year, he sent Pedro de Covilhao and Affonso de Payva to discover the country of Prester John.
His African experiences suggested The African Colony (1903), A Lodge in the Wilderness (1906), and Prester John (1910).
The legend of Prester John is based on the idea of the conversion of a Mongol tribe, the Karith, whose chieftain Ung Khan at baptism received the title Malek Juchana (King John).
The history of Prester John no doubt originally gathered round some nucleus of fact, though what that was is extremely difficult to determine.
Before Prester John appears upon the scene we find the way prepared for his appearance by a kindred fable, which entwined itself with the legends about him.Advertisement
Nearly a quarter of a century later Prester John appears upon the scene, in the character of a Christian conqueror and potentate who combined the characters of priest and king, and ruled over vast dominions in the Far East.
The first mention of Prester John occurs in the chronicle of Otto, bishop of Freisingen.
Whatever impression was made by this report, or by other rumours of the event on which it was founded, was far exceeded, about 1165, by the circulation of a letter purporting to be addressed by Prester John to the emperor Manuel.
How great was the popularity and diffusion of this letter may be judged in some degree from the fact that Zarncke in his treatise on Prester John gives a list of close on 100 MSS.
We do not know how far the imaginations about Prester John retained their vitality in 1221, forty-four years after the letter of Pope Alexander, for we know of no mention of Prester John in the interval.Advertisement
The name ascribed to the conqueror was David, and some called him the son or the grandson of Prester John of India.
In this event - the defeat of Sanjar, whose brother's son, Mas'ud, reigned over western Persia - occurring four years before the story of the Eastern conqueror was told at Rome to Bishop Otto, we seem to have the destruction of the Samiardi fratres or Sanjar brothers, which was the germ of the story of Prester John.
He shows instances, in documents of the 15th century, of the association of Prester John with the Caucasus.
In Carpini's (1248) single mention of Prester John as the king of the Christians of India the Greater, who defeats the Tatars by an elaborate stratagem, Oppert recognizes Jalaluddin of Kharezm and his brief success over the Mongols in Afghanistan.
We find Prester John in one more phase before he vanishes from Asiatic history, real or mythical.Advertisement
Marco Polo in the latter part of the 13th century, and Friar John of Montecorvino, afterwards archbishop of Cambaluc, in the beginning of the 14th, speak of the descendants of Prester John as holding territory under the great khan in a locality which can be identified with the plain of KukuKhotan, north of the great bend of the Yellow river and about 280 m.
With this mention Prester John ceases to have any pretension to historical existence in Asia (for we need not turn aside to Mandeville's fabulous revival of old stories or to the barefaced fictions of his contemporary, John of Hese, which bring in the old tales of the miraculous body of St Thomas), and his connexion with that quarter of the world gradually died out of the memory of Europe.(fn 3) When next we begin to hear his name it is as an African, not as an Asiatic prince; and the personage so styled is in fact the Christian king of Abyssinia.
From the 14th century onwards Prester John had found his seat in Abyssinia.
He sought to effect a junction with the half-fabulous Christian Empire of " Prester John " by way of the " Western Nile," i.e.
Among others who had engaged in this search was Pedro de Covilham, who arrived in Abyssinia in 1490, and, believing that he had at length reached the far-famed kingdom, presented geese g g P to the negus, or emperor of the country, a letter from his master the king of Portugal, addressed to Prester John.Advertisement
Returning overland across Asia, through the Land of Prester John and through Casan, the adventurous traveller seems to have entered Tibet, and even perhaps to have visited Lhasa.