Posted in Medievalists.net
February 19, 2022

A Pilgrim from Xanadu: How A Christian Monk Discovered Medieval Europe


A Pilgrim from Xanadu: How A Christian Monk Discovered Medieval Europe

Paper by Philip Jenkins

Given by the Bridge Projects on November 4, 2021

Abstract: In the 1280s, the Chinese emperor Kubla Khan urgently needed to ally with Christian Europe against the kingdoms of Islam. For such a mission to explore those strange new worlds and new civilizations, what better envoy to choose than the brilliant Christian monk Rabban Bar Sauma? The first-hand records of Bar Sauma’s amazing mission allow us to trace his odyssey from Beijing to Baghdad, and on to Rome and Bordeaux.

Philip Jenkins was educated at Cambridge University. He has taught at Penn State University and is presently a Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University. Click here to view his university webpage.

Click here to view the Bridge Projects website

Top Image: Heinrich Bünting, Die gantze Welt in einem Kleberblat / Welches ist der Stadt Hannover meines lieben Vaterlandes Wapen (“The entire world in the shape of a clover-leaf, which is the emblem of the city of Hannover, my beloved homeland”), 1581, woodcut print

Medievalists.net February 19, 2022 at 02:01AM

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