Carpini, Giovanni de Piano

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Carpini, Giovanni de Piano

(jōvän`nē dā pyä`nō kärpē`nē), c.1180–1252, Italian traveler and Franciscan monk, b. Pian del Carpini (now Piano della Magione), Umbria. He was a companion of St. FrancisFrancis, Saint,
or Saint Francis of Assisi
, 1182?–1226, founder of the Franciscans, one of the greatest Christian saints, b. Assisi, Umbria, Italy. Early Life
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 of Assisi and spread Franciscan teachings in Germany and Spain. In 1245 he was sent by Pope Innocent IV to the court of the MongolsMongols
, Asian people, numbering about 6 million and distributed mainly in the Republic of Mongolia, the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of China, and Kalmykia and the Buryat Republic of Russia.
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. With a Pole, Friar Benedict, he started from Lyons, went to Kiev, then across the Dnieper to the Don and the Volga, where he found the camp of a Mongol prince. He then traveled across central Asia to the imperial court at Karakorum in Mongolia. A journey of c.3,000 mi (4,830 km) was accomplished on horseback in 106 days. At KarakorumKarakorum
, ruined city, central Republic of Mongolia, near the Orkhon River, SW of Ulaanbaatar. The area around Karakorum had been inhabited by nomadic Turkic tribes from the 1st cent. A.D., but the city itself was not laid out until c.
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 he witnessed the installation (1246) of Jenghiz Khan's grandson as the great khan of the Mongols. Carpini returned to Lyons in 1247, and his careful account of the journey, known as Liber Tartarorum, proved invaluable. It is a full record of Mongol manners, history, policy, and military tactics; it was the first of such works to appear in Europe.