Prester John

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Prester John,

legendary Christian priest and monarch of a vast, wealthy empire in Asia or in Africa. The legend first appeared in the latter part of the 12th cent. and persisted for several centuries. At first the utopian realm of this Christian king was supposed to be in Asia, but later it was more generally placed in Africa. Letters supposed to have been written by him and about him were widely circulated in Western Europe.


See studies by V. Slessarev (1959) and R. Silverberg (1972).

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References in periodicals archive ?
The Jesuit Mission to Ethiopia (1555-1634) and the Death of Prester John. In Allison B.
The comics refer to a large cast of characters, adding up to a veritable soap opera featuring pirates, popes, convicts, smugglers, degradados, famous Omani navigators, unknown Gujarati seamen, Moors from Calicut, a mysterious Jew from Poznan, the king of Portugal Dom Manuel, and Prester John, a mythical Christian king from medieval European chronicles who was believed to have ruled over a nation in the East.
Specifically recommended for young listeners ages 8 to 12, "The Wooden Prince" is the first volume in John Claude Bemis's outstanding reworking of the classic fairytale into a compelling science fiction fantasy tale of action and adventure that includes Prester John, his daughter the Blue Fairy, a musical cricket named Maestro, and a whole roster of supporting characters.
Nor will I speak of Eco's studies on language (e.g., The Search for the Perfect Language, 1995), on memory and theories of translation, on historical forgeries (e.g., The Donation of Constantine, Letter of Prester John, and The Protocols of Sion), or about his beautifully illustrated encyclopedic volumes History of Beauty, History of Ugliness, The Infinity of Lists and The Book of Legendary Lands.
and trans., Prester John: The Legend and its Sources (Crusade Texts in Translation, 27), Farnham, Ashgate, 2015; cloth; pp.
(63.) References to Prester John first appear in the twelfth century in Otto of Freising's Chronicle, Charles Christopher Mierow, trans., The two cities: a chronicle of universal history to the year 1146 A.D., (New York: Octagon Books, 1966), 443-444).
Though he had already written several novels by this point, Buchan had yet to produce the adventure stories, such as Prester John (1910) and The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915), that would make his name.
(For those not acquainted with the works, Chapter Two helpfully describes each source's contents and production circumstances.) In addition to those of Polo and Odoric mentioned above, she uses the writings of John of Plano Carpini, William of Rubruck, John of Monte Corvino, Hetoum of Armenia, 'Sir John Mandeville' and Niccolo dei Conti, as well as The Letter of Prester John and a number of other briefer works.
Whether it is the apartment of Sherlock Holmes, the house of Madame Bovary, the lands of Prester John, the ruins of Glastonbury, or the Dublin of Leopold Bloom, the relationship between the imaginary and the real has historically provided us with a sort of forged, altered map of the real as it emerged from the human imagination.
Intertwined with the ancient European folklore surrounding Africa as early as the 12th Century is the mysterious legend of Prester John. He was a Christian patriarch who was rumoured to rule over a Utopian Christian nation in Africa surrounded by Muslims and pagans.