Why did medieval Christians think the Mongols were Christians coming to team up with their Crusader bros to kick some Muslim butt? Well, it had to do with a fake news story about a certain legendary king called Prester John…
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Host: B. T. Newberg
Time/place: Medieval Europe, c. 1200 CE
Dead idea: Prester John
Baring-Gould, S. (2005). Curious Myths of the Middle Ages: The Sangreal, Pope Joan, The Wandering Jew, and Others. Mineola, NY: Dover.
Brooks, M. E. (2009). “Prester John: A Reexamination and Compendium of the Mythical Figure Who Helped Spark European Expansion.” Theses and Dissertations. Paper 1044.
Brundage, J. A. (1962). Crusades: A Documentary Survey. Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press.
Hudson, H. N. (1887). Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Boston: Ginn & Co.
Polo, M., and Rustichello of Pisa. (2004). The Travels of Marco Polo, Vol. 2. Yule, H., and Cordier, H., Eds. Downloaded Jan 29, 2017, from: http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/12410/pg12410.txt
Maps, pics, references, and more at www.deadideas.net. Music and graphic design by Rachel Westhoff.