Buddy Genghis: Christian King of the East Prester John

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

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Main Sources

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 http://www.deadideas.net. Music and graphic design by Rachel Westhoff.


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