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JOHN LORD DE JOINVILLE Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France

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JOHN LORD DE JOINVILLE
Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France
page 135



A-D . 1250, &C. ] ACCOUNT OP PRESTER JOHN. BO large a tract of country, and destroyed such numbers of people, whose bones they had seen piled up. The Tartars described to them their manners, beginning from their first origin, saying they were sprung from a great berrie,* in a plain where nothing grew. This berrie was placed under a rock, so very high that no one could pass it, and pointed toward the east. The Tartars told them, that between this, and other rocks towards the extremity of the earth, were enclosed the people of Gog and Magog,t who were to attend Antichrist when he should come, at the end of the world, to make a general destruction. From this same berrie came the Tartars that are subject to Prester JohnJ on the one side, and to the emperor of * A flat country. Sannto, 1.2, part 4, c. 28, " in quo habitant Arabes, qui Bedwini Tocantnr, in beria continue habitantes, sen in locis campestribua, sob tentoriie mansiones suas omni tempore iadentes." Spelman has thought that the word " beria," or 1 4 de berry," which is found at the termination of the names of some towns in England, signified " a burgh ; " but it is more probable they were thus called from their being built on extensiTe plains. Matthew Paris speaks in the year 1174 of the berry of St. Edmund, 4 4 beria S. Edmnndi," which is nothing more ttuurthe plain belonging to the monastery of St. Edmund. t In the list of the Aijubite Caliphs, in the Chronieon Orientale, it is said, that these people of Gog and Magog inhabited the country adjoining China : 44 Anno 613 fuit irruptia Tartarorum, qui colebant planitiem Sinarum contermimam, que dicitnr Hagin-Magin." Marco Polo, 1. 1, ch. 64 : " Sunt etiam ibi regiones Grog et Magog, quae illi nominant Lug et Mungug." X It was an ancient error, now no longer believed, that the empire of Prester John was the kingdom of the Abyssinians in Africa. The kingdom of Prester John was in Asia, and meant the empire of India. William of Tripoly relates, that at the time of the capture of Antioch by the French in the year 1098, Coiren Cham was lord or king of the eastern parts of Asia. After his death, a certain Neatorian priest seized the kingdom, and was called Priest John. Albericus, in the year 1145, has folly spoken of him, and said that it was believed he was of the race of the Magi mentioned in the Scriptures. He may, however, have advanced this opinion, from what he had read, that he governed the country called in the Scriptures Gog and Magog. In the year 1165, he saya, that this prince sent ambassadors to the emperors of Germany, Manuel and Frederick. He speaks of him again in the year 1170. Hia brother, Wth Cham, succeeded him, but was defeated by Genghis, cham or king of the Tartars, prior to the year 1200, as Paolo Veneto tells us in 1. 1, chapters 51 and 52. This king of India was called David, and the aon of Prester John. The Tartars having subdued the kingdom of India, and killed the king, established another, who was of the race of Prester John,


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