A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 770 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01.

“The long and wonderful voyage of Friar John de Plano Carpini, sent ambassador, by Pope Innocent IV.  A.D. 1246, to the great Can of Tartacia; wherein he passed through Bohemia, Polonia, Russia, and so to the city of Kiow upon Boristhenes, and from thence rode continually post for the space of sixe moneths through Comania, over the mighty and famous rivers, Tanais, Volga, and Jaie, and through the countries of the people called Kangittae, Bisermini, Karakitay, Naimani, and so to the native country of the Mongols or Tartars, situate in the extreme north-eastern partes of all Asia; and thence back again the same Way to Russia, and Polonia, and so to Rome; spending in the whole voyage among the sayd Tartars, one whole year, and above four moneths:  Taken out of the 32 booke of Vincentius Beluacensis his Speculum Historiale.”

[1] Hakluyt.  I. 24. and 42. for the Latin of the two relations; and p. 59.
    for the old English translation of the second.


Introductory Epistle by John de Plano Carpini.

To all the faithful in Christ, to whom this writing may come, I friar John de Plano Carpini, of the order of minorites, legate and messenger from the Apostolic see to the Tartars and other nations of the east, wish the Grace of God in this life, and glory in the next, and perpetual triumph over all the enemies of the Lord.  Having learnt the will of our lord the Pope, and the venerable Cardinals, and received the commands of the holy see, that we should go to the Tartars and other nations of the east, we determined to go in the first place to the Tartars; because we dreaded that the most imminent and nearest danger to the Church of God arose from them.  And although we personally dreaded from these Tartars and other nations, that we might be skin or reduced to perpetual slavery, or should suffer hunger and thirst, the extremes of heat and cold, reproach, and excessive fatigue beyond our strength, all of which; except death and captivity, we have endured, even beyond our first fears, yet did we not spare ourselves, that we might obey the will of God, according to the orders of our lord the Pope, that we might be useful in any thing to the Christians, or at least, that the will and intention of these people might be assuredly known, and made manifest to Christendom, lest suddenly invading us, they might find us unprepared, and might make incredible slaughter of the Christian people.  Hence, what we now write is for your advantage, that you may be on your guard, and more secure; being what we saw with our own eyes, while we sojourned with and among these people, during more than a year and four months, or which we have learnt from Christian captives residing among them, and whom we believe to, be worthy of credit.  We were likewise enjoined by the supreme pontiff, that we should examine and inquire into every thing very diligently; all of which, both myself and friar Benedict of the same order, my companion in affliction and interpreter, have carefully performed.

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