As a research prospectus I wrote for my historiography and historical methods class, this piece is not quite a finished essay. Nevertheless, I love the subject and believe others will enjoy reading through it. If you’re working on a similar project, the annotated bibliography should be quite useful. The numbers scattered throughout the text refer to the notes at the bottom.
To medieval Europe, Asia was a distant land of marvels, inhabited by strange creatures as well as monstrous races of humans. The difficulty of travel prevented more than a trickle of European visitors, and it seems that even the few accurate accounts of the region did little to change these views. Europeans based their image of Asia on ancient accounts inherited from Greece and Rome, and filtered these ideas through the lens of Christianity. The view of Asia in Medieval Europe does not seem to receive much attention; it is often relegated to the role of setting a foundation for examination of European colonialism that occurred in later centuries. Nevertheless, there are plenty of secondary sources that cover aspects of the issue to some extent. There are also a fair number of primary sources to draw from, and though finding something truly unique in the well-known sources available would be unlikely, a new take on the sources might be possible. Rather than separating them, I have included my discussion of the primary sources alongside the secondary sources that seem relevant.
I have narrowed my topic a bit from the vague category of “distant lands” to focus exclusively on the Far East. Although it still seems somewhat broad, the overall amount of high-quality primary sources does not seem to be so great that it would be unmanageable. There are only several book-length texts, and some of these are only relevant in discrete sections. An approach that integrates the various areas of investigation-the stories of travelers, the monsters, the ancient sources, the maps, and so on-would provide a more powerful product than the fragmented work that currently exists on the subject. The questions I am most concerned with are the following: what the beliefs were, how they originated and were shaped over time, and to the extent that it can be known, what influence these ideas had on medieval society. The first two have been covered fairly well by the following sources. The third is a more difficult one, but bits of evidence for it are here as well, especially in the secondary sources focused on Mandeville.
Several of the secondary sources indicate the ancient Greek and Roman origins of medieval ideas about the East. Melamed shows how India was seen as a “remote, faraway place on the ‘edge’ of the inhabited world,”1 and writes that medieval scholars “inherited the Hellenistic notions about the mysterious wisdom of the Indians.”2 Lach begins with the ancient origins of ideas about Asia, and notes that during the Middle Ages these concepts were Christianized and embellished with “new geographical fantasies.”3 Because the Bible located Paradise in the east, it was believed that the earthly paradise actually existed somewhere on the edge of Asia.4 Lach identifies three main myths of the East: stories surrounding the deeds of Alexander the Great; the idea of St. Thomas founding a large community of Christians in India; and Prester John, “a story about a powerful Christian ruler to the East of the Muslim world who could be counted upon to aid the crusaders.”5 Together Lach argues that these three can be called the “Medieval dream of the East.”6 Lach notes that the hold of this vision was so strong that it took until “many centuries after Marco Polo before the last of these fables would disappear from scientific and critical literature.”7
Lach also describes some of the monsters that were believed to exist in the East, and notes that none of the later, more factual travel accounts “imparted a greater sense of reality to the popular image.”8 Bovey makes a similar point, arguing that “travel to foreign lands appears to have done little to convince anyone that monsters did not really inhabit the edges of civilization: in fact, the reverse seems to have been true.”9 Bovey hypothesizes that this may be because the monsters were based on “real creatures and people, transformed by exaggeration, misunderstood, and distorted through re-telling.”10 Wittkower agrees on this point, and offers the example of the rhinoceros which he believes was the original origin of the unicorn.11 Wittkower also notes that travel to these countries exposed investigators to the local myths which they were disposed to treat as fact. For example, Megasthenes, who wrote in 303 BC but whose work was a foundation for medieval understanding, claimed to owe much of his knowledge to stories Brahmins told him.12 Bovey also points out an example of a literal interpretation of a passage from the Psalms where the description of a gang of villains as a “pack of dogs” led to the illustration of dog-headed people.13 While the last example was not from the East, it is a good illustration of how monsters can come into existence.
One of the ancient sources of knowledge about the Far East is Herodotus’s Histories. In my own reading of the relevant section of Herodotus I was somewhat disappointed by the vagueness of the statements in the work, but did find a few valuable pieces. India was regarded by Herodotus as the end of the inhabitable world. He describes the wide variety of strange practices there, from a group that kills and eats any person who becomes ill, to others that will kill no creatures. Two stories that surface again in Mandeville are the concept of giant ants that dig up gold and wool that grows on trees.14
St. Augustine’s City of God contains a chapter that poses the question, “Whether certain Monstrous Races of Men are Derived from the Stock of Adam or Noah’s Sons?” Early in the section he provides a long list of these monstrous races. Augustine argues that “whoever is anywhere born a man, that is, a rational, mortal animal, no matter what unusual appearance he presents … no Christian can doubt that he springs from that one protoplast.” Rather than somehow indicating mistakes on the part of God, these monsters are “diversities which can contribute to the beauty of the whole.” In Augustine’s view they are only ugly to humans who have a limited vision of the creation, and if they are in fact humans and not animals, then they must have souls and can seek salvation. The use of the monstrous races here is not allegorical; it shows that they were taken seriously enough by scholars in the Middle Ages to be the focus of theological arguments.15
I discovered that there was at least one divide in the medieval world on the believability of the monstrous races. Phillips quotes the Franciscan missionary John of Marginolli who traveled to China in 1338 as saying, “I never could ascertain that such races of men really do exist … The truth is that no such people do exist as nations, though there may be an individual monster here and there.”16 This quote serves to support the previously stated theory on the origin of monsters, but more significantly it demonstrates a difference in the view of actual travelers versus people who received their knowledge of the East through books or culture. For my purposes, it is the latter view that is more interesting.
An important source of evidence about the medieval view of the East comes from world maps, or mappaemundi. Suárez discusses the origins of the geographical information that influenced the maps. One point he makes concerns inaccuracies in the ancient sources. He writes that “[i]t is often pointed out … that an accurate estimate of the earth’s circumference existed in ancient Greece; true, but grossly inaccurate estimates existed as well and we only know in hindsight which one was correct.”17 It is interesting to consider that these incorrect notions originated from the same classical texts as others that proved to be true.
Woodward describes various schemes for laying out mappaemundi, including the most popular, a T-shaped map with Asia as the top half and Europe and Africa dividing the bottom.18 Although these maps were clearly not geographically accurate, Woodward agues that accuracy was not their primary focus. For actual travel, written accounts and charts were used. These world maps were, rather, “a blending of history and geography, a projection of historical events on a geographical framework.”19 On a similar note, Bovey calls the maps “spiritual geography of medieval Christendom.”20 Because the maps portrayed the world that Europeans believed to exist, rather than a world that was actually measured, they are a fascinating source of evidence for the medieval view of the East. As many of the images in Bovey’s book show, the outer edges of the maps were often decorated with monsters and monstrous races of humanity.
As it is the idea of the East and not its relativity that I focused on, the image of the East in medieval literature is also relevant. Lynch examines Chaucer’s “Man of Laws Tale” to illustrate medieval perceptions of the East. Her main point is the portrayal of the East as an “economy of endlessly multiplying wealth,” in contrast to the “zero-sum game” of European economies.21 She argues that this portrayal “exposes it as concealing an ‘economy of possession,’ at base more envious, grasping, and retentive than the west’s.”22 I considered this an interesting and well grounded argument, supported with evidence from Marco Polo and Mandeville. Some of Lynch’s assertions seem to be less well founded. In one case she writes that the East was portrayed as having a “superstitious and fatalistic world view,” but uses astrology as the example.23 This seems odd to me because I know from my work on the Black Plague that astrology was taken seriously as a science in medieval Europe as well.
One of the most significant primary sources related to my topic is Marco Polo’s Travels. In terms of getting at the medieval conception of the East, the most interesting sections of Polo’s text are not those where he is giving mundane facts about regions he actually saw, but the spots where he repeats, or perhaps invents, stories about marvels he did not witness. These are the area I searched out when I examined the actual text, which was far too long to read in its entirety for this project. Polo wrote that in Tibet there were the “the most skilful enchanters,” who “[a]mong other wonders … bring on tempests and thunderstorms when they wish and stop them at any time.”24 Polo described an island, Andaman, which he did not visit, but nevertheless wrote that “you may take it for a fact that all of the men of this island have heads like dogs, and teeth and eyes like dogs.”25 In one section Polo recorded hearing about an animal that was very large and capable of lifting elephants into the air. He admitted that he did not see the creature, but revealed his mythological preconceptions when he wrote that “they cannot be anything but gryphons.”26 In addition to revealing the mindset Polo took to Asia, this instance is another example of how even a source that purports to be providing only the facts can come to the conclusion that monsters exist in the East.
Perhaps the richest path of research I found was on Mandeville’s Travels. This work is a travel account made up by someone who claimed to be an English knight who traveled throughout the East. Its fabricated nature makes it all the more useful for my purposes, because it is entirely the work of the medieval European imagination, uncorrupted by actual encounters with the East. Although the particular journey it describes never occurred, it is important to note that it was meant to be a believable story and was considered true for centuries. Howard writes that Mandeville “created, from a shelf of books, a world of his own devising, a world conceivable enough to have been taken seriously by Christopher Columbus, Sir Thomas More, Jonathan Swift.”27 Heng similarly indicates that Mandeville formed his work by “cull[ing], in combination, ancient sources, the archive of medieval cultural wisdom and records, as well as contemporary state-of-the-art scientific and geographical thinking,” and also provides a list of notables who were influenced by Mandeville.28 Heng additionally quotes Braude as saying Mandeville’s work was “regarded as the most authoritative and reliable account of the world.”29 The very fact that a fabricated account of the East was be the foundation of later medieval thought is itself significant.
Heng focuses on the way Mandeville emphasized the “exotic/erotic, the forbidden/taboo” aspects of the East in the Travels.30 She believes that it was significant that he centered Europe in the world by “constitut[ing] the rest of the world as the periphery of Christian Europe.”31 Much of Heng’s work on Mandeville is hindered to some degree by arguments that appear a bit slippery. For example, when she makes an argument out of the idea that Mandeville’s work “transforms the world outside Europe … into a collection of facts, artifacts, and details,” I cannot help thinking that this is overly abstract, and she does not present any real support or examples that would constitute its significance.32 In a certain sense, any account of the East, even a perfectly accurate one, would do exactly the same thing.
Fleck’s work on Mandeville emphasizes Mandeville’s conception of non-Europeans as “proto-Christians” on a scale of similarity and difference.33 Fleck believes that Mandeville reinforced in his readers that they are in the center of the cultural world by placing the monsters at the “fringes of their world as a sort of balance to their perception.”34 Fleck indicates that Mandeville attempted to show some similarity in Eastern cultures while maintaining a safe distance.35 In essence he sees Mandeville saying that Asian cultures are on the whole good, but that their religion is imperfect and must be corrected through Christian teaching.36
Having read these writers’ arguments, I turned to the original source itself. Unlike Marco Polo’s work, the relevant chuck-India and beyond-was a very manageable thirty pages and I read through the entirety of it. Although I had read several secondary sources that dealt with Mandeville’s work, I was still sort of amazed by how densely he packed the myths of the East into it. It seems not a page goes by without something worth noting. I will now run through what I believe to be the most significant or interesting of these examples.
Mandeville casually mentioned “dragons and snakes” on a path out of the hills.37 He described “trees that bare wool.”38 His interpretation of the hippopotamus held that it was “half man and half horse,” which is yet another indication of how some of the more bizarre grotesques could have originated.39 Mandeville described the crocodiles he encountered as long-bodied serpents.40 Mandeville believed chameleons live on air only, and on the same page reported rats as big as hounds.41 He says there is a “vast sea of gravel and sand, and no drop of water is in it. It ebbs and flows as the ocean itself does in other countries, and there are great waves on it.”42 On this same page he wrote about trees that grow to bare fruit and shrink away to nothing all in one day, and repeat this process every day.43 Mandeville claimed to encounter “wild men with horns on their heads” and birds that call out to men traveling in the desert, which might have been inspired by parrots.44
Mandeville reported on cannibalism several times, most notably on Islands with giants who “readily eat human flesh.”45 It also comes up in an unusual custom one culture used to honor dead fathers: a priest chopped off the dead man’s head, cut up his body, and fed it to the birds. He then boiled the head and each honored mourner ate a small piece of it. The son made a cup from the father’s head, and drank out of it for the rest of his life in memory of his father.46 I have not determined whether this practice ever occurred or not, but two of the bazaar cultural practices Mandeville wrote about are definitely based in reality. He mentions women who threw themselves in fires when their husbands died,47 and foot binding in women to make their feet as small as possible.48 Horrific as these were, they were not invented by Mandeville or his sources.
Lach and several of the other writers made reference to the belief in Prester John and his Christian kingdom in the East. Mandeville claimed to have actually lived in Prester John’s court for a time. During the 12th century a letter supposedly written by this king was sent throughout Europe. The letter mirrored a great deal of what Mandeville wrote about Prester John. It indicated that his version of Christianity was closer to the European’s than the Greeks’ is. Much of the letter is centered on the abundant wealth of Prester John and the power of his rule. He wrote that he had seventy two kings that paid tribute to him. There is a list of animals that existed in his lands, which included griffons, phoenixes, “men with horns,” giants, pygmies, and others in addition to real animals. He also referenced the sea of gravel and the river of stones that Mandeville described, and the numbers he used in describing the dining situation at his palace were the same as Mandeville claimed.49
Bovey, Alixe. Monsters and Grotesques in Medieval Manuscripts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002.
Bovey’s book provides a good general description of the monsters and grotesques of the medieval world, many of which were believed to exist in the East. More significant than the text, however, are the many large, full color images copied from medieval manuscripts. The images may not contribute much to the actual text of a paper, but I do believe they help the researcher develop a more concrete understanding of the medieval world.
Fleck, Andrew. “Here, There, and In between: Representing Difference in the ‘Travels’ of Sir John Mandeville.” Studies in Philology, Vol. 97, No. 4 (Autumn, 2000), pp. 379-400.
Fleck’s article offers an interesting and somewhat different take on Mandeville’s work. Its focus is on Mandeville’s evaluation of non-Europeans in terms of their relative similarity or difference with European Christianity.
Heng, Geraldine. Empire of Magic: Medieval Romance and the Politics of Cultural Fantasy. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
Heng’s work provides a basic introduction as well as more in depth analysis of Mandeville’s Travels. Her argument emphasizes Mandeville’s focus on exotic activities and places in contrast to Europe. It is useful for getting at the cultural aspects of Mandeville’s Travels.
Howard, Donald R. “The World of Mandeville’s Travels.” The Yearbook of English Studies, Vol. 1, (1971), pp. 1-17.
Howard’s work would serve well as an introduction to Mandeville’s Travels, but has limited value beyond that for my project. It is more focused on the literary choices in the narrative than the “World” in its name implies. Nevertheless, it does make several interesting points and is worth including for those.
Lach, Donald Frederick. Asia in the Making of Europe: The Century of Discovery. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.
Although this book is primarily focused on European exploration and colonization in later centuries, it has a chapter on the ancient and medieval views of Asia. This chapter was exactly what I was originally looking for in secondary sources. In addition to providing a great introduction to the ideas, it includes the names of the primary source authors that those ideas came from, which makes it an excellent resource for additional research.
Lynch, Kathryn L. “Storytelling, Exchange, and Constancy: East and West in Chaucer’s ‘Man of Law’s Tale.'” The Chaucer Review, Vol. 33, No. 4 (1999), pp. 409-422.
The most significant point of Lynch’s article as it relates to my topic is the contrast of Western stability and Eastern excess, which is an interesting take on the image of the East that I have not encountered in other sources. Its overall value was limited to me because I have only read the Prologue and a few selected tales from the Canterbury Tales, and only in modernized language. The Middle English quotes and unexplained references to other tales, though entirely appropriate to this journal’s audience, made it difficult to follow Lynch’s arguments in places.
Melamed, Abraham. “The Image of India in Medieval Jewish Culture: Between Adoration and Rejection.” Jewish History, Vol. 20, No. 3/4 (2006), pp. 299-314.
The vast majority of my research focused on Christian Europe, but this article examines the Jewish perspective. It describes how India was seen as a remote place, and how the lack of direct communication encouraged a myth of secret Indian wisdom to develop. Melamed goes through an interesting discussion of the Medieval theories about the relationship between Jews and Hindus and ways that misconceptions and even linguistic coincidences were used by Jewish scholars to argue for the common roots of both religions.
Phillips Jr., William D. “Voluntary Strangers: European Merchants and Missionaries in Asia during the Late Middle Ages.” The Stranger in Medieval Society. Edited by F. R. P. Akehurst and Stephanie Cain Van D’Elden. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997. 14-26.
This book is a collection of essays that, as the name implies, examine the concept of the stranger in medieval society. Chapter two examines merchants and missionaries who traveled to Asia. It provides a good understanding of the Mongol Empire’s influence on the safety of travel, and makes the interesting point that communication was severed so fully with its decline that 16th century missionaries to China did not even realize they had medieval counterparts. Although he does not go into it explicitly, the quotes Phillips used illustrated an important distinction that needs to be made between actual visitors to the East and the writers that did not see the region for themselves. His article supposedly gets into the adaptation strategies used by these European visitors, but Google hid that section in the book’s preview.
Suárez, Thomas. Early Mapping of Southeast Asia. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions, 1999.
Suárez’s book provides a good introduction to the types of maps created in medieval Europe, and made several interesting points about how we should evaluate the intellectual understanding of the Middle Ages. Overall he provides less depth than Woodward on this issue and his view is less nuanced. It would be best read as an introduction before that article. Although his book has a chapter on the Middle Ages, it is short and he quickly moves into Columbus and beyond. It does have the advantage of containing many full color photos of the maps.
Wittkower, Rudolf. “Marvels of the East. A Study in the History of Monsters.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Vol. 5, (1942), pp. 159-197.
Wittkower’s work is quite valuable for describing the Greek origins of many of the monsters in great detail, along with providing the specific primary sources that they originated in. In particular, I do not know if I would have been able to find St. Augustine’s small chapter on monsters if it had not been explicitly referenced in this article (some online versions of City of God do not even include a translation of that book, for whatever reason). The most interesting section for my topic is that which describes how even travelers to the Far East could have reasonably reported with complete honesty the existence of the seemingly unbelievable monsters that are described in their texts.
Woodward, David. “Reality, Symbolism, Time, and Space in Medieval World Maps.”
Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 75, No. 4 (Dec., 1985), pp. 510-521.
Woodward’s interpretation of medieval Maps as not merely inaccurate geographic representations, but items rich with symbolism, historical events, and theology, provides insight into the way the medieval mind perceived of the world. It was the first article I read on my topic, and though I did not see its real value at first, this framework has been useful for understanding the medieval image of Asia.
Augustine. City of God, Book 16, Ch 8. Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library. http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=AugCity.xml&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=437&division=div2.
This short selection from Augustine’s City of God shows how seriously medieval thinkers took the idea that monstrous races inhabited the East. Augustine does not doubt that monstrous races exist any more than one would doubt that deformed humans are born in any society, and constructs a serious theological argument about the nature of God’s creation around them.
Herodotus. “Herodotus on India” from Histories, Book 3. http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00generallinks/herodotus/index.html.
This text is not a primary source in the sense that it was written in the Middle Ages, but it was one of the ancient sources that influenced later perceptions of the East. After reading about the influence Herodotus’s work had, I was somewhat surprised by how little he actually said. This particular version is nice in that it isolated the few statements on India, but I searched in vain for the translator of the text.
Mandeville, Sir John. The Travels of Sir John Mandeville. Translated by C.W.R.D. Moseley. London: Penguin Books, 2005.
Mandeville’s Travels is the most significant primary source for this topic. Its thirty or so pages (to put it in modern paperback terms) are filled with descriptions of marvels and monsters of the Far East. Unlike Marco Polo, Mandeville did not actually travel to the East, and his work is a pure representation of what a medieval scholar would have believed about Asia.
Polo, Marco. The Travels of Marco Polo. Translated by Ronald Latham. London: Penguin Books, 1958.
Marco Polo is one of the most significant sources on this issue. His work was far too long for me to read through for this project, because doing so would have easily eaten away the time that was better spent finding many other sources. The sections of the book most relevant to me are those where he describes places in Asia that he did not actually see, and I believe I was able to find a fair number of them by skimming and using the index. When he is giving an eye-witness description of an area it usually reasonable and may be wholly accurate if one forgives his cultural biases. But when he did not see a place for himself he indulges such mythical conceptions as the dog-headed race of men. This willingness to see Asia as a place of marvels even when he has been there seems to me to be the most interesting aspect of the work.
“The Letter of Prester John.” Celtic Literature Collective. http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/presterjohn.html (accessed April 2010). The site claims to have taken this translation from Selections from the Hengurt Mss. Preserved in the Peniarth Library. Translated and Edited by Robert Williams. London: Thomas Richards, 1892.
This is the text of the forged letter from Prester John. It restates many of the marvels referenced in Mandeville and other sources. For all the references to this letter in the secondary sources, the full text was surprisingly difficult to find in English. I eventually found this version, which is on a site that is not necessarily the best, but claims that the translation is copied from the 19th century book referenced above. Unfortunately the book does not have a preview on Google Books, so I was not able to get it directly from there.
1 Abraham Melamed, “The Image of India in Medieval Jewish Culture: Between Adoration and Rejection,” Jewish History, Vol. 20, No. 3/4 (2006), 300.
2 Melamed, 304.
3 Donald Frederick Lach, Asia in the Making of Europe: The Century of Discovery (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 20.
4 Lach, 22.
5 Lach, 24.
6 Lach, 25.
7 Lach, 20.
8 Lach, 29.
9 Alixe Bovey, Monsters and Grotesques in Medieval Manuscripts (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), 15-16.
10 Bovey, 16.
11 Rudolf Wittkower, “Marvels of the East. A Study in the History of Monsters.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Vol. 5, (1942), 164.
12 Wittkower, 164.
13 Bovey, 12.
14 All the evidence in this paragraph comes from here, which has no page numbers:
Herodotus,”Herodotus on India” from Histories, Book 3, http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00generallinks/herodotus/index.html.
15 Similarly, everything from City of God is here:
Augustine. City of God, Book 16, Ch 8. Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library. http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=AugCity.xml&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=437&division=div2.
16 John of Marginolli quoted in William D Phillips Jr, “Voluntary Strangers: European Merchants and Missionaries in Asia during the Late Middle Ages,” The Stranger in Medieval Society, Edited by F. R. P. Akehurst and Stephanie Cain Van D’Elden (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997), 19. Note that the “…” is included in the original.
17 Thomas Suárez, Early Mapping of Southeast Asia (Hong Kong: Periplus Editions, 1999), 66.
18 David Woodward, “Reality, Symbolism, Time, and Space in Medieval World Maps.”
Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 75, No. 4 (Dec., 1985), 511.
19 Woodward, 514.
20 Bovey, 15.
21 Kathryn L. Lynch, “Storytelling, Exchange, and Constancy: East and West in Chaucer’s ‘Man of Law’s Tale.'” The Chaucer Review, Vol. 33, No. 4 (1999), 411.
22 Lynch, 415.
23 Lynch, 416.
24 Marco Polo, The Travels of Marco Polo, ed. & trans. Ronald Latham (London: Penguin Books, 1958), 174. The only thing I removed here was the word “they” to make the quote fit in my sentence.
25 Polo, 258.
26 Polo, 301.
27 Donald R. Howard, “The World of Mandeville’s Travels.” The Yearbook of English Studies, Vol. 1, (1971), 1.
28 Geraldine. Heng, Empire of Magic: Medieval Romance and the Politics of Cultural Fantasy. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), 240.
29 Heng, 239.
30 Heng, 243.
31 Heng, 249.
32 Heng, 248.
33 Andrew Fleck, “Here, There, and In between: Representing Difference in the ‘Travels’ of Sir John Mandeville.” Studies in Philology, Vol. 97, No. 4 (Autumn, 2000), 380.
34 Fleck, 385.
35 Fleck, 393.
36 Fleck, 400.
37 Sir John Mandeville, The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, trans. & ed. C.W.R.D. Moseley (London: Penguin Books, 2005), 166.
38 Mandeville, 167.
39 Mandeville, 167.
40 Mandeville, 176.
41 Mandeville, 177.
42 Mandeville, 169.
43 Mandeville, 169.
44 Mandeville, 169.
45 Mandeville, 174.
46 Mandeville, 187.
47 Mandeville, 175.
48 Mandeville, 187.
49 “The Letter of Prester John,” Celtic Literature Collective, http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/presterjohn.html. Site claims this translation comes from Selections from the Hengurt Mss. Preserved in the Peniarth Library, ed. Robert Williams (London: Thomas Richards, 1892).