Medieval Travel

Rabban Bar Sauma 3: Barbazoma, Tartarus, Orientalis

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This is Rabban Bar Sauma part 3 of 4: the story of the Mongol envoy's diplomatic efforts in Paris, Bordeaux, and Rome, his experience as a pilgrim to the sites and saints of Italy and France, and his attempts to improve the Ilkhanid cause against the Mamluks. (MP3)

If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources
:

  • The Monks of Kublai Khan, translated by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge. The Religious Tract Society, 1928.

  • Epstein, Steven. Genoa and the Genoese, 958-1528. University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the Islamic World. Yale University Press, 2017.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the West: 1221-1410. Pearson Longman, 2005.

  • Kolbas, Judith. The Mongols in Iran: Chingiz Khan to Uljaytu 1220–1309. Routledge, 2006.

  • Lower, Michael. The Tunis Crusade of 1270: A Mediterranean History. Oxford University Press, 2018.  

  • Nicol, Donald M. Byzantium and Venice: A Study in Diplomatic and Cultural Relations. Cambridge University Press, 1992. 

  • Prestwich, Michael. Edward I. Yale University Press, 2008.

  • Rossabi, Morris. Voyager from Xanadu: Rabban Sauma and the First Journey from China to the West. Kodansha International, 1992.


Rabban Bar Sauma 2: Ilkhanid Infighting, Ilkhanid Envoy

Arghun Khan of the Ilkhanate

In this episode, our monkish friends attempt to navigate the violent waters of Ilkhanid Mongol politics, and Bar Sauma himself embarks on another long journey, this time heading for Rome.(MP3)

Sources:

  • The Monks of Kublai Khan, translated by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge. The Religious Tract Society, 1928.

  • Aigle, Denise. The Mongol Empire Between Myth and Reality: Studies in Anthropological History. Brill Academic Pub, 2014.

  • Benjamin, Sandra. Sicily: Three Thousand Years of Human History. Steerforth Press, 2010.

  • Grousset, René. The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia, translated by Naomi Walford. Rutgers, 2002. 

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the Islamic World. Yale University Press, 2017.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the West: 1221-1410. Pearson Longman, 2005.

  • Kolbas, Judith. The Mongols in Iran: Chingiz Khan to Uljaytu 1220–1309. Routledge, 2006.

  • Pfeiffer, Judith, "Reflections on a 'Double Rapprochement': Conversion to Islam among the Mongol Elite during the Early Ilkhanate," in Beyond the Legacy of Genghis Khan, edited by Linda Komaroff. Brill Academic Pub, 2006.

  • Rose, Susan. Medieval Naval Warfare, 1000-1500. Routledge, 2002.

  • Rossabi, Morris. Voyager from Xanadu: Rabban Sauma and the First Journey from China to the West. Kodansha International, 1992.


Rabban Bar Sauma 1: The Monks of Kublai Khan

Hulagu Khan and Doquz Khatun of the Ilkhanate

First in a series on Rabban Bar Sauma, covering his life from miracle-baby through cave-bound monk and on to pilgrim, with ambassador to the cities of western Europe not far behind. This episode takes us from Yuan China to Jerusalem, or perhaps not quite that far. (MP3)

If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here

Sources:  

  • The History of Yaballaha III Nestorian Patriarch and of his Vicar Bar Sauma Mongol Ambassador to the Frankish Courts at the End of the Thirteenth Century, translated by James A. Montgomery. Columbia University Press, 1927.

  • The Monks of Kublai Khan, translated by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge. The Religious Tract Society, 1928.

  • Nestorian Tablet: Eulogizing the Propagation of the Illustrious Religion in China, with a Preface, composed by a priest of the Syriac Church, 781 A.D. https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/eastasia/781nestorian.asp 

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the Islamic World. Yale University Press, 2017.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the West: 1221-1410. Pearson Longman, 2005. 

  • Keevak, Michael. The Story of a Stele: China's Nestorian Monument and Its Reception in the West, 1625-1916. Hong Kong University Press, 2010.

  • Rossabi, Morris. Khublai Khan: His Life and Times. University of California Press, 1988. 

  • Rossabi, Morris. Voyager from Xanadu: Rabban Sauma and the First Journey from China to the West. Kodansha International, 1992.


Marco and the Polos 7: Marco Polo Comes Home

Venice, Niccolo da Poggibonsi

On this, the last episode of my Marco Polo series, Marco comes home to Venice. I touch on a bit of the history of the book (or books), The Travels of Marco Polo, and we follow Marco as he disentangles himself from the stifling embrace of Kublai Khan, encounters many things new and strange to him on the coast of India, and finds himself mixing with Ilkhan royalty. Thanks for listening!

(MP3)

If you like what you hear, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources:

  • The Travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian, translated by William Marsden, edited by Thomas Wright. George Bell & Sons, 1907.

  • The Travels of Marco Polo: The Complete Yule-Cordier Edition, translated by Henry Yule and revised by Henri Cordier. Courier Corporation, 1993.

  • Bergreen, Laurence. Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu. Vintage Books, 2008.

  • Lambton, Ann K. S. Continuity and Change in Medieval Persia. The Persian Heritage Foundation, 1988.

  • Larner, John. Marco Polo and the Discovery of the World. Yale University Press, 1999.


Marco and the Polos 6: The Grand Tour

Marco Polo Catalan Atlas

It's the grand tour of the world, or at least that part of it from Southeast Asia to the African coast, and you are taking it with/as Marco Polo. There will be monstrous birds, cannibals, the spice trade, and quite a lot of date wine. There'll be the beginning of the Buddha and the end of Saint Thomas. You'll visit 13th-century Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Oman. Thanks for listening!

(MP3)

If you like what you hear, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources:

  • The Travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian, translated by William Marsden, edited by Thomas Wright. George Bell & Sons, 1907.

  • The Travels of Marco Polo: The Complete Yule-Cordier Edition, translated by Henry Yule and revised by Henri Cordier. Courier Corporation, 1993.

  • Larner, John. Marco Polo and the Discovery of the World. Yale University Press, 1999.


Marco and the Polos 4: Did You Go to China, Marco?

Marco Polo with Bow and Sword

In this episode, I look at the question of whether Marco actually went to China. Some have thought he did not at all or only made it to Kublai's capital. I also talk about what he was actually doing there if/when he reached China, what he tells us, and what he might have told the khan. There's the Siege of Xiangyang, war with the Southern Song, the theories of Frances Wood, and all that Marco does and does not say of his time with the khan and in his capital at Dadu or Khanbaliq. 

(MP3)

If you like what you hear, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources:

  • The Travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian, translated by William Marsden, edited by Thomas Wright. George Bell & Sons, 1907.

  • The Travels of Marco Polo: The Complete Yule-Cordier Edition, translated by Henry Yule and revised by Henri Cordier. Courier Corporation, 1993.

  • Haw, Stephen G. Marco Polo's China: A Venetian in the Realm of Khubilai Khan. Routledge, 2006.

  • Larner, John. Marco Polo and the Discovery of the World. Yale University Press, 1999.

  • Man, John. Marco Polo: The Journey that Changed the World. HarperCollins, 2009.

  • Olschki, Leonardo. Marco Polo's Asia. University of California Press, 1960.

  • Rossabi, Morris. Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times. University of California Press, 1988.

  • Vogel, Hans Ulrich. Marco Polo was in China: New Evidence from Currencies, Salts and Revenues. Brill Academic Pub, 2012.


To See the Mongols 5: The Great Debate

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Friar William goes through stone-cracking cold, frozen toes, and the threat of demons to reach the camp of Mongke Khan. There, his interpreter causes him more problems, and he falls into the bizarre religious life of the camp before being drawn into a debate between Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians before the khan. Thanks for listening!

(MP3)

If you like what you hear, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

 Sources: 

  • Carpini, Giovanni. The Story of the Mongols: Whom we Call the Tartars, translated by Erik Hildinger. Branden Books, 1996.

  • The Mission of Friar William of Rubruck, translated by Peter Jackson. The Hakluyt Society, 1990.

  • The Mongol Mission: Narratives and Letters of the Franciscan Missionaries in Mongolia and China in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, edited by Christopher Dawson. Sheed & Ward, 1955.

  • Gladysz, Mikolaj. The Forgotten Crusaders: Poland and the Crusader Movement in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, translated by Paul Barford. Brill, 2012.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the West: 1221-1410. Pearson Longman, 2005.

  • Morgan, David. The Mongols. Blackwell, 1986.

  • Rachewiltz, Igor de. Papal Envoys to the Great Khans. Faber & Faber, 1971.


To See the Mongols 4: A William Leaves Town

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We go east again this episode, in the company of a friar who carried a letter to the son of Batu Khan. Was he there on behalf of King Louis IX? Was his mission more personally religious in nature? Why was he so concerned with the noses of Mongol women? All (or most) will be revealed... Thanks for listening!

(MP3)

If you like what you hear, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources:  

  • Carpini, Giovanni. The Story of the Mongols: Whom we Call the Tartars, translated by Erik Hildinger. Branden Books, 1996.

  • The Mission of Friar William of Rubruck, translated by Peter Jackson. The Hakluyt Society, 1990.

  • The Mongol Mission: Narratives and Letters of the Franciscan Missionaries in Mongolia and China in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, edited by Christopher Dawson. Sheed & Ward, 1955.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the West: 1221-1410. Pearson Longman, 2005.

  • Morgan, David. The Mongols. Blackwell, 1986.

  • Rachewiltz, Igor de. Papal Envoys to the Great Khans. Faber & Faber, 1971.


To See the Mongols 3: An Interregnum

Ascelin of Lombary Delivers a Letter from Pope Innocent IV to Baiju the Mongol General.jpg

Today, a quick rewind into what it means to be a Mongol, some early reactions to the Mongol invasion, some King Louis IX, the death of a khan, and the question of who is to be next. Also, I horribly butcher Eljigidei's name (Sorry, Eljigidei). Thanks for listening!

(MP3)

If you like what you hear, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources:  

  • Carpini, Giovanni. The Story of the Mongols: Whom we Call the Tartars, translated by Erik Hildinger. Branden Books, 1996.

  • Joinville, Jean. The Memoirs of the Lord of Joinville. John Murray, 1906.

  • Paris, Matthew. English History. From the Year 1235 to 1273, translated by J. A. Giles. George Bell & Sons, 1889.

  • The Mission of Friar William of Rubruck, translated by Peter Jackson. The Hakluyt Society, 1990.

  • The Mongol Mission: Narratives and Letters of the Franciscan Missionaries in Mongolia and China in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, edited by Christopher Dawson. Sheed & Ward, 1955.

  • The Secret History of the Mongols, translated by Urgunge Onon. RoutledgeCurzon, 2001.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the West: 1221-1410. Pearson Longman, 2005.

  • Jackson, Peter. "Medieval Christendom's Encounter with the Alien," in Travellers, Intellectuals, and the World Beyond Medieval Europe, edited by James Muldoon, 347-369. Routledge, 2016.

  • Man, John. Kublai Khan. Bantam, 2007.

  • Morgan, David. The Mongols. Blackwell, 1986.

  • Rachewiltz, Igor de. Papal Envoys to the Great Khans. Faber & Faber, 1971.

  • Waterfield, Robin. Christians in Persia. Allen & Unwin, 1973.


To See the Mongols 2: A New Khan

Pope Innocent IV Sends Dominicans and Franciscans to the Mongols

Giovanni Carpine returns, to the podcast, and to Lyon. This episode we hear about his journey to the kurultai, the great council which raised Guyuk as the new great khan, his diplomatic dealings with Guyuk, and the news and views he brought home with him. Thanks for listening!

(MP3)

If you like what you hear, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here.

Sources:

  • Carpini, Giovanni. The Story of the Mongols: Whom we Call the Tartars, translated by Erik Hildinger. Branden Books, 1996.

  • The Mongol Mission: Narratives and Letters of the Franciscan Missionaries in Mongolia and China in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, edited by Christopher Dawson. Sheed & Ward, 1955.

  • The Secret History of the Mongols, translated by Urgunge Onon. RoutledgeCurzon, 2001.

  • Jackson, Peter. The Mongols and the West: 1221-1410. Pearson Longman, 2005.

  • Jackson, Peter. "Medieval Christendom's Encounter with the Alien." In Travellers, Intellectuals, and the World Beyond Medieval Europe, edited by James Muldoon, 347-369. Routledge, 2016.

  • Marshall, Robert. Storm from the East: From Genghis Khan to Khubilai Khan. University of California Press, 1993.

  • Morgan, David. The Mongols. Blackwell, 1986.

  • Rachewiltz, Igor de. Papal Envoys to the Great Khans. Faber & Faber, 1971.