Free Library of Philadelphia


Text page showing the beginning of Prester John's De ritu et moribus Indorum.

This spurious letter by Prester John, a legendary Christian king of an unknown realm in the East, is addressed to the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus (1143-1180). It recounts marvelous tales of the people of India. The legend of Prester John was fostered during the time of the Crusades and remained a popular legend throughout the late Middle Ages.

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Rare Book Department