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0445 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 445 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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and William of Villeneuve.' Of these, as we learn from the fourth letter in the present collection, only Gerard Peregrine and Andrew ever reached their destination. They consecrated the Archbishop, and in course of time all three in succession officiated as Bishops at Zaiton. The next three in the list were killed by their first experience of Indian climate, and William either never started or did not prosecute his journey, for he certainly did not reach Cathay, and sixteen years later he is found holding episcopal office in Europe.

According to a story related by Wadding, the Emperor then reigning in Cambalec, and his mother; were eventually converted and baptized by John. Shortly afterwards the Khan died, and was buried with imperial solemnity in the Convent church. When the troubles broke out thirty (fifty ?) years later, and the friars had to quit Cathay, they removed this imperial body with them to Saray, and when taken up it was found all fresh as when just buried. If the story of conversion were true the Emperor in question would probably be Ayur Balibatra, grandsonof Kublai, who died in 1311. But unfortunately there was scarcely a single Khan of the dynasty regarding whose conversion some story did not reach Europe ; all probably alike baseless.3

In 1312 the same Pope Clement nominated three more bishops to serve under John of Montecorvino, by name Thomas, Jerome, and Peter of Florence.4 This last we hear of, in the Book of the Great Caan, as presiding over one of the convents in Zaiton, whilst Andrew of Perugia ruled the other.

And this appears to be the latest notice bearing upon the history

1 There are some differences in regard to this list of bishops among the annalists. It is not worth while to go into detail, and I have followed

the list adopted by Dr. Kunstmann. .

2 Nominated to the diocese of Sagone in Corsica in 1323, and translated in 1328 to Trieste, where his tomb existed in the seventeenth century. (Ughelli, Italia Sacra, quoted by Mosheim, p. 98.) A certain Tuscan saintess is said to have prognosticated from the face of one of the bishops that he would not persevere in his mission. (Mosheim, ib.)

3 Misled by such stories in relation to the Persian branch of the Mongol House, Edward II writes to Oljaïtu proposing that they should unite to destroy the abominable sect of the Mahomeclans ;—the Khan himself belonging to the said sect. (Rymer, quoted by D' Ohsson, iv, 592-4.)

4 Wadding, vi, p. 184.