I, FRIAR John of Monte Corvino, of the order of Minor Friars, departed from Tauris, a city of the Persians, in the year of the Lord 1291, and proceeded to India. And I remained in the country of India, wherein stands the church of St. Thomas the Apostle, for thirteen months, and in that region baptized in different places about one hundred persons. The companion of my journey was Friar Nicholas of Pistoia, of the order of Preachers, who died there, and was buried in the church aforesaid.
I proceeded on my further journey and made my way to Cathay, the realm of the Emperor of the Tartars who is called the Grand Cham. To him I presented the letter of our lord the Pope, and invited him to adopt the Catholic Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, but he had grown too old in idolatry.' However he bestows many kindnesses upon the Christians, and these two years past .I am abiding with him.
The Nestorians, a certain body who profess to bear the
1 The expression "nimis inveteratus est idQlolatria" might seem to point to old Kublai. But the expressions that follow seem to imply that the same emperor continued to reign up to the date of the letter. This was Timur, grandson of Kublai (1294-1307), who had a strong propensity to the Lamas and their doctrines (Quatrerzère's Rashideddin, p. 191).