The Tartar Relation

The Tartar Relation or "Description of the Tartars" (Historia Tartorum) is a manuscript of undoubted authenticity that was at some point bound with (or cobbled on to) the Vinland Map. It is a description of the history and manners of the Mongols derived in some way from the recollections of Giovanni Da Pian Del Carpini, a Franciscan friar who in 1240s made a whirlwind trip to witness the installation of the supreme khan at Karakorum. The "Tartar Relation" appears to be based on early lectures by Carpini, who went on to write a rather more full account of his travels. The shorter but occasionally more valuable "Tartar Relation" survived until the 15th century by being included as addendum to a volume of Vincent of Beauvais's encyclopedic "Historical Mirror" (Speculum historiale). Confused yet? Anyway, I've included here some links about Carpini, Vincent of Beauvais and the Mongols. In the very near future I will add some favorite passages from the Historia in my translation with facing Latin (which was, actually, how I got interested in the Vinland Map!).

Web Archive: "The Path of Khan" (ha!) by Cheri Brooks for Mercator World, on the Carpini mission. Now working

First Europeans Traveled to Khan's Court. A few paragraphs on Carpini from the Silkroad Foundation.

German biography of Carpini.

Web Archive: Encyclopaedia Britannica: Carpini. Reasonably lengthy and interesting.

Vincent of Beauvais page, with a Speculum Historiale bibliography. Compiled by Hans Voorbij.

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.

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