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Benedictus Polonus

Franciscan missionary (ca. 1245)

Benedictus Polonus, a medieval Friar Minor missionary and traveller (c. 1245) companion of Giovanni da Piancarpino, and author of the brief chronicle “De Itinere Fratrum Minorum ad Tar-taros”, concerning the first Franciscan missions to the Tatars. This work was unknown apparently to Wadding and Sbaralea, the literary historians of the order. It was first published by D’Avezac in the “Recueil de Voyages” (Paris, 1839, IV, 774-779). Cf. the “Chronicle” of Glassberger in “Analecta Franciscana” (II, 71). The report of Benedictus is important for the curious letter of the Great Khan to Innocent IV.

THOMAS J. SHAHAN


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