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Prester John


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(from Greek presbyter, ‘priest’)

A legendary Christian ruler to whom successive generations of Crusaders looked for help against the growing power of Islam. First mentioned in a 12th-century German chronicle, he was variously identified as a Chinese prince, the ruler of Ethiopia, and, in a papal appeal of 1177, as ‘illustrious and magnificent King of the Indies’.

Subjects: History by Period.


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