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Eldevik Delivers Talk at Syracuse University


John Eldevik.
John Eldevik.

Associate Professor of History John Eldevik recently gave an invited lecture to faculty and students in Syracuse University's Medieval and Renaissance Studies program. Eldevik discussed his research on the legend of Prester John, a mythical Christian king many medieval Europeans believed -- on the basis of a famous forged letter -- to rule over India or parts of Asia, and whom they hoped would aid them in their struggle against the Muslims during the Crusades.

The talk, titled "Prester John among the Monks: Medieval Orientalism in its Manuscript Contexts," focused on how this forged letter circulated in a number of medieval libraries during the 12th century, and how the other works of history, geography, and theology copied with it can help us understand the ways medieval monastic readers judged its meaning and significance.

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