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Giovanni da Pian del Carpini

Giovanni da Pian del Carpini, or John of Plano Carpini or Joannes de Plano (??-1252) was one of the first Europeans to enter the court of the Great Khan .

Carpini was a Franciscan monk who was sent by Pope Innocent IV with a letter to the Great khan of the Mongol Empire. He was accompanied by the Polish monk Benedict of Poland , who worked as his interpreter, and the Czech monk Stefan (known also as Czeslaw). Some sources also mention another monk, de Bridia from Breslau (Wrocław). They left Lyon in 1245. Near the Volga River, they were stopped by Mongols who allowed only Benedict and Carpini to continue their journey, and in 1246 they reached Karakoram.

The great khan GŁyŁk refused the invitation to become Christian and demanded that the Pope and rulers of Europe should come to him and swear allegiance to him. Carpini and his companion returned to Rome in 1247.

There are two accounts of this journey: Historia Mongalorum quos nos Tartaros appellamus by Carpini and Historia Tartarorum by de Bridia.

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Last updated: 12-27-2004 21:05:21