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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The impact of the Crusades on the Near East

X: Missions to the East in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries,   pp. 452-518 PDF (26.3 MB)

Page 452

A. Missions in the Thirteenth Century 
 he organized movement to evangelize oriental peoples which had its origins
in the early thirteenth century opened a new period in the missionary history
of the church. In earlier centuries missionaries had penetrated the northern
and eastern areas of Europe. More recently Peter the Venerable had suggested
a missionary approach to the Moslems of Spain, and the establishment of the
crusader states early in the twelfth century had made possible occasional
rapprochements with oriental Christians. But there had been no sustained
effort to convert to Christianity Moslems or other non-Christians of the
Near or Far East. 
 This chapter is concerned with western missions to the Orient during the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Papal relations with the Byzantine church
have been excluded, as have missions to North Africa. 
 There are a few important collections of sources for mission history. BOF
is a compilation of selections with biographical comment by the editor. It
also contains considerable material relevant to Dominican missions. The standard
Latin edition of the sources for the Central Asia and China journeys and
missions of the Franciscans is Anastasius van den Wyngaert, O.EM., Sinicafranciscana,
I, Itinera et relationes Fratrum Minorum saeculi XIII et XIV (Quaracchi,
1929). English translations of some of these can also be found in the publications
of the Hakluyt Society, especially Henry Yule, Cathay and the Way Thither,
revised by Henri Cordier (4 vols., London, 1925-1930), and the editions of
John of Pian del Carpine and William of Rubruck by Charles R. Beazley and
William W. Rockhill (1900—1903). Arthur C. Moule, Christians in China
before 1550 (London, 1930), includes translations of a number of significant
selections. See also Manuel Komroff, ed., Contemporaries of Marco Polo (New
York, 1928), and Christopher Dawson, ed., The Mongol Mission (New York, 1955),
each containing extensive translations of sources. 
 Other primary sources for the history of medieval missions are widely scattered
throughout the chronicles, letters, treatises, and documents of the mendicant
orders, a few of which have been individually edited or translated, the chronicles
and other literature of the crusade period, western and oriental, and the
registers of papal correspondence. Relevant papal documents can be found
in Bullarium franciscanum, ed. Johannes H. Sbaralea (Rome, 1759 ff., cited

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