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GENT. when he was seated on the throne [n]; but his XII. bind

:, kingly name was UNGCHAN. The high notions PAR 1 I.

the [n] The account I have here given of this famous presbyter, commonly called PRESTER JOHN, who was, for a long time, considered as the greatest and happiest of all earthly monarchs, is what appeared to me the most probable among the various relations that have been given of the life ànd adventures of that extraordinary man. This account is moreover confirmed by the testimonies of contemporary writers, whose knowledge and impartiality render them worthy of credit : such as WILLIAM of Tripoli (see DUFRESNE'S Adnot. ad vitam Ludovici Sti. Joinvillio scriptam, p. 89.) as also a certain bishop of Gabala, mentioned by Otto Frising, Chronic. lib. vii. cap. xxxiii. See also GUILLAUME RUBRUQUIS, Voyage, cap. xviiip. 36. in the Antiqua in Asiam Itinera, collected by father BERGIRON, and ALBERIC in Chronico. ad A. 1165 and 1170, in LEIBNITIE: Accessionibus Historicis, tom. ii. p. 345.355. It is indeed surprising, that such authentic records as these should have escaped the observation of the learned, and that so many different opinions should have been advanced concerning PRESTER JOHN, and the place of his residence. But it is too generally the fate of learned men, to overlook those accounts that carry the plainest marks of evidence, and, from a passion for the marvel-lous, to plunge into the regions of uncertainty and doubt. In the fifteenth century JOHN II. king of Portugal, employed PEDRO COUVILLIANO in a laborious inquiry into the real situation of the kingdom of PRESTER JOHN. The curious voyager undertook this task, and, for 'information in the matter, travelled with a few companions into Abyssinia; and, observing in the emperor of the Abyssinians, or Ethiopians, many circumstances that resembled the accounts which, at that time, prevailed in Europe concerning PRESTER John, he persuaded himself that he had fulfilled his commission, and found out the re: sidence of that extraordinary monarch, who was the object of his researches. His opinion gained easily credit in Europe, which had not as yet emerged out of its ignorance and barbarism. See MoRINUS, De sacris Eccles. Ordinationibus, part II. p. 367. But 2 sew light was cast upon this matter in the seventeenth century, by the publication of several pieces, which the industry of the cu. rious drew forth from their obscurity, and by which a great numher of learned men were engaged to abandon the Portuguese opinion, and were convinced that PRESTER JOHN reigned in

Asia, though they still continued to dispute about the situation of his kingdom, and other particular circumstances. There are notwithstanding all this, some men of the most eminent learning in our times, who maintain, that John was emperor of the Abyssinians, and thus prefer the Portuguese opinion, though


the Greeks and Latins generally entertained of the CE N T.

XII. grandeur and magnificence of this royal presbyter, p . were principally owing to the letters he wrote top the Roman emperor FREDERIC I. and to EMANUEL emperor of the Greeks, in which, puffed up with prosperity and flushed with success, he vaunts his victories over the neighbouring nations that disputed his passage to the throne, describes, in the most pompous and extravagant terms, the splendor of his riches, and the grandeur of his state, and the extent of his dominions, and exalts himself far above all other earthly monarchs. All this was easily believed, and the Nestorians were extremely zealous in confirming the boasts of their vainglorious prince. He was succeeded by his son, or, as others think, his brother, whose name was, David, though, in common discourse, he was also called PRESTER JOHN, as his predecessor had been. The reign of DAVID was far from being happy, nor did he end his days in peace; GENChiz Kan, the great and warlike emperor of the Tartars, invaded his territories towards the conclusion of this century, and deprived him both of his life and his dominions. VII. The new kingdom of Jerusalem, which The affairs

of the Chris had been erected by the holy warriors of France stians in towards the conclusion of the preceding century, Palestine in seemed to flourish considerably at the beginning itades

a declining of this, and to rest upon firm and solid foundations. This prosperous scene was, however, but transitory, and was soon succeeded by the most terrible calamities and desolations. For when the


destitute of authentic proofs and testimonies, to the other above
mentioned, though supported by the strongest evidence, and the
most unquestionable authorities. See EuskB. RENAUDOT, Hist:
Patriarch. Alexandr. p. 223. 337. Jos. FRANC. LAFITAU,
Hist. des Decouvertes des Portugais. tom. i. p. 58. & tom. ii.
P. 57. HENR. LE GRAND, Diss. de Johanne Presbytero in.
LORI's Voyage de Abyssinie. tom. i. p. 295. .

CEN T. Mahometans saw vast numbers of those that ha

XI1., engaged in this holy war returning into Europes PARTI.

and the Christian chiefs that remained in Palestine divided into factions, and advancing, every one, his private interest, without any regard to the public good, they resumed their courage, recovered from the terror and consternation into which they had been thrown by the amazing valour and rapid success of the European legions, and gathering troops and soliciting succours from all quarters, they harassed and exhausted the Christians by invasions and wars without interruption. The Christians, on the other hand, sus-, tained their efforts with their usual fortitude, and maintained their ground during many years; but when ATABEC ZENGHI [0], after a long siege, made himself master of the city of Edessa, and threatened Antioch with the same fate, their courage began to fail, and a diffidence in their own strength obliged them to turn their eyes once more towards Europe. They accordingly implored, in the most lamentable strain, the assistance of the European princes; and requested that

a new army of cross-bearing champions might be . sent tosupport their tottering empire in the Holy i land. Their entreaties were favourably received

by, the Roman pontifs, who left no method of persuasion unemployed, that might engage the emperor and other Christian princes to execute a new expedition into Palestine,

IX. This new expedition was not, however, The crusade re resolved upon with such unanimity and precipitanewed.


[0] Atabeck was a title of honour given by the Sulians to the viceroys or lieutenants, whom they intrusted with the government of their provinces. The Latin Authors, who have wrote the history of this holy war, and of whom BONGARSIUS has given us a complete list, call this Atubeck Zenghi, SANUGNUS. See HERDELOT, Biblioth. Orient, at the word AT/BCCK, P., 142.

tion as the former had been ; it was the subject C E N T. of long deliberation, and its expediency was keen- XII.

PART 1. ly debated both in the cabinets of princes, and in the assemblies of the clergy and the people. BerNARD, the famous abbot of Clairval, a man of the boldest resolution and of the greatest authority, put an end to those disputes under the pontificate of EUGENIUS III. who had been his disciple, and who was wholly governed by his counsels. This eloquent and zealous ecclesiastic preached the cross, i. e. the crusade, in France and Germany, with great ardour and success; and in the grand parliamient assembled at Vazelai, A. D. 1146, at which LEWIS VII. king of France, with his queen, and a prodigious concourse of the principal nobility were present, BERNARD recommended this holy expedition with such a persuasive power, and declared with such assurance that he had a divine commission to fortel its glorious success, that the king, the queen, and all the nobles, immediately put on the military

ross, and prepared themselves for the voyage Into Palestine. CONRAD III. emperor of Germany, was, for some time, unmoved by the exhortations of BERNARD ; but he was soon gained over by the urgent solicitations of the fervent abbot, and followed, accordingly, the example of the French monarch. The two princes, each at the head of a numerous army, set out for Palestine, to which they were to march by different roads. But, before their arrival in the Holy land, the greatest part of their forces were melted away, and perished miserably, some by famine, some by the sword of the Mahometans, some by shipwreck, and a considerable number by the perfidious cruelty of the Greeks, who looked upon the western nations as more to be feared than the Mahometans themselves. LEWIS VII. left his kingdom A, D. 1147, and in the month of March of


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of the CHURCH. CEN T.the following year, he arrived at Antioch, with

, the wretched remains of his army, exhausted and un dejected by the hardships they had endured. Con

RAD set out also in the year 1147, in the month of May; and in November following, he arrived at Nice, where he joined the French army, after having lost the greatest part of his own by calamities of various kinds. From Nice the two princes proceeded to Jerusalem, A. D. 1148, from whence they led back into Europe, the year following, the miserable handful of troops, which had survived the disasters they met with in this expedition. Such was the unhappy issue of this second arusade, which was rendered ineffectual by a variety of causes, but more particularly by the jealousies and divisions that reigned among the Christian chiefs in Palestine. Nor was it more ineffectual in Palestine than it was detrimental to Europe, by draining the wealth of its fairest provinces, and destroying such a prodigious number

of its inhabitants [p]. ** -The king. X. The unhappy issue of this second expedition

was not however sufficient, when considered alone, salem overturned to render the affairs of the Christians in Palestine

entirely desperate. Had their chiefs and princes laid aside their animosities and contentions, and attacked the common enemy with their united force, they would have soon repaired their losses, and recovered their glory. But this was far from being the case. A fatal corruption of sentiments and manners reigned among all ranks and orders.


dom of

[p] Besides the historians enumerated by BONGARSIUS, see MABILLON, Annal. Benedict. tom. vi. p. 399. 404. 407. 417. 451. JAC. GERVASII Histoire de l'Abbe Suger, tom. iii. p. 104. 128. 173. 190. 239. This was the famous SUGER, abbot of St Dennis, who had seconded the exhortations of BERNARD in favour of the crusade, and whom Lewis appointed regent of France during his absence. VERTOT, Histoire des Chevaliers de Malta, tom. i. p. 80. Joh. Jac. MASCOVIUS, De rebus iinrii sub Conrado III.

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