Detail map of Roma, Lazio, Italy,Harhorin, Övörkhangai, Mongolia

A: Roma, Lazio, Italy, B: Harhorin, Övörkhangai, Mongolia

The First Record of a Chinese Printed Seal in Europe

Pope Innocent IV sends Dominicans and Franciscans out to the Tartars

"Vincent of Beauvais, Le Miroir Historial (Vol. IV). Pope Innocent IV sends Dominicans and Franciscans out to the Tartars. Place of origin, date: Paris, Master of the Cité des Dames (illuminator); c. 1400-1410 Material: Vellum, ff. 401, 425x320 (254x196) mm, 43 lines, littera cursiva, Binding: 18th-century brown leather; gilt; with coat of arms of Stadholder William V Decoration: 1 two-column miniature (185x200 mm); 19 column miniatures (110/70x90/85 mm); decorated initials with border decoration (ff. 3r, 10r, 15r, 19r, 20r, etc.) Added: 1 illustration in the margin (coat of arms) Provenance: acquired before 1492 by Philip of Cleves (d. 1528; coat of arms with label; signature); purchased in 1531 from his estate by Henri III, Count of Nassau (d. 1538); by descent to the Princes of Orange-Nassau, the later Stadholders, at The Hague; carried off in 1795 to Paris by the French and restituted to the KB in 1816 Annotation: Vol. I-III (now: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, fr. 308-311) were decorated but not illustrated in the early 15th century. Apparently separated from their fourth volume from the beginning, they were illustrated on behalf of a later owner, Louis de Gruuthuse,in the early 1450s." (Wikipedia)

In 1245 Pope Innocent IV sent Father Giovanni da Pian del Carpine (John of Plano Carpini) to an embassy to the court of the Grand Khan of the Mongol Empire in Karakorum Mongolia (Khalkha Mongolian: Хархорин Kharkhorin).  One of the first Europeans to enter the court of the Great Khan, Carpine was the author of the earliest important Western account of northern and central Asia, Rus, and other regions of the Mongol dominion, Ystoria Mongalorum.

"He [Carpine] went by Prague and Kiev to Mongolia, where he presented his letter and received his reply. This reply—the original—was discovered by accident in the year 1920 in the archives of the Vatican. It is written in Uigur and Persian and contains in lieu of his signature the seal of the Grand Khan Kouyouk (grandson of Jenghis)[Güyük Khan]. This is the first recorded appearance in Europe of an impression from a seal based on those in use in China and impressed with ink upon paper" (Carter, Invention of Printing in China 2nd ed [1955] 159-60).

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