Prester John was a famous Christian monarch invented by European crusaders in the early 12th century. The story of Prester John as ruler of a fabled Christian land overflowing with gold somewhere in Africa or Asia inspired countless exploratory missions aimed at expanding European and Christian authority across the globe. Learn more in this online exhibit from the Harvard Map Collection.
Virtual: The Story of Prester John
Discover how Europeans made sense of the diverse world around them in the age of European expansion just prior to the colonial era