Skip to content

Giovanni de' Marignolli

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Born at Florence about 1290; place and date of death unknown. When quite a youth he received the Franciscan habit at the convent of Santa Croce, Florence; later on, as he himself tells us, he held the chair of theology at the University of Bologna. Nothing more is known of his religious life until Benedict XII sent him with other Franciscans on a mission to the Emperor of China, as a result of the Chinese embassy which arrived at Avignon in 1338. Marignolli became one of the greatest travellers in Asia, and has left an account of his itinerary much studied today by geographers of the extreme East. In Dec., 1338, he left Avignon, arriving at Naples, on 10 Feb., 1339, and on 1 May reached the Court of Andronicus III at Constantinople, where he treated in vain with the clergy concerning the reunion with Rome. From there he passed to the Crimea and thence to Sarai, carrying papal letters to Usbek, Khan of Kiptchak, who sent an escort with him as far as Armalec, where he arrived in the winter of 1340. Towards the end of 1341 he left Armalec and crossed the desert of Gobi to Peking, where he was received with great honours at the Chinese Court. After three years at Peking he travelled through the greater part of southern China as far as Columbum (Quilon) and Cape Comorin. He visited Ceylon, Java, Sumatra, and other islands of the Indian Ocean, and then returned to the Coromandel Coast. There he embarked for Malabar, and thence took the route to Europe by the Persian Gulf, Ormuz, Gezd, Ispahan, and then by Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus, Egypt, arriving at Naples in 1353. From there he went to Florence and arrived at Avignon after fifteen years' absence. In March, 1354, the pope named him Bishop of Bisignano; and in 1356 Florence sent him as papal legate to Avignon. In 1357 Emperor Charles IV called him to be his councillor with the office also of court historian. Some years afterwards he compiled his "Chronicon Bohemiæ", in which he described his eastern travels. The work was edited by Dobner in "Monumenta historica Bohemiæ" (Prague, 1768).

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

To all our readers,

Please don't scroll past this. We interrupt your reading to humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online School's independence. 98% of our readers don't give; they look the other way. If you are an exceptional reader who has already donated, we sincerely thank you. If you donate just $10.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online School could keep thriving for years. Most people donate because Catholic Online School is useful. If Catholic Online School has given you $10.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Show the world that access to Catholic education matters to you. Thank you.

Help Now >

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

How to Pray the Rosary free PDF download

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!