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The Prester John...

Ahmed M. A. Sheir

ISBN 978-615-6405-27-2                                           Paperback, €46.00

ISBN 978-615-6405-28-9                                           Hardcover, €144.00

eISBN 978-615-6405-29-6                                          eBook, €46.00

June 2022

pp. 367

Printed copies available on our website starting with July 2022. 


This book considers the history of the Prester John legend and its impact on the Crusades, investigating its entangled mythical history between East and West during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The present study thus responds to the still pressing need for a comprehensive historical investigation of the twelfth and thirteenth crusading history of the legend and its impact on the Muslim-Crusader encounters, examining various Latin, Arabic, Syriac, and Coptic accounts. It further reflects on new eastern aspects of the legend, presenting a new Arab scholarly view. This book first charts a pre-history of the legend in the late ancient Christian prophecy of the Last Emperor down to the emergence of the legend in the mid-twelfth century. Second, the work presents a historical discussion of the legend and its association with actual occurrences in the Far East and the Levant, analysing the legend history under the crusading crisis and the imperial papal schism in Europe. Meanwhile, the work considers the vague Prester John Letter addressed to Manuel I Komnenus, Byzantine Emperor, and its elaborate conception of a mythical eastern kingdom, revealing imaginative parallels on the wondrous East and legendary Eastern Christian kings in Arabic Muslim and Christian accounts of the Muslim geographer and cartographer al-Idrīsī, the Coptic Ābū al-Makārim and the Syriac Ibn al-ʿIbrī (Bar Hebraeus), among others. Moreover, the book examines how the legend impacted war and peace processes between the Ayyubids and the Crusaders during the Fifth Crusade against Egypt (1217-1221), revealing how it was mingled with Arabic and Eastern Christian prophecies at the time. The study concludes by investigating the perception of Prester John by the papal and European envoys to the Mongols in the thirteenth century, revealing how the legend was instrumentalised (and even weaponised) to establish a Latin-Mongol crusade through a parallel exploration of relevant Latin, Arabic and Syriac sources.  

Price €144.00

The Mirror of...

By Arnold Havens

Translated by Robert Nixon

ISBN 978-615-6405-24-1                                           Paperback, €35.00

ISBN 978-615-6405-26-5                                           Hardcover, €75.00

eISBN 978-615-6405-25-8                                          eBook, €35.00

June 2022

pp. 100

Printed copies available on our website starting with July 2022. 


The sixteenth century, which heralded the end of the Middle Ages and the commencement of the Early Modern Era, was a time of tremendous religious upheaval and social ferment. The nebulous conglomeration of movements often referred to as the “Reformation” led to a wave of bloodshed and persecution which engulfed most of Europe for at least a hundred years. The present volume offers a translation of a particularly graphic literary portrayal of tortures and atrocities committed against Catholics during that time—the Speculum Haereticae Crudelitatis [The Mirror of Heretical Cruelty], by Arnold Havens (1540–1610). Havens was a Carthusian monk, an accomplished historian and scholar, and a prolific author. His Mirror of Cruelty is a remarkable and unique literary achievement, describing in gruesome and chilling detail an extensive catalogue of disturbing, inhuman and often bizarre acts of abuse. Most of these have not been available in any English-language sources until now, or have been presented only in abridged and bowdlerized forms. Havens drew the overall plan of his work from another book which enjoyed a wide, underground circulation at the time—the notorious Theatrum Crudelitatum [Theatre of Cruelties], by Richard Verstegan, a kind of nightmarish picture-book of atrocities committed against Catholics. A selection of illustrations from that book are included in this volume.  

Price €75.00


ISSN 2559-9798

Editor-in-Chief: Andreas Wilmes 

Guest Editor: Andreas Herberg-Rothe 

Vol.  VI (Issue 1/2022)

Pages 1-127

DOI: 10.22618/TP.PJCV.20226.1

 You can read this issue in open access

Equine History...

The Materiality of the Horse

Edited by Miriam A. Bibby and Brian G. Scott

ISBN 978-615-81353-9-9 (paperback)  

Published September 2020

In colour, pp. 297

The Liminal Horse: Equitation and Boundaries

Edited by Rena Maguire and Anastasija Ropa

ISBN 978-615-81821-5-7 (paperback)  

Published October 2021

In colour, pp. 316

Price €84.00

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