Library of Congress

Authorities & Vocabularies

The Library of Congress > Linked Data Service

From Library of Congress Name Authority File


Prester John (Legendary character)


  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Variants

    • us: John, Prester (Legendary character)
    • us: Ianni, prete (Legendary character)
    • us: Ioam, Prete (Legendary character)
    • us: Ioannes, Presbyter (Legendary character)
    • us: Iuan, Preste (Legendary character)
    • us: Jan, Pape (Legendary character)
    • us: Janni, prete (Legendary character)
    • us: Joam, Prete (Legendary character)
    • us: Joannes, Presbyter (Legendary character)
    • us: Johannes, Presbyter (Legendary character)
    • us: John, the Elder (Legendary character)
    • us: Jon, Præst (Legendary character)
    • us: Juan, Preste (Legendary character)
    • us: Pape Jan (Legendary character)
    • us: Præst Jon (Legendary character)
    • us: Preciosus Ioannes (Legendary character)
    • us: Preciosus Joannes (Legendary character)
    • us: Presbyter Ioannes (Legendary character)
    • us: Presbyter Joannes (Legendary character)
    • us: Presbyter Johannes (Legendary character)
    • us: Presbyter John (Legendary character)
    • us: Preste Iuan (Legendary character)
    • us: Prete Gianni (Legendary character)
    • us: Prete Ianni (Legendary character)
    • us: Prete Ioam (Legendary character)
    • us: Prêtre-Jean (Legendary character)
    • us: Priest John (Legendary character)
  • Additional Information

  • Use For

  • Related Terms

  • Exact Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: Dati, Giuliano. Li costumi et gesti del patriarcha dell'India magiore chiamato il prete Ianni, not before 1542:title page ([il] patriarcha dell'India magiore chiamato il prete Ianni) colophon ([il] massimo prete Ianni pontifice & imperatore de Lindia & della Ethiopia)
    • found: SAR sh 86001509(subject heading: Prester John (Legendary character); references from Johannes, Presbyter (Legendary character); John, Prester (Legendary character); John the Elder (Legendary character); Presbyter Johannes (Legendary character); Presbyter John (Legendary character); Prete Gianni (Legendary character); Prêtre-Jean (Legendary character); Priest John (Legendary character); note citing "Conversation with DESC POL, 12/11/85": former NAR n50-38615 being cancelled "because Prester John seems to be a legendary character")
    • found: Wikipedia, February 27, 2017("Prester John (Latin: Presbyter Johannes) is a legendary Christian patriarch and king popular in European chronicles and tradition from the 12th through the 17th century. He was said to rule over a Nestorian (Church of the East) Christian nation lost amid the Muslims and pagans of the Orient. The accounts are varied collections of medieval popular fantasy, depicting Prester John as a descendant of the Three Magi, ruling a kingdom full of riches, marvels, and strange creatures. At first, Prester John was imagined to reside in India; tales of the Nestorian Christians' evangelistic success there and of Thomas the Apostle's subcontinental travels probably provided the first seeds of the legend. After the coming of the Mongols to the Western world, accounts placed the king in Central Asia, and eventually Portuguese explorers convinced themselves that they had found him in Ethiopia")
    • found: Prester John, the Mongols, and the Ten Lost Tribes, c1996:preliminary page 1 ("Since 1145, when news of a great Christian ruler living in the extreme east first reached Euriope, the legend of Prester John has occupied an important place in the Western imagination")
    • found: Webster's New World College Dictionary, ©2010, via yourdictionary.com, February 27, 2017("Prester John: a legendary medieval Christian king and priest said to have ruled either in the Far East or in Ethiopia")
    • found: Encyclopedia Britannica, va britannica.com, February 27, 2017 (last updated 10-26-2016)("Prester John, legendary ruler. Prester John, also called Presbyter John or John the Elder, legendary Christian ruler of the East, popularized in medieval chronicles and traditions as a hoped-for ally against the Muslims. Believed to be a Nestorian (i.e., a member of an independent Eastern Christian church that did not accept the authority of the patriarch of Constantinople) and a king-priest reigning 'in the Far East beyond Persia and Armenia,' Prester John was the centre of a number of legends that hark back to the writings of 'John the Elder' in the New Testament")
    • found: Stowers, Stanley K. "Prester John," in World Book Advanced, 2017, via WWW, February 27, 2017("Prester John (or Presbyter John) was a legendary Christian priest and king. He is supposed to have lived in the 1100's. Many travelers of the Middle Ages, including Marco Polo, claimed that he ruled a vast kingdom in central Asia. Later reports, especially by Portuguese explorers, made him the emperor of Ethiopia. Pope Alexander III sent a messenger to look for him in 1177, but the messenger never returned")
    • found: Catholic Encyclopedia, via newadvent.org, February 27, 2017("Prester John: Name of a legendary Eastern priest and king") - http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12400b.htm
    • found: Barns, Thomas. "Prester John," in Encyclopaedia of religion and ethics, v. 10, 1913, via Archive.org, February 27, 2017:pages 272-275 ("Prester John. The story of Prester John is woven of the fact and fancy of the Middle Ages, the fact warped by the varying aspects of European policy, the fancy coloured by Oriental imagination and tradition ...")
    • found: OCLC, February 27, 2017(usage includes: ... Magni Indorum imperatoris Presbyteri Ioannis; ... Preciosi Ioannis (quem vulgò Presbyterum Ioannem vocant); Preste Ioam das Indias; ... Pape Jans; pope Iohn̄; Priester Johan[n]; el Preste Iuan; Priester Johannes; Prêtre Jean; Jon Præst; many others)
  • Change Notes

    • 2017-02-28: new
    • 2017-06-08: revised
  • Alternate Formats