André de Longjumeau

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Andrew of Longjumeau (Original French name: André de Longjumeau) was a 13th century Dominican missionary and diplomat and one of the most active Occidental diplomats in the East in the 13th century. He led two embassies to the Mongols: the first carried letters from Pope Innocent IV and the second bore gifts and letters from Louis IX of France to Güyük Khan. Well acquainted with the Middle-East, he spoke Arabic and "Chaldean" (thought to be either Syriac or Persian).[1]


Mission for the Holy Crown of Thorns

Andrew's first mission to the East was when he was asked by the French king Louis IX to go and fetch the Crown of Thorns which had been sold to him by the Latin king of Constantinople Baldwin II in 1238, who was anxious to obtain support for his tottering empire.[1] Andrew was accompanied on this mission by brother Jacques.

Papal Mission to the Mongols (1245-1247)

Andrew of Longjumeau led one of four missions dispatched to the Mongols by Pope Innocent IV. He left Lyon in the spring of 1245 for the Levant.[2] He visited Muslim principalities in Syria and representatives of the Nestorian and Jacobite churches in Persia, finally delivering the papal correspondence to a Mongol general near Tabriz.[3] In Tabriz, André de Longjumeau met with a monk from the Far East, named Simeon Rabban Ata, who had been put in charge by the Khan of protecting the Christians in the Middle-East.[4]

Second Mission to the Mongols (1249-1251)

At the Mongol camp near Kars Andrew had met a certain David, who in December 1248 appeared at the court of King Louis IX of France in Cyprus. Andrew, who was now with Saint Louis, interpreted David's message to the King, a real or pretended offer of alliance from the Mongol general Eljigidei, and a proposal of a joint attack upon the Islamic powers of Syria.

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