The History of Yahballaha and Rabban Sauma

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An unknown East Syriac/Nestorian writer wrote a work known as the History of Yahballaha and Rabban Sauma shortly after the death of Yahballaha III in 1317. The work is an account of how two monks from China were sent by the Mongol Ilkhan to the west as emissaries. One of them was elected Catholicos, while the other, Rabban Sauma, journeyed on to Europe. The author must have been an eyewitness of much of what he relates, and for Rabban Sauma's journey to Europe, he was able to make use of Sauma's diary and indeed reproduces it verbatim at times.


An English translation and French translation exist of this work:

  • E.A. Budge, The monks of Kublai Khan. (1928) English translation
  • J.B. Chabot, (1895). French translation.