Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Gaelic Maundeville (Author: John Maundeville)

paragraph 268

I trow that ye have heard the reason why the king of India was called Prester John; natheless I will tell it to them that have not heard. There was once a king in India who had many Christian knights with him, just as there are today. He bethought him that he would like to see the service of the Christians, and in their own churches. At that time Turkey was Christian, and Syria, and Tartary, and Judaea, and Palestine, and Arabia, and Harmape, and Persia, and Media, and Armenia, and the whole of Egypt. The emperor of India and a Christian knight along with him came to the city Easrad in Egypt, and the bishop of the city was conferring a priest's orders. The emperor asked the knight: ‘Who are those people before the bishop?’, saith he. ‘Men who desire to become priests’, saith the knight. ‘I will never be called emperor or king’, (saith the emperor of India,) ‘but priest, and the first of these priests that shall come forth from the temple, his name I will bear.’ Now John was the


name of the first priest that came forth, and hence it is that from that time to this the king of India is called Prester John.