Thomas of Mancasola

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Thomas of Mancasola, or Thomas of Mancasol [1] (fl. 1328), was a Dominican cleric [2] in the Chagatai Khanate who became bishop of Samarkand. [3]

Dominican Order Roman Catholic religious order

The Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominican Order, is a mendicant Catholic religious order founded by the Spanish priest Dominic of Caleruega in France, approved by Pope Honorius III via the Papal bull Religiosam vitam on 22 December 1216. Members of the order, who are referred to as Dominicans, generally carry the letters OP after their names, standing for Ordinis Praedicatorum, meaning of the Order of Preachers. Membership in the order includes friars, nuns, active sisters, and affiliated lay or secular Dominicans.

Chagatai Khanate former country

The Chagatai Khanate was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that comprised the lands ruled by Chagatai Khan, second son of Genghis Khan, and his descendants and successors. Initially it was a part of the Mongol Empire, but it became a functionally separate khanate with the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire after 1259. The Chagatai Khanate recognized the nominal supremacy of the Yuan dynasty in 1304, but became split into two parts in the mid-14th century: the Western Chagatai Khanate and the Moghulistan Khanate.

Samarkand Place in Samarqand Region, Uzbekistan

Samarkand, alternatively Samarqand, is a city in modern-day Uzbekistan, and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia. There is evidence of human activity in the area of the city from the late Paleolithic era, though there is no direct evidence of when Samarkand was founded; some theories propose that it was founded between the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Prospering from its location on the Silk Road between China and the Mediterranean, at times Samarkand was one of the greatest cities of Central Asia.

Prior to his appointment Thomas had served as a cleric in Mongol-ruled Turkestan. The region, in Thomas's time ruled by Eljigidey khan, allowed local Christians significant freedom to worship, and Thomas obtained a commendation from Eljigidey for the trip to Rome that saw him granted the bishopric of Samarkand. [4]

Turkestan region; land of the Turks

Turkestan, also spelt Turkistan, refers to an area in Central Asia between Siberia to the north and Iran, Afghanistan, and Tibet to the south, the Caspian Sea to the west and the Gobi Desert to the east.

Eljigidey was khan of the Chagatai Khanate, a division of the Mongol Empire in 1326–1329. He was the son of Duwa. After the death of his brother Kebek, Eljigidey took control of the Chagatai Khanate. He was involved in the succession struggles of the Yuan court from 1327 to 1329. His ally Kusala was enthroned as the Yuan emperor in 1329, but died suspiciously soon after that. The new Yuan emperor, Tugh Temür sent him Naimantai, a descendant of Muqali, in order to mollify his anger with an imperial seal. After only a short period of time, however, Eljigidey was overthrown by another brother, Duwa Temür.

Thomas is known from the Mirabilia of Friar Jordanus, which describes him as bishop of "Semiscat"; this place was positively identified as Samarkand during the nineteenth century. [5] [6] Thomas, according to the Mirabilia, accompanied Jordanus on a journey to take the pall, an ecclesiastical vestment, to John de Cora, the newly appointed archbishop of Sultaniyah in Persia. [7] Thomas's bishopric, along with that of Jordanus, fell within the province of this new metropolitan. [8]

Jordanus 14th-century European Catholic bishop in India

Jordanus, distinguished as Jordan of Severac or Jordan of Catalonia, was a Catalan Dominican missionary and explorer in Asia known for his Mirabilia Descripta describing the marvels of the East. He was the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon, the first Catholic diocese in India.

Pallium an ecclesiastical vestment in the Catholic Church: a narrow band, seen from front or back the ornament resembles the letter Y and decorated with six black crosses

The pallium is an ecclesiastical vestment in the Roman Catholic Church, originally peculiar to the Pope, but for many centuries bestowed by him on metropolitans and primates as a symbol of the jurisdiction delegated to them by the Holy See. In that context, it has remained connected to the papacy.

Vestment clothing prescribed for Christian clergy performing specific roles

Vestments are liturgical garments and articles associated primarily with the Christian religion, especially among the Eastern Orthodox, Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans. Many other groups also make use of liturgical garments; this was a point of controversy in the Protestant Reformation and sometimes since, in particular during the Ritualist controversies in England in the 19th century.

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  1. Moffett, Samuel H. (1998). A History of Christianity in Asia. Orbis. ISBN   1-57075-162-5.
  2. Dickens, Mark (2000). "The Church of the East: The Rest of the Story". Fides et Historia: Journal of the Conference on Faith and History . 32 (2): 107–125.
  3. Beazley, Charles Raymond (1949). The Dawn of Modern Geography: From the middle of the thirteenth to the early years of the fifteenth century (c.A.D. 1260-1420). P. Smith. p. 221.
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