JORDANUS CATALANI DE SÉVÉRAC (Jourdain). fl. 1280/1330. Father. French Dominican Missionary in India, of Catalan background. Probably born in Sévérac-le-Château north-east of Toulouse. Arrived in India in 1321 (if not earlier), when he narrowly escaped the killing of missionaries in Thana. After a while in Gujarat he worked many years in Kerala. Visited Rome 1328 and was nominated by the Pope the Bishop of Quilon (Kollam, called Columbum in Latin). Returned to Kerala and disappears from sources. His “Wonders” consist of factual and well informed account of Indian regions (including South-East Asia), their products, climate, manners, customs, fauna and flora.
Publications: Described India in an account and several letters:
– Text edition: “Mirabilia Descripta”, Ed. par E. Coquebert de Montbret, Recueil de Société de Géographie 4, 1839, 37-64; Mirabilia Descripta. Les merveilles de l’Asie, par le Père Jourdain-Catalani de Séverac de l’ordre des Fréres Prêcheurs, évêque de Columbum (XIVe siècle). Texte latin [imprimée et] fac-simile des 19 pl. du manuscrit et trad. française avec introd., index et notes par Henri Cordier. 125 p. 19 pl. P 1925.
– Transl.: Mirabilia Descripta. The Wonders of the East, by Friar Jordanus, of the Order of Preachers and Bishop of Columbum in India the Greater, (circa 1330). Translated from the Latin Original, as published at Paris in 1839, in the Recueil de Voyages et de mémoires, of the Society of Geography, with the Addition of a Commentary, by Colonel Henry Yule. 33+68 p. Hakluyt Soc. Publ. 1st Series 31. L. 1863 (1862).
– Letters, ed. & tr. by A. C. Moule: “Brother Jordan of Sévérac”, JRAS 1928, 349-376.
Sources: Yule 1863 Preface; Wikipedia.
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