Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Medieval Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Larry Simon

Second Advisor

Dr. Rand H. Johnson

Third Advisor

Kevin Wanner

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


This thesis focus is on the Dominican Riccoldo da Monte Croce's manuscripts of Ad nationes orientates. This lesser known work was composed around 1301, after his twelve year journey through the Middle East. These manuscripts provide missionaries instruction on the fundamental differences among the Eastern Christians, Jews, and Mongols and provide personal insight about the potential conversion of these peoples. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the content of these manuscripts within their historical context. Chapter I investigates Riccoldo's life and motives for writing a missionary manual and examines the three extant manuscripts, finding that each grouping of texts reveals a different use of it. The importance and differences of his Contra legem Sarracenorum, copied with ANO, are also addressed. Chapter II provides a detailed analysis of the contents; with special emphasis on his use of Petrus Alfonsi, Ramon Marti, and the Bible. This chapter shows Riccoldo's even-handed stance and his hope for the Jews' conversion; it also reveals his apology for the Mongols' conversion to Islam. Chapter III examines his five concluding rules and explores his attitude towards the Eastern Christians, revealing a desire for a unified Church. Lastly this chapter explores Riccoldo's understanding of the responsibilities of the missionary and converts for conversion.

Off-campus Download