An Elephant? An Unusual Journey in the Year 801

Milk&Honey Tours Logo in 2011
Milk&Honey Tours Logo in 2011

 

We have been asked frequently why our logo contains an elephant. Are we including Safaris in our portfolio now??? No, we don´t, but we do refer to an unusual cultural traveler. In 2011 we decided to look back to the year 801.

 

„Ipsius anni mense Iulio, XIII. Kal. Aug., venit Isaac cum elephanto et ceteris muneribus, quae a rege Persarum missa sunt, …; nomen elephanti erat Abul Abaz.“ – (ANNALES REGNI FRANCORUM, 801)

 

In 801 the elephant Abul-Abbas was sent by caliph Harun al-Rashid to the Carolingian emperor Charlemagne, mentioned in the Carolingian Annales regni Francorum and in Einhard's Vita Karoli Magni. The legend says he was a white Asian elephant, which we do not have proof for. Abul-Abbas was brought from Baghdad by the Frankish Jewish merchant Isaac, who had been sent to the caliph on Charlemagne's order. The “elephant- present” was meant as a symbol for friendship between the two cultures and religions. While the journey did not end well for Abul-Abbas, who did not survive the cold climate in Northern Europe very long, we are still touched by this intercultural endeavor and by the role the Jewish emissary Isaac played in world history.

 

Milk&Honey Tours Logo 2018
Milk&Honey Tours Logo 2018