Pilgrims to Jerusalem in the Middle Ages

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Overview

"Every man who undertakes the journey to the Our Lord's Sepulcher needs three sacks: a sack of patience, a sack of silver, and a sack of faith." — Symon Semeonis, an Irish medieval pilgrim

As medieval pilgrims made their way to the places where Jesus Christ lived and suffered, they experienced, among other things: holy sites, the majesty of the Egyptian pyramids (often referred to as the "Pharaoh's granaries"), dips in the Dead Sea, unfamiliar desert landscapes, the perils of traveling along the Nile, the customs of their Muslim hosts, Barbary pirates, lice, inconsiderate traveling companions, and a variety of difficulties, both great and small. In this richly detailed study, Nicole Chareyron draws on more than one hundred firsthand accounts to consider the journeys and worldviews of medieval pilgrims. Her work brings the reader into vivid, intimate contact with the pilgrims' thoughts and emotions as they made the frequently difficult pilgrimage to the Holy Land and back home again.

Unlike the knights, princes, and soldiers of the Crusades, who traveled to the Holy Land for the purpose of reclaiming it for Christendom, these subsequent pilgrims of various nationalities, professions, and social classes were motivated by both religious piety and personal curiosity. The travelers not only wrote journals and memoirs for themselves but also to convey to others the majesty and strangeness of distant lands. In their accounts, the pilgrims relate their sense of astonishment, pity, admiration, and disappointment with humor and a touching sincerity and honesty.

These writings also reveal the complex interactions between Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Holy Land. Throughout their journey, pilgrims confronted occasionally hostile Muslim administrators (who controlled access to many holy sites), Bedouin tribes, Jews, and Turks. Chareyron considers the pilgrims' conflicted, frequently simplistic, views of their Muslim hosts and their social and religious practices.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Chronicle of Higher Education - Nina Ayoub
Wishful thinking shapes pilgrims' accounts gathered by Ms. Chareyron in her lively new book.
Scripture Bulletin - Martin O'Kane
Her book brings the reader into vivid, intimate contact with the pilgrims' thoughts and emotions.
Chronicle of Higher Education
Wishful thinking shapes pilgrims' accounts gathered by Ms. Chareyron in her lively new book.

— Nina Ayoub

Scripture Bulletin
Her book brings the reader into vivid, intimate contact with the pilgrims' thoughts and emotions.

— Martin O'Kane

Chronicle of Higher Education

Wishful thinking shapes pilgrims' accounts gathered by Ms. Chareyron in her lively new book.

— Nina Ayoub

Scripture Bulletin

Her book brings the reader into vivid, intimate contact with the pilgrims' thoughts and emotions.

— Martin O'Kane

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231132305
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 2/23/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicole Chareyron is professor of medieval languages and literature at Paul Valéry University in Montpellier, France. She is the author of Globe Trotters au Moyen Age and Jean le Bel, le maitre de Froissart and the editor of Les Errances de Frere Felix Fabri, pelerin de Terre sainte.W. Donald Wilson is professor emeritus of French Studies at the University of Waterloo.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

ForewordPrefaceChronology and Maps1. Evagari et Discurrere per Mundum2. All Roads Lead to Venice3. Venice in Splendid Dress4. Five Weeks in a Galley5. The Holy Lond of Promyssion6. Jerusalem and the Holy Places7. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher: The Christian World in Miniature8. Pilgrimages and Excursions Round and About Jerusalem9. Saracens in the Towns, Arabs in the Desert, and Jews Here and There10. Desert Time, Desert Space11. Sinai and Its Speaking Stones12. Cairo, City of Lights13. Diamonds of the Sands, or Pharaoh's Granaries14. The Virgin's Garden, the Hermitsí Desert, and Egyptian Dreams15. Alexandria, Sentry of the East16. Happy He Who, Like Ulysses17. By Way of an Ending: The Smell of Thyme and the Taste of Honey

Columbia University Press

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