Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages: A Reader

Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages: A Reader

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Edited by Brett Edward Whalen
Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures
University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division © 2011
World Rights
400 Pages
ISBN 9781442601994
Published Sep 2011
Online discount: 15%
 $46.95    $39.91
Teaching Materials

Pilgrimage inspired and shaped the distinct experiences of commoners and nobles, men and women, clergy and laity for over a thousand years. Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages: A Reader is a rich collection of primary sources for the history of Christian pilgrimage in Europe and the Mediterranean world from the fourth through the sixteenth centuries. The collection illustrates the far-reaching significance and consequences of pilgrimage for the culture, society, economics, politics, and spirituality of the Middle Ages. Brett Edward Whalen focuses on sites within Europe and beyond its borders, including the holy places of Jerusalem, and provides documents that shed light upon Eastern Christian, Jewish, and Islamic pilgrimages. The result is an innovative sourcebook that offers a window into broader trends, shifts, and transformations in the Middle Ages.

Brett Edward Whalen is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of Dominion of God: Christendom and Apocalypse in the Middle Ages (Harvard University Press, 2009).


Chapter One: The Origins of Christian Pilgrimage

1. Pausanias's Guide to Greece

2. Josephus on the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem

3. The Promised Land in Christian Scripture

4. Eusebius on the Constantinian Peace

5. The Discovery of the True Cross

6. Julian the Apostate and the Temple Mount

7. The Pilgrimage of Etheria

8. Jerome on the Pilgrimage of Paula

9. Jerome on the Cult of Saints

10. The Life of Melania the Younger

11. The Breviary of Jerusalem

12. Life as Pilgrimage: Augustine's Confessions

Chapter Two: Saints, Travelers, and Sacred Spaces in the Early Medieval West

13. The Churches of Rome

14. Devotion in Italy: Paulinus of Nola's Letters

15. Gregory of Tours on Shrines and Miracles in Merovingian Gaul

16. Pilgrims as Wanderers: The Voyage of Saint Brendan

17. Penance and Pilgrimage

18. Saint Boniface on Pilgrimage: Advice and Criticism

19. Charlemagne and the Churches of Rome

20. Regulating Pilgrimage in the Carolingian Empire

21. The Translation and Miracles of Saints Marcellinus and Peter

22. Criticizing the Cult of Saints: Claudius of Turin's Complaint

23. The "Saracen" Sack of Saint Peter's Basilica

Chapter Three: Jerusalem and the Holy Places under Islamic Rule

24. A Christian Reaction to the Islamic Capture of Jerusalem

25. The Night Journey of Muhammad

26. The Pilgrimage of Arculf

27. The Hodoeporicon of Saint Willibald

28. Charlemagne's Legendary Journey to the East

29. The Monk Bernard's Journey to Jerusalem

30. Mukaddasi's Description of Syria

31. Diary of a Journey through Syria and Palestine

Chapter Four: Pilgrimage Before and After the Millennium

32. Popular Devotion and the Peace of God

33. The Miracles of Saint Foy

34. A Penitent Pilgrim in Irons

35. The Destruction of the Holy Sepulcher

36. Millennial Devotion and Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

37. The Pilgrimage of Richard of Verdun

38. The German Pilgrimage of 1064-65

39. A Canterbury Monk at Constantinople

Chapter Five: Pilgrimage and Holy War

40. Peter the Hermit's Pilgrimage

41. The Conquest of Jerusalem in 1099

42. The Relics of Saint George at Anchin

43. Monastic Criticisms of Crusading and Pilgrimage

44. The Pilgrimages of Bohemond of Taranto

45. The Travels of Saewulf

46. Pilgrimage from Russia to the Holy Land

47. The Tomb of the Patriarchs

48. Richard of Cornwall's Crusade

Chapter Six: Pilgrimage and Medieval Society

49. Guibert of Nogent, On Saints and their Relics

50. Accommodating Pilgrims at the Church of St-Denis

51. Miracles at the Shrine of Thomas Becket

52. The Marvels of Rome

53. A Miracle of Mary Magdalene

54. The Pilgrim's Guide to St-James at Compostella

55. Liturgy for Pilgrims and Crusaders

56. Medieval Exempla and Pilgrimage

57. Jewish Host Desecration and Christian Veneration

Chapter Seven: Pilgrimage and the Wider World

58. Muhammad al-Idrisi's Description of Jerusalem

59. The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela

60. Rabban Sauma's Journey from the East

61. Ibn Battuta on the Pilgrimage Sites of Mecca

62. The Pilgrimage of Mansa Musa

63. Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo at Constantinople

64. Pero Tafur at Jerusalem

Chapter Eight: Pilgrimage and Piety in the Late Middle Ages

65. The Jubilee Year of 1300

66. Pilgrimage and Satire: The Canterbury Tales

67. Margery Kempe's Pilgrimage to Jerusalem

68. The Tribulations of Brother Felix

69. The Pilgrimage of Arnold von Harff

70. Thomas More on Saints, Shrines, and Pilgrims

71. Martin Luther on the Papacy and Pilgrimage

72. Mexico Meets Jerusalem: Motolinia's History of the Indians of New Spain

Index of Topics

A rich treasury of primary sources vividly bringing to life the background, practice, and significance of medieval pilgrimage. An invaluable resource for students and specialists alike.

Dee Dyas, University of York

Another indispensable book in an already very useful series from the University of Toronto Press. Brett Edward Whalen has selected a cogent and illuminating set of sources offering insights into pilgrimage as a metaphor, an idea, and a practice from the Patristic period to Martin Luther. Anyone who picks up this book will surely want to design a course around it.

Claire Fanger, Rice University

Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages, the sixteenth volume of the University of Toronto Press's "Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures" series, provides an impressively comprehensive collection of medieval pilgrimage narratives.


Overall, the volume supplies an invaluable teaching tool which—like others in the series—is ample and diverse enough to be deployed effectively in many types of courses. Study questions after each selection primarily encourage close reading and a search within the texts for answers, with some opportunities for speculative imagination and comparisons of different sources.

The Medieval Review

For a short quiz on pilgrimages, visit History Matters at www.utphistorymatters.com.