Chapter

There but Not There

Benet Salway

in Two Romes

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199739400
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933006 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739400.003.0013

Series: Oxford Studies in Late Antiquity

There but Not There

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The anonymous record of a journey from Bordeaux to Jerusalem and back again in 333-34 understandably holds an important position in the history of Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land as the first of a genre of late antique “pilgrim” texts. The Bordeaux Itinerary comprises two parts of markedly different character: a list of changes (mutationes) and stopovers (mansiones) covering the journey to Jerusalem and back again, and a more discursive section describing sites of Old and New Testament relevance in the Holy Land section. Although the text has long been considered as rather unsophisticated, recent reevaluations have sought to see in the anonymous compiler the creator of an artful narrative structure and/or the promoter of a sophisticated theological agenda. Based on a close attention to the structure of the text itself, this chapter argues that, rather than Jerusalem, Constantinople, the new seat of the imperial court, was the primary destination of the anonymous traveler; it puts this suggestion in the context of other contemporary travelers and petitioners. This observation suggests that more prosaic motives than Christian piety were the stimulus for the initial trip from Bordeaux and that the anonymous traveler was in fact an opportunistic pilgrim.

Keywords: Bordeaux Itinerary; Christian pilgrimage; Bordeaux; Constantinople; Jerusalem

Chapter.  14869 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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