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Saewulf

(fl. c. 1092—1113) traveller


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English pilgrim who visited Palestine in 1102–03, probably a merchant by profession. The focus of his Relatio, written in Latin, is Jerusalem and the Holy Land with its monuments and relics, but on the way there and back Saewulf visited Cyprus, some islands in the Aegean, and Byz. cities. His information about these sites combines reality, Christian tradition, and scraps of ancient lore. We learn that “Galienus,” whom Saewulf calls “the most highly esteemed physician,” was born in “Anchos” (in fact Pergamon); that John the Evangelist was banished to Patmos; that Andros was famous for its production of precious silk cloth; and that Smyrna was a great city. The description stops at the “Arm of St. George” (here meaning the Hellespont) and the two cities on its opposite shores, which he calls “the keys of Constantinople,” whence he sailed to Macedonia.

From The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).


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