1st Edition

The Charisma of Distant Places Travel and Religion in the Early Middle Ages

By Courtney Luckhardt Copyright 2020
    248 Pages 1 Color & 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    248 Pages 1 Color & 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    248 Pages 1 Color & 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This cultural history of early medieval travel and religion reveals how movement affected society, demonstrating the connectedness of people and regions between 500 and 850 CE. In The Charisma of Distant Places, Courtney Luckhardt enriches our understanding of migration through her examination of religious movement. Vertical links to God and horizontal links to distant regions identified religious travelers – both men and women – as holy, connected to the human and the divine across physical and spiritual distances. Using textual sources, material culture, and place studies, this project is among the first to contextualize the geographic and temporal movement of early medieval people to reveal the diversity of religious travel, from the voluntary journeys of pilgrims to the forced travel of Christian slaves. Luckhardt offers new ways of understanding ideas about power, holiness, identity, and mobility during the transformation of the Roman world in the global Middle Ages. By focusing on the religious dimensions of early medieval people and the regions they visited, this book addresses probing questions, including how and why medieval people communicated and connected with one another across boundaries, both geographical and imaginative.

    List of illustrations




     1 Practicalities of early medieval travel

     2 Contested space, sacred space in the Holy Land

     3 The pull of Rome

     4 Monastic migration and social motion

     5 Unfreedom and religious migrations






    Courtney Luckhardt is Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, USA.

    ‘... an original and nuanced discussion of the real and imagined experiences of early medieval travellers’ - Early Medieval Europe (Volume 29/2, 2021).

    ‘... we see Luckhardt... cogently interweaving the mechanics and mental universes of medieval travelers in support of an eminently plausible assumption: early medieval travel cannot be understood without taking seriously the religious contours in which it was embedded’ - Journal of Late Antiquity (Volume 14/1, Spring 2021).

    ‘The breadth of the analysis—discussing both the physical as opposed to just the spiritual aspects of travel—makes the book a valuable contribution to understanding the period... Summing Up: Highly recommended’ – CHOICE May 2020.