1st Edition

Travel, Pilgrimage and Social Interaction from Antiquity to the Middle Ages

Edited By Jenni Kuuliala, Jussi Rantala Copyright 2020
    328 Pages
    by Routledge

    328 Pages
    by Routledge

    Mobility and travel have always been key characteristics of human societies, having various cultural, social and religious aims and purposes. Travels shaped religions and societies and were a way for people to understand themselves, this world and the transcendent. This book analyses travelling in its social context in ancient and medieval societies. Why did people travel, how did they travel and what kind of communal networks and negotiations were inherent in their travels? Travel was not only the privilege of the wealthy or the male, but people from all social groups, genders and physical abilities travelled. Their reasons to travel varied from profane to sacred, but often these two were intermingled in the reasons for travelling. The chapters cover a long chronology from Antiquity to the end of the Middle Ages, offering the reader insights into the developments and continuities of travel and pilgrimage as a phenomenon of vital importance.

    List of figures

    List of maps


    1. Introduction

    Jenni Kuuliala and Jussi Rantala

    2. Pilgrimage, Mobile Behaviours and the creation of Religious Place in early Roman Latium

    Emma-Jayne Graham

    3. The Meaning of Roads: A Reinterpretation of the Roman Empire

    Ray Laurence

    4. The Sacred Travel of the Valesius’ Family: Children and the liminal Stage

    Katariina Mustakallio

    5. When Kings and Gods meet: Agency and Experience in Sacred Travel from Alexander the Great to Caracalla

    Jaakkojuhani Peltonen

    6. Roman Imperial Family on the Road: Power and Interaction in the Roman East during the

    Antonine Era

    Sanna Joska

    7. Pilgrimage in Pausanias

    Jussi Rantala and Ville Vuolanto

    8. Pilgrim’s Devotion? Christian Graffiti from Antiquity to the Middle Ages

    Eva-Maria Butz and Alfons Zettler

    9. The Rise of St. James’ Cult and the Concept of Pilgrimage

    Klaus Herbers

    10. Pedes habent et non ambulabunt: Mobility Impairment in Merovingian Gaul

    Christian Laes

    11. Sacralizing the Journey: Liturgies of Travel and Pilgrimage before the Crusades

    M. Cecilia Gaposchkin

    12. ‘Not all those who wander are lost’. Saintly Travellers and their Companions in medieval Scandinavia

    Sara E. Ellis Nilsson

    13. ‘The wagon rests in winter, the sleigh in summer, the horse never’. Practices of interurban Travelling on Horseback from Antiquity to the Middle Ages

    Fabienne Meiers

    14. Entertaining and Educating the Audience at Home: Eye-witnessing in Late Medieval Pilgrimage Reports

    Stefan Schröder

    15. A Native Lord in the Spanish Royal Court: The Transatlantic Voyage of Don Pedro de Henao, Cacique of Ipiales

    Lauri Uusitalo



    Jenni Kuuliala is a university researcher at Tampere University, Finland. Her research interests include hagiography, pilgrimage and the social history of medicine in the Middle Ages and the early modern period.

    Jussi Rantala is a postdoctoral researcher at Tampere University, Finland. His research concentrates on historiography, identity and power in Classical Antiquity, particularly in the Roman Empire.