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There but not there: Constantinople in the Itinerarium Burdigalense

Salway, RWB; (2012) There but not there: Constantinople in the Itinerarium Burdigalense. In: Grig, L and Kelly, G, (eds.) Two Romes: Rome and Constantinople in Late Antiquity. (293 - 324). Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

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.

Type: Book chapter
Title: There but not there: Constantinople in the Itinerarium Burdigalense
ISBN-13: 9780199739400
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739400.003.0013
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739400...
Language: English
Keywords: Bordeaux Itinerary, Christian pilgrimage, Bordeaux, Constantinople, Jerusalem
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1347976
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