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  • 2017BoothPhD

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Thietmar: person, place and text in thirteenth-century Holy Land pilgrimage

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2017
Number of pages319
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Using the conceptual framework for the study of pilgrimage established by Eade and Sallnow centred on the breaking down of pilgrimage into three conceptual ideas (Person, Place and Text), this thesis focuses on the close analysis of a single pilgrimage account from the early thirteenth century. The account in question was written by a certain Thietmar, who travelled to the Holy Land in 1217, and is well known for its frequent references to interactions with the indigenous Christian and non-Christian inhabitants of the Holy Land as well as being the first pilgrim to describe Saint Katherine’s tomb on Mount Sinai.
The thesis breaks the text of Thietmar’s pilgrimage into the three component parts of Person, Place and Text. It aims to resolve the various issues relating to the text’s manuscript transmission. It also aims to bring to light more information concerning the identity of Thietmar, his audience and how he experienced the sites of the Holy Land. Most importantly it highlights the ways in which the three aspects of the conceptual framework interacted in the context presented by Thietmar’s account. It demonstrates how a pilgrim’s experience of the Holy Land was fashioned from competing expectations derived from the pilgrim’s own cultural background and the traditions of those who the pilgrim encountered on their journeys. It also shows the current tendency to view pilgrimage as a, in many ways, historically static devotional act are misleading and that pilgrimage was a diverse and ever changing entity particularly in the thirteenth century.