Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage

Get access Subject: History
Edited by: Larissa J. Taylor et al.

The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage is an interdisciplinary reference work, giving wide coverage of the role of travel in medieval religious life. Dealing with the period 300-1500 A.D., it offers both basic data on as broad a range of European pilgrimage as possible and clearly written, self-contained introductions to the general questions of pilgrimage research.

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Damascus, Great Mosque

(847 words)

Author(s): Amanda Luyster
The Great Mosque of Damascus was constructed as a place of worship and an instrument of policy, suggesting the greatness of the Umayyads and of the Islamic faith. Its structure both reused and transformed the visual traditions of the postclassical world. It has served as a model for later mosques in Syria and elsewhere and as a continuing place of pilgrimage, both because of the relics it houses and as a stop on the pilgrimage road to Mecca. The Great Mosque of Damascus was built between 705 (or 706) and 715 in Syria by Caliph Al-Walid I, as part of an intense Umayyad bui…


(810 words)

Author(s): Sarah Gordon
Deafness and muteness were some of the most commonly reported miracles at pilgrimage sites and shrines in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, after lameness, paralysis, and blindness. Such miraculous cures of disability are grounded in the Gospels, in which Jesus cured deaf, blind, and paralyzed individuals. In many medieval Latin miracles as well as in secular vernacular literature, non-congenital deafness was associated with sin, and in particular with promiscuity, gambling, or renunciation …

Death and Resurrection in Miracles

(966 words)

Author(s): Leigh Ann Craig
The miracles performed through the intercession of the saints, both during their lives and after their deaths, were a form of imitatio Christi wherein they showed spiritual prowess by leading a life or engaging in an action similar to those of Jesus as they appear in the Gospels. The miracles performed by the saints, living or dead, often echoed the miracles of Jesus. Medieval miracle collections commonly contain stories of healings of leprosy, blindness, lameness, and demonic possession (see also Illness Miracles). …


(2,224 words)

Author(s): Stephanie Kamath
Guillaume de Deguileville (c.1295-1358), a monk of the Cistercian abbey at Chaalis, composed a widely-read trilogy of pilgrimage allegories, Le Pèlerinage de vie humaine [ Pilgrimage of Human Life, PVH] (c. 1331, revised c. 1355), Le Pèlerinage de l'âme [ Pilgrimage of the Soul, PA] (c.1355), Le Pèlerinage de Jésus christ [ Pilgrimage of Jesus Christ, PJC] (c. 1358). Little is known of Deguileville's life. Spellings of his name vary but suggest an origin in the town of Digulleville near Cherbourg in present day France. His writings suggest he entered…


(595 words)

Author(s): Kathryn Gerry
Demetrios was the patron saint of Thessalonika but was also popular among soldiers and members of the Komnenian and Palaiologan dynasties. His feast day is 26 October, and a seven-day festival was held in Thessalonika, during which pilgrims visited the shrine; the primary relic of the saint was lythron, the blood-soaked earth thought to have been taken from the site of his martyrdom, and in the twelfth century, sacred oil was collected at the saint's shrine. Eight reliquaries have survived that …