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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(1,277 words)

Author(s): Christopher Roman
Because of the limited documentation on everyday life, evidence regarding what pilgrims ate is scant. However, because of broader social forces, such as fear of famine and plague, food is connected with medieval pilgrimage in many ways. In times of pestilence, while the upper classes could import foodstuffs, the lower classes often chose that time to undertake a pilgrimage in the hopes that invocation of a saint might help next year's crops. Pilgrimage required infrastructure that led to the dev…

Francis of Assisi

(1,590 words)

Author(s): Steven McMichael
The feast day of Francis of Assisi, the saint who embraced both poverty and humility, is October 4. Francis died in 1226 due to natural causes due to malnutrition and the severity toward his body. He had some sort of eye affliction and a recent study investigated the possibility that he died of a certain form of leprosy. As with other saints,Thomas of Celano's 1228 hagiography and Bonaventure's Legenda Maior and Legenda Minor annually commemorated Francis's death scene on the eve of his feast day (October 4). Bonaventure's Legenda Maior and the Legenda Minor would have been read during …

Freeing of Prisoners

(758 words)

Author(s): Whitney Ellen Huey
Pilgrims requested a variety of miracles of the saints. These miracles included everything from the healing of various physical and mental ailments (see also Miracles of Healing) to averting physical dangers (see also Miracles of Protection and Miracles of Rescue), including the freeing of prisoners. In such miracles, those imprisoned were miraculously released from their chains or even instantly transported out of their prison cells through the intervention of the saint whom they had petitioned…

French Gothic Architecture

(1,278 words)

Author(s): Jenifer Ní Ghrádaigh
Gothic architecture traditionally claims a firmly dated, geographically specific beginning with abbot Suger’s remodeling of the east end of the Abbey of Saint-Denis, Paris, 1140; his west front (1137) is read as proto/early Gothic, but lacking the technological and iconographic potency of the choir. While recent scholarship has highlighted intentionally-revivalist tendencies in Suger’s use of columns and in the sculptural form of capitals, and debate continues over use of flyers for the rebuilt …

French Romanesque Architecture

(1,207 words)

Author(s): Jenifer Ní Ghrádaigh
The churches of Capetian France, heir to a Carolingian building tradition, engaged architecturally with the cult of relics and proliferation of altars in ingenious and diverse ways; problems of pilgrim traffic were materialized in ground plans both novel and influential. Although regionally distinctive - in part reflecting contemporary political divisions - recent scholarship acknowledges the influences of monastic orders and of pilgrimage in developing shared architectural preoccupations which cross regional boundaries. The First Romanesque style, characterized by…