Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage

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Homo Viator
(920 words)

[Note: all translations into Modern English are by the author.]

First found in Scripture -- e.g., Ps. 28:13, Pet. 2:11, and Heb. 11:13 -- the figure of homo viator expressed the state of alienation caused by the sin of Adam: "as long as we are in the body we are away from (peregrinamur) the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:6). The figure made its way early into Christian biblical commentary and doctrinal writing. For example, Gregory the Great writes: "To the just man, temporal comfort is like a bed at an inn to a traveler (viator): he stops and he endeavors to retire, he rests himself bodily, but his m…

Cite this page
Michael W. Twomey, “Homo Viator”, in: Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage. Consulted online on 12 July 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2213-2139_emp_SIM_00303>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004181298, 20091023

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