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Mandeville’s Travels BL MS Cotton Titus c.xvi. These all died in faith [speaking of OT figures], not having received the promises, but having seen them.

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Presentation on theme: "Mandeville’s Travels BL MS Cotton Titus c.xvi. These all died in faith [speaking of OT figures], not having received the promises, but having seen them."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mandeville’s Travels BL MS Cotton Titus c.xvi


3 These all died in faith [speaking of OT figures], not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came, they might have had the opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Hebrews, 11:13-16 Pilgrimage as Metaphor (1)

4 Suppose, then, we were wanderers in a strange country, and could not live happily away from our fatherland, and that we felt wretched in our wandering, and wished to put an end to our misery, determined to return home. We find, however, that we must make use of some conveyance, either by land or water, in order to reach that fatherland where our enjoyment is to commence. But the beauty of the country through which we pass, and the very pleasure of the motion, charm our hearts, and turning these things which we ought to use into objects of enjoyment, we become unwilling to hasten the end of our journey; and becoming engrossed in a factitious delight, our thoughts are diverted from that home whose delights would make us truly happy, Such is a picture of our condition in this life of mortality. We have wandered far from God; and if we wish to return to our father's home, this world must be used, not enjoyed, so that the invisible things of God may be clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made--that ism, by means of what is material and temporary we may lay hold upon that which is spiritual and eternal. Augustine, De Doctrina Christiana (5 th c.) Pilgrimage as Metaphor (2)

5 The pilgrims leaving Canterbury (from a MS of John Lydgate’s Siege of Thebes)

6 Canterbury Cathedral

7 The martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket (from a 15th c. MS)

8 Canterbury Cathedral

9 The “pilgrim steps,” Canterbury


11 Canterbury Relics Becket’s coffined body His severed head (which privileged pilgrims could kiss) His haircloth underclothes A statue of the BVM, which was purported to have spoken to Becket The complete arms of 11 saints (St. George, St. Bartholomew, St. Mildred, St. Hugh, St. Wulfstan, St. Simeon) Fragments of the arms of two other saints

12 Canterbury Relics, part two The head of St. Swithun and the heads of other saints. Fragments of the Holy Sepulcher, the manger and the rock on which the Cross stood The column to which Christ was tied when he was whipped. The stone on which Christ stood before the Ascension The bed of the Virgin Mary

13 Canterbury Relics, part three Aaron’s rod (Rome claimed to have the original) Wool woven by the Virgin Mary A piece of clay from which Adam was made

14 Reliquary (for the Duc de Berry’s thorn)

15 Reliquary (St. Valentine)

16 Reliquary (St. Luke)

17 Reliquary (companion of St. Ursula)

18 Durham Cathedral

19 Tomb of St. Cuthbert (Durham)

20 Course of the plague, 1346-53


22 Santiago de Compostella

23 The Crypt, Compostella

24 Chartres Cathedral

25 Chartres Cathedral (west front)

26 The Nativity (Chartres)

27 The Labyrinth (Chartres)

28 Last Judgment Tympanum (Autun)

29 Relics of Lazarus (Autun)

30 Vezelay

31 Vezelay (west front)

32 Vezelay (tympanum, west front)

33 Vezelay (nave, facing east)

34 Vezelay (nave, looking west)

35 Vezelay (the crypt)

36 Crypt (Vezelay)

37 Relics of Mary Magdalene (Vezelay)


39 Ste. Chapelle, Paris


41 Ste. Chapelle (upper chapel, looking west)

42 Ste. Chapelle (upper chapel, looking east)

43 The crown of thorns

44 St. Louis bearing the crown of thorns (in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis)

45 Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris


47 Some light-minded and inquisitive persons go on pilgrimages not out of devotion, but out of mere curiosity and love of novelty. All they want to do is travel through unknown lands to investigate the absurd, exaggerated stories they have heard about the east. Jacques de Vitry, Historia Hiersolymitana (13th c.) Pilgrims and palmers made pacts with each other To seek out Saint James and saints at Rome They went on their way with many wise stories And had leave to lie all their lives after. I saw some that said they's sought after saints: In every tale they told their tongues were tuned to lie More than to tell the truth--such talk was theirs. Piers Plowman B Prol.46-52 (circa 1378) Some other attitudes toward pilgrimage

48 ON the 20th day of July, in the 13th year etc., William Blakeney, shetilmaker [shuttlemaker], who pretended to be a hermit, was brought unto the Guildhall, before Robert Chichele, Mayor, the Aldermen, and Sheriffs, for that, whereas he was able to work for his food and raiment, he, the same William, went about there, barefooted and with long hair, under the guise of sanctity, and pretended to be an hermit, saying that he was such, and that he had made pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Rome, Venice, and the city of Seville, in Spain; and under colour of such falsehood he had and received many good things from divers persons, to the defrauding, and in manifest deceit, of all the people. And he was asked how he would acquit himself thereof. Whereupon, he acknowledged that for the last six years he had lived by such lies, falsities, and deceits, so invented by him, to the defrauding of the people, under the colour of such feigned sanctity, and that he never was in the parts aforesaid; which was also found out by the Court. And therefore etc. it was adjudged that the said William should be put upon the pillory for three market-days, there to remain for one hour each day, the reason for the same being there proclaimed; and he was to have, in the meantime, whetstone hung from his neck. And precept was given to the Sheriffs to do execution thereof. (1412) [From Memorials of London and London life, in the XIIIth, XIVth, and XVth centuries. Being a series of extracts, local, social, and political, from the early archives of the City of London, A.D. 1276-1419. Selected, tr., and Henry Thomas Riley... London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1868 [Hilles: 942.1 2]. From the Harvard Chaucer page.

49 Lollard views of pilgrimage And again I said, "As their works shew, the most part of men or women that go now on pilgrimages have not these foresaid conditions; nor loveth to busy them faithfully for to have. For (as I well know, since I have full oft assayed) examine, whosoever will, twenty of these pilgrims, and he shall not find three men or women that know surely a Commandment of God, nor can say their Pater noster and Ave Maria nor their Credo, readily in any manner of language. And as I have learned, and also know somewhat by experience of these same pilgrims, telling the cause why that many men and women go hither and thither now on pilgrimages, it is more for the health of their bodies, than of their souls, more for to have richesse and prosperity of this world, than for to be enriched with virtues in their souls, more to have here worldly and fleshly friendship, than for to have friendship of God and of His saints in heaven. For whatsoever thing a man or woman doth, the friendship of God, nor of any other Saint, cannot be had without keeping of God's commandments.“ For with my Protestation, I say now, as I said at Shrewsbury, though they that have fleshly wills, travel for their bodies, and spend mickle money to seek and to visit the bones or images, as they say they do, of this saint and of that: such pilgrimage-going is neither praisable nor thankful to God, nor to any Saint of God; since, in effect, all such pilgrims despise God and all His commandments and Saints. For the commandments of God they will neither know nor keep, nor conform them to live virtuously by example of Christ and of his Saints… Also, Sir, I know well, that when divers men and women will go thus after their own wills, and finding out one pilgrimage, they will ordain with them beforehand to have with them both men and women that can well sing wanton songs; and some other pilgrims will have with them bagpipes; so that every town that they come through, what with the noise of their singing, and with the sound of their piping, and with the jangling of their Canterbury bells, and with the barking out of dogs after them, they make more noise than if the King came there away, with all his clarions and many other minstrels. And if these men and women be a month out in their pilgrimage, many of them shall be, a half year after, great janglers, tale-tellers, and liars. The Examination of Master William Thorpe, priest, Of Heresy, Before Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, In the Year of our Lord 1407 (from Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse, ed. Alfred W. Pollard)

50 Nompar de Caumont (early 15th century) bought several pieces of fine colored silk at Jerusalem, together with four pieces of rope the length of the Holy Sepulchre, three silk purses, thirty-three silver rings and twelve silver crucifixes which had touched the Holy Sepulchre, a number of relics of doubtful worth, a bag of Jerusalem soil, a black embroidered purse, two pairs of golden spurs, four roses and a phial of Jordan water to distribute amongst his relatives and tenants when he returned. From Pilgrimage: An Image of Mediaeval Religion, Jonathan Sumption Pilgrimage and the souvenir

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