Travel In The Middle Ages
360 pages, 0.00 x 0.00
Paperback | 9780268042233 | May 2003
Hardcover | 9780268042226 | May 2003
- Press Kit
- Author Bio
Travel in the Middle Ages is filled with the stories and adventures of those who hazarded hostile landscapes, elements, and people—out of want or necessity—to get from place to place. While most journeys involved very short distances (home to market or village to village), longer trips were not uncommon in the Middle Ages. Clergy were frequently called upon to act as ambassadors, messengers, and overseers to the various monasteries and churches within their jurisdiction. Merchants, agents of the king, and pilgrims were also frequently required to travel. While sharing the fascinating stories of these ordinary wayfarers, Verdon also relates colorful tales of the journeys of notable historical figures such as Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus. Part I of Travel in the Middle Ages addresses the means by which people traveled. This section contains vivid descriptions of modes of conveyance, road systems, sea lanes, tolls, taxes, and even pirates. Knowing the risks involved, why did people brave the uncertainty of travel? Part II of the book addresses this question by identifying five main motivational categories of medieval travel. Part III deals with travel myths, monsters, and fictitious journeys of medieval fantasy writers. Verdon concludes with a pithy critique of travel in the modern world. Appearing for the first time in an English translation, Travel in the Middle Ages will delight anyone with an interest in medieval culture or travel books.
Jean Verdon is professor emeritus of literature and humanities at Universite Limoges. He is the author of numerous books, including Night in the Middle Ages, published by the University of Notre Dame Press.
"General readers, eager to be led on an armchair voyage through medieval times and terrain... [will] find it broadening." ~Choice
"Verdon has written a fascinating and informative book that is generously interspersed with examples of medieval travel from a constellation of medieval sources...." ~History: Reviews of New Books
"Jean Verdon does a comprehensive job of accounting for most motives, methods, costs, durations, dangers, fears, landscapes, seascapes, fantasies, criticisms, and occasions of medieval travel from the fourth-century Bordeaux Pilgrim to Christopher Columbus. He admirably includes Arabic travelers and their wide Asian and African range, notably Ibn Battuta, as well as the great Jewish traveler, Ibrahim ibn Yakub." ~The Historian
"Many times the title of a book promises more than its content delivers. Travel in the Middle Ages does just the opposite. Jean Verdon... offers the reader an original and scholarly work that has all the authority of learned and detailed research but that manages to read like an intriguing creative mystery novel. This book offers a rare and informative insight into the life and times of the European Middle Ages. It is recommended for specialist and non-specialist alike." ~Cistercian Studies Quarterly