Travels and Travelogues in the Middle Ages

Edited by Jean-François Kosta-Théfaine
LC 2009026904
ISBN-10: 0-404-64168-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-404-64168-9
Clothbound $96.50

AMS Studies in the Middle Ages, No. 28

“Travel in the Middle Ages, it goes without saying, differs considerably from its twenty-first-century counterpart,” Jean-François Kosta-Théfaine notes in the introduction to this compelling collection of essays. “Even so, similarities persist across the centuries—especially the writing or iconographical representations found in travelogues, [and] the fact that travel leads to discovery of the other and the elsewhere. . . . The topics [explored in] this book . . . could also quite easily be discussed in works dealing with other, different centuries, including our own. This is a sign, if one more were needed, of the modernity of the Middle Ages.”

The interdisciplinary and international affiliations of the contributors to Travels and Travelogues in the Middle Ages correspond to the collection’s eclectic approach to the field of medieval travel literature. The sampling of travelers and authors studied herein include Marco Polo, Odoric of Pordenome, Margery Kempe, and Benedict of Poland; lands visited and imagined in their works range from Italy to Song dynasty China, from Mongolia to the Arabian desert, and even to the fictional realm of hell as it was imagined in the Middle Ages. The multiplicity of terrains, both literary and geographic, covered in this volume draw upon medieval and current concepts of iconography, ethnography, and the relation of self to other, conveying a broad cultural-historical critical sensibility that will appeal to scholars of medieval religion, philosophical, literature, and art history.


I. Composition, Rewriting, Translations, and Iconographical Representation of Medieval Travelogues
Jean-François Kosta-Théfaine, Introduction
Ana Pinto, “Mandeville’s Travels: A Rihla in Disguise”
Marianne O’Doherty, “‘They are like beasts, for they have no law’: Ethnography and Constructions of Human Difference in Late-Medieval Translations of Marco Polo’s Book
Richard Maber and Angela Tregoning, “Conveying the Unimaginable: Odoric of Pordenone’s Travels and Their Vernacular Translations”
Jean-François Kosta-Théfaine, “The Pierpont Morgan Library Manuscript M.723: Illustrations of Hayton’s La Fleur des histoires d’Orient

II. Dicovery of the Other — Discovery of the Elsewhere
Christopher Roman, “Margery Kempe and Italy: Sacred Space and the Community in Her Soul”
Katrin Rupp, “Stairway to Hell: Infernal Journeys in Some Old and Middle English Texts”
Cong Ellen Zhang, “Sites, Places, and the Empire: Lu You’s Travel on the Yangzi River in Southern Song China”

III. Travels in Literary Texts
Adriano Duque, “The Text as Map: Benedict the Pole’s Account of the Carpine Mission to Mongolia (1246–1247)”
Wisam Mansour, “Desert Traveling in al-Shanfara’s ‘Lamiyyatu’l Arab’”

Contributor Notes

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Travels and travelogues in the middle ages / edited by Jean-François Kosta-Théfaine.
p. cm. — (AMS studies in the middle ages ; no. 28)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-404-64168-9 (cloth : alk. paper)
1. Discoveries in geography—History—To 1500.
2. Civilization, Medieval.
I. Kosta-Théfaine, Jean-François.
G82.T7 2009
910.409’02—dc22                                                       2009026904

Category: Annuals