Pilgrims who visited the Holy Land between the IV and VII century

Illustrations 9: From Heraclea to Valona (31-33)

31. The strait of the Dardanelles  31.

The strait of the Dardanelles is the natural frontier between Europe and Asia. The author of the itinerary doesn't tell us how he managed to return to Constantinople. He might have returned by sea, boarding some ship sailing from Caesarea, or by land re-tracing the same route he had previously taken. In any case, his trip now starts from Heraclea, a small town not far from the capital, and his destination is Milan, passing through Rome.


Philippi: the Roman agora and a Christian basilica. Many times the journey of the anonymous pilgrim of Bordeaux followed in the footstep of St. Paul. However, the Apostle is mentioned only twice: in Tarsus, the town of his birth and in Philippi, where Paul and Silas were imprisoned, and then miraculously set free anew (Acts 16:23-40). The Christian community of Philippi received a letter from the Apostle, which is among the apostolic letters in the New Testament. A church dedicated to St. Paul is known to have existed as early as the 4th century AD.

32. Philippi

33. Alexander the Great  33.

Alexander the Great is seen here in the battle of Issos (from a 1st century mosaic floor found in Pompeii). Notwithstanding his brief career (326-333 BC), he always enjoyed great fame. He is among the few personages, not found in the Holy Books, that the pilgrim of Bordeaux judged worth mentioning in his itinerary: the Greek poet Euripides (480-406 BC), the Carthaginian leader Hannibal (247-183 BC), the Oriental thaumaturgist Apollonius (1st century AD), the Roman Emperors Diocletian (284-305 AD) and Constantine (306-337 AD). Together with the mention of a place of origin for racehorses in Anatolia, the quality of these personalities could tell us something about the author's interests.

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