Aspects of the Rapid Development of Christian Religious Travel in the 4th Century A.D.

University of Groningen ()
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Abstract

'People travelled for numerous reasons,' so J.W. Drijvers submits at the beginning of his piece on travel and pilgrimage literature. Be it ‘commerce, government affairs, religion, education, military business or migration,’ people ‘made use of the elaborate system of roads and modes of transport such as wagons, horses and boats’ to traverse the far-reaching stretches of the Roman Empire. And for 4th century Christians in particular, participating in religious festivals as well as interaction with holy sites, sacred artifacts and clergymen had become greater a reason to travel still. Motivation to travel, in other words, was aplenty. But what exactly allowed for Christian religious travel in the 4th century AD to develop as quickly as it did?

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Jan M. van der Molen
University of Groningen

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