Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage

Get access Subject: History
Edited by: Larissa J. Taylor et al.

The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage is an interdisciplinary reference work, giving wide coverage of the role of travel in medieval religious life. Dealing with the period 300-1500 A.D., it offers both basic data on as broad a range of European pilgrimage as possible and clearly written, self-contained introductions to the general questions of pilgrimage research.

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Iconography of Decoration

(1,431 words)

Author(s): Jean Dabb
The majority of architectural decorations on medieval edifices ranging from great pilgrimage churches to small shrines conveyed biblical, Christological, and hagiographic themes. However, a number of buildings from the early Romanesque through High Gothic periods included decorations with iconography specific to the pilgrimage experience. Chief among these decorations were images of pilgrims with distinctive attributes of cap, scrip, and staff (see also Iconography of Pilgrim Badges). Additional…

Iconography of Pilgrim Badges

(851 words)

Author(s): Sarah Blick
Secular issues and images were intertwined with medieval religion and religious art. From literature (Chaucer's Canterbury Tales) to everyday life (The Castle Inn, London catered to pilgrim travelers by night and acted as a licensed brothel during the day) the lines between these areas were linked. This linkage is perhaps most evident in obscene badges that mock pilgrims and pilgrimages made in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. The imagery of these badges was not isolated. Explicit images of genitalia can be found throughout medieval art on the e…

Iconology of Materials

(1,461 words)

Author(s): Jennifer Lee
The sites of medieval pilgrimage shrines were often filled with the most sumptuous collections of objects in varied media to be found anywhere in Europe, especially after an established pilgrimage site had accrued extensive donations from visitors. Many of the works of art found at pilgrimage centers were meaningful as much for their materials as for their imagery. This is especially true for rare and expensive materials like precious metals and stones, but is also the case for some of the more common materials like wax and lead. Many of the most precious materials brought to the c…