Topographical issues in the Itinerarium Egeriae : An essay on the modalities of travel in the fourth century AD

Cristina Corsi (Università di Cassino)

Since the relatively recent discovery of the parchment reporting the incomplete narrative of a journey undertaken to the Holy Land, the text of the so-called Itinerarium Egeriae (formerly known as Peregrinatio Aetheriae) has attracted an amazing attention from scholars. Actually, the parchment, written at Montecassino and dated to the eleventh century, was found only at the end of the nineteenth century by Gian Francesco Gamurrini in the library of the Confraternita dei Laici in Arezzo.

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A “travel blog” of the fourth century AD. The journey of Theophanes through Egypt and Syria.

Cristina Corsi (Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio meridionale)

The sands of Egypt have preserved an astonishing quantity of private documents that represent for us an irreplaceable occasion to peep into the life of people with different social and cultural origins, engaged in daily routine as well as in once-in-a-lifetime enterprises.

This is the case of Theophanes, a high Roman official who lived in the Egyptian town of Hermopolis, in the province of Thebaid. Combining the information extracted from the huge dossier of fragmentary papyri related to Theophanes’ activities, the files of his accountants, the financial and tax records, the household inventories and other memoranda, petitions and personal documents, the many letters addressed to him or sent by his office, we can define Theophanes a scholasticus, i.e. a practicing lawyer (fig. 1). He was undoubtedly a leading citizen of Hermopolis, a wealthy owner who occasionally played a public role.

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Institutional hospitality and occasional hosting in Christian society between the fourth and sixth centuries: From individual initiative to assistance as mission

Cristina Corsi (Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio meridionale)

Table de Peutinger (c)Mestni muzej Ljubljana - City museum of Ljubljane
Table de Peutinger (c)Mestni muzej Ljubljana – City museum of Ljubljane

Mainly thanks to the testimony of the so-called ‘Pilgrim of Bordeaux’, we know that in the mid-fourth century the Imperial communication network that spread from Western Europe to the Near East was perfectly efficient, and that Roman citizens relied upon this amazing infrastructure even when they travelled for private purposes or undertook a pilgrimage journey.

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