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Die ersten Jahrhunderte christlicher Pilgerreisen im Spiegel spätantiker und frümittelalterlicher Quellen. By Markus Schauta. [Grazer Altertumskundliche Studien, Band 10.] (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. 2008. Pp. 161. $52.95 paperback. ISBN 978-3-631-56437-0.)

This Diplomarbeit of the Karl-Franzens-Universität in Graz seeks to provide a study of pilgrimages in the Holy Land and in Egypt during late antiquity and the high Middle Ages in terms of cultural history. The first two sections (chapters 2 and 3), based on some well-known sources (Itinerarium Burdigalense, Egeria, the Pilgrim of Plaisance, and so forth), try to evoke the journey and its realities on one side and on the other, the places visited and the practices that were tied to them (cult of saints and of relics).The last section (chapter 4) has practically no connection with what precedes it, although it is ostensibly about the impact of pilgrimages. There is the question of the spread during the medieval period of the cult of St. George on the one hand and on the other, the Calvaries and ways of the cross, up to the Sacri Monti of the Piedmont. Some images illustrate the purpose.

The rare Greek sources used are not manifestly read except in translation. The Dialogues of Sulpicius Severus are at times called Vita Martini, something that lends to confusion (p. 20). The interesting Latin version of the Vita Melaniae recently republished is passed over in silence. The short bibliography of this small work ignores essential works or studies, beginning with the Lieux saints et pèlerinages d'Orient of Pierre Maraval, without speaking of the studies of Irfan Shahid on the Saracens or that of Peter Grossmann on Saint Menas. It lacks a map of the regions to which it alludes. The whole work is very superficial and barely instructs the addetto ai lavori. In brief, it is difficult to discern what audience is envisioned for this publication.

Michel-Yves Perrin
École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris