The Pilgrimage to Compostela in the Middle Ages. A Book of Essaysed. by Maryjane Dunn and Linda Kay Davidson (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 84, Number 4, October 1998
- pp. 734-735
- View Citation
- Additional Information
734BOOK REVIEWS whose experience is broadly representative of continental European dioceses. Verona had its peculiarities (it was vital to imperial Passpolitik, and between 813 and 1122 emperors appointed its pastors more assiduously than average), but Miller's findings will be a useful guide for future analyses of how churches changed in the hundred years before and after the reform-minded swept into Rome with Henry III. Paolo Squatriti The University ofMichigan, AnnArbor Editor's note: The late publication of this review is in no way due to any tardiness of the reviewer. The Pilgrimage to Compostela in the MiddleAges.A Book ofEssays. Edited by Maryjane Dunn and Linda Kay Davidson. [Garland Reference Library ofthe Humanities,Volume 1829. Garland Medieval Casebooks,Volume 17.] (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1996. Pp. xlix, 188.) This book of essays, The Pilgrimage to Compostela in the MiddleAges, may disappoint readers expecting a scholarly study of the cult of St. James; nevertheless , reassured by Dunn and Davidson's two outstanding bibliographies on the pilgrimage and Compostela, one is advised to forge ahead. Essays include the editors' preface followed by an introduction and state of the question. Chapter titles promise a logical exposition of themes, but the authors seem ambivalent about their focus, and even their intended audience. Is this book for pilgrimage enthusiasts or for scholars? Essays are as follows: 1. "The Cult of Saints and Divine Patronage in Gallaecia before Santiago," by Alberto Ferreiro; 2. "The Geography and History of Iberia in the Liber SanctiJacobi" by Colin Smith; 3. "Music and the Pilgrimage," by Vincent Corrigan; 4. "1494: Hieronymus Münzer, Compostela, and the Codex Calixtinus" byJeanne E. Krochalis; 5. "The Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in the Cantigas de Santa Maria" by Connie L. Scarborough; 6. "The Iconography of St. James in the Indianapolis Museums's Fifteenth-Century Altarpiece," by David M. Gitlitz; 7. "The Pilgrim-Shell in Denmark ," by Vicente Almazán; and 8. "A Medieval Pilgrimage to Santiago de Composela on the Information Highway," byJohn Dagenais. The essays, like any collections, are mixed in quality and could have profited from tighter editorial control. Many repeat history and legends, and most include excessive amounts of personal reminiscence of limited interest. The "Works Cited" section may be misleading since one expects more of those excellent bibliographers, Dunn and Davidson. This is not a bibliography; for example , the work of major scholars such as Plötz and Moralejo is ignored or undervalued , and Melczer's translation of The Pilgrim's Guide is regularly referred to while the superb translation and "gazetteer" of Shafer-Crandell and Gerson is barely mentioned. (The Shafer-Crandell, Krochalis, Stones translation is listed "in book reviews735 press"). Readers should be alerted to the fine Metropolitan Museum publication , Spanish MedievalArt, with excellent essays on the pilgrimage and Compostela by Serefín Moralejo, David Simon, and others. In Dunn and Davidson, especially useful is Ferreiro's clear summary of the St. Martin/St. James transition and Smith's essay on historical geography. Corrigan's summary of music and liturgy provides an excellent introduction (only Dagenais mentions the video,"And They Sang a New Song"). Scarborough's essay on the Contigas is a tantalizing introduction to her continuing study. On the other hand, the notes on the Indianapolis Altarpiece are disappointing—even the description is inaccurate (e.g., paint loss and restoration are referred to as smudges) and details are misidentified. The pilgrim-shell essay might have included pilgrims' badges, for example their use on church bells in Scandinavia. In short, the editors and authors seem to capture the flavor of the modern pilgrimage, reflecting the range of attitudes and competencies found in amateurs and scholars. After all, Romantics as well as professional medievalists still delight in walking the road. Marilyn Stokstad University ofKansas Pope Urban LL, The "Collectio Britannica", and the Council ofMelfi (1089). By Robert Somerville, with the collaboration of Stephan Kuttner. (NewYork: Clarendon Press, Oxford University Press. 1996. Pp. xxii, 318. $98.00.) The Collectio Britannica is one of the most intriguing pre-Gratian canonical collections. A single manuscript that now resides in the British Library (Add. 8873) documents its existence. Although called Britannica, few scholars think that the collection was...