Pilgrims' Perceptions at Aceldama c. 1300 – 1690

Possible Natural Explanations for a Mysterious Phenomenon

Karl Lysén / Stockholm University

Biblioteca Nazionale Firenze, II.IV.101, Niccolò da Poggibonsi Libro d’Oltramare (c. 1350)

This paper aims to present the findings of the first chapter of an ongoing dissertation on four European pilgrims to Jerusalem; Niccolò da Poggibonsi, Felix Fabri, Leonhard Rauwolf, and Henry Maundrell: two medieval Catholics and two early modern Protestants. I compare perceptions of space, time, and the Other, as they are manifested in the four travelogues regarding several sites in Jerusalem.

This presentation revolves around the phenomenon that would cause bodies buried in Aceldama to decompose in an extraordinarily rapid process — examining how pilgrims responded to Aceldama’s celebrated miracle and contrasting this with possible natural explanations. It is intended to create a broader understanding and add depth to the comparative analysis in the forthcoming thesis.

Overall, this example will contribute to how the pilgrims perceived their physical environment in their religious context and related themselves to intertextual traditions.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Gathering: 14:15 | Start of lecture: 14:30

Room #134,  New Library Wing

University of Haifa