Itinerarium Burdigalense

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The first page of the copy of the manuscript from the French National Library

The Itinerarium Burdigalense (also known as Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum ) is the oldest known manual of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land ( Itinerar ). It was written by an anonymous Christian pilgrim from Burdigala, today's Bordeaux ( Anonymus Burdigalensis ), on the occasion of a trip in the years 333–334.

Author and text

His route to Jerusalem led overland, through northern Italy, the Danube valley to Constantinople , then through Asia Minor and Syria to the Holy Land. There he visited Jerusalem , Jericho , the Dead Sea , Bethlehem and Hebron, among others . The return journey led via Macedonia, Otranto and Rome to Milan. The itinerary ends there. It is not recorded whether the pilgrim returned to Bordeaux.

The itinerary contains a list of cities, horse changing stations ( mutationes ) and hostels ( mansiones ) and the distances between the individual stages. From the distance information and the descriptions it can be concluded that the pilgrim covered a total of about 10,000 kilometers and crossed 20 provinces. For the route between Constantinople and Jerusalem alone, it took him two months to get there and back.

Nothing else is known about the pilgrim. It could be a civil servant or someone close to the administration who used the state promotion system, the cursus publicus . The research is usually based on a male author, but it cannot be ruled out that it was a woman (see Egeria's travelogue ).

Editions and translations

  • Paul Geyer: Itinera hierosolymitana saecvli IIII-VIII (= Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum Volume 39). Tempsky, Vienna 1898, pp. 1–33 (text edition, digitized version ).
    • reprinted with minor improvements in Itineraria et alia geographica (= Corpus Christianorum , Series Latina Volume 175). Brepols, Turnhout 1965, pp. 1-26.
  • Otto Cuntz : Itineraria Romana Volume 1 Itineraria Antonini Augusti et Burdigalense , Teubner, Leipzig 1929, pp. 86-102 (text edition)
  • Herbert Donner : Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The oldest accounts of Christian pilgrims to Palestine (4th – 7th centuries) . Katholisches Bibelwerk, Stuttgart 1979, ISBN 3-460-31841-4 , pp. 36-68 (German translation and commentary).
  • Kai Brodersen : Aetheria / Egeria, journey to the Holy Land. Latin / German ( Tusculum Collection ). De Gruyter, Berlin and Boston 2016. ISBN 978-3-11-051811-5 (contains bilingual edition of the Itinierarium Burdigalense ).


  • Manfred Fuhrmann : The Itinerarium Burdigalense, also Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum. In: Reinhart Herzog (ed.): Restoration and renewal. The Latin literature from 284 to 374 AD (= Handbook of the Latin Literature of Antiquity , Volume 5). CH Beck, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-31863-0 , pp. 97-99.
  • Laurie Douglass: A New Look at the Itinerarium Burdigalense . In: Journal of Early Christian Studies Volume 4, 1996, pp. 313-333.
  • Georg Röwekamp : Itinerarium Burdigalense . In: Lexicon of ancient Christian literature . 2nd Edition. Herder, Freiburg 1999, ISBN 3-451-23786-5 , p. 324.
  • Jaś Elsner : The Itinerarium burdigalense. Politics and salvation in the geography of Constantine's empire . In: Journal of Roman Studies Volume 90, 2000, pp. 181-195.

Web links


  1. Laurie Douglass: A New Look at the Itinerarium Burdigalense . In: Journal of Early Christian Studies Volume 4, 1996, pp. 313–333; Susann Weingarten, Was the Pilgrim from Bordeaux a Woman? A reply to Laurie Douglass . In: Journal of Early Christian Studies Volume 7, 1999, pp. 291-297; Sandra Ann Fortner, Andrea Rottloff : In the footsteps of Empress Helena. Roman aristocrats make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Sutton, Erfurt 2000, ISBN 3-89702-239-7 , pp. 93-98.