Ancient, mainly Roman descriptions of travel routes, usually with distances in Roman miles, and later, Gallic leagues, with indications of relay posts (mutationes ) and hostels (stationes; mansiones ). Under Caesar Augustus, in preparation for the census of the whole world mentioned by Luke (2.1–4), geographical maps and charts were prepared, giving the divisions of the Roman provinces, the regions of Italy, the principal roads connecting Rome with all the cities of the empire, the postingstations, main inhabitations, and peoples. These charts served as a basis for the famous Orbis pictus of Agrippa, a map of the Roman world depicted in colors on a large rectangular portico by Agrippa's sister Paulla (Pliny, Hist. nat. 3.3.14). Suetonius speaks of maps used in school and by the military (Domitian 10); and ambrose of Milan says that a soldier sent on a journey followed the itinerarium given him by the emperor (Comm. ad Ps. 118), while Eumenius of Autun refers to the children in school becoming familiar with the whole world (omnes terras et cuncta maria ) through the maps on the walls (Orat. pro restaur. scholis 20). Traces of these early maps are preserved in the so-called Tabula Peutingeriana, a 12-page, parchment manuscript containing colored maps of the entire Roman Empire. This document was copied in 1265 by a monk of Colmar (Annal. Colmar. 1.1); it was rediscovered in 1494 by C. Meissel, who willed it to his friend Conrad Peutinger of Würzburg; and it is known under the latter's name.
The Peutinger Table gives evidence of at least six revisions, beginning with the Orbis pictus of Agrippa. In the 4th century in particular, the routes, main cities of Rome, Constantinople, and Antioch, as imperial residences, were given greater relief; there is evidence of additions in accord with the so-called Theodosian Tables of 425 and the conquests of justinian i (527–565). Travelers in the empire had little difficulty obtaining maps and understanding routes and distances from the public monuments in the greater cities.
For the older Roman itineraria, the four silver vases discovered at Vicarello, near Lake Bracciano, some 20 miles north of Rome, give the route from Cadiz, Spain, to Rome with the names of the stationes and distances between them in Roman miles; the vases apparently date from the reign of Trajan (98–117). At Autun and Alichamp in France and at Tongres in Belgium, fragments of stone wall maps have been discovered, as well as parts of monuments on which were engraved the routes and distances between, for example, Tongres and seven main cities in the empire, following seven different roadways. Fragments of similar travel guides are found in many excavation sites.
Palestinian Pilgrimages. The route of a pilgrimage to Palestine made in 333 is described in the Itinerarium Burdigalense by the so-called Pilgrim of Bordeaux, who departed from that city (ubi est fluvius Garonna ), crossed southern Gaul, the Alps, northern Italy, Pannonia, Thrace, stopped briefly at Constantinople, then continued through Asia Minor and Syria to arrive at Beirut. He continued down the coast of Phoenicia, passing Sidon, Sarepta, and Caesarea in Palestine, and turned east at Mt. Sinai to visit all the sites mentioned in the Bible on the way to Jerusalem and its environs. He records the distances between these sites and includes a description of the monuments or their biblical significance. His return journey took him through Macedonia to Italy and the close of his journey at Milan.
The Peregrinatio ad loca sancta of Aetheria was written c. 400. It describes the journey of a woman of the upper class who visited the monks in Egypt, the Holy places in Palestine, and Mesopotamia, and who returned to Constantinople by way of Tarsus, Seleucia, and Chalcedon. She used the cursus publicus or imperial post facilities on the main routes of the empire; she traveled mostly by horse or mule and received protection of the military in places infested by armed thieves. She stopped frequently at the xenodochia, or hostels, connected with the monasteries. The first part of the MS is missing; it begins with a description of Mt. Sinai, details of the liturgical services in Jerusalem, and of her excursions to the land of Job (Idumea) and to Mt. Nebo. Most of the biblical information regarding the monuments is taken from the Bible and the Onomasticon of eusebius of caesa rea as edited and revised by St. jerome. The latter provides further Palestinian information in several letters describing the travels of St. Paula (Epist. 46 and 108), in letters to Dardanus (Epist. 129), to Paulinus (58), Sabinianus (147), and in his commentary on Ezekiel (47.15–20). A compilation of information taken from Jerome and Flavius Josephus was made c. 450 and has been preserved under the name of Eucherius of Lyons. The Itinerarium de situ terrae sanctae of the archdeacon Theodosius, written c. 525, and the Breviarius de Hierosolyma, written toward the end of the 5th century, are further examples of this travel literature as guides through the Holy Land.
The so-called Itinerarium Antonini describes the route from Milan, through Bergamo, Verona, Aquileia, Smyrna, Constantinople, Ancyra, Antioch, and Caesarea, to Jerusalem, and gives the distances and stations in a manner similar to that of the Itinerarium Burdigalense. The original document, now called the Anonymous of Piacenza, was the subject of several forgeries and legendary interpolations. In 670 adamnan of iona wrote down the recital of the pilgrimage to the Holy Lands made by the Gallic Bishop Arculf, who had been shipwrecked on the west coast of Britain. The account is interesting for its reflections on the situation after the Arab conquest of Palestine. The De locis sanctis of bede is a compilation based largely on the work of Adamnan, while the recollections of St. willibald, nephew of St. Boniface, were written down by a nun of the monastery of Heidenheim (c. 727). A Commemoratorium de casis Dei was composed c. 808; the Frankish monk Bernard wrote an Itinerarium trium monachorum (c. 870), in which he notes the use of the holy fire in the Holy Saturday liturgy in Jerusalem.
In the Orient, the retired merchant Cosmas Indicopleustes wrote his Christianikē topographia (c. 550). He was probably a Nestorian who had traveled to East Africa and across Asia to Ceylon before settling as a monk in Alexandria; his work, which furnished much geographical and cultural information, opposed the biblical to the Ptolemaic conception of the universe. An Armenian Rituale and a Georgian calendar of the 7th century describe the processions to the various monuments in the Holy Land; and c. 660 an Armenian pilgrim wrote a Description of the Holy Places. The Greek monk Epiphanios Hagiopolites wrote his Hodoiporikon (c. 786), or traveler's guide, to Jerusalem and Palestine.
Rome. Caesar Augustus had a map of Rome engraved on the portico of the Campus Martius; in 177 Marcus Aurelius ordered a description of the city's monuments prepared in connection with the establishment of impost controls. Under Septimius Severus a Forma urbis Romae was prepared. Polemeus Silvius wrote Quae sint Romae, c. 449, and dedicated it to eu cherius of lyons. It provides for pilgrims a description of the monuments dedicated to the Christian martyrs, and lists the hills, valleys, bridges, baths, and buildings of the Eternal City. The Syriac Breviarium of zachary the rhetor (c. 540) is a compilation made from the Notitia urbis Romae with special attention to the monuments of the martyrs; it indicates that before 540 there existed a Notitia regionum urbis in which Rome's churches were described, along with their burial places.
For the pilgrims of the 7th to the 9th century, four Roman itineraria were in existence. The Notitia ecclesiarum orbis Romae, called the Salzburg Itinerary, dates from the reign of Pope honorius i (625–638). The Vienna Itinerary, or the De locis sanctis martyrum quae sunt foris civitatem Romae, gives the locations of the bodies of the martyrs in the churches of Rome and appears to have been compiled under pelagius ii and revised under Honorius I. The Itinerary of William of Malmesbury, inserted in his Gesta regum Anglorum, describes the basilicas and suburban cemeteries before the translations of relics in the 8th century. The Itinerary of Einsiedeln was written by a monk who copied many of the pagan and Christian inscriptions and gave a description of the monuments and the ceremonies of Holy Week. The most exact of these itineraries—that of Salzburg—gives the location of the remains of the martyrs with considerable exactitude, describing them as "in the open," "on the ground," "in a crypt," "on the right [or left] side of the church," "near the entrance," etc. Finally, the Mirabilia urbis Romae (c. 11th century) is a compilation following in good part the Liber pontificalis.
Bibliography: h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, ed. f. cabrol, h. leclercq, and h. i. marrou, 15 v. (Paris 1907–53) 7.2:1841–1922; 14.1:65–176. h. lahrkamp, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 5:822–824. e. dekkers, ed., Clavis Patrum latinorum (2d ed. Streenbrugge 1961) 519–522. Corpus Christianorum. Series latina 175 (1961). p. geyer, ed., Itinera Hierosolymitana saeculi IV–VIII (Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum 39; 1898). o. cuntz, ed., Itineraria Romana I (Leipzig 1929). a. baumstark, Abendländische Palästinapilger des 1. Jahrtausends und ihre Berichte (Cologne 1906). t. tobler and a. molinier, eds., Itinera Hierosolymitana et descriptiones Terra Sanctae bellis sacris anteriora, 2 pts. (Geneva 1877–79). a. molinier and c. kohler, Itinerum bellis sacris anteriorum series chronologica (Geneva 1885). Palestine Pilgrims Text Society (London 1896–97). k. miller, Itineraria romana (Stuttgart 1916). b. kÖtting, Peregrinatio religiosa (Münster 1950). f. stummer (Florilegium Patristicum, ed. j. zellinger et al. 41; 1935), Jerome. h. pÉtrÉ, ed. and tr., Éthérie: Journal de voyage (Sources Chrétiennes 21; 1948). m. anastos, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Harvard Univ. 3 (1946) 73–80, Cosmas Indicopleustes.
"Itineraria." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/itineraria
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