What did Greek pilgrims call themselves? An ampulla from Sardis suggests an answer

As followers of my research (and blog and tweets) will know, I’m currently working on a book project that examines the economics of pilgrimage in late antiquity. One form of economic activity related to pilgrimage was the production, exchange, and movement of pilgrimage souvenirs. In the process of researching, cataloging, and mapping such souvenirs, I Read More

“Cisterns of Remarkable Beauty” at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher

As part of my research into the ways that pilgrims and their guides authenticated holy sites during classical and late antiquity, I’ve been looking at springs, wells, cisterns, and other water sources that appear in pilgrimage narratives.  The reason for the focus on water sources is that pilgrims frequently mention them as a way to Read More

Did Egeria eat fish at Edessa?

As part of my research on Holy Land pilgrimage this year, I’ve been re-reading and translating the most significant accounts of early Christian travel in the region.  One of those texts is Egeria’s account of her travels.  Egeria was a Latin-writing traveller from the western Mediterranean who travelled in Sinai, Palestine, Syria, and Asia Minor Read More

The Piacenza Pilgrim’s Garlic and Radishes

As part of my research on early Christian pilgrimage, I’m taking the opportunity to go back through some of the most important pilgrimage accounts and make my own annotated translations.  In a few cases this had led to some very interesting discoveries.  At present, I’ve been making my way through the text my favorite account, Read More

Research in Jerusalem 2017-18

As some of my readers — and twitter and instagram followers — know, I was awarded an NEH Fellowship from the Albright Institute in Jerusalem to work on my next book project, tentatively titled “Sacred Travel in the Roman Empire and the Making of Christian Pilgrimage.”   I arrived in Jerusalem in late August and I Read More

Excavations at Legio

The OU students and I, along with the JVRP staff, our colleagues from SUNY Brockport, and students from other universities, recently wrapped up our part in the excavations at Legio, the castrum of Rome’s 6th Legion.  The project is directed by Matthew Adams and Yotam Tepper, and you can find out more about the project Read More

JVRP Study Tour 2017

On Thursday evening we wrapped up our five-day study tour of archaeological and cultural sites in northern Israel.  I’ve been assisting with the tour since 2014, and I think this has been one of our best years.  This year, we added a few stops to our usual itinerary in order to take be able to Read More

The 2017 Study Tour and Legio Excavations

I’ll be back in Israel this summer, to help lead students on a study tour of archaeological and modern sites.  We have eight University of Oklahoma students with us this summer, almost as many students from SUNY Brockport, additional students from other schools, and some independent adventurers. Our tour schedule is available here.  We’ll be Read More

A note on objects in Orhan Pamuk’s “A Strangeness in my Mind”

My research dealing with objects related to pilgrimage, magic, and late antique piety has shaped how I read fiction.  In my last post, I commented on the role of objects, in particular Frank Frink’s creation of American art, in the book and film adaptation of Man in the High Castle.  This week, I finished reading Read More

The Power of Objects and Art in “The Man in the High Castle”

So,  I’ve been thinking of reviving this blog for some time, but I’ve been struggle with exactly what to write about here.  As some readers may know, my current research relates to Roman and early Christian pilgrimage, and specifically the role of objects and space in the shaping pilgrimage experience. Over the past few years, Read More

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