HAA 147P - Popular Beliefs and the Formation of Pilgrimage Sites in the Mediterranean World





Ioli Kalavrezou


The course will concentrate on the Mediterranean world during Late Antiquity from the 4th to the 8th century. This is a time of cultural changes that set traditions leading up to the Christian medieval world. The course will focus on the creation of Christian holy sites, developed during these early centuries in relation to the life of Christ, to that of holy men and to objects and remains of martyrs and other figures.

This phenomenon created popular venerations and cult centers of specific holy sites and the beginning of Christian pilgrimages. A number of sites will be studied more closely as, for example, the so-called Holy Land in Palestine, sites of burials of holy men such as St. Demetrius or St. Menas or sites themselves as that of Mt Sinai. The veneration of these ‘relics’ and the creation of cult centers contributed to an extraordinary movement of people throughout the Mediterranean.