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Medieval Pilgrim Guide

sillydoll

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The British Library's online image gallery has a copy of a 14thC Pilgrim’s Guide to Compostela, Galicia, Spain. Reading some of the contents makes me think that it is an early French copy of the Codex Calixtinus.

"The manuscript includes guidance to pilgrims on such practical problems as which water is safe to drink and how to board ferries, as well as describing sites and the cathedral. This guide was probably written by a Frenchman for French pilgrims, and the author doesn't hesitate to express his opinion of the regional characteristics of people along the way. The Gascons, for example, are 'verbose' and 'drunkards', also 'given to combat but are remarkable for their hospitality to the poor'."

(http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/sacredte ... esall.html)
 

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sillydoll

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You can buy a copy of a medieval guide in German (which claims to be the oldest pilgrim guide to Santiago.)
Die Strass zu Sankt Jakob
Herbers, Klaus / Plötz, Robert (Eds.) The Oldest Pilgrim’s Guide to Santiago de Compostela

"
Pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela today follow the footsteps of a tradition many centuries old. Whoever walks the road today wonders: How were the first pilgrims able to find the right road, or good lodging, or food? The pilgrim’s guide of 1495 describes two routes from Germany to Santiago de Compostela. The writer Hermann Künig von Vach portrays cities and landscapes, hints at dangers on the road, and mentions good places of lodging. The book is a document of a century-old tradition still very alive today and is reproduced here as facsimile in present day German. The atmospheric pictures taken by the photographer Gerhard Weiß give a glimpse of what the first pilgrims might have encountered on the road.

http://www.thorbecke.de/foreign_rights_gb_02.php
 

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someone at the BL is getting rather confused. The MS Additional 12213 is their copy of the Codex Calixtinus, one of 3 made in Santiago around 1325 (the other 2 are in the Vatican and the University Library at Salamanca).
See their catalogue entry.
If I have time I will contact them and suggest whoever wrote that page in the image gallery stands in the corner with the dunce's cap on.

For more on the German guide, see my page on the subject.
 

sillydoll

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Thanks Peter. Where are the other 12thC copies?
There is an interesting story attached to one of the 12thC copies:

"Only 12 copies of the manuscript survived dating from the 12th (three copies), 14th, late-15th, early 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.
Only one copy of the Pilgrim’s Guide was made during Gelmírez’s lifetime; it was sent, along with a bone from St. James’s jaw, to Bishop Atto in the North Italian city of Pistoia, a fact which, in the 19th century, solved a mystery: Workers restoring the altar at Compostela found three skeletons buried beneath it. Which one was St. James? Rather than invoking a test of miracles, as their medieval predecessors had, they checked to see which body was missing a jaw bone. "That," says Krochalis, "is .. the difference between the Middle Ages and the Modern Era."
http://www.rps.psu.edu/may99/compostela.html
 

William Marques

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Staff member
I have thought, after reading the CSJ published translation, that the Codex Calaxtinus was an amalgamation of a number of different writer's texts in the different chapters bought together at a later date, possibly in Rome. On this basis there would be a number of versions of the original parts that might predate the Codex as a whole. Is there an authorative history of the codex?
 
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sillydoll

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William, you could start by reading the document on the following link:
http://www.rps.psu.edu/may99/compostela.html

Jeanne Krochalis, an associate professor of English at Penn State’s New Kensington campus and an expert in paleography, or manuscript study, was one of the four medievalists who worked on the critical edition of the manuscript.
 
There's no agreement on the history of the Codex; different scholars have come up with different ideas. One version available on the web is Bernard Gicquel's, which he drew up whilst researching his recent translation of the Codex into French. Jinty Nelson's authoritative review of the Critical Edition from the CSJ Bulletin talks of 'clerical confections', which is what the Codex is. A bit like a scrapbook with all sorts of vaguely-related bits and pieces bundled together. These may well date from very different times. In the "Pilgrim's Guide", for instance, you don't have to be an expert to work out that the lengthy digression on Ste Eutrope in Saintes comes from a completely different document that's been inserted (for no obvious reason). Similarly, although the list of places and other material appears to be based on an actual pilgrimage, probably from the Loire Valley, the comments on the sexual habits of Navarrans, on the other hand, or the claim that Scots have tails, are obvious traveller's tales and not based on personal observation.

Book IV, the so-called Pseudo-Turpin, Historia Caroli Magni, was hugely popular in the Middle Ages, and there are umpteen translations into French, English, German, even Welsh. Higden makes several references to it in his Polychronicon, so it was obviously well-known here in Chester in the early 14th. The other Books of the Codex were hardly copied at all. My info on the MSS, full or partial, is:
  • Ripoll, according to a colophon written by one Arnault de Munt, a monk in the Benedictine monastery there, in 1173, now in the Archives of the Crown of Aragon in Barcelona - which makes 1173 the latest date for the compilation of the Codex, one thing all the experts can agree on :)
  • Alcobaça, Cistercian monastery N of Lisbon, either late-12th or early-13th, now in National Library in Lisbon (there were still strong links between Portugal and Galicia at this time)
  • the 3 from ca 1325
  • another in the Vatican, copied in Zaragoza late-14th
  • 3 post-medieval Spanish copies, all now in the National Library in Madrid
  • as for Pistoia (the centre of the cult of St James in Italy), I don't know of the copy of the "Pilgrim's Guide" mentioned, but there is a copy of part of the Codex in the State Archives there, mid-16th
  • the British Library has another curiosity, part of Cotton Titus A XIX, which is basically the Pseudo-Turpin, but with the first 7 chapters of the "Guide" as well. Produced by Cistercian communities in Yorkshire late-15th - which raises the question of where they got the "Guide" text from
 

sillydoll

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2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
That is very puzzling. If the date is 1173, how could Diego Gelmírez have been the 'distributor and promotor' of this 'guide' when he died in 1140?
Odder and odder!
 
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erinmarie

New Member
Hey,

Out of curiosity and a desire for some holiday reading material, I searched my school's library database for Santiago de compostela... and it turns out we have a copy of the Codex Calaxtinus in translation! Even more mysterious to me is that someone's checked it out... I might have to hang out in front of the library until it's returned to see who has it!

Erin
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
On Saturday the 1st of December the CSJ Storrs lecture is by Prof Klaus Herbers and is titled "Pilgrimage, Hagiography, Literature: the many faces of the Liber Sancti Jacobi."

Prof Herbers of the University of Erlangen, Germany has written extensively on the historical aspects of the Pilgrimage to Santiago and is an editor of the German Jakobus-Studien. The Liber Sancti Jacobi is book IV of the Codex Calixtinus manuscripts in the archive of Santiago Cathedral.

The lecture takes place at John Marshall Hall, 27 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NY at 6pm and costs £5.

Unfortunately I will be unable to attend so cannot report back.
 
William Marques said:
The Liber Sancti Jacobi is book IV of the Codex Calixtinus manuscripts in the archive of Santiago Cathedral

huh? LSJ is typically used as a synonym for the CC, tho strictly speaking each Codex is unique and the CC is the one in Santiago, LSJ being the summary of all the Codices.

The Spanish wikipedia page on the CC has been substantially updated; it now contains a comprehensive breakdown of the contents.
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Calixtinus
 
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