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The full Camino.

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#1
Why is there not a full Frances (since that when this issue pops up, SJPP vs Roncesvalles) when there is a full Primitivo, Salvador, VDLP. We all know where these start and end, so why so much tension when SJPP is brought up as the starting point for the Frances?
The actual "full Camino" is to start from your front door to Santiago, then turn about and walk back home again (difficult, unless you live in Spain or in France or Andorra or Gibraltar near to the Spanish border) -- regardless of which route you've chosen. No, I've never done it either (though my godfather thinks I should do the full walk home), and BTW even in the Middle Ages pilgrims very often sought a quicker journey home than the time it took to get to for instance to Compostela or Jerusalem walking.

Besides that, home is both the start and finish point of any pilgrimage -- the notion that it might "start here" and "end there" comes from the concept of hiking trails, not pilgrimages.

So no, there's no such thing either as a "full Primitivo", "full Salvador", "full VDLP". We're pilgrims, not thru-hikers.

There's no "tension" about those without enough time still wanting to start in SJPP, there's only the frequent need to repeat the truth that there's nothing "special" about SJPP that might require people to start there, and particularly when they have time constraints.

I actually think that those flying or training into Bordeaux or Biarritz, Bayonne or Pau, if they have the time, should start by walking from the airport or train station to SJPP as the first section of their pilgrimage. Nearly everyone misses the experience of the solitary pilgrimage outside the standard Way ... plus, it would be excellent physical preparation for the stage over the Pyrenees to do that.

Of course, I also think that if people are flying at the start of their journey, ideally they should also walk from home to the airport.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2014
#2
Hi I've walked the 'full ' camino twice. Once by myself and later with my wife. To me there was a great satisfaction in starting in SJPP and finishing in Santiago. I have accepted that there are many responses to the Camino from cycling to buses but I am not impressed. I have had so many insights or ephiphanies from my travels I would not wish anyone to miss out on them. Go for the full experience. I and we did. I felt that there were so many instances of the Holy Spirit or of you like coincidences that I felt I was in the hands of somebody other than myself. We met people who mattered for them and for us that it was beyond co-incidence. Do the whole Camino.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#3
Hi I've walked the 'full ' camino twice..... Do the whole Camino.
The whole Camino starts in LePuy. You "skipped" that part of it, twice. The bishop of LePuy, Godescalc, is generally recognized as the having started the whole deal when he went from LePuy to Santiago in 951 AD, publicized his pilgrimage, and built a chapel to commemorate it. That was, and still is, the start of the original French route, of which the section from SJPP to Santiago is a segment.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#4
The whole Camino starts in LePuy.
Not really -- from a genuine historical perspective, the Camino starts and ends at the altar of your home parish church ; Santiago is the halfway point. Starting "at your own front door" is just the more secular version of this, though in practice it would also have been the material starting point of a mediaeval Camino too.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#5
Not really -- from a genuine historical perspective, the Camino starts and ends at the altar of your home parish church ; Santiago is the halfway point. Starting "at your own front door" is just the more secular version of this, though in practice it would also have been the material starting point of a mediaeval Camino too.
Agree, but Bishop Godescalc's home church in 951 was the cathedral in LePuy, and thus the Camino Frances starts there, and not in SJPP.

pilgrim.JPG
---This lady left from her front porch in Belgium after her husband passed away. She is a few days from St Jacques de Compostelle, and a true pilgrim.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
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#6
Agree, but Bishop Godescalc's home church in 951 was the cathedral in LePuy, and thus the Camino Frances starts there, and not in SJPP.
These modern myths have taken on a life of their own and are unlikely to die down, mainly I think because people like them more than the uncertain barely known historical facts. Yes, we know that Godescalc travelled to Compostela in the winter of 951 but nobody knows how he got there. It is likely that he travelled along the Rhone valley. He most certainly did not go on foot. We know that he was accompanied by a "large party". He was in a hurry. It's possible that one of the reasons for his timing was the fact that the Galician king was dying and he planned to take part in the installation of the new king and other business. He himself did not write about the trip, or if he did we have no trace of it. The paths traced by the GR65 ( voie du Puy) are a 20th century invention.

@Jingles, you got a lot of advice. When we passed through the first village after Roncesvalles, we noticed a small group of pretty fit looking middle-aged guys who were looking for the bus stop. I rolled my eyes. But now, being more mellow and knowing just how keen people are to cross a minor pass of the Pyrenees and the time pressure for so many, I think their approach wasn't so bad. Walk SJPP to Roncesvalles, stay the night, walk a few pleasant (and flat!) kilometers through the woods (although there is a bus stop in Roncesvalles, too), take the bus to Pamplona, have a look around, and take the bus again to a suitable starting point, such a Logrono, that allows to walk "all the way" to Santiago.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#8
This lady left from her front porch in Belgium after her husband passed away. She is a few days from St Jacques de Compostelle, and a true pilgrim.
She certainly has the look of one -- I've walked to Santiago from home on two separate occasions, once from here, once from my home at the time in Paris.
 
Camino(s) past & future
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#9
This lady left from her front porch in Belgium after her husband passed away. She is a few days from St Jacques de Compostelle.
Splendid photo! Belgium to Santiago - that's about 3 months or 3 "full caminos" :cool:.

@newfydog, I was curious about what had been posted on this forum about the good bishop from Le Puy and while searching, I noticed that you had posted the photo of the Belgian lady already at least once before, on 5 April 2014. So I assume she arrived in Santiago in the meantime. Do you know whether she walked back home or did she skip this part? Skipping part of the way is the topic of this thread, after all :).
 
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newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#10
. The paths traced by the GR65 ( voie du Puy) are a 20th century invention... It is likely that he travelled along the Rhone valley .
The route is far older than that. It was described in the Codex Calixtinus, compiled in the 1140's. I have a map from 1648 which shows the route as a "Chemin Traditionnel", and shows virtually every town the modern route passes through. The actual physical track may stray onto a hiking where the old roads are now major highways, but the route is very close to original.

I would love to see the reference speculating that the went east to the Rhone. It is very unlikely they would start out by travelling 100 km in the wrong direction, then go south into the Moorish influenced regions, rather than heading towards the Catholic stronghold of Moissac, Even Moissac endured regular raid from Moors to the south.

Check out: Reynolds, Roger E.. "A Precious Ancient Souvenir Given to the First Pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela."Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art and Architecture 4, 3 (2014).

"This reference is to Bishop Godescalc of Le Puy, the first recorded pilgrim to Santiago. ...... We know from a tenth-century source, , that Godescalc was proud that it was on the day that Santiago ascended to heaven, that is, his heavenly birthday (presumably 25 July), that he also was born. And to make things even better, it was also on that day that he was made bishop of Le Puy. So what was more appropriate than to celebrate those facts by making a pilgrimage.....Along the way they would likely have stopped at such important sites as Conques, with the shrine of St. Foi, then the monastery of Moissac."

After returning, Godescalc, the great fan of St Jacques, built a rather flamboyant shrine to commemorate the trip and promote the pilgrimage:

lepuy9.JPG
lepuy8.JPG
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#11
These modern myths have taken on a life of their own and are unlikely to die down, mainly I think because people like them more than the uncertain barely known historical facts.
Kathar1na,

You should consider writing a booked called "Camino myths debunked", and fill it with references, copies of original documents etc.

Frankly I blame those writing Camino guidebooks, and now websites, for faulty info, creating myths, and not addressing important issues, such as how to not leave TP on the trail. Peole read these guides and assume what is in them is accurate.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#12
The route is far older than that. It was described in the Codex Calixtinus, compiled in the 1140's. I have a map from 1648 which shows the route as a "Chemin Traditionnel", and shows virtually every town the modern route passes through. The actual physical track may stray onto a hiking where the old roads are now major highways, but the route is very close to original.

I would love to see the reference speculating that the went east to the Rhone. It is very unlikely they would start out by travelling 100 km in the wrong direction, then go south into the Moorish influenced regions, rather than heading towards the Catholic stronghold of Moissac, Even Moissac endured regular raid from Moors to the south.

Check out: Reynolds, Roger E.. "A Precious Ancient Souvenir Given to the First Pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela."Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art and Architecture 4, 3 (2014).

"This reference is to Bishop Godescalc of Le Puy, the first recorded pilgrim to Santiago. ...... We know from a tenth-century source, , that Godescalc was proud that it was on the day that Santiago ascended to heaven, that is, his heavenly birthday (presumably 25 July), that he also was born. And to make things even better, it was also on that day that he was made bishop of Le Puy. So what was more appropriate than to celebrate those facts by making a pilgrimage.....Along the way they would likely have stopped at such important sites as Conques, with the shrine of St. Foi, then the monastery of Moissac."

After returning, Godescalc, the great fan of St Jacques, built a rather flamboyant shrine to commemorate the trip and promote the pilgrimage:

View attachment 35367
View attachment 35368
For more re what may be your "map of 1648 " see this earlier forum thread.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/a-treasure-map.36114/

Some of the many pleasures of reading history are the unlimited controversies!
 
Camino(s) past & future
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#13
I have a map from 1648 which shows the route as a "Chemin Traditionnel", and shows virtually every town the modern route passes through.
The map is not from 1648 but was designed in 1970 and shows how the designer imagines possible roads in 1648. Please see @mspath's comment under the link she kindly provided.

I would love to see the reference speculating that the went east to the Rhone.
Nobody knows where he travelled as the sources are mum about it. It was January, winter - travelling along the Rhone valley may have been safer instead of across the Aubrac mountains. Nobody knows. For reference, see last paragraph.

Check out: Reynolds, Roger E.. "A Precious Ancient Souvenir Given to the First Pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela.
I scrolled through it quickly but I see no reference to a primary source, just the author's assumption and copies of contemporary simple maps.

We know from a tenth-century source, that Godescalc was proud that it was on the day that Santiago ascended to heaven, that is, his heavenly birthday (presumably 25 July), that he also was born. And to make things even better, it was also on that day that he was made bishop of Le Puy. So what was more appropriate than to celebrate those facts by making a pilgrimage.
We know these facts. We also know that he travelled in winter to Santiago (and "in a haste"). Wouldn't it have been even more appropriate to go during June and July to Santiago?

After returning, Godescalc, the great fan of St Jacques, built a rather flamboyant shrine to commemorate the trip and promote the pilgrimage.
This is a bit funny because Godescalc dedicated the chapel to Saint Michael (archangel) and not to Saint Jacques. Le Puy was an important pilgrimage destination in its own right. It was a stop on the way to Compostela, just like many other sites. It wasn't a rallying point. The promotion of Le Puy as a starting point for the Santiago pilgrimage began in the middle of the 20th century, and quite successfully as it turned out.

Denise Péricard-Méa has done a lot of own research and is trying to fight against many of the modern myths but it seems to me that this is similar to the work of Sisyphus. Obviously, not all of her scholarly work is freely available on the web but there is a wealth of information for example on http://www.saint-jacques.info (in French mainly, some of it in English). Use the search function.
 
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#14
Here's an interesting tidbit about Le Puy: At the beginning of the 1990s, pilgrims [starting in Le Puy on the Chemin de Saint Jacques] were becoming more and more numerous, and the rector of the cathedral, père Comte, realised that there was no image of Saint James in his church. He launched a fund raising campaign and purchased the 15th century statue in front of which today's pilgrims gather, believing it to have been there since the beginning.
upload_2017-8-3_0-2-42.png

There is nothing wrong with this, traditions have to start at one point, and the tradition of starting in Le Puy for Compostela is now a few decades old, so that's ok. It is just not centuries old.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
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Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#15
the tradition of starting in Le Puy for Compostela is now a few decades old, so that's ok. It is just not centuries old.
Well, actually that tradition is as old as the iter Sancti Jacobi in the Codex Calixtinus, nine centuries ago. Read Meltzer, 1993, if you want an English translation. If you don't believe that, walk the route and don't miss the pilgrim related history along the way. All those weathered coquilles and ancient hopitals are not some 20th century invention. It is very obvious when you are on a modern route---the GR from Geneva to LePuy is a recent route and the towns are completely different.

LePuy is the oldest traditional starting point. As far as volume goes, the route from Paris became by the 1140's the "magnum iter Sancti Jacobi", the most important route. When people ask how to get from Paris to SJPP to start the route, I suggest they go downtown to the tour St Jacques and start walking from there.

Either place makes a fine traditional, and historically accurate point of departure, something SJPP does not offer.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#16
Le Puy is the oldest traditional starting point
This is something frequently misunderstood by modern pilgrims -- Arles, Le Puy, Vézelay, Paris, Tours weren't really "starting points", they were gathering points.

People would do a first, often more solitary part of the pilgrimage to reach these places, and there (much like walking into SJPP nowadays for those starting further away) they would find themselves among the crowd, and begin a more shared/collective experience of the Camino.

Why these places ? Paris, Tours, and Arles because they were the best places to cross major rivers thanks to the bridges (Arles and Tours almost purely for this reason, though there are more religious purposes at Paris -- it's also why it was so important for those on the Paris/Chartres/Orléans/Tours route to make their way through both Tours and Bordeaux -- not for any purpose of tradition, but for strict and unavoidable geographical & infrastructural imperatives ; which, Tours excepted, no longer exist in the same way) ; until the 20th Century, you simply could not avoid certain itineraries for their bridges ; Le Puy and Vézelay mostly because they are important pilgrimage destinations in their own right, but also because they were (and are) geographically convenient gathering places for pilgrims from those regions and beyond.

You couldn't take a bus or a plane to Le Puy and "start" there, instead you walked there from your parish, your real start, and BTW the final destination of your journey --- so parish to parish through Compostela, via Arles, Le Puy, Vézelay, Paris/Tours and back again.

Arles, Le Puy, Vézelay, Paris, and Tours, and so on were also places where, on the walk home, the remains of people's "Camino families" would finally disperse, as each pilgrim began the final more solitary part of the journey home -- but I say "solitary" bearing in mind that the closer he got to the end, the more people he knew would be met every day in a gentle but religiously, spiritually, emotionally, and socially powerful journey back into the familiarity of home.

When people ask how to get from Paris to SJPP to start the route, I suggest they go downtown to the tour St Jacques and start walking from there.
Done that in 1994, well, after a short 20-minute walk from where I'd been living near Bastille, my real start.
 
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newfydog

Veteran Member
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#17
This is something frequently misunderstood by modern pilgrims -- Arles, Le Puy, Vézelay, Paris, Tours weren't really "starting points", they were gathering points.
.
Very well said. James Michener in "Iberia" paints a wonderful description of medieval times, with people from all over Europe and all walks of life, gathering at the tower of St Jacques in Paris to form bands (camino families?) for the pilgrimage.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#18
Well, actually that tradition is as old as the iter Sancti Jacobi in the Codex Calixtinus, nine centuries ago. Read Meltzer, 1993, if you want an English translation. If you don't believe that, walk the route and don't miss the pilgrim related history along the way. All those weathered coquilles and ancient hopitals are not some 20th century invention. It is very obvious when you are on a modern route---the GR from Geneva to LePuy is a recent route and the towns are completely different.

LePuy is the oldest traditional starting point. As far as volume goes, the route from Paris became by the 1140's the "magnum iter Sancti Jacobi", the most important route. When people ask how to get from Paris to SJPP to start the route, I suggest they go downtown ....
Interestingly, the "author" of the saint-jacques.info website has very different theories on these topics.

First, that the French routes had nothinh to do with walking to Santiago and that the Codex was never the guidebook people think today that it was.
Le dernier Livre du Codex Calixtinus, base des itinéraires actuels, n’a été connu en Europe au Moyen Age qu'à quelques exemplaires, contrairement aux premières hypothèses qui l'avaient considérré comme un guide médiéval, titre qui lui fut donné en 1938. La comparaison avec la Chronique d'Alphonse VII a conduit Bernard Gicquel et Denise Péricard-Méa à donner une autre interprétation de ce document. Il manifestait la volonté d'Alphonse VI ( qui rêvait d'être Empereur à l'image de Charlemagne) d'étendre son influence sur la grande Aquitaine dont il invitait les seigneurs français à venir lui rendre hommage en tant que vassaux. L'Aquitaine était bornée par les quatre sanctuaires de Tours, Vézelay, le Puy, Arles et émaillée de tous les autres cités par le Guide. Trois des routes qu’il dessine sont des routes commerciales importantes du XIIe siècle, la route commerciale passant par Le Puy se dirigeait vers le sud et ne coincide pas avec l'itinéraire du Guide.

Secondly, that there never were hundreds of thousands or millions walking to Santiago and that those coming from out of Spain did so by boat, very few by the French routes. Quoi qu’on en dise, les étrangers à l’Espagne ne se sont jamais précipités en foules à Compostelle. Les comptages à partir des documents des frontières, des hôpitaux ou des confréries ne permettent de trouver que très peu de pèlerins sur les routes de France. Les pèlerins par mer furent sans nul doute beaucoup plus nombreux.

Thirdly, that all the artwork seen along the current French routes are not markers of the routes back then but simply the product of the local veneration for Saint-Jacques: On a longtemps cru que les nombreux objets du riche patrimoine relatif à saint Jacques constituaient, à travers l’Europe, des balises des chemins de Compostelle. Les connaissances actuelles conduisent à reconsidérer la question et à admettre que la majeure partie de ce patrimoine témoigne plutôt de dévotions locales à l’apôtre : dans toute l’Europe, les fidèles éprouvaient un besoin fréquent de le vénérer, en liaison avec leur lecture de l’Epître, un texte biblique qui lui fut attribué parfois jusqu’au XIXe siècle.
 
Camino(s) past & future
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#19
I walked past the Tour Saint Jacques in Paris on my way to Santiago, even stopped for a café crême in a bistro facing it :).

Again, for anyone really interested, read Dénise Périgard-Méa, a contemporary French scholar who specialises in the research of the cult of Saint Jacques in the Middle Ages, notably in France. She happens to have a rather strong opinion on the commemoration sign that was put up there by enthusiastic promoters in 1965. She feels it should be removed and put into a museum because it is "history" now in view of current research. James Michener wrote "Spain" in 1968, he quoted what was believed at the time.

But coming back to the OP, the ways to Saint James in Galicia have no "traditional" fixed starting point, not even rallying points, only a fixed endpoint. Bon chemin and buen camino, wherever you start walking to Santiago in the 21st century.
 
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#20
Many of these places where today's camino pilgrims appear to hurry through seem to be reduced to just a stopover on "The Way" and it is a bit sad to see them reduced to just this function today. The Saint James Tower in Paris, in Flamboyant Gothic style, is all that's left over of this church dedicated to Saint James. They had several relics of Saint James and many more of other saints, all gone, together with the church, in the wake of the Revolution. They were a pilgrimage center in their own right. The records of the parish noted that on 25 July 1411, the French king Charles VI came as a pilgrim to the church (and, like many others, did not go on to Compostela, obviously).

I once considered ending "my way" in Chartres, a fitting endpoint for any kind of pilgrimage whether "traditional" or contemporary, but in the end I decided to walk through the forest of Orleans and beyond. :cool:
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#21
Interestingly, the "author" of the saint-jacques.info website has very different theories on these topics.

First, that the French routes had nothinh to do with walking to Santiago and that the Codex was never the guidebook people think today that it was.
Le dernier Livre du Codex Calixtinus, base des itinéraires actuels, n’a été connu en Europe au Moyen Age qu'à quelques exemplaires, contrairement aux premières hypothèses qui l'avaient considérré comme un guide médiéval, titre qui lui fut donné en 1938. La comparaison avec la Chronique d'Alphonse VII a conduit Bernard Gicquel et Denise Péricard-Méa à donner une autre interprétation de ce document. Il manifestait la volonté d'Alphonse VI ( qui rêvait d'être Empereur à l'image de Charlemagne) d'étendre son influence sur la grande Aquitaine dont il invitait les seigneurs français à venir lui rendre hommage en tant que vassaux. L'Aquitaine était bornée par les quatre sanctuaires de Tours, Vézelay, le Puy, Arles et émaillée de tous les autres cités par le Guide. Trois des routes qu’il dessine sont des routes commerciales importantes du XIIe siècle, la route commerciale passant par Le Puy se dirigeait vers le sud et ne coincide pas avec l'itinéraire du Guide.

Secondly, that there never were hundreds of thousands or millions walking to Santiago and that those coming from out of Spain did so by boat, very few by the French routes. Quoi qu’on en dise, les étrangers à l’Espagne ne se sont jamais précipités en foules à Compostelle. Les comptages à partir des documents des frontières, des hôpitaux ou des confréries ne permettent de trouver que très peu de pèlerins sur les routes de France. Les pèlerins par mer furent sans nul doute beaucoup plus nombreux.

Thirdly, that all the artwork seen along the current French routes are not markers of the routes back then but simply the product of the local veneration for Saint-Jacques: On a longtemps cru que les nombreux objets du riche patrimoine relatif à saint Jacques constituaient, à travers l’Europe, des balises des chemins de Compostelle. Les connaissances actuelles conduisent à reconsidérer la question et à admettre que la majeure partie de ce patrimoine témoigne plutôt de dévotions locales à l’apôtre : dans toute l’Europe, les fidèles éprouvaient un besoin fréquent de le vénérer, en liaison avec leur lecture de l’Epître, un texte biblique qui lui fut attribué parfois jusqu’au XIXe siècle.
I really don't buy any of this revisionism -- genuinely academic studies really don't support it.

Sure there were multiple sources for itinerary information available to pilgrims, and people didn't lug around copies of the Codex, even in the unlikely scenario where they could afford one, or even knew it existed !! but the itinerary in the Codex is just one example of the sorts of itineraries that people did in fact use and share with each other. There is a great deal of commonality between all these itineraries, the one in the Codex having been preserved there because of its exceptional quality in the writing.

Most mediaeval pilgrim itineraries were basically just lists of place names.

As for trade routes the comment is dishonest -- there was exactly no difference at all between these trade routes and the Camino.

I'm really not at all impressed with the quality of research on display at that website.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#22
I'm really not at all impressed with the quality of research on display at that website.
I agree that the website would benefit from references. I will try to,order her book and see that references are in there. Mille fois à Compostelle certainly excels at citing primary sources, perhaps this one also will.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#23
Again, for anyone really interested, read Dénise Périgard-Méa, a contemporary French scholar who specialises in the research of the cult of Saint Jacques in the Middle Ages, notably in France. She happens to have a rather strong opinion on the commemoration sign that was put up there by enthusiastic promoters in 1965. She feels it should be removed and put into a museum because it is "history" now in view of current research. James Michener wrote "Spain" in 1968, he quoted what was believed at the time.
I just listened to her TEDx conference and she explains very clearly how and why the myth of Santiago was created and reanimated, even once again in our time.

Thank you for encouraging us to dig a bit deeper that in a travel guidebook.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#24
One thing I've seen in Ted talks is that they are frequently an attempt to use glitzy dramatic presentations to drum up support for poorly supported positions. I have seen it time and again on scientific issues. It goes against the mainstream therefore must be true and exciting. The long term research of the church, the priests with whom Michener travelled, the on the ground researchers locating the traces of the past pilgrimages constitute an impressive body of work which should not be dismissed by the performance of one person on a stage.
 
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#25
I agree that the website would benefit from references. I will try to order her book and see that references are in there.
I've not explored the whole website or related sites, including the Fondation David Parou Saint-Jacques - Fondation Européenne pour la Recherche sur les Pèlerinages (FERPEL) and the Revue electronique . I'm not certain that there are not enough references to be found there.

I noticed that @sillydoll and Peter Robins contributed to this thread https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/the-history-of-the-le-puy-route.15983/ a few years ago, worth reading, I think. At a later point in the thread, the OP remarks that he is in two minds after reading the article about the Le Puy chemin being on a decidedly fragile historical base. On one hand, he says, he wishes he had not read this, because he felt now confused as to why he felt called to do this particular walk.

I think that's an interesting view which I can share to a large extent. I think we prefer to model our approach on century old traditions instead of on traditions that are only a few decades old :) but as I said recently, every tradition has to start at some point in time so why not in the 20th century.
 
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#26
One thing I've seen in Ted talks is that they are frequently an attempt to use glitzy dramatic presentations to drum up support for poorly supported positions. I have seen it time and again on scientific issues. It goes against the mainstream therefore must be true and exciting.
I watched it just now. I did not understand every word but I did not see any glitzy dramatic presentations. I did not know that she had been a Santiago pilgrim herself. If I understood correctly, in 1982 (?) on horseback from Bourges (1500 km) and in 2001 on foot over 1100 km?
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#27
....but as I said recently, every tradition has to start at some point in time so why not in the 20th century.
Agreed, the irk is when one starts doing something hoping to be part of an extremely old tradtion when in fact the tradition really is not what he or she thought and has fallen in the trap based on erroneous or misleading information.

If I find the book I shall report back. I am old school, prefering paper where I can taken notes, go back and crack the book open for a particular information, etc. More traditional. :rolleyes: But videos of her presentations are very intereting, including the academic ones.
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#28
I watched it just now. I did not understand every word but I did not see any glitzy dramatic presentations. I did not know that she had been a Santiago pilgrim herself. If I understood correctly, in 1982 (?) on horseback from Bourges (1500 km) and in 2001 on foot over 1100 km?
Yes, the first time she went was by horse with her children, people telling her she was a terrible mother. That is when she became interested in Santiago. Then she went back on her own to learn about the route, history and traditions.

Perhaps we can open a different thread and I can summarise the content.she explains the four phases of the myth, the last one being us, "decathlon pilgrim in search for spirituality and togetherness".
 
Camino(s) past & future
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#29
If I find the book I shall report back. I am old school, prefering paper where I can take notes, go back and crack the book open for a particular information, etc. More traditional.
I just realized that I have Pericard-Mea's Compostelle et Cultes de Saint Jacques au Moyen Age as a Kindle edition. Of course there are dozens of footnotes/references for each chapter, many refer to departmental archives or for example the national archive in Paris. I agree with you: it's easier to find them when one can flip through the pages of a hardcopy.:)
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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#30
Nobody knows where he travelled as the sources are mum about it.
Then all things being equal, there's no reason to doubt that it's not the standard, traditional route that he followed -- which is actually more "likely" than some other possibilities that one might devise from the top of one's head on the basis of zero evidence.

Speculative theories are a trait of Academia between the late 19th Century and the 1970s/1980s particularly, but with the advent of computer-assisted research, there has emerged a far more data- and information- based hermeneutic that is far more conservative, but which has also led to the realisation that traditional narratives in general are typically much closer in their contents to historically verifiable facts than the 19th century scholars and the Marxists of the 1970s imagined - they had somewhat baselessly assumed that traditional stories warped and shifted over time, without realising that shifting narratives were a trait of fictional literature only but NOT of my serious genres, whether encyclopaedic, scientific, philosophical, theological, or any other subject where the preservation of contents is primordial.

We know these facts. We also know that he travelled in winter to Santiago (and "in a haste").
Which likely means that he went on horse, very possibly using posts along the way to swap his tired horses for fresh ones -- this is supported as much by the expression "in haste" as by the sheer length of some of his stages and by our knowledge of what constituted "hasty travel" during the centuries between Roman Antiquity and the Renaissance.

The expression "in haste" also does not support the claim that he might have made some time-consuming detour down the Rhone valley -- when Montaigne returned on horseback to his home near Bordeaux from his pilgrimage/spa retreat/diplomatic journey to Italy, after the river crossing at Lyon, he basically took the straightest shortest possible route between Lyon and home. This took him two weeks, including a couple of rest days.

That is what travelling "in haste" constituted, prior to the invention of public transport in the 17th-20th Centuries. It did not include detours in the wrong direction.

Denise Péricard-Méa has done a lot of own research and is trying to fight against many of the modern myths
In my experience, scholarly work on the Camino, including the seminal work of the excellent Mlle Warcollier and her more scholarly associates in the Association des Amis de Saint-Jacques, does not constitute "modern myths". So this is just "exciting" revisionism for the sake of it.

The number of pilgrims between the late 16th and mid-20th centuries has very likely been underestimated, just to make a direct counterpoint, and it has become increasingly clear in more contemporary research that the great majority of pilgrims leave zero historical footprint, even BTW to this very day, so that speculation purely from verifiable historical sources is virtually guaranteed to produce lower estimates rather than higher ones. But it is a clear methodological error to take the starting position that the very sparse surviving records paint a picture of sparse pilgrim numbers, especially in sources any older than 16th Century. But really, not even the 20th Century records are reliable !!
 
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Anemone del Camino

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#31
So this is just "exciting" revisionism for the sake of it.
That's a bit of a cheap shot towards a person who has decdicated 30 years of her life to this research, who as an academic had access to documents "ordinary people" did not have, and all of those who supervised her doctoral work and pears who particpated in lear reviews of her work.

How many medievalists specialists with PhDs on the Camino are out there?

Unless one has read her work, and can demonstrate that what she is saying is incorrct, all this is just a perfect example of ad verecundiam, no? Just because "the excellent Jeannine Warcollier and her more scholarly associates" (how scolarly are they?) a lot, it doesn't mean others are wrong, and especially not that Péricard-Méa is looking for "just exciting revisionism formthe sake of it".

Let's look at the theories that are put forth, and the sources used to make them, find other facts and sources that could show a different conclusion, but without that ....
 

JabbaPapa

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#32
I walked past the Tour Saint Jacques in Paris on my way to Santiago, even stopped for a café crême in a bistro facing it :).

Again, for anyone really interested, read Dénise Péricard-Méa, a contemporary French scholar who specialises in the research of the cult of Saint Jacques in the Middle Ages, notably in France. She happens to have a rather strong opinion on the commemoration sign that was put up there by enthusiastic promoters in 1965. She feels it should be removed and put into a museum because it is "history" now in view of current research.
That is an extraordinarily destructive attitude, particularly given the current revitalisation of the Paris route, including the possibility of getting your credencial stamped at the Tour Saint-Jacques itself BTW ... she clearly just wants to impose her own personal views on everyone else, against tradition and against the vast corpus of texts supporting that tradition.

It simply is not true to suggest in such a manner that Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie had no "importance" as a pilgrim location and gathering place for groups of pilgrims, just as it would be inaccurate to suggest that Notre Dame de Paris, or that Saint-Jacques-du-Haut-Pas (actually dedicated to James the Minor), or that the old Hospital of the Port-Royal Abbey all of which are located directly on the pilgrim Way down to Orléans from Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie and from anywhere northward could simply be ignored because they don't fit in with one's ideologically revisionist views.

Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie was located right bang next to the north end of the only bridge across the Seine for many leagues in either direction -- that is why it was the gathering place for pilgrims starting north of the Seine, and this fact is at the origin of its traditional importance. To deny this is simply to deny historical reality -- even though that church was frequented by the local butchers corporation far more than by the pilgrims, as it was neither where the pilgrims would usually attend their pilgrims Mass at Paris (Notre Dame instead), nor was it attached to a pilgrims Hospital (these Hospitals were northward and southward, including one right next to Notre Dame, where there were also many other churches, all destroyed).

Of course much of the History of Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie has become speculative since that church, and therefore all of its records, was destroyed by the French Revolution -- a grotesque act of sheer barbaric vandalism -- but for mme Péricard-Méa to continue that work of destruction in the ideological sphere is very unhelpful, to say the least. Ideologically, she is clearly a product of the 1960s and 1970s continuing into the 80s, and the fads in Parisian intellectualism and studies in History that this period provided. A Marxist-inspired ideology was dominant in the Parisian circles, particularly in philosophy, literature, and history, at that time. That's not to say that the entirety of her work should be summarily dismissed, but her evident desire to demolish the general understanding that we have of mediaeval pilgrimages and of how normal and integrated they were into ordinary lives is not IMO admirable.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
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#33
In my experience, scholarly work on the Camino, including the seminal work of the excellent Mlle Warcollier and her more scholarly associates in the Association des Amis de Saint-Jacques, does not constitute "modern myths". So this is just "exciting" revisionism for the sake of it.
Before this thread, I did not know much about this scholar and researcher so it was only today that I learnt that she was encouraged or even asked by Rene de La Costa-Messeliere (!) to enrol at university as he felt that more scientific research on medieval pilgrimage was needed.

I must say that I am impressed. She did the first pilgrimage to Compostela in her 40s, on horseback, with her adolescent children, in the early 1980s, and this pilgrimage changed the course of her life in the sense that she then took up university studies again, as she had so many questions on the historical past, and later, over the course of many years, as it was part-time, her doctorate on the medieval cult of Saint James etc. Then more recently, in her 60s, she went on a second long distance pilgrimage to Compostela, this time on foot.

The main result, I think, is that there were indeed very many pilgrims, they just did not go on long distance pilgrimage but on pilgrimage in their region, within a radius of 100-200 km, and that many of the churches and hospitals etc with a shell or a Saint James statue were not primarily built to serve long distance pilgrims on foot on their way to Compostela. In France, that is. She is 80 now. I would love to hear her speak once.
 
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JabbaPapa

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#34
The main result, I think, is that there were indeed very many pilgrims, they just did not go on long distance pilgrimage but on pilgrimage in their region,
This is not a very interesting claim, given that it remains true among Catholics to this very day !! But it is also deeply misleading, as it is very well established that people went on very long pilgrimages too, as we do today as well.

I have a 1417 itinerary, found in Chemins de Compostelle, Paris, 2009.

Caumont, Rochefort, Mont de Marsan, Saint Sève, Hagetmau, Orthez, Sauveterre, Saint-Palais, Ostabat, SJPP, Roncesvalles, Burguete, Larrasoaña, Pamplona, Puente la Reina, Estella, Los Arcos, Logroño, Navarete, Najera, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Villafranca, Burgos, Hornillos del Camino, Castrojeriz, Fromista, Carrion de los Condes, Sahagun, Mansilla, Leon, Puente de Orbigo (called Pont de l'Aygua and Pont de l'Eve in the text), Astorga, Rabanal, Ponferrada, Cacabelos, Trabadelo, La Faba, Triacastela, Sarria, Portomarin, Palas de Rey, Melid, Arzua, Santiago -- and he even carried on from there to Fisterra -- then back to Santiago, then back home, again strictly following the itinerary of the Francès.

My my, doesn't that look awfully familiar !!

To claim that the Camino Francès is somehow an "invention" of the 20th Century simply does not hold water in the face of the evidence, of which this is just one example. This 1417 itinerary exactly follows the Camino in every detail, and it does not support this notion of "modern myths" based on "uncertain barely known historical facts" ...

As for the Hospitals, they were multi-purpose in any case, so there's no support on this front for any revisionism -- they were hospitals for the sick, shelters for the homeless, and albergues for the pilgrims. Pointing out that these hospitals existed all over the place is not terribly revolutionary either, because apart from the major pilgrim routes, there were a multiplicity of minor routes, all leading one way or another not just to various local pilgrim sites, but also to Compostela, Rome, and Jerusalem. Just take Lourdes for example -- it was since Antiquity a stage of the way from Spain to Rome and Jerusalem, then also became part of the Piemont Way to Compostela, then became a pilgrim destination in its own right. These multiple functions and purposes are normal on the pilgrim ways throughout Europe, and they do not justify in the slightest some extraordinary revisionist claims about one pilgrimage in particular.

The network of ways of Saint James was spread out through the whole of France, and not just the 4-5 major routes !! That hospitals existed outside of those routes proves nothing.

For whatever reason, mme Péricard-Méa has been pushing a particular agenda since the 1980s -- one should be at least as sceptical of this agenda as she herself is of the Compostelan traditions and History.
 
Camino(s) past & future
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#35
To claim that the Camino Francès is somehow an "invention" of the 20th Century simply does not hold water in the face of the evidence, of which this is just one example. This 1417 itinerary exactly follows the Camino in every detail, and it does not support this notion of "modern myths" based on "uncertain barely known historical facts"
You are refuting a claim that nobody made. Please reread post #50. (nature of GR65; starting point of Camino Frances).

Edited to add: Following the reorganization of the thread, the post being referred to has now a different number but I'm not certain which one :oops: , perhaps #3 ...
 
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JabbaPapa

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#36
You are refuting a claim that nobody made. Please reread post #50. (nature of GR65; starting point of Camino Frances).
The Camino only "starts" in Le Puy from any mediaeval perspective or "full Camino" manner if that's where you happen to live ; you're calling "the paths of the GR65" a "modern invention", whereas even in the strictest practical terms that's inaccurate too -- the GR65 only diverges from the historical route for legal reasons which require hiking routes to avoid tarmac. And so what ? Deviations of this nature for specific purposes do not vanish away the historical nature of the Way, and they have been common occurrences throughout the entire History of the Camino.

Besides which, "the GR65" is not "the Camino", and it never has been -- it's a hiking trail mostly following the historic trace of the Camino between Le Puy and SJPP. But again, so what ? It is illegal in France to publish a hiking trail description that would put hikers at risk, and this is why the GR65 occasionally diverges from the historical path. It's certainly wrong to conflate the GR65 with the Camino from Le Puy onwards, not just because a pilgrimage isn't a chemin de grande randonnée, but mostly because it can lead to false suppositions among the enthusiasts or the opponents of these GR itineraries.

The truth nevertheless is that travel itineraries are among the more common types of mediaeval documents, and that whilst too much can be made of the specific copy of an itinerary found in the Codex, it's hardly the only existing document concerning the way from Le Puy !!

The notion of "the full Camino" as if it started at Le Puy or SJPP or wherever is certainly a modern invention, of course, but to suggest that these modern accommodations with the pilgrim tradition might somehow invalidate that tradition and its historical origins is to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Here is a 1986 map showing the network of all the ways in France leading to the Francès, as they were in the Middle Ages :

http://nationale10.e-monsite.com/medias/images/chemins-st-jacques.jpg

It's from the Atlas historique des routes de France by G. Reverdy, a roads engineer and so a specialist in such questions.

As you can see, the Le Puy route would have been of no importance to any pilgrim not living in the region -- and just speaking personally, I've never set foot on that way (though I've visited Le Puy), and can honestly think of no reason why I should want to do so.

If all that you're trying to say is that there's nothing "special" about Le Puy that would make starting there "the full Camino", then OK -- but as for the history of that route, people converged on Le Puy on the way to Santiago for a reason, which is that it was (and is) a major pilgrimage destination in its own right, so that everyone from the region and from further away in that direction would naturally make their way to Le Puy as part of their journey. Just as most people starting from further away converge today in SJPP, even though there's nothing "special" about that place either.

But you said "the irk is when one starts doing something hoping to be part of an extremely old tradition when in fact the tradition really is not what he or she thought and has fallen in the trap based on erroneous or misleading information" -- and I think it's a false approach, potentially constituting "erroneous or misleading information" in itself.

The traditional approach to doing a pilgrimage is, and always has been, to do it in a manner relevant to the here and now, and to present circumstances, and yet defined by the accumulative understanding of that pilgrimage as it has been added to over the decades or centuries since the pilgrimage began. Tradition is not some sort of unchanging and unchangeable relic of the past, but it is the living repository of a memory or a practice as it has been transmitted from the origins until today, and as we ourselves will transmit it to others, today and in the future.

The GR65 adds to the tradition of the Camino, as did the modern editions of the Codex Calixtinus from 1882 onwards, as did the revitalisation of the Camino in the 1990s and its recognition as a European cultural route, as did even Franco's ill-conceived 1965 attempt to turn it into a motor-vehicle holiday route.

One could denounce these modern re-interpretations and transformations as "myths", but to my mind it would be better to use the word "myth" in its more proper sense, as "a story attempting to provide a framework for understanding in symbolic or metaphorical purposes". The Camino in this sense is a living story, where the plot and the structure are already there, waiting only for the arrival of a main character, the pilgrim, in the midst of his crises to provide that story with flesh and meaning.

The traditional and modern understandings of the Camino all contribute to that story, positively, whereas attempts to "revisionise" all of that away can only ever achieve the opposite.
 
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gypsy9

Active Member
#37
I like how you wrote that the Camino is a living story, JP..also this:
Tradition is not some sort of unchanging and unchangeable relic of the past, but it is the living repository of a memory or a practice as it has been transmitted from the origins until today, and as we ourselves will transmit it to others, today and in the future.

Perhaps one can consider that Le Puy en Velay was/is a pilgrimage site before the rise of Christianity (and Christian pilgrims). The Cathedral of Our Lady (Notre Dame) has remnants of a dolmen and a well. The Cathedral also houses a Black Madonna figurine. The dolmen and stone well (according to archaeological records) pre-date the Roman Catholic Cathedral which was built in the Gothic period . It is not uncommon, of course, for cathedrals/churches to be built over former temple sites. Here is a site that is rather interesting (may or may not support the current "debate"). http://www.cathedraledupuy.org/guides/english/history-of-the-cathedral

So, to sum up...
A Camino is your unique experience; your story and, metaphorically speaking, does not really have a start or finish...
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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#38
So, to sum up...
A Camino is your unique experience; your story and, metaphorically speaking, does not really have a start or finish...
I agree with you about the ancient origins of some of the Christian pilgrimages, but I'm not sure about this idea of a story without beginning nor end ..

Every story must have both ; but a pilgrimage is a section of one's life, not the life itself, so it can have a beginning and an end that in our lives are invisible to us in our conception and our death ; which could be a useful little trick.

A Camino is certainly, I agree, a metaphor of life itself, but encapsulated and limited within its precise boundaries and structures. A means to perhaps understand more of our lives, in a Way a little distance from the anxieties and mysteries of our origin and destiny, but nevertheless perhaps providing insight into these very questions.

... which I suppose brings us in a roundabout way back on topic -- if the Camino is a metaphor of life itself, then "which part shall I skip ?" becomes quite suddenly a far more loaded question !! :p
 
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#39
Perhaps one can consider that Le Puy en Velay was/is a pilgrimage site before the rise of Christianity (and Christian pilgrims). The Cathedral of Our Lady (Notre Dame) has remnants of a dolmen and a well.
The link you posted simply mentions in passing that there was a pagan site at Le Puy. In general, it does not come as a surprise that there were pagan sites where there are Christian sites now. People lived there before and after. They had their expressions of their religions, the whole point of the early Christian missionary monks was to replace these religions by the Christian religion, that's why they spectacularly cut down sacred oaks, imposed a different meaning on sacred springs or wells, on sacred stones, etc.

Where in all this is there any indication that there were pilgrimages to these pagan sites, let alone long distance pilgrimages of the kind that is today understood as a "camino"?

:confused:

Honestly, I now feel like saying: walk; start where you would like to start; skip when you would like to skip; look at what is around you; look at the traces of the past that you can actually see all around you and forget what floats around in cyberspace and in popular guidebooks. And let's have a smile at the end: :).
 
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JabbaPapa

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#40
How many medievalists specialists with PhDs on the Camino are out there?
A few.

Unless one has read her work, and can demonstrate that what she is saying is incorrct, all this is just a perfect example of ad verecundiam, no?
Well, why not the consider arguments based on mme Péricard-Méa as the same thing then ? This sort of putting this authority above that one won't really help resolve any disagreements I don't think, and as to why I might disagree with her positions if I had not some familiarity with them nor with the source materials, what can I say ?

... and especially not that Péricard-Méa is looking for "just exciting revisionism for the sake of it".
I'm hardly the first person to contest her views, and I've seen a description in her own words in these past hours that challenging the existing opinion was a purpose of her work in this field. She clearly has an agenda, as even a cursory look at her materials suggests.

Defending minority positions is of course an important task of academic research, but to suggest that a commemoration plaque should be removed from the Tour Saint-Jacques because of her theories clearly goes beyond what one should expect from anyone !

http://www.saint-jacques-compostelle.info/photo/art/default/2673346-3777867.jpg (text of the plaque)

As things stand now, including all pilgrims, not just foot ones or bike ones etc, millions of pilgrims go to Santiago every year; I've no idea how many bus, train, or plane pilgrims include the Tour Saint-Jacques as part of their pilgrimage; even just considering the foot pilgrims, millions have walked to Santiago in the past 20 years alone. And while it's hard to estimate how many walk or cycle past the Tour Saint Jacques currently, or even start from there, it's at least somewhere between 1,000 to 5,000 every year, and this is given the fact that the great majority from the northern regions in question travel first by train or however to SJPP or wherever instead of starting from home. If people had no choice but to start from home, as they didn't prior to about the 18th Century, those numbers would be multiplied several times over, including pilgrims starting not just at Paris, but also elsewhere in northern France, and Belgium, and Germany, and the Netherlands, and etc etc. Even just supposing those lower numbers over the course of even a single Century, and supposing that nobody starting from SJPP etc would consider starting from home, that'd be 100,000 to half a million -- so is the "millions" in the plaque so "wrong", really ? Just 5 to 20 thousand/year passing through Paris, or starting there, and not excluding those departing by water from Paris, which would not be much more than about 100-150/day during high pilgrim season, which is certainly not unrealistic, certainly not if you look at SJPP, Burgos, or Leon today, would easily constitute the millions of the plaque in not much more than a century of such activity at Paris in the Camino's nearly 1,200 year History.

And really, 5,000/year on the Paris route would be a low estimate for the mediaeval pilgrimage, less than 100/day in high season, and yet would easily constitute millions between about the 11th and 16th Centuries.

The number of foot pilgrims now seems to resemble quite closely the descriptions of numbers in mediaeval texts, which speak of vast crowds (and not just at Compostela), and seems also to correspond to the ordinary capacity of the various localities to welcome them - though of course, if you consider the size of the pilgrim's hospital at San Juan de Ortega, today's numbers are nowhere near being able to fill its original capacity. So then why would people have built those huge pilgrim's hospitals if only some tiny handful of people were going on foot pilgrimage to Santiago ? Clearly it was not for those travelling by sea to Galicia ! It is not realistic to suggest that the sheer magnitude of the mediaeval infrastructures to support the pilgrims did not correspond to some rather large numbers, quite comparable to those in present times.
 
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JabbaPapa

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#41
Where in all this is there any indication that there were pilgrimages to these pagan sites, let alone long distance pilgrimages of the kind that is today understood as a "camino"?
But it's quite clear that most pilgrimages are and were local or regional -- mme Péricard-Méa is right at least about that !

There's no reason for a local pilgrimage to be "camino-like" ...

As for Le Puy in particular, there is IIRC a tradition that people did go there on pilgrimage in pagan times, both Gaulish and Roman ...
 
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Anemone del Camino

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#45
Those of you woth some French may enjoy listening to presentations by Péricard-Méa to get a sense of what she puts forth.


Shorter and more accessible:
 

JabbaPapa

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#47
BTW, I have a 12th Century itinerary from Paris -- I could type it in, if people insisted ... and another perhaps 13th or 14th century (not sure, but I could find out)
 
Camino(s) past & future
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#48
Those of you woth some French may enjoy listening to presentations by Péricard-Méa to get a sense of what she puts forth.
Thank you for the additional link - I didn't know it. I've watched only 5 minutes so far (of 45 in total). Elle a l'air tres sympa, and she doesn't even speak to0 fast for me ;).
 
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Anemone del Camino

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#49
Thank you for the additional link - I didn't know it. I've watched only 5 minutes so far (of 45 in total). Elle a l'air tres sympa, and she doesn't even speak to0 fast for me ;).
That's good. It's a pity though they don't show the images that go along with her talk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
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#50
It's a pity though they don't show the images that go along with her talk.
Yes, it would be great to view the images while listening to the recorded talk. There is an article with similar content in the online "revue": http://lodel.irevues.inist.fr/saintjacquesinfo/index.php?id=1334 . The article has a number of photos of the images in question.

The article (in French) is also available in Spanish, as she gave the talk in Cordoba in Spain. If anyone is interested, it is not about the caminos as such but about Saint James as Matamoros, a topic we tend to push out of our contemporary conscience a bit, despite its considerable historical significance. Of course, this representation or role of the Apostle is rarely found in France or other European countries, as pointed out in the talk.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#51
Actually, the camino frances starts shortly before Puenta la Reina where the Navarra camino and the Aragones camino merge. Beats me why not more people start there ...:cool:.
Thank you. That is my understanding as well, although I cannot now remember the source of this snippet of information.
 

JabbaPapa

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#52
Actually, the camino frances starts shortly before Puenta la Reina where the Navarra camino and the Aragones camino merge. Beats me why not more people start there ...:cool:.
Some people say that the Francès starts on the one hand at Ostabat where the three French Voies meet, and on the other at Oloron, where the Piémont and the Voie d'Arles meet to wind up to the Somport -- we were told anyway in 1993 that both the Somport and the SJPP routes were considered as the Francès.

Perhaps with the multiplicity of waymarked Caminos in Spain since then, this nomenclature has been adjusted ?
 

gypsy9

Active Member
#53
Indigenous Europeans (range of Celtic tribes) inhabited France/Spain before the rise of the Roman Empire. These were oral cultures who understood how to live with Nature and make use of the electromagnetic frequencies of the Great Above (stars, moon, sun, celestial bodies) and the Great Below (telluric currents/electromagnetic currents from underground springs and streams).

I believe we carry ancestral codes in our DNA and walking these lands helps to awaken memory. Early Europeans knew how to find sites conducive for healing/ceremony. It is apparent that Le Puy en Velay and the Cathedral of Notre Dame is one of those places. Ergo, one could assume that it was/is an important ceremonial site; a place of pilgrimage.

The second link (pdf) is a presentation by Dr. Judith Jeon-Chapman Professor of French and Spanish MaFLA Conference 2014 Department of World Languages Worcester State University. The title is, Pilgrimage to Le Puy: Sacred Site for Druids, Gallo-Romans, and Christians

https://sacredsites.com/europe/france/le_puy.html

http://schd.ws/hosted_files/mafla20...Christians MaFLA 2014 notes for attendees.pdf

I would venture to say that all the major starting points in France were/are sacred sites that subsequently had churches superimposed (Arles/Tours/Vezelay/Le Puy en Velay). Often history becomes more "clear" when it is revised and deconstructed (with no religious nor political agenda)>. Pilgrimage is about connecting to Spirit: in oneself, in others, in the earth, sun, sky, seas..
 

JabbaPapa

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#54
Indigenous Europeans (range of Celtic tribes) inhabited France/Spain before the rise of the Roman Empire. These were oral cultures who understood how to live with Nature and make use of the electromagnetic frequencies of the Great Above (stars, moon, sun, celestial bodies) and the Great Below (telluric currents/electromagnetic currents from underground springs and streams).
Sorry but that's just New Age ideology invented in the 19th to 21st Centuries, and alien to the historical periods you allude to.

What has been discovered recently, it seems, is that the old Greek stories about the white-skinned blue-eyed fair-haired horsemen Danae invaders are likely accurate, as exactly such populations have been discovered to have moved west from their origin in Ukraine/northern Persia and simultaneously commingled with the original golden-skinned straight-haired clear/dark-eyed original Europeans, now typically referred to as Latinos, as they learned from and made lasting peace with them and into the stunningly brilliant cooperation between the peoples that engendered our Classical Western Culture.

The indigenous Europeans weren't "Celtic" (a modern myth of unhappy persistence) -- they were Mediterranean and Latin/Latino. The "Celts" (insofar as they existed) were the foreign invaders, as BTW their History demonstrates.
 
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#55
This thread caused me to look up the Latin text of the pilgrim's guide, as published for the very first time in 1886 or thereabouts by Father Fita.

The image of the map of the "four roads" is burnt into our retinas, and more often than not they start in Paris, Vezelay, Le Puy, and Arles on these maps.The image is so familiar that we don't even think of questioning it. Actually, the so-called pilgrims guide of the 12th century doesn't say anything about a start anywhere, it just says that roads go through a number of sanctuary sites (per sanctum/sanctam), and as far as I can tell, that's what the commonly known translations into French or English say: the roads go through the site of St Mary of Le Puy, of St Martin of Tours etc. Orleans, I think, which is before Tours if you come from Paris, Benelux, Germany etc, gets a mention but not Paris unless I am totally mistaken. Not a peep about the church with the now famous tower of Saint James in Paris ...

Interestingly, the 1882 book mentions a Spanish proverb as an example for many other Spanish proverbs related to the Santiago pilgrimage: Camino Frances, venden gato por tes. Is this still known today? I think it means Camino Frances, where they sell cat as meat, at least that's how it is rendered in the book into French.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#56
Interestingly, the 1882 book mentions a Spanish proverb as an example for many other Spanish proverbs related to the Santiago pilgrimage: Camino Frances, venden gato por tes. Is this still known today? I think it means Camino Frances, where they sell cat as meat, at least that's how it is rendered in the book into French.
Today there is an expression that is "vender gato por liebre", which means selling/passing a cat for an hare, or knowingly being dishonest, lying. It comes from the Middle ages when people would order hare for their meal and be served cat.

As for the word "tes", today it really means skin. For example, if you compliment someone on their "tes", you are complimenting them on their lovely facial skin. Also called "cutis". What it may have meant back in the day ... ?
 
Camino(s) past & future
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#57
As for the word "tes", today it really means skin. For example, if ypu compliment someone on their "tes", you are complimenting them on their lovely facial skin. Also called "cutis". What it may have meant back in the day ... ?
You are too fast for me and my poor Spanish :) but thank you for your explanations - love it. It seems the word was badly digitized (happens all the time), I've now seen a photocopied version and it says "res". Does this make more sense? They sell cat as beef on the Camino Frances ?
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#58
You are too fast for me and my poor Spanish :) but thank you for your explanations - love it. It seems the word was badly digitized (happens all the time), I've now seen a photocopied version and it says "res". Does this make more sense? They sell cat as beef on the Camino Frances ?
That would make more sense, and would be in line with the current expression.
 

gypsy9

Active Member
#59
Wow, seems you have strong triggers to the term, Celtic, JP!

My point is that the history of the "whole" Camino is layered and rather complex. Due to many cultral overlays, there is no definitive ownership. We do not have the full picture as to when/why/how this path came into being. We can but speculate...

The beauty of the Camino is that it is inclusive; the Way generously welcomes all cultures which is perhaps why it has such tremendous resonance for so very many people with varying traditions, beliefs, and faiths.

It is nigh impossible to determine "truth" with oral traditions and cultures. Written records/history are created by those that conquer- and Celtic lands were conquered.
Celtic studies scholar Lisa Spangenberg says, “The Celts are an Indo-European people who spread from central Europe across the European continent to Western Europe, the British Isles, and southeast to Galatia (in Asia Minor) during the time before the Roman Empire. The Celtic family of languages is divided into two branches, the Insular Celtic languages, and the Continental Celtic languages.”

Indigenous Europeans are not all white skinned and fair of eye. They are a very diverse people. I am sure we all have a great mix of all cultures in our genes...
 
Camino(s) past & future
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#61
Where did the Celts come from all of a sudden? I mean in this thread, not in Europe. I note that in the first link about Le Puy, posted by @gipsy9, the author has this to say: Prior to the arrival of Christianity an enormous dolmen, or single standing stone, stood atop the sacred hill. Nothing is known of the people who erected this stone nor of the manner in which it was used. We know nothing about its use.

Worth pointing out perhaps, that dolmens are usually associated with megalithic or more generally neolithic peoples, and, last time I looked, the Celts, who appeared much later on the scene, and their druids were not known to have used their predecessors' massive stones or stone structures for religious or other purposes, let alone anything that comes close to medium and long distance pilgrimages. Again, speaking of images burnt into our retinas, the Gauls, being Celtic peoples, didn't carry menhirs around in the fashion of Obelix, a much loved cartoon character of the 20th century, and the Celtic druids did not dance around Stonehenge, even when we see guys in white robes on TV floating about, but only around the time of the summer solstice as they are barred from doing so during the rest of the year.

It seems to me at least that long distance pilgrimages TO Le Puy, and to/from Stonehenge for that matter, are not in our DNA, at least we haven't detected it yet.

As to Santiago, there's also the nagging question why mainly to Santiago, why are we not driven more strongly to walk to Rome, to Bari in Italy and further on to Jerusalem, to Cologne, to Tours, to all the hundreds of popular pilgrimage sites in the Middle Ages ... Tours with its relics of St Martin used to be the third most important Christian pilgrimage site, after Rome and Jerusalem and before the rise of Compostela.
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#62
As to Santiago, there's also the nagging question why mainly to Santiago, why are we not driven more strongly to walk to Rome, to Bari in Italy and further on to Jerusalem, to Cologne, to Tours, to all the hundreds of popular pilgrimage sites in the Middle Ages ... Tours with its relics of St Martin used to be the third most important Christian pilgrimage site, after Rome and Jerusalem and before the rise of Compostela.
Why are "we" not driven to walk elsewhere? We as in those walking to Santiago in the last 20 years or so? Super low budet and relative infrastructure even back in the day. Why was Santiago put in the map? Some argue we owe this to Franco.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#63
Why are "we" not driven to walk elsewhere? We as in those walking to Santiago in the last 20 years or so? Super low budet and relative infrastructure even back in the day. Why was Santiago put in the map? Some argue we owe this to Franco.
Well I don't know about others, but I've been on the Rome pilgrimage (and if I'm still here in this world for the likely 2033 Jubilee Year, I could very well do so again), I've stayed in the Monastery at Saint-Martin de Tours during the 1994 Camino, and I was very close to walking to San Nicola at Bari if circumstances had not intervened. I've walked both to and from Lourdes, which is a pilgrimage of its own even within a Camino, and if I can get my next pilgrimage up and at least hobbling, it will start as a religious pilgrimage to Fatima and either end as or include another Lourdes pilgrimage.

There is a local May Day pilgrimage to a local Marian sanctuary that I've walked a few times, and I've also walked on Camino to the double sanctuary at Cotignac that many pilgrims frequent on a daily basis.

The vast majority of pilgrimages that people accomplish, foot pilgrims and motor pilgrims alike, religiously, remain local and almost secret, compared to the "noise" surrounding the pilgrimages to Rome, Santiago, Jerusalem, Fatima, Lourdes and the far larger numbers of pilgrims that these major shrines attract.

But -- to try and answer your more specific question, the Santiago pilgrimage is outstanding among the numerous Catholic pilgrimages as being not just practically, but spiritually open to pilgrims who are not Catholic/Orthodox, and even non-Christian --- there are no other major Catholic pilgrimages so overtly welcoming of those not in the Church, though to a good degree the Assisi one does do the same thing ; though of course St Francis was a Compostela foot pilgrim himself, which helps explain how that particular pilgrimage has something of the Camino to it. I think that "we" (taken in the broadest, most generous sense) are driven to the Camino because of its extraordinarily welcoming Spirit, which is of course the Spirit of the Apostle.

This is not "due to" Franco, and let's steer well clear of that particular off-topic LOL, as the original Camino renewal in the 1960s came from a deeply beautiful reaction against his plans for it.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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#64
Worth pointing out perhaps, that dolmens are usually associated with megalithic or more generally neolithic peoples
hmmmm, they're associated with the white Europeans, and the direct ancestors of the Greek, Viking, Germanic, Gallic, Finnic, and Celtic, and other Western races. Bronze Age, not megalithic nor neolithic -- they are the remains of burial chambers within burial mounds that have been exposed by erosion. Stonehenge and other such constructs are much, much older.

They are just barely prehistoric, preceding the invention of writing by mere centuries.
 
Camino(s) past & future
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#65
That is my understanding as well, although I cannot now remember the source of this snippet of information.
Neither can I! I read stuff but rarely make a note of it, and very soon afterwards, I don't remember whether it was online or in a book or where the book is.

As to the name "camino/chemin/via" navarro etc, I saw references mostly in French texts, I probably saw it for the first time in one of my French guidebooks. It was laid out as such in Peter Robbin's formidable database of Europe wide ways of St James.

Out of curiosity, I've been trying to track down primary sources for the name camino frances/iter .... etc but no luck so far. The name camino de Santiago or road to St James in Galicia were more common.

Le Puy, btw, has a rue Saint Jacques, which is not surprising, given the widespread cult of Saint James in the Middle Ages which lead to churches and chapels being built all over Europe. This is followed by the rue des Capucins and then by the rue de Compostelle. The later name was given to that part of the road in February 1966, when the local administration (town council) adopted a decision to that effect. As I said, nothing wrong with it, it just that not everything is as old as it may be presented or presents itself.
 
#66
The fact that in previous centuries as now most pilgrimages were local is also proven by a study of pilgrim badges found in archaeological excavations.

Excerpt from a short article I wrote in 2007 about pilgrim badges in Great Britain.

..."What do the surviving pilgrim badges tell us?

Some idea of the popularity of a pilgrim route can be found from the Portable Antiquities Scheme run by the British Museum in a database of 108 badges only 2 were from Rome and the largest number by far were from Canterbury. Some shrines, like Canterbury and Walsingham, come over as consistently extremely popular, while others have a lesser presence, and others again appear to have risen rapidly to favour or fallen from grace after a brief prominence.

One can surmise from this that pilgrimage was in the vast majority of instances local and only the wealthy or those supported by others would make the journey to Rome or Santiago. It is also clear that pilgrimages of only local importance emerged for each area, in some regions these still survive. "...
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#67
Today there is an expressionthat is "vender gato por liebre", which means selling/passing a cat for an heir, or knowingly being dishonnest, lying. It comes from the Middle ages when people would order heir for theor meal and be served cat.

As for the word "tes", today it really means skin. For example, if ypu compliment someone on their "tes", you are complimenting them on their lovely facial skin. Also called "cutis". What it may have meant back in the day ... ?
Apparently the phrase "vender gato por liebre" dates back to at least 1599 - 1602 when an author called Mateo Aleman wrote a book called "Guzman de Alfarache". The complaint then was that the chef passed off Mule as veal! It explains why at mediaeval banquets in England, hares - lepus europaeus (not heirs :)) were served complete with their heads.

Enjoy your ragoute and fricasse ;)
Tio Tel
 
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TerryB

Veteran Member
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#71
Not really -- from a genuine historical perspective, the Camino starts and ends at the altar of your home parish church ; Santiago is the halfway point. Starting "at your own front door" is just the more secular version of this, though in practice it would also have been the material starting point of a mediaeval Camino too.
This is exactly right! At least for those of us in the U.K. there are recognised "ports of departure"! For me the "full Camino" began with Holy Communion and a blessing in my cathedral church (Exeter) , a five day walk to Plymouth, ferry to Santander and the Norte / Primitivo to the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela. A privilege to use "no wheeled thing" following an ancient pilgrim route!
Plymouth claims to have been one of only two ports licensed for pilgrims in mediaeval times.


DSCF2983.JPG DSCF2981.JPG

Blessings
Tio Tel
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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#73
Plymouth claims to have been one of only two ports licensed for pilgrims in mediaeval times.
Sounds inaccurate, as at the very least St Michaels Mount and Dover (on from the Canterbury Way) were also major ports of embarkation.

Perhaps only two ports were licensed for the specifically maritime pilgrimage though -- certainly the crossing from St Michaels Mount led fairly exclusively to the Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, and was intended for foot pilgrims, not sailing ones.

Our local maritime pilgrimage (unfrequented for centuries) has several stops at shrines along the coast, and goes to Saintes Maries-lès-Mer, from where it goes up to join the Piémont and Arles routes onwards to Compostela.
 
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TerryB

Veteran Member
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#74
Sounds inaccurate, as at the very least St Michaels Mount and Dover (on from the Canterbury Way) were also major ports of embarkation.

Perhaps only two ports were licensed for the specifically maritime pilgrimage though -- certainly the crossing from St Michaels Mount led fairly exclusively to the Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, and was intended for foot pilgrims, not sailing ones.

Our local maritime pilgrimage (unfrequented for centuries) has several stops at shrines along the coast, and goes to Saintes Maries-lès-Mer, from where it goes up to join the Piémont and Arles routes onwards to Compostela.
This is why I put "claims to be"! Dartmouth was also on record as being a port of departure, that makes two in Devon. I wonder if that is what the plaque should say? Otherwise it is another example of all things Deb'nshire being bigger and better than elsewhere ;)
"Cornish seas be wide, but Deb'nshire seas be wider!" :)

Blessings
Tio Tel
 
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#75
After returning, Godescalc, the great fan of St Jacques, built a rather flamboyant shrine to commemorate the trip and promote the pilgrimage
I'm coming back to this because it is such a good example. So Wikipedia (English version) says indeed that the chapel was "built in 969 on a volcanic plug" and that "it was built to celebrate the return from the pilgrimage of Saint James". Wikipedia articles do not always contain facts, of course, but they are a good indicator of what is commonly believed about a topic. There is even a reference underneath the article which gives it an air of credibility.

But click on this reference and there's a lot of text in French, from the French government department that deals with the cataloguing and conservation of historic monuments. There is no mention of a pilgrimage to Saint James. Rather, it says that according to a local chronicle, the pest ("black death") ravaged Le Puy en Velay in the 900s and a member of the clergy of Le Puy Cathedral vowed to built a chapel on the rock if they were spared from the disease. The pest epidemic ended and the chapel, dedicated to St Michael, was subsequently built in 969 and enlarged in later centuries.
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#76
@Kathar1na ,

After reading so many commentaries from French walkers about the work of Adéline Rucquoi vs Péricard-Mea's work, I have ordered two of P-M's books. They will ship September 4th. Very curious to read them.
 
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#77
a member of the clergy of Le Puy Cathedral vowed to built a chapel on the rock
This member of the Le Puy clergy has a name, it is Truannus. He is the founder of the chapel on the rock in Le Puy, not bishop Gotescalc who was asked for and gave his permission to the project and who also led the festivities for the dedication/inauguration of this new place of worship.

The Internet is an amazing place: the text of the founding charter of the chapel on the rock survived until our days and you can read a transcription online in Gallia Christiana, volume II, page 755!!! Even when I know already more or less what an ancient text says I find these texts difficult to read so we have to go by this summary: ... the charter states that the initiative to build [Saint Michel d'] Aiguilhe is not attributed to this bishop [Gotescalc], but to the Dean of Le Puy, named Truannus.

This has moved a bit away from the "full camino" topic but it is a good example of what we are led to believe to be authentic history although it is devoid of all facts, and there are either no sources to be found or, as in this example, there are authentic sources that prove it wrong.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#78
This has moved a bit away from the "full camino" topic but it is a good example of what we are led to believe to be authentic history although it is devoid of all facts, and there are either no sources to be found or, as in this example, there are authentic sources that prove it wrong.
True of many popular myths. There is always a tendency to prefer a simple attractive tale which resonates with our own beliefs and interests rather than messy, complicated and far more prosaic historical fact! :rolleyes:
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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#79
what we are led to believe to be authentic history although it is devoid of all facts, and there are either no sources to be found or, as in this example, there are authentic sources that prove it wrong.
It is not "devoid of facts" -- or do you really want to force me to type in my own 12th Century document ?

Please can you refrain from confusing your own opinions with "authentic history" ?

It's one thing to question some elements of the 1960s & 1970s narratives -- it's quite another to start claiming them to be "devoid of facts" -- a frankly extraordinary proposal !!!
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#80
PLEASE do not engage in personal remarks about the posts of others.
Please think before you post.

Please delete your own remarks if they are inappropriate after you reread your post.....(this saves work for the moderators)
 
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#81
As we are in the middle of August, a timely ;) reminder that not every shell or every pilgrim outfit on a statue that you may encounter on the way points to Saint James or to a pilgrimage to Compostela. I recently came across a tiny roadside chapel with a statue very similar to this one:
upload_2017-8-18_13-22-27.png

If you look at the right hand of the statue you may guess who is represented here.

And I was really surprised when I read today that the Archbishop of Santiago, Monseñor Julián Barrio, recently opened a Jubilee Year in Santiago de Compostela in honour of this Saint, complete with the possibility of obtaining a plenary indulgence between now and August 2018!
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#82
And I was really surprised when I read today that the Archbishop of Santiago, Monseñor Julián Barrio, recently opened a Jubilee Year in Santiago de Compostela in honour of this Saint, complete with the possibility of obtaining a plenary indulgence between now and August 2018!
The Jubilee year marks the 500th anniversary of the saint being invoked to defend the city of Santiago against an outbreak of bubonic plague. Something that is still remembered each year in Santiago. The similarity in imagery with Santiago is very confusing :) Here is a link that will explain a little more of the story and what the plenary indulgence actually involves:

http://es.gaudiumpress.org/content/...o-Jubilar-de-San-Roque--patrono-de-peregrinos
 

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