IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1024: Representations of Jerusalem

Wednesday 11 July 2007, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Mary Alberi, Department of History, Pace University, New York
Paper 1024-aJerusalem Constructed: Friar Felix Fabri's Travel Guide for the Armchair Pilgrim
(Language: English)
Kathryne Beebe, Hertford College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Language and Literature - German, Language and Literature - Latin, Religious Life
Paper 1024-bThe Holy City in Sacred History: On the Image of Jerusalem in Illustrated World Chronicles, 1200-1500
(Language: English)
Andrea Worm, Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Art History - General, Historiography - Medieval

Paper a: Jerusalem has always demanded recollection of the stories, histories, and scriptures written about it. In the 15th century a German Dominican pilgrim, Felix Fabri, travelled both to the corporeal Jerusalem and to the Jerusalem of his literary and spiritual imagination. As each stone and narrow street drew forth literary associations both secular and sacred, Fabri ‘read’ the physical city as text. For him, Jerusalem was itself sacred literature. In his own pilgrimage account he offered a textual pilgrimage to the Holy City so that his readers might travel there in spirit — even to places inaccessible to corporeal travellers. This paper will explore the relationship between Fabri’s sense of the literary Jerusalem and the physical one, and how he self-consciously mediated the tension between those two cities.
Paper b: In which way is the Holy City represented in world chronicles and how, when, and why does that image change? How does this change interfere with representations of the world on the one hand, and representations of other cities, that occur in chronicles at least since the 13th century on the other hand? How can the shift from a more symbolic to a more ‘realistic’ way of representation be described and explained more precisely?
Primarily, images of Jerusalem seem to occur in chronicles which follow a diagrammatic layout. Their prototype is Peter of Poitiers’ De genealogia Christi (ca. 1200), which determines the scheme for the following centuries up to the Nuremberg Chronicle (1193). How are the images linked to the text? How do symbolic and ‘realistic’ representation of Jerusalem interfere?
Looking at world chronicles is particularly promising for this set of questions, because they sum up the knowledge of their period which is then put in the coherent context of sacred history, in which Jerusalem naturally plays a key role.