‘Reassessing the ‘Jerusalem Pilgrims’: the Case of Bede’s De locis sanctis’

Daniel Reynolds, Peter Darby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The history of Christian pilgrimage in Syria-Palestine has captivated scholarly and public audiences since the first waves of research in the region in the nineteenth century. This subject continues to generate vibrant debate among scholars of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. Central to this discourse is John Wilkinson’s seminal publication Jerusalem Pilgrims before the Crusades, first published in 1977. This text still offers the most systematic study of descriptions of pilgrimage to the region between the fourth and eleventh centuries, yet in spite of its popularity and central status to the subject, few of the texts collected in Wilkinson’s volume have received systematic study as literary compositions in their own right, or as products of individual writers and communities. This article offers an overview of issues which have emerged from a preliminary study of one of the texts published in the revised second edition of Jerusalem Pilgrims in 2002: Bede’s De locis sanctis, a survey of the ‘holy land’ written in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria at the turn of the eighth century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-31
Number of pages5
JournalBulletin of the Council for British Research in the Levant
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2014


  • Jerusalem
  • pilgrims
  • the venerable Bede
  • Adomnan of Iona
  • John Wilkinson


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