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Chapter 7 - Where Is Syriac Pilgrimage Literature in Late Antiquity?

Exploring the Absence of a Genre

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 August 2019

Peter Van Nuffelen
Affiliation:
Universiteit Gent, Belgium
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Summary

The title of my chapter asks a seemingly innocuous question. Why do no examples of a formal written genre of Syriac pilgrimage from late antiquity survive to today? Various answers could be offered to quickly dismiss the question: Syriac authors simply chose not to write about pilgrimage; or, they did write about it but their texts have not survived; or further, they did write about it, but chose to do so only within the context of other literary arenas, such as hagiography or historiography. These responses, as we shall see, all have some descriptive truth to them, but they do not offer a completely satisfactory answer. The genre of pilgrimage literature was vibrant in late antiquity in neighboring languages and cultures.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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