aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Anonymous, Bordeaux Itinerary Wesseling 591.4-6

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Written in the 4th century, this text is one of several surviving ‘itineraries’ which helped guide Roman travellers, with useful information on distances and changes of horses. It appears to record the route of a pilgrim from Bordeaux to the Holy Land, and includes fuller details about some of the sites the author clearly found the most interesting. Here is part of the account of the Temple ruins at Jerusalem:

sunt ibi et statuae duae Hadriani; est et non longe de statuas lapis pertusus, ad quem veniunt Iudaei singulis annis et unguent eum et lamentant se cum gemitu et vestimenta sua scindunt et sic recedunt.

There are two statues of Hadrian there; and not far from the statues is a perforated stone, to which the Jews come every year and anoint it and bewail themselves with groaning and tear their clothes, and so go away again. 

The significance of this passage is discussed by Glenn Bowman in this chapter and by Jaś Elsner in this article.

Written by aleatorclassicus

April 24, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Posted in anonymi

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