chapter
Introduction
WithCourtney Luckhardt
Pages 21

Travel and its relationship to religion contribute to our understanding of the transformation of the Roman world by marking how the movement of peoples and goods affected religion and society in the early Middle Ages, and how those developments related to economic and political change. Taking religion seriously in the study of travel departs from simplistic or empiricist approaches to human movement by incorporating sources that reveal the exchange of early medieval beliefs and ideas. For medieval Christians, the idea of holiness involved both history and geography. An examination of both early medieval concern and praise for religious travel and the blessings of visiting holy places sits at the intersection of discussions of sacred history and spatial history. The divide between genres of medieval narrative by is artificial, as an historia has miracles, wonders, and religious events, and conversely, a vita has much historical information. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.