chapter  1
Practicalities of early medieval travel
WithCourtney Luckhardt
Pages 32

The practical rhythms of travel required food and lodging, gifts and bribes to smooth the way, and most importantly, someone who knew the best routes and locals to provide introductions. The practical ways that people and their ideas move across space and time through social and religious networks is a key feature of migration and the study of the global connections in the early Middle Ages. The cross-wind that returned the ship to the deep sea and away from the rocks was a practical meteorological phenomenon, but one that reflected the unity of the natural and the supernatural world for the medieval person. The practical aspects of travel, such as the direction of the wind, were intimately connected with the miraculous deliverance of the travelers when even the experienced sailors had panicked and declared that everyone was about to die.