This course investigates travellers and travel writing in the Middle Ages. It begins with an examination of different types of medieval travel, including pilgrimage, warfare, exploration, and proselytisation. We will also look at medieval conceptions about the world and its geography, cartography, and different types of maps. This is followed by an examination of medieval beliefs about inhabitants of other lands - real and fantastic humans, animals, and plants. The remainder of the course will focus on travel to different regions within and beyond Europe, including imaginary lands and realms.
The use of travel accounts from authors of various cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds, as well as maps and images, will help students gain an understanding of travel in the Middle Ages, the most significant travel accounts and their wider influence, as well as medieval ideas about the world and its inhabitants.