The Medieval Invention Of Travel by Shayne Aaron LegassieThe Medieval Invention Of Travel by Shayne Aaron Legassie

The Medieval Invention Of Travel

byShayne Aaron Legassie

Paperback | April 12, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$35.76 online 
$37.95 list price save 5%
Earn 179 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Over the course of the Middle Ages, the economies of Europe, Asia, and northern Africa became more closely integrated, fostering the international and intercontinental journeys of merchants, pilgrims, diplomats, missionaries, and adventurers. During a time in history when travel was often difficult, expensive, and fraught with danger, these wayfarers composed accounts of their experiences in unprecedented numbers and transformed traditional conceptions of human mobility.

Exploring this phenomenon, The Medieval Invention of Travel draws on an impressive array of sources to develop original readings of canonical figures such as Marco Polo, John Mandeville, and Petrarch, as well as a host of lesser-known travel writers. As Shayne Aaron Legassie demonstrates, the Middle Ages inherited a Greco-Roman model of heroic travel, which viewed the ideal journey as a triumph over temptation and bodily travail. Medieval travel writers revolutionized this ancient paradigm by incorporating practices of reading and writing into the ascetic regime of the heroic voyager, fashioning a bold new conception of travel that would endure into modern times. Engaging methods and insights from a range of disciplines, The Medieval Invention of Travel offers a comprehensive account of how medieval travel writers and their audiences reshaped the intellectual and material culture of Europe for centuries to come.
Shayne Aaron Legassie is associate professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is coeditor of Cosmopolitanism and the Middle Ages.
Title:The Medieval Invention Of TravelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:April 12, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022644662X

ISBN - 13:9780226446622


Table of Contents

Introduction: Travail and Travel Writing
Part One: Subjectivity, Authority, and the “Exotic”
1. Exoticism as the Appropriation of Travail
2. Travail and Authority in the Forgotten Age of Discovery
Part Two: Pilgrimage as Literate Labor
3. Memory Work and the Labor of Writing
4. The Pilgrim as Investigator
Part Three: Discovering the Proximate
5. Becoming Petrarch
6. The Chivalric Mediterranean of Pero Tafur
Coda: Beyond 15; or, Travel’s Labors Lost

Editorial Reviews

“Before planes, railways, or steamships, [travel] was inseparable from its etymological twin, travail—both derived from the name of an ancient Roman instrument of torture. . . . Yet travel, for all its hardships, fascinated medieval readers: the most celebrated poems of the age are both travel narratives. . . . An engaging book.”