The Medieval Pilgrimage assignment

For this assignment, you may either

1. Analyze a medieval pilgrimage route based on the architecture and sacred objects encountered within it, as well as how it was understood to benefit the pilgrim.


2. Create your own pilgrimage route using modern equivalents for the architecture, sacred objects, and benefits of medieval pilgrimage. (If you choose this option, you must also demonstrate that you understand the principles of medieval pilgrimage!)

Format for both options (in this order):
• No cover page
• 5-6 pages of text, double-spaced, 12-pt. font, 1.25” margins.
• Footnotes or endnotes according to Chicago style guide (no list of “Sources Cited”)
• 5-8 images, labeled (fig. 1, fig. 2), with source info, attached at the end of the essay.
Content (Choose one of these options):

Option 1.

1. Introduce your route. What was the purpose of medieval pilgrimage? What specific benefits did pilgrims expect to gain on this particular route?

2. Discuss one or two important churches on the route. When were they built, by whom? How do structure and decoration reflect the role of the pilgrimage church?

3. Discuss relics housed in those churches and key decorative elements (sculpture, painting, decorative objects). Who is the saint venerated here, what was he or she known for?

Remember to include an image of each building and object/decoration you discuss.

Option 2.

1. Introduce your route. Discuss, in general, what the purpose of pilgrimage is. What benefits does pilgrims expect to gain on your pilgrimage?

2. Discuss two or three buildings or sites on the route. Who built them? How did they become important? How do their structure and decoration reflect their roles as pilgrimage sites?

3. Discuss the relics housed at these sites. Who is venerated here, for what is he or she known?

Remember to include an image of each building and object/decoration you discuss.

Janson’s (your textbook) should be your first reference. Begin by reading Chapter 11, paying special attention to the discussions of pilgrimage, pilgrimage churches, and relics, and reading the appropriate text boxes and primary sources.

In addition, you must consult at least three other sources. One must be a book or academic journal article found through the library website/catalog, the other two can be online sources, provided they are from a museum or a college or university (look for .edu or

There are lots of useful discussions of medieval pilgrimage online, as well as a number of good image collections from pilgrimage churches. I’ve compiled a few below.

1. Pilgrimage Guide of Santiago de Compostela (Excerpts), Dr. Allen Farber, SUNY Oneonta:

2. Photos of Conques Abbey: (don’t use this one as a source for text, please)

3. Discussion and images from Ste. Foy, Dr. Mary Ann Sullivan, Bluffton College:

4. Images of the Abbey Church of Ste-Marie-Madeleine at Vézelay, France, U of Pittsburgh:

5. A very good, general page on pilgrimage (not just medieval or Christian), U of York (UK):

6. Peregrinations, the journal of the International Society for the Study of Pilgrimage Art:

Citing Sources

You will be penalized if you use information from outside sources without credit. If you need help with proper citation, see me. Please use foot- or endnotes in Chicago Style. The following list shows A) Note format; B) Second reference in Notes.

• Books: One author
1. Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: Penguin, 2006), 99–100.
2. Pollan, Omnivore’s Dilemma, 3.

• Article in a print journal
1. Joshua I. Weinstein, “The Market in Plato’s Republic,” Classical Philology 104 (2009): 440.
2. Weinstein, “Plato’s Republic,” 452–53

• Article in an online journal
Include a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) if the journal lists one. A DOI is a permanent ID that, when appended to in the address bar of an Internet browser, will lead to the source. If no DOI is available, list a URL. Include an access date only if one is required by your publisher or discipline.

1. Gueorgi Kossinets and Duncan J. Watts, “Origins of Homophily in an Evolving Social Network,” American Journal of Sociology 115 (2009): 411, accessed February 28, 2010, doi:10.1086/599247.
2. Kossinets and Watts, “Origins of Homophily,” 439.

• Museum or University Website:
1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (accessed
January 3, 2008).

For additional types of sources see: “Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide,” last modified August 22, 2006,

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