Fine Arts | Topics in Medieval Art
A329 | 5361 | Silvers, Holly

The act of pilgrimage is one of the most compelling phenomena of the
Middle Ages and one that continues to attract participants to this
day.  In the twelfth century, the most accessible destination of
Western European pilgrims was the Basilica and shrine of St. James,
otherwise known as Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain.  Four
pilgrimage routes coursed through France and converged into a single
route in Spain.  Along these routes, pilgrims visited highly ornate
churches and shrines in order to venerate holy relics, pray, and make
In this course we will examine several facets of the phenomenon of
pilgrimage, beginning with the psychological drive and effect of
pilgrimage on the individual and on towns through which pilgrimage
routes passed.  The majority of the course will be spent exploring the
art and architecture of pilgrimage, from churches to sculpture to
reliquaries.  Throughout the course, we will consider the relevance of
pilgrimage in our modern society: to what destinations would we choose
to make a pilgrimage?  How would we get there?  What would our
motivation be for attempting such an endeavor?

There will be three exams in this course, as well as regular required
readings.  Participation in class discussion is mandatory.