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Titre du document / Document title

The Holy Land and Its Inhabitants in the Pilgrimage Narrative of the Persian Monk Bar Sauma

Auteur(s) / Author(s)


Résumé / Abstract

This study addresses narrative strategies in the story of the fifth-century miaphysite Persian monk Bar Sauma's pilgrimages to the Holy Land, found in a hagiographic Syriac composition. Having highlighted salient features of the story, distinguishing it from a hagiographic pattern of pilgrimage as the 'seal of Christian initiation', the article focuses on narrative strategies discerned in Bar Sauma's encounters with various segments of the Holy Land population: Samaritans, Christians, pagans, members of the imperial administration, and Jews. In the composition's polemical framework, the Jews have a double function. First, they are portrayed as competing with the Christians for presence and dominance in Jerusalem, propagating their own 'map of the holy places'. Second, empathy towards local Jewry, shown by some Christians, serves as a secondary indication of the latter's heretical deviations. The polemic reaches its climax with the Jews plotting ― under the patronage of the queen Eudocia ― to renew their own festive pilgrimages to the Temple Mount. The story here is analyzed comparatively together with contemporaneous Christian compositions justifying forceful appropriation of synagogues, and, also, vis-à-vis a midrashic tradition rejecting Jewish 'activist aspiration' for rebuilding the Temple. Finally, the possible relevance of the suggested analysis for discussion on the historical setting behind the Bar Sauma story is outlined.

Revue / Journal Title

Qatedrah le-tôldôt Eres Yísra'el el we-yîššûbah    ISSN  0334-4657 

Source / Source

2013, no148, [Note(s): 41-70, 213 [31 p.]]

Langue / Language


Editeur / Publisher

Yad Ben-Zvi, Jerusalem, ISRAEL  (1976) (Revue)

Mots-clés anglais / English Keywords





Near East


Mots-clés français / French Keywords







Localisation / Location

INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 24099, 35400050387878.0020

Nº notice refdoc (ud4) : 27610966

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