Egeria's Travels

There is only one surviving manuscript of Egeria's Travels, which we believe was copied in Italy - possibly in Monte Cassino - in the Eleventh Century AD. From there it passed to the monastery of St Flora at Arezzo, possibly in 1599 when a monk called Ambrose Restrellini was sent from Monte Cassino to be abbot in Arezzo. In 1810 it was transferred to a secular library in Arezzo where it was discovered in 1884 by the scholar J. F. Gamurrini, who published a translation of it in 1887 and a revised translation in 1888.

Unfortunately the manuscript is badly damaged. It consists of three sections of eight folded pages, making 16 pages in all, but while the first and third sections are complete, the second section has lost four pages. What we have is Egeria's account of her trip to Sinai and her description of Jerusalem and the services conducted there throughout the year.

Several sections can be reconstructed from other documents which quote Egeria. For example, an anonymous document from the Ninth Century quotes four passages, two of which appear in the Arezzo manuscript, and another two which must come from the missing pages. Peter the Deacon, librarian of Monte Cassino in 1137, quotes extensively from Egeria (though not always verbatim!) and this also helps us reconstruct what must have been in the parts we have lost.

Egeria's Jerusalem