This project began life as moving picture and with time and as the technology and the internet developed it became a blog with embedded videos and images. There was always the intention to have a sort of narrative arc, something which is obviously problematic within the diary format of the blog. I’ve tried to include a sense of that narrative and improve the user experience to a degree by presenting chapter headings on the home page.
Everything goes back to the Jacobus, a compilation of hagiographical texts dating from the mid twelfth century.
A strong wish not to include any anachronistic ideas and to attempt to grasp something of the culture of the world of twelfth century pilgrimage, however futile that may seem, is one the motivating forces behind the content below.
Time passed more slowly a thousand years ago. Ideas and stories which, with the passage of centuries would have lost any sense of contemporaneity in our modern world, still retained a vital hold on the imaginations of men in medieval times.
We can look back and make judgments and reject the credulity of those times. I have tried not to since I believe that in doing so, something more essential gets lost.
To look at a Romanesque sculpted image on a twelfth century church is surely to be stirred by conflicting impulses. On the one hand, there is the profound sense of the otherness of the culture being expressed, while at the same time there is an equally profound sense of connection to it.