The purpose of this essay is to explore Gerald of Wales’s Topographia Hibernica and Walter Map’s De Nugis Curialium, to assess how the authors treated and described the Mediterranean space, with particular reference to the Holy Land. The selected texts are often cited as typical of the style of literary production that took place at the court of Henry II of England (1154-1189) and of the strong correspondence that existed between the policies of the English king and the works of his courtiers. The first version of the Topographia Hibernica was written between 1186-1188 and is the first treatise on Ireland composed by a non-Irish author. The De Nugis Curialium, a collection of satirical invectives, folktales, and personal experiences, was written during the latter half of the twelfth century. In their respective texts, Gerald of Wales and Walter Map focus primarily on topics regarding the British Isles. Noticeably, however, both writers make relevant digressions in order to report information about Sicily, Greece and the Holy Land, and that both authors witnessed the arrival of the patriarch of Jerusalem in London. The present article has two goals: first, bearing in mind Henry II’s reluctance as a response to possible crusade, the aim of this analysis is to see if and how the descriptions of the Mediterranean space coincided with Henry II’s reluctance to travel to Jerusalem. The second aim is to show how such descriptions accorded with the structure of both works and, in particular, how they might serve the authors’ specific interests beyond their adherence to Henry II’s policies.

Where the Long Way Ends: Descriptions of the Mediterranean Sea and Holy Land and the Criticism of Crusading at the Court of Henry II of England (1154-1189)

de Falco, Fabrizio
Primo
2021

Abstract

The purpose of this essay is to explore Gerald of Wales’s Topographia Hibernica and Walter Map’s De Nugis Curialium, to assess how the authors treated and described the Mediterranean space, with particular reference to the Holy Land. The selected texts are often cited as typical of the style of literary production that took place at the court of Henry II of England (1154-1189) and of the strong correspondence that existed between the policies of the English king and the works of his courtiers. The first version of the Topographia Hibernica was written between 1186-1188 and is the first treatise on Ireland composed by a non-Irish author. The De Nugis Curialium, a collection of satirical invectives, folktales, and personal experiences, was written during the latter half of the twelfth century. In their respective texts, Gerald of Wales and Walter Map focus primarily on topics regarding the British Isles. Noticeably, however, both writers make relevant digressions in order to report information about Sicily, Greece and the Holy Land, and that both authors witnessed the arrival of the patriarch of Jerusalem in London. The present article has two goals: first, bearing in mind Henry II’s reluctance as a response to possible crusade, the aim of this analysis is to see if and how the descriptions of the Mediterranean space coincided with Henry II’s reluctance to travel to Jerusalem. The second aim is to show how such descriptions accorded with the structure of both works and, in particular, how they might serve the authors’ specific interests beyond their adherence to Henry II’s policies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/935259
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