Religious Tourism in Roman Greece


Religious Tourism in Roman Greece

By David James Stark

Master’s Thesis, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2009

Abstract: In recent years, Roman travel and tourism has become a focus of scholarship. Most of the scholarship however has focused either on religious travel through studies of pilgrimage or on secular travel through studies of tourism. Many tourism scholars however have begun to recognize that the differences between what is a tourist and what is a pilgrim is not as large as was once thought. These scholars have coined a new term, the religious tourist, to describe those travelers who seem to bridge the gap between the traditional definition of a pilgrim and the traditional definition of a tourist. Through examining the work of the travel writer Pausanias and the travels of famous Romans such as Aemilius Paullus, Cicero, Mucianus, Nero, and Hadrian, one begins to understand that the majority of tourists in the Roman world visited religious sites. Travelers were interested both in the religious nature of these sites as

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