Publication details [#10502]

Aercke, Kristiaan. 2006. The pilgrimage of Konrad Grünemberg to the Holy Land in 1486. In Biase, Carmine G. di, ed. Travel and translation in the early modern period (Approaches to Translation Studies 26). Amsterdam: Rodopi. pp. 159–173.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Person as a subject


In 1486, the German knight Grünemberg undertook a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Het returned after 31 weeks to chronicle his experiences. His narrative emphasizes language and translation and even contains an Arabic glossary for future pilgrims. Being monolingual in the linguistically very diverse Eastern Mediterranean increased his awareness of alterity. Indeed, the constant intervention of translators and interpreters reduced him and his fellows to a state of helplessness in the Holy Land, where Saracens, in the spirit of jihad, systematically treated the pilgrims with aggressive contempt. These late-medieval Christian visitors would not recognize themselves in the Western orientalists of Edward Said’s famous 1978 book. But the humiliations Grünemburg suffered, and the spiritual gains he made, allowed him to transform himself from a proud, self-conscious German knight into a humble, communal figure, and to metamorphize, or translate, his painful pilgrimage, his own via dolorosa, into an imitatio Christi.
Source : Based on abstract in book