Author: Wednesday (Page 2 of 2)

The Wanderings of Felix Fabri: Rama

Felix Fabri and his group of pilgrims arrived in Rama on the ninth day of July. I believe that they stayed in Rama for about eleven days according to Fabri’s log. Fabri speaks a lot of Rama prior to their arrival into the city. This is primarily in relation to the Governor of Rama and making an agreement with him to keep them safe from the Saracens and the Morse. When Fabri and the rest of his group arrive at Rama, Fabri begins by describing the beauty of the land around it. He describes the beautiful mountains and valleys and the land and bodies of water in the local area as a very beautiful place. He also goes on to say how when they are arriving close to the city, how they have to get off of their asses and leave them at the gate when they arrived. Fabri also describes how they were not allowed to ride through the city during the day on their asses and as a result had to carry their bags and leave their asses at the gate. Fabri also speaks about how Rama was known by Fabri and his group to have Saracens and Morse people near by who would occasionally enter into the city. As a result, one of the requests that Fabri had for the Governor of Rama was for protection from the Saracens and Morse people because they were simply passing through the city in while on their way to Jerusalem. While Fabri did not spare very much time describing the people of Rama, he did talk about the religious significance of Rama as well as the area around it. He also went on to list the articles that the pilgrims in his group were required to follow. When Fabri did describe a people or cultural group while in Rama, he spoke about the Saracen people. Fabri describes them are wandering desert residing people who are quick to violence and who do not hold many strong morals. Fabri describes the Saracen people in a very negative light and speaks of them as if talking about a wild and vicious animal that might attack him at any moment. It is very clear that Fabri and his group of Christians (Catholic I would assume) did not get along with the Saracen people in any degree. In my opinion this shows that religion played a very big part in that era and was one of the primary ways of distinguishing people groups who did not come from set countries at that time. It is also assumed by me from this information that it would have been around that time (give or take a hundred years) that religions started to become more competitive over believers and forced conversion started to become a big deal. When Fabri describes the city of Rama, I found it very interesting that he specifically spoke about having to pass through a small door into the city of Rama. The fact that he spoke about it led me to believe that that might not have been very common practice in that time period and as a result was notable even to Fabri. I also found it very interesting that Fabri spoke more about the religious attributes of an area and about why he did not trust people groups who were not Christian to the degree that he was, to be very interesting. When the Saracen people surrounded Rama and Fabri and his group were held there by the people, Fabri seems to be surprised regarding the prayer practices of the Muslim Saracen people. This is primarily expressed when he compares the fact that they pray immediately upon waking while he and his Christian group do not. This, to me at least, seems to allude to the possibility that while Fabri and his group do not agree and are in opposition with the Saracen people, that they are possible ignorant of the beliefs and practices of those same people whom they hate. In essence, that they hate the people that they know little to nothing about and act on that hatred and ignorance without taking the time to actually see the other group as people who happen to be different in background and beliefs.  

The Wanderings of Felix Fabri: Venice

Felix Fabri stopped on his journey to Jerusalem with twelve other pilgrims, in Venice. During their stay in Venice, they stayed in an inn. Fabri primarily describes the people of Venice more so than the food or the weather and climate. I assume this is because he states that he has been there before and these aspects of Venice were not new or surprising to him. When describing the inn in Venice that he and the other pilgrims stay at from the twenty-seventh to the thirtieth of the month, Fabri starts by describing the host and the people who run the inn and then focuses on the guard dog of the inn. When describing the hostess of the inn he describes her as being a kind and good woman whom he already knew. He also states that no one within the inn was Italian but were all German. Fabri then goes on to speak about the guard dog of the inn. This guard dog is said to be large and black and has a love of the German people. This love is to the extent where the dog becomes violent with anyone who is not German who attempts to enter the inn as well as with other dogs but is sweet and lovable with anyone who is German. Fabri then tells of how he asked his fellow pilgrims if he could stay in the local convent or in the boat because he did not want to stay with secular people. While the men he had asked denied his request, he did visit the convents and his fellow religious men every day of their stay. Fabri also takes the time to describe the other pilgrims he sees in Venice who are also making their way to Jerusalem. Fabri also states several times that they had to pay off the people whom they asked to aid in their journey to protect them from being robbed, beaten, and molested. Overall, Fabri primarily discusses and brings up the characters of the people he is around or in the land of as well as the religious aspects of the lands in which he sees and his fears of the people he is not traveling with. 

Fabri’s constant focus of the religious aspects of the areas in which he travels as well as his constant reasoning of why he and the other pilgrims do aid in showing just how devoted Fabri is toward his religion. Fabri also speaks of his fears of the of the people who live within the areas that they are traveling through. Fabri mainly focuses on the negative things that these people could do to him and the other pilgrims. Fabri mainly focuses on the religions of the people of those areas and attributes their violence and the negative aspects that he associates with them to being a result of their religion. Fabri speaks very negatively of other religions as well as Christians of different regions of the world then where he is from. This shows that he does hold a prejudice against not only other religions but also other people groups in general. He also seems to view himself as better than them as a result of his belief that he is both more devout and a Christian then any of the other people in the other lands. This shows that he is not only used to the belief that there is a class system within religion bast on how devote an individual is, but also that there is turmoil and conflict between the different sects of religions. Something that I found unusual but also very helpful was that he was describing the countries of Germany and Italy in a way that seemed somewhat close to that of modern time. This caught me off guard because I was never fully sure when the borders between countries were erected but I thought they were more recent than the Middle Ages. I felt that Fabri’s purpose behind telling of these things was to not only give the readers a better understanding of where he was and what was going on but also that he was catering to the religious reader. I also am of the opinion that part of the reason that he was so focused on the religious aspects of the region was because he was possibly only expecting his work to be read by the religious or people who belong to the church, i.e.. Monks, priests, and popes.  

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