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Travellers to and from the Middle East, Lecture 1

June 9, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Fictional travellers, creative writers or liars?

This is one of a series of six one-hour lectures by Dr Janet Starkey (ASTENE) and Paul Starkey, Professor emeritus, Durham University, which will be delivered online. They replace the lectures which were cancelled earlier in the year. No previous knowledge is assumed and you do not need to have attended the earlier lectures.

Tickets for this lecture cost £4 and can be booked here.

Egypt and the Middle East have enchanted many travellers over the centuries, and these lectures provide a fascinating array of accounts and perceptions. From the earliest epic of Gilgamesh, to early Christian, Jewish and Muslim pilgrims, to medieval merchants, missionaries and fictional travel narratives; artist-travellers who influenced European images of the Middle East; and travellers from the Middle East in Europe, they travelled in pursuit of knowledge, power, diplomacy and trade, for pleasure and adventure, on pilgrimage, and to discover and plunder the exotic.Marco Polo travelled in the Middle East in the thirteenth century, Odoric set off from Venice in 1318; Mandeville supposedly travelled in the region from 1322. They described impenetrable deserts, fabulous monsters and strange plants. But did they really travel there, or even exist?
Tues 9 June. Janet. An introduction to medieval travel writing with a case study about Marco Polo’s Travels as Natural History: deserts, strange plants — and monsters.
The lecture will be delivered via Zoom. If you haven’t used Zoom before, please go to www.zoom.us and look at the tutorials. An invitation to the lecture will be emailed to you.
If you book this course online, we will hold your personal data in accordance with our privacy policy. If you do not wish us to hold your personal data, please book by post and do not supply an email address.


June 9, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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