Early Travels in Palestine: Comprising the Narratives of Arculf

By Thomas Wright | Go to book overview

THE TRAVELS OF WILLIBALD.
A.D. 721-727.

WRITTEN FROM HIS OWN RECITAL BY A NUN OF HEIDENHEIM.

AFTER the ceremonies of Easter were ended, the active champion (of Christ) prepared for his voyage with his two companions, and left Rome. They first went eastward to the town of Daterina*, where they remained two days; and thence to Cajeta, on the coast, where they went on board a ship and sailed over to Nebule. They here left the ship, and remained a fortnight. These are cities belonging to the Romans; they are in the territory of Beneventum, but subject to Rome. There, after waiting anxiously, in constant prayer that their desires might be agreeable to heaven, they found a ship bound for Egypt, in which they took their passage, and sailed to the land of Calabria, to the town which is called Rhegia, and there remained two days; and then proceeded to the island of Sicily, in which is the town of Catania, where the body of St. Agatha, the virgin, reposes. And there is Mount Etna; in case of an eruption of which, the inhabitants of Catania take the veil of St. Agatha, and hold it up towards the fire, which immediately ceases. They made a stay of three weeks at this place, and then sailed to the isle of Samos, and thence to the town of Ephesus, in Asia, which is one mile from the sea. They walked thence to the place where the seven sleepers repose; and onward thence to John the Evangelist, in a beautiful locality by Ephesus. They next walked two miles along the sea-side to a large village which is called Figila§, where they remained one day, and, having begged bread, they went to a fountain in the middle of the town, and, sitting on the edge, they dipped their bread in the water, and so made their meal. They next walked along the sea-shore to the town of

____________________
*
Probably Terracina.
§
This evidently corresponds to the Πυγελα (or Pygela) of Strabo, which he calls πολὶχγιογ a little town. Stephanus and Pomponius Mela also write Pygela, but Pliny has it Phygala. The site is now, according to Hamilton, ( Trav. vol. ii. p. 22,) covered with fragments of Roman tiles and pottery; and near the road is the foundation of a large marble building, apparently a temple.
Probably this is a corruption of Neapolis, or Naples.
Now Reggio.

-13-

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