Early Travels in Palestine: Comprising the Narratives of Arculf

By Thomas Wright | Go to book overview

THE TRAVELS OF RABBI BENJAMIN OF TUDELA.
A.D. 1160-1173.

HEBREW PREFACE.

THIS book contains the reports of Rabbi Benjamin, the son of Jonah, of blessed memory*, of Tudela, in the kingdom of Navarre. This man travelled through many and distant countries, as related in the following account, and took down in writing in each place what he saw or what was told him by men of integrity, whose names were known in Spain. Rabbi Benjamin also mentions some of the principal men in the places he visited; and when he returned, he brought this report along with him to the country of Castile in the year 933 (A.D. 1173). The above-mentioned Rabbi Benjamin was a man of wisdom and understanding, and of much information; and after strict inquiry his words were found to be true and correct, for he was a true man.


TRAVELS OF RABBI BENJAMIN OF BLESSED MEMORY.

THUS says Rabbi Benjamin, son of Jonah, of blessed memory. I first set out from the city of Saragossa, and proceeded down the river Ebro to Tortosa. Two days' journey brought me to the ancient city of Tarragona, which contains many cyclopean and pelasgic remains†This city was one of great antiquity; and at this time the remains of its ancient walls appear to have been very remarkable. Destroyed at an earlier period by the Saracens, Tarragona was rebuilt in the twelfth century. , and similar buildings are found nowhere else in the whole kingdom of Spain. This city stands on the coast. Two days thence is Barcelona, in which place there is

____________________
*
The expression "of blessed memory" is generally added by Jews when mentioning the "honoured dead," (see Proverbs x. 7,) and recurs frequently in the following narrative.

-63-

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