Products Traded

Trade Routes & Hazards

Religious Travel

Purpose of Travel

Overview of Trade & Travel

The Crusades

The Road to Travel: Purpose of Travel

TRAVELING EXISTED THROUGHOUT Byzantium for various purposes; many of the reasons still exist today.

Medical reasons: doctors were sought out for their knowledge, their aliments. The possibility and the hope for a cure from disease was a major motivation of travel.


Business: depending on the sphere of responsibility, traveling occurred from region to region, church officials to the administrative end of the government, as well as travel for economic gains.

       ECCELESTICAL – Religious travel existed for variety of reasons: Administrative, Church Councils, Church affairs, theological debates, the imposing of new church officials and authorities.

       GOVERNMENT – Administrative reasons, movement of government officials, new taxes or new laws and decrees that were set - were all means of why government officials would travel from region to region, making sure the current government was following law and order.

       TRADE – Merchants traveled from India to Arabia to farther west.  Many merchants and traders wanted to tap into the lucrative resource of trade.  Throughout the Mediterranean region, Greek oil, timber, exotic souvenirs, silk, spices, oriental luxuries: cinnamon leaves, camphor, jade, honey, textiles, were brought from the East to this region for trade and economic gain.


RELIGIOUS TRAVEL:  Society of that time went on religious voyages, pilgrimages, traveling east or west seeking holy cities, relics, hoping to be closer to God.  Many people traveled for holy days, for the celebration of Easter in Rome,  or to visit sanctuaries.





VACATION, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT:  Curiosity and shear pleasure guided the reasons for travel.  Society traveled from the rural region to the urban city for entertainment: the theatre, museums, art, gladiator events, municipal events, or even the Olympics  



Vacation and tourism were also a component of traveling.  People were curious of various regions.  Therefore, many vacationed to these regions: Bay of Naples, Greece, Channel of Euripus, Mount Etna, Egypt.


Also, many people traveled to find and discover answers of myths.  Did Werewolves exist? Or tribes with flat faces or tribes without tongues?

ACADEMICS:  Many theologians, philosophers traveled in search of academies, libraries, or centers of learning.

The west traveled to the East to discover the ‘Old World’.  The East traveled to the West for trade and economic gain.  Also, many people traveled to deliver news.  Communication Roads and networks were built to connect an empire and deliver news of the times. 

This page compiled by Miriam Rassam for Professor Sterk's HIS 3931/REL 3938 course.