Arculf was a Frankish Bishop who toured the Levant in around 680. Bede claimed he was a bishop ("Galliarum Episcopus"), who, according to Bede's history of the Church in England (V, 15), was shipwrecked on the shore of Iona, Scotland on his return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Holy Land
The Holy Land is a term which in Judaism refers to the Kingdom of Israel as defined in the Tanakh. For Jews, the Land's identifiction of being Holy is defined in Judaism by its differentiation from other lands by virtue of the practice of Judaism often possible only in the Land of Israel...

, and was hospitably received by Adamnan, the abbot of the island monastery of Iona
Iona is a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland. It was a centre of Irish monasticism for four centuries and is today renowned for its tranquility and natural beauty. It is a popular tourist destination and a place for retreats...

 from 679 to 704, to whom he gave a detailed narrative of his travels, from which Adamnan, with aid from some further sources, was able to produce a descriptive work in three books, dealing with Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and other places in Palestine, and briefly with Alexandria and Constantinople, called De Locis Sanctis
De Locis Sanctis
De locis sanctis was composed by the Irish monk Adomnán, a copy being presented to King Aldfrith of Northumbria in 698...

 ("Concerning the sacred places"). Bede came to know of this and spoke about him in his Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation. Many details about Arculf's journeys can be inferred from this text.

Modern references

Arculf appears briefly as a character in the novel Justinian
Justinian (novel)
Justinian , was published in 1998 by Tor Books. It is a novel by American writer Harry Turtledove writing under the pseudonym H. N. Turteltaub, a name he uses when writing historical fiction....

 by H. N. Turteltaub (Harry Turtledove).

External links

Further reading

  • Meehan, D (ed.) Adomnan's 'De Locis Sanctis (Dublin, 1958).
  • Woods, D. ‘Arculf's Luggage: The Sources for Adomnán's De Locis Sanctis’, Ériu 52 (2002), 25-52.

This article is based on the Public Domain
Public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

 article "Arculf" written in 1907 for the Catholic Encyclopedia
Catholic Encyclopedia
The Catholic Encyclopedia, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index...

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