Publications/Jul 18, 2019

The Image of the Greek

The Image of the Greek lead image

Andrew Jotischky. "The Image of the Greek: Western Pilgrims’ Views of Eastern Monks and Monasteries in the Holy Land, c.1200–1500." Speculum, volume 94, no. 3 (July 2019).

Mark Twain knew just what to make of Greek Orthodox monks. In The Innocents Abroad, his celebrated account of a journey with a party of intrepid American travelers to the Mediterranean and the Holy Land in 1867, he describes a visit to the monastery of Mar Sabas, in the Judaean desert southeast of Bethlehem. His discussion of the monks begins with a description of their physical appearance, before proceeding to draw conclusions about the conduct of their lives and the nature of their existence....