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Medieval Itineraries: The Rieter Family

I’ve not been able to find out very much about this Nurnberg family (any info welcome), but they were obviously noblemen who could visit dukes and consort with kings. Accounts of the 15th-century pilgrimages made by various members of the family were gathered together by a descendant, Hans Rieter, in 1594. This document is in Ansbach, and there is a copy in Munich. A later version with somewhat different material is in the British Library. A transcription of the Ansbach MS was published in 1884 as Das Reisebuch der Familie Rieter, volume 168 of the Bibliothek des Literarischen Vereins in Stuttgart.

Most of the book concerns the pilgrimage of Sebaldt Rieter to the Holy Land in 1464, and most of the others are only bare outlines of a few lines, but they get their own page here because (a) Peter Rieter’s pilgrimage to Santiago is the first record I’m aware of of anyone going via Montserrat, and (b) Sebaldt Rieter’s pilgrimage to Santiago in 1462 is interesting because of the large detour he had to make to avoid the Catalonian Civil War, especially the first siege of Barcelona - presumably, he too was planning on travelling via Montserrat. This detour is in complete contrast to Nompar de Caumont earlier in the century, who travelled via Barcelona to avoid war elsewhere.

Because only the barest outlines of routes are given, I have not plotted the places on maps, but here are the pilgrimages described together with the placenames mentioned:

  1. Peter Rieter
    1. 1428: Santiago, Finisterre, 'Istories' (Astorga according to the notes, or is this Asturias?), Zaragoza, Montserrat, St Antoine, Rome (p9)
    2. 1432: Milan, Pavia, Basel, Wien (p9)
    3. 1436: Holy Land (p10)
    4. 1450: Rome (p10)
  2. Sebaldt Rieter
    1. 1450: Rome, Venice (p10)
    2. 1462: Landshut, Einsiedeln, Milano, Simplon ("über den perckh den Priger"), St Maurice, Geneva, St Antoine, Avignon, Toulouse (notes presence of relics of Philip, James, Simon, Judas and Barnabas, as well as 'many other saints'), Bayonne, Burgos, Leon, Santiago, Finisterre, Burgos (the account does not mention a place but, according to the notes, St Jean de Luz was where Juan II of Aragon and Louis IX of France met), Geneva (p10-13)
    3. 1464: Holy Land
  3. Sebaldt the younger
    1. 1479: Holy Land: the overland route to Venice is given as: Nurnberg, Weissenburg, Augsburg, Landshut, Innsbruck, Bruneck, Venice (86 miles)

P14 also gives the following distances, all in miles (German, presumably), though it does not state what these are based on as they do not entirely correspond to routes taken: Genf-Avignon L, -Toulouse L, -Burgos C, -Cordova CXX, - Granada XXII, - Seville XXII, - sea X; Seville-Lisbon LV, -Santiago XC, -Finisterre XIIII, -Burgos C, -Zaragoza LX, -Montserrat XIII, -Barcelona VII, -Perpignan XXV, -Montpellier XXV, -Genf LXV

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