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E00451: The Piacenza Pilgrim records his visit to the baths of *Moses (Old Testament prophet and lawgiver, S00241) in Livias (Palestine), where lepers are cleansed. Account of an anonymous pilgrim, written in Latin, probably in Placentia (northern Italy), c. 570.

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posted on 2015-04-26, 00:00 authored by robert
Pilgrim of Piacenza, Itinerarium 10

First recension
Ibi in proximo est ciuitas quae uocatur Liuiada, ubi remanserunt duo semis tribus Israhel, antequam Iordanem transirent, in quo loco sunt termae ex se lauantes, quae uocantur Moysi, ibi etiam et leprosi mundantur.

'Nearby is the city called Livias, where the two half-tribes of Israel remained before crossing the Jordan, and in that place are natural hot spring which are called the baths of Moses. In these also lepers are cleansed.'

The second recension follows the text of the first without important modifications.

Text: Geyer 1898, 165-166 and 199. Translation: Wilkinson 2002, 135-136.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Moses, Old Testament prophet and lawgiver : S00241

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Pilgrim accounts and itineraries


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Piacenza Sardinia Sardinia Sardegna Sardinia Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Major author/Major anonymous work

Pilgrim of Piacenza

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Other

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Miracles

Healing diseases and disabilities


This Itinerary was written by an anonymous pilgrim to Palestine who started and finished his journey in Placentia. He visited the East probably not long after the earthquake in 551, since he presents the destruction of Berytus (modern Beirut) in this year as a relatively recent event. He certainly visited Palestine before the Persian invasion in 614, since in his account Jerusalem is under Roman administration. The Itinerary is extant in two recensions. The first one is shorter and generally closer to the original, but sometimes it is the second recension which preserves the original text. Moreover, the additions that can be found in the second recension, unfortunately difficult to date, bear an interesting witness to the development of the cult of saints. The Itinerary can be compared with an earlier pilgrim's diary written in the 380s by another western pilgrim, Egeria. The Piacenza Pilgrim's itinerary is less detailed than her account, but shows the development of the cultic practices and infrastructure which had taken place in the course of two hundred years: there are more places to visit, more objects to see, and more saints to venerate.


As in case of the Baths of Elijah (E00417), our pilgrim does not directly state that the power of healing of the baths was due to Moses, but the very fact of associating the baths with the Old Testament hero is interesting.


Edition: Geyer, P. (ed.), Antonini Placentini Itinerarium, in Itineraria et alia geographica (Corpus Chistianorum, series Latina 175; Turnholti: Typographi Brepols editores pontificii, 1965), 129-174. [Essentially a reprinting of Geyer's edition for the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 39, Wien 1898.] English translations: Stewart, A., Of the Holy Places Visited by Antoninus Martyr (London: Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society, 1887). Wilkinson, J., Jerusalem Pilgrims Before the Crusades (2nd ed.; Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 2002).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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