Travel and Travellers in the Middle Ages

Damian Tyler

Few topics can capture the imagination as strongly as medieval travel. Many people have romantic ideas about Marco Polo his contemporaries plying the seas and trekking the wastes of Central Asia along the Silk Road. The reality, though fascinating, was dangerous, uncomfortable, and far from glamorous. Why did people do it? Making extensive use of original sources (in translation), in this course we will undertake a comprehensive examination of travel in Europe, Asia and Africa in the middle ages. After a detailed discussion of the practicalities of travel, including reasons for it, means of locomotion, accommodation en route and the difficulties involved, the course then focuses on the travels and experiences of notable voyagers, including the Venetian Marco Polo and the Moroccan Ibn Battutah. The final class examines the Portuguese and Spanish ‘voyages of discovery’ of the fifteenth century.

Recommended reading:

  • Marco Polo, The Travels (Penguin, 2016)

  • Ohler, N, The Medieval Traveller (Boydell Press, 1989)

Day:  Friday  Time: 11.00-13.00

5 week course from Friday 6th October to 3rd November 2017

The Library,
St Peter’s House,
Oxford Road (Precinct Centre),
M13 9GH

Price Concessions Minimum No. Maximum No.
£50 n/a 8 14

To book, complete the MANCENT booking form and send it with payment to

Dr Damian J. Tyler, 63 Cuckoo Lane, Whitefield, Manchester, M45 6WD Email:

Adult Education in Manchester and Cheshire