Burchardus de Monte Sion

A brief biography.

Burchardus de Monte Sion (also of Barby, or de Sazxonia; wrongly called Brocard, Bocard, etc) was born in Barby near Magdeburg. Joined to the Dominicans he travelled through Armenia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Cyprus in the period 1274-1284.

Burchard is an observer with something like the modern spirit of exactness, and is as careful in relating as he is exact in observing, distinguishing fact from mere conjecture, and what he has himself seen from what he takes on the authority of others. However, being the child of an uncritical age, he records many a legend. To the description of the land he adds a description of its fauna and flora, and a disquisition on the various religions professed by its inhabitants.



Burchard de Monte Sion must not be confounded with Burchard of Strasburg, a pilgrim of the twelfth century (1175), a fragment of whose itinerarium is extant.

Burchardus wrote his 'Descriptio terrae sanctae' between 1271 and 1291, and it was, thanks to tranlations in German, Frenche and Dutch the guide
for travellers in the Middle East for three centuries.
He died between 1285 and 1291.


Belgium 1966, Mi 1430, Sc 668.

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