Jerusalem Pilgrims and the Holy Cross in the Fourth Century

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Pilgrimage is an important element of Christianity right from the start, being rooted in the Jewish religion. Pilgrimage to sites in the Holy Land develops strongly in the fourth century as the sites are made accessible and are adorned with sanctuaries by the Emperor. The Cross of Christ becomes an important object of devotion to pilgrims, but the story of its discovery is considered by many scholars as fiction. The article shows that careful source criticism reveals the story to be based on early Jerusalemitic tradition sanctioned by bishop Cyril of Jerusalem, while objections to its essential veracity are based on flimsier evidence and arguments.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Religious Studies


  • Pilgrimage, Jerusalem, fourth century, Holy Cross, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gelasius of Caesarea, source criticism, Inventio Crucis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-79
JournalPatristica Nordica Annuaria
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The article is based on a lecture held at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University, 11 September 2012 The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)