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Arculf (later 7th century), was a Frankish Bishop who toured the Levant in around 680. Bede claimed he was a bishop (Galliarum Episcopus). According to Bede's history of the Church in England (V, 15), Arculf was shipwrecked on the shore of Iona, Scotland on his return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He was hospitably received by Adamnan, the abbot of the island monastery of Iona from 679 to 704, to whom he gave a detailed narrative of his travels. Adamnan, with aid from some further sources, was able to produce De Locis Sanctis ("Concerning the sacred places"), a descriptive work in three books dealing with Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and other places in Palestine, and briefly with Alexandria and Constantinople. Bede came to know of this and spoke about him in his Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation. Many details about Arculf's journeys can be inferred from this text.

Modern references

Arculf appears briefly as a character in the novel Justinian by H. N. Turteltaub (Harry Turtledove).

External links

Further reading

  • Meehan, D (ed.) Adomnan's 'De Locis Sanctis' (Dublin, 1958).
  • Woods, D. ‘Arculf's Luggage: The Sources for Adomnán's De Locis Sanctis’, Ériu 52 (2002), 25-52.

This article is based on the Public Domain article "Arculf" written in 1907 for the Catholic Encyclopedia