Benjamin of Tudela, Spanish explorer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela, written in the late twelfth century, has long been recognized as a unique source for both Jewish and Mediterranean history. This paper attempts to shift the focus to the text and its history, and examine the process of its translation and reception in early modern Europe. I focus on the first Latin translation (Antwerp, 1575), prepared by the Spanish biblical scholar Benito Arias Montano. In his dedication and preface, Montano presents Benjamin as an eminent member of the illustrious Spanish tradition of explorers and geographers. Moreover, he sees in the Itinerary a document that may be significant for the understanding of Scripture. Montano's conceptualization allows us to understand the complexities of translation as a cultural process - the attempts to bridge linguistic, religious, and chronological barriers that separated Benjamin from his early modern readers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-33
Number of pages17
JournalMediterranean Historical Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Benito Arias Montano
  • Benjamin of Tudela
  • Hebraism
  • cultural translation
  • early modern Spain
  • early modern geography
  • translation history
  • travel literature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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