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Travel in the Ancient World.

Antiquity[edit]

See also: Travel literature

Travel outside a person’s local area for leisure was largely confined to wealthy classes, who at times traveled to distant parts of the world, to see great buildings and works of art, learn new languages, experience new cultures, and to taste different cuisines. As early as Shulgi, however, kings praised themselves for protecting roads and building way stations for travelers.[31] Travelling for pleasure can be seen in Egypt as early on as 1500 B.C.[32] During the Roman Republicspas and coastal resorts such as Baiae were popular among the rich. Pausanias wrote his Description of Greece in the 2nd century AD. In ancient China, nobles sometimes made a point of visiting Mount Taiand, on occasion, all five Sacred Mountains.

Middle Ages[edit]

By the Middle AgesChristianity and Buddhism had traditions of pilgrimageChaucer‘s Canterbury Tales and Wu Cheng’en‘s Journey to the West remain classics of English and Chinese literature.

The 10th- to 13th-century Song dynasty also saw secular travel writers such as Su Shi (11th century) and Fan Chengda (12th century) become popular in China. Under the MingXu Xiake continued the practice.[33] In medieval ItalyFrancesco Petrarch also wrote an allegorical account of his 1336 ascent of Mount Ventoux that praised the act of traveling and criticized frigida incuriositas (“cold lack of curiosity”). The Burgundian poet Michault Taillevent [fr] later composed his own horrified recollections of a 1430 trip through the Jura Mountains.[34]