Anonymous Pilgrim of Piacenza (6th century)

Itinerarium Antonini Placentini, 560-570 AD

Around the middle of the sixth century, the Anonymous Pilgrim of Piacenza began his journey that took him from Constantinople to Alexandria in Egypt. During the course of his travels he visited the Sea of Galilee and he has left us a brief description of the village of Capernaum. The pilgrim’s attention was drawn only to Peter’s house, which he describes as like a church. What he in fact was describing was the Byzantine-era octagonal church constructed in the sixth century that covered the Apostle’s house and testified to the importance of the site.

“Then we arrived to the city of Tiberias, where there are thermal waters for bathing that are naturally salty, while the neighboring sea (lake) is freshwater. This sea has a circumference of sixty miles. Then we continued to Capernaum to the house of the Blessed Peter, which is now a church. From there, passing through villages, mountain cottages and towns we came to two springs, those of Jor and Dan which, putting them together, have come to be called Jordan; although they are actually quite small, they enter into the sea, pass through the waters, and exit on the opposite shore. Retracing our steps, we came to the place where the Jordan enters the sea; and at this place we crossed the Jordan. We came to the city called Gadara, which is the same as Gabaon.”

Libro I, cap. 7