Arculf (7th century)

Adamnanus, De Locis Santis, 670 AD

The Frankish bishop Arculf made a voyage to the Middle East in the second half of the seventh century, in which he visited Constantinople, Egypt and Palestine. On his return he transmitted an account of his pilgrimage, by the hand of the Irish abbot Adamnan, which provides a description of the ruins of Capernaum, the first evidence, in chronological terms, following the arrival of Islam:

“Those who, coming down from Jerusalem, wish to reach Capernaum, proceed, as Arculf relates, through Tiberias in a straight course, and thence along the Lake of Chinnereth, which is also the Sea of Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee; they pass the site of the above-mentioned Blessing, at a point where two ways meet, and proceeding along the margin of the above-mentioned lake, at no great distance they come to Capernaum, on the sea coast, upon the borders of Zabulon and Nepthalim. Arculf, who observed it from a neighboring mountain, relates that it has no wall and is confined in a narrow space between the mountain and the lake, extending along the sea coast for a long distance; having the mountain on the north and the lake on the south, it stretches from west to east.”