Before we can talk about travels and mobilities in the Middle Ages, we first need to address a factor that has cast a long shadow over scholarly and public perceptions of the period, and from which scholarship has only recently begun to emerge: the long-standing association between mobility and modernity. In the nineteenth century, when pioneering scholars such as E. G. Ravenstein began work in the fields of mobility and migration studies, they did so in the context of the mass movement of people set in motion by the Industrial Revolution in England.' The influence of the field’s early history has been pervasive; scholarship on this major dimension of human movement has, until very recently, considered modern movements of people largely in isolation from their premodern counterparts.” Scholarship on travel and exploration, too, has suffered historically from a similar bias.