in Bertrams

Chapter 06 – Jerusalem


George expects his trip to Jerusalem to offer some sort of meaning to his life.  George hopes that he will be able to have a holy or revelatory experience during his stay.  However, as George enters Jerusalem, his “ecstatic pathos” is delayed because of the pain he feels from his saddle.  George curses the saddle “to all the fiends of Tartarus,” which is the lowest part of the Underworld in Classical mythology.  The utilization of the mythological Tartarus stands in contrast with the Christian religious experience that George hopes for.  [KS & RR 2012]



The catalogue of cities in Caroline’s grand tour includes Athens.  Athens was considered the epicenter of Classical Greek culture and is the capital of modern Greece.  [KS 2012]



While touring the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, George notices the differences between the shrines of the orthodox Greeks and the “Latins.”  The utilization of “Latins” to name the Roman Catholics places Roman Catholicism within a Classical context.  The Roman Catholic Church used Latin in their services.  [KS & RR 2012]


sanctum sanctorum

George is observing people entering the Tabernacle of the Holy Sepulchre, and it is later referred to as the “sanctum sanctorum,” which in Latin means “holy of the holies.” However, the procession is not depicted as being very holy, as George notices that the entrance is very small, it is over-crowded, and he does not find the Christians there to be very “cleanly.”  The use of this Latin phrase seems to elevate the place, but that is undermined through its description.  [KS 2012]


tantalizing glimpse

“Tantalizing” recalls Tantalus, a Classical mythological figure punished in the Underworld by reaching for water and fruit that ever-retreat from him.   Trollope writes that a Greek religious service was conducted behind a grating through which worshippers could get only a “tantalizing glimpse.”  In describing a Christian Greek service with a reference to non-Christian Greek mythology, Trollope implicitly questions the Christian authenticity of the Greek mass.  [KS & RR 2012]