Medieval and modern assessments of the credibility of stories about the travels of Brendan and Marco Polo are linked with views on the reality as described in the stories. A related issue is the author's appeal to authority. In the early medieval Navigatio Sancti Brendani abbatis, reality is filled with the supernatural and faith is so self-evident that the writer did not even feel the need to invoke God's authority. In the twelfth-century Middle-Franconian Reis van Sint Brandaan the connection between reality, the supernatural and faith is more complicated. The writer tries to circumvent the problem by invoking the authority of God and the Holy Spirit. Marco Polo's late thirteenth--century Divisament dou monde deals only with reality and Marco Polo has become his own authority. This means that medieval scepticism regarding the reliability of Brendan or Marco Polo is inspired by completely different levels of consciousness.
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