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Origin of the Gammadia

July 22, 2014 52 comments

Click on the image for a larger version

imageRuss Breault writes:

I have run across something interesting and am trying to determine if it has significance.  From the 3rd to the 9th centuries it was apparently common in Byzantine iconography for the outer garments, especially representing people with high authority, to be marked with a stylized "L" called a "Gammadia".  No one seems to know what the origin is but is it possible it is derived from the L-shaped pattern of burns on the Shroud?  These holes when seen on the Lierre copy are very pronounced and for centuries, until the 1532 fire would have been the most obvious marking on the cloth. Was it picked up and turned into a symbol for ancient iconographers?  Would some of your participants like to investigate this further?  Here is an example from Ravenna:

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Newly Published Thomas de Wesselow Video

July 10, 2014 7 comments

I have not seen this video before: Thomas de Wesselow discussing his theory that the Shroud of Turin provides an explanation as to why the first Christians came to believe in the Resurrection. It is an IdeaCity series page at Hulu.com. The video was made on June 18, 2012 and just published yesterday at DailyMotion. It runs 22 minutes.

More on the Long Cloth Mandylion

Categories: Art, History Tags: ,

A Long Cloth Mandylion?

July 8, 2014 24 comments

O.K. writes:

Some time ago I found an interesting illustration of a "long" Mandylion. First in the Holger Kersten&Elmar Gruber book "Jezus ofiarą spisku" (the polish edition of The Jesus Conspiracy) I provide a scan from it [Illustration1]. The picture is not adressed anywhere in the book, and as the source is given simply "Bibliothéque Nationale". The same picture is reproduced in Antonio Teseo blog, who gives the source as Bibliothéque Nationale, ms lat.2688, dated 1280-85.

Another time when I saw this illustration is in Francesac Saracino 2007 documentary LaSacra Sindone; la storia. [Illustration2]. It confirmed that the illustration is generally monochromatic. However it is certain that the cloth is "long" (just look on the position of hands and the frame [Illustration3]), even though nothing more except the face is seen on it. It shows that the cloth have been considered by some as much larger than often claimed, larger than just handkerchief. Possibly large enough to contain the image of the whole body (as implied by Codex Vossianus and Ordericus Vitalis), even though, as I said, only face is depicted on the presented illustration.

Illustration 1:

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Illustration 2:

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Illustration 3:

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It’s a total feeling sort of thing.

June 30, 2014 1 comment

imageBT writes from New London:

I truly appreciate every one of the 300 comments in the recent thread about the Hungarian Pray Manuscript, particularly the skeptical ones. I read them carefully. I also considered the evidence from the Stavronikita Epitaphios. I had always thought the illustration in the codex was possible evidence for the shroud’s existence well before the date determined by radiocarbon testing. But I was cautious. I sometimes wondered if it was really true that features found in the drawing requiring knowledge of the shroud were indeed there because of such knowledge. I was 75% convinced they were. Now, I am 99% convinced.

Yeah, me too.

And you could almost see a small smile in Hugh Farey’s face as he responded to daveb:

You did help. The Byzantine herringbone pattern is another chip on the pile on the authentic side of the balance. It’s still not enough for me, as you predicted, but it’s more evidence. I like evidence!

Hugh is, of course, referring to the pattern on the Stavronikita Epitaphios.

We are talking about two threads: 1)Discussion about the Pray Codex and it’s relation to the Shroud is over? and 2) Comment Promoted: The Stavronikita Epitaphios. O.K. got the first one going. I count 297 comments. That has to be a record. DaveB got the second one going.

It’s a total feeling sort of thing. I can’t prove it. I won’t try. I think the Hungarian Pray Manuscript does represent the shroud. So does the burial sheet in the Stavronikita Epitaphios. I’m convinced.

Comment Promoted: The Stavronikita Epitaphios

June 28, 2014 14 comments

imageDaveb writes in the Discussion about the Pray Codex and it’s relation to the Shroud is over? thread:

Some two years ago on this site, there was considerable discussion [Herringbone Weave within Stavronikita Epitaphios (Revisited)] on the Epitaphios Stavronikita. Several features necessarily connect it to the Shroud, one in particular was an undeniable replication of the herring-bone twill. Other features included a bloodied, scourged, prostrate Christ with crossed hands over the groin. Despite the many similarities, thumbs are nevertheless clearly visible. However, there was clearly disagreement about the date of provenance, some asserting it as late 15th – 16th centuries, while others insisted that it was as early as 12th century, a most unsatisfactory state of affairs. I have attempted to pursue this further via the web, but the only references to this particular epitaphios all relate back to Dan’s web-site only. There appear to be no other web references to it. I can’t even find it on any of the Mt Athos Stavronikita monastery web-sites.

There were several other comments relating to herring-bone twill representations, including several from Max PH referring to the St Mark’s 7th century carving. Someone had found a reference to the Stavronikita in a university library, but the matter of dating it still remains unresolved.

Even though the TS was known in the west by the 14th century, would monks or artisans at Mt Athos be likely to use this knowledge as a model for an epitaphios for use in Greek Orthodox liturgies at this time? I think not! A rational explanation for whatever model was used for it, demands that some remembered features of the Shroud cloth when it was under Greek custody influenced its design.

Meantime, someone may like to pursue the date of provenance of the epitaphios stavronikita with better success and more conclusivity than I’ve been able to manage.

I had said then that the implications are significant. Look very carefully at the weave pattern on the burial shroud pictured (two photographs) and the enlarged section showing the cloth below the shoulder.

Photo 1:image

Photo 2:

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Section beneath shoulder showing herringbone:

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Discussion about the Pray Codex and its relation to the Shroud is over?

June 21, 2014 552 comments

A Guest Posting by O.K.


Pray Codex –a probabilistic approach.

Click on image to enlarge to 895×1297 and see legend for features listed below

PrayCodexElementsThe discussion about the Pray Codex and it’s relation to the Shroud seems to be over.

The question of whether or not the Pray Codex had been inspired by the Shroud of Turin has been hotly debated.

Here I would like to present a probabilistic approach to that matter. I would like to estimate probability of several key elements linking the Codex with the Shroud, to occur ALL AT ONCE by pure chance, instead of being copied from the Shroud.

I take into account only a few INDEPENDENT, NON-TRIVIAL and UNDISPUTED details sharing some alleged similarity with the Shroud.

It should be noted that on the key page of the Codex, there are in fact TWO illustrations not just one. Further we will be calling upper illustration as Illustration I, an bottom illustration as Illustration II. This complicates the matter a little bit, but can be overcome.

There are several key details on both illustrations. Let’s estimate the probability of their occurrence on Entombment/Three Marys scene by random

Illustration I:

· A –the Jesus is naked, with His hands crossed above pelvis (similar on the Shroud) –let’s assume that such portrayal occurs in 1/100 instances.

· B –He has just 4 fingers on each hand, no thumbs visible (the same as Shroud) -1/100 instances

· C –He has His legs cropped by the end of page, without any obvious reason (the same as frontal image on the Shroud) -1/100 instances.

Illustration II:

· D –there is a pyramidal/zigzag pattern on alleged shroud/tomb lid –possible reference to the Shroud and it’s herringbone weave, or merely decorative pattern? Anyway, let’s suppose that we can find such pattern in 1/100 instances.

· E –two red smudges on the surface of shroud/tomb lid (just below angel’s feet). Unless this is reference to the blood belt on the Shroud, there is no obvious reason for them. Anyway, let’s suppose that we can find such pattern in 1/100 instances.

· F –the four L shaped ‘poker holes’, similar to those that can be found on the Shroud –reference to it, or just another (very strange) decorative pattern (or to the holes in the Holy Sepulcher, or anything)? No matter. Let’s estimate chance for their random occurrence as 1/100, but, as someone on the forum once pointedthat the chance for four dots to have proper L shape (instead of single line, 2×2 box, ‘T’, or 2×2 with one row translated by 1 element –recall yourself Tetris) in any orientation are 1/5, so 1/500.

So, the probability for elements A-B-C, to occur on any single illustration can be estimated as 1/(100*100*100), that is 1/1000 000=10^-6

Fine. Let’s estimate the expected number of all Entombment illustrations that could have all the elements A-B-C just by chance. Let’s assume that there were 10 millions of Entombment illustrations in the medieval. Thus expected value, is:

10 000 000/1000 000 =10.

Fine, so far, basing on our assumptions, we can expect an upper limit of 10 Entombment portrayals having elements A-B-C.

Suppose we have one such manuscript, with A-B-C elements occurring just by random (Illustration I). Now let’s estimate the probability that in the Three Mary’s Scene, right below the Entombment Scene (this is is the case of Codex Pray, Illustration II), by pure chance (we assume that both illustrations are in fact, independent on each other, and not related directly to the Shroud), there will be elements D-E-F:

The chance is:

1(100*100*500)=1/5000 000 =0.2*10^-7

Similar reasoning could be performed in the other direction (Three Mary’s Scene -> Entombment). The conclusion would be the same:

The chances that all those features A-F are randomly, and simultaneously portrayed in the Pray Codex, without direct reference to the Shroud, are negligible.

So far I can remember, no sceptic has been able to give example of illustration having two out of six key elements A-F.

The discussion about the Pray Codex and it’s relation to the Shroud seems to be over.

PrayCodexElements

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