Breaking News: Make Reservations to See the Shroud Starting Tomorrow

November 5, 2014 1 comment

SINDONE beigeReuters is reporting that starting tomorrow, exclusively at the Santa Sindone website, the public will be able to make reservation to see the Shroud of Turin between April 19 and June 24, 2015.  Reservations are required to see the shroud at the cathedral in Turin.

This news is not being reported yet on the “official” website.

Reservation Page

Site Home Page


ANSA is now reporting the story using the Reuters feed.

Categories: Uncategorized

Update on the Pope’s Planned Visit to Turin in 2015

November 5, 2014 1 comment

imageThe Papa Francesco News App from the ANSA wire service, now available in Italiano English Español and Português, is quoting the pope speaking this morning to a delegation from Turin:

I’m pleased to announce that, God willing, I will go on a pilgrimage to Turin on June 21 to venerate the Holy Shroud and honour Saint John Bosco on the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Now available for iPhone, iPad, Kindle and Android phones and tablets.

There is also a Shroud Exposition app in the works. It is expected by March.

Categories: 2015, Press Coverage Tags:

A Couple of Terrific Comments About Charles Freeman’s Article

November 4, 2014 161 comments

Please note, first, that Charles Freeman has maintained a very civilized dialog with everyone in this blog. He has posted more than 80 comments in this blog since his article appeared in History Today. It continues to be a fruitful discussion.

If you are not familiar with the issues, these have the been the primary postings about Charles Freeman’s article:

Now, onto those terrific comments:

imageRuss Breault writes:

So someone depicts Christ with more scourge marks than the artistic norm at the time and that’s proof the Shroud is an Easter prop? All the paint just happened to flake off? I might add that none of these images show any anatomical realism–they just show the body scourged more than usual. How these images from the Holkham bible are used as a reference point seems a little obtuse.

Colin Berry writes:

Despite your historical analysis, the TS remains an unsolved scientific enigma – and that cannot be casually dismissed with scientifically-flaky explanations that depend on even flakier paint.

For full context, Colin’s expanded comment should be read:

Yes, I’ve been through your article several times now Charles, and find it thought provoking and (in places) provocative too. That’s why I was interested to hear your opinion re the chemical nature of the body image and bloodstains if, as you suggest, they were both applied freehand as artists’ pigments . (My own views on the nature of the body image and blood have been the subject of numerous postings, and are probably best kept to one side for now to avoid cluttering up the discourse).

Can be confine ourselves first to the body image (blood being hugely more problematical)?

The body image is bleached by a reducing agent (diimide), Susceptibility to one type of simple chemical invariably means it’s susceptible to others too, like oxygen in the air, maybe activated by light. (There are well known model chemical systems in which photooxidation results in bleaching of dyes and other organic chomophores occurs due to self-sensitized production of singlet oxygen).

So while the original image may have been a lot easy to see at a distance than today’s TS, one has to consider a whole range of physical and chemical options and scenarios, instead of assuming it was simply paint that had flaked off. The latter would not explain why the resistant faint ‘signature’ has the physical and chemical properties of chemically-dehydrated linen carbohydrates, i.e essentially “scorch-like” (even if that term was not used by STURP). Nor would it explain why a highly degraded image comes to have so spectacular a response to 3D-rendering software. Thousands of oil and water colour portraits must have flaked away over the centuries. How many have left a faint and intriguing quasi-photograph?

Once you take on board that the image we see today is the primary image, albeit now somewhat faded, and reject any paint-flaking hypothesis that is unsupported by chemical evidence of trace contamination, then one is back where we started. Despite your historical analysis, the TS remains an unsolved scientific enigma – and that cannot be casually dismissed with scientifically-flaky explanations that depend on even flakier paint.

More on Charles Freeman’s Article and Podcast from the OSC IB Blog

November 4, 2014 1 comment

A podcast interview with historian Charles Freeman (25 minutes)

I previously noted in this blog in my posting How Knowledge is Created: The Shroud of Turin:

From the OSC IB Blogs for Students and Teachers (Oxford Study Courses International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme) we get some opinion on examining the Shroud of Turin in TOK classes (Theory of Knowledge). Eileen Dombrowski has written a long, interesting blog posting, The Shroud of Turin: perspectives, faith, and evidence.

Eileen Dombrowski, now, seems to be getting really excited about Charles Freeman’s article:

This topic of the Shroud of Turin just keeps getting better and better for TOK. In my last post, I outlined TOK lessons based on it. But now – even better materials for launching a class! A podcast interview with historian Charles Freeman (25 minutes), linked from the website of History Today,  readily sets up a leaner lesson on the methods of research of an historian. The interviewer applauds Freeman’s research as “historical detective work” on an “unsolved mystery” and invites him to explain his methods of investigation.

In preparation for class discussions on methodology in history, I recommend giving this podcast to your students, along with guiding questions that help them focus their minds analytically as they listen. Below is a set of questions I worked out myself as I listened. You’re welcome to use them yourself if you find them helpful.  (You can download a pdf version of the questions here: Turin Shroud Freeman podcast questions)

Guiding questions?

  • “What does he say that the “shroudies” assume, and what are the consequences for their explanations?”
  • “Notice Freeman’s steps in reasoning: ‘So what clinches this further…’ ‘So we’re coming closer…’ ‘What actually clinched it…’”
  • “Why does Freeman rule out forgery and deliberate hoax?   Why does he think that his research and explanation will be favourably considered by the Catholic Church?”
Categories: History, Other Blogs Tags:

Decrypted: Iconosteganalysist or Iconocryptanalyst

November 4, 2014 34 comments

imageFive days ago, close reader and frequent commenter Max Patrick Hamon wrote:

You are totally entitled to deny my expertise as iconosteganalysist or iconocryptanalyst. This is fair enough since I haven’t had time to show you much so far and you do seem not to know the first thing what iconosteganalysis and iconocryptanalysis are all about.

Here are attached the first three pages of a study still in progress on the Hungarian Pray Ms-Turin Shroud connection; this just to give you an idea of what iconosteganalysis/iconocryptanalysis is all about.

New approaches to the Turin Shroud and existing iconographical, literary and archaeological documents are badly needed to go out of the authenticist-anti-authenticist dead end.

Hope it can help.

I don’t recall denying Max’s expertise. I can’t. I don’t know what those words mean. I checked a couple of dictionaries on my bookcase and also went online. Nothing! I called the library.

“Honey. . .” (all South Carolina lady librarians call everyone honey) “Are you maybe talking about someone who finds secret codes in icons?” the librarian asked, with a long drawn out “maybe” that sounded like “ma bay.”

Yes, yes, of course. I do see something of the meaning of one of those words. Which one, now? I intended to write back to Max wondering when the rest of the paper would arrive. Before I did I saw this comment yesterday:

BTW Dan, I emailed you on October 30, 2014 I emailed you the first three pages of a research paper still in progress entitled: The Hungarian Pray Ms-Turin Shroud connection: MORE THAN MEET THE NON-INITIATED EYE…Or An Iconosteganalysis

I had you to be fair play enough to publish them in your blog.You haven’t. WHY?

And Louis chimed in begging me to publish the first three pages while we await the rest of it. So HERE IT IS. (I had to convert it from a DOCX to a PDF. I hope in doing so that I didn’t mess up the iconocryptanalysis in any way.)

Categories: Paper Chase Tags:

The Holkham Bible Recently Much Mentioned

November 3, 2014 41 comments
Categories: Books, History Tags:

Another Bari Conference Paper Available

November 3, 2014 Leave a comment

imageThe following paper by Andrea Di Genua, Emanuela Marinelli, Ivan Polverari and Domenico Repice, Judas, Thaddeus, Addai: possible connections with the vicissitudes of the Edessan and Constantinopolitan Mandylion and any research perspectives has been added to  (There is also a version in Italian*: Giuda, Taddeo, Addai: possibili collegamenti con le vicende del Mandylion edesseno-costantinopolitano ed eventuali prospettive di ricerca)

The abstract reads:

The Mandylion or image of Edessa, first mentioned in the 6th century, was a depiction of Christ’s face, described by some texts as a painting and by others as a miraculous imprint on a cloth. It is reasonable to believe that this mysterious cloth was the Shroud which is today kept in Turin, folded in such a way as to show only the face.

The protagonist of the events related to the Edessan image is Thaddeus-Addai, who is at times defined as “apostle” and at other times simply as disciple. The identification of Thaddeus Addai with the apostle Judas Thaddeus or one of the 70 (or 72) disciples remains an issue which deserves further studies; however, considering the research already conducted, a possible relation between the numerous literary witnesses and the figure of Judas Thaddeus is not to be ruled out.

The analysis of the 10th icon of the Abgar legend is intriguing:

The upper part of the diptych, on the left, shows the depiction of a saint, identifiable as Thaddeus. However, it is likely that this saint is not one of the 72 disciples, but imageexactly the apostle Judas Thaddeus, as identified in Greek books. The Western and Eastern traditions diverge substantially on this point. In the upper right side, King Abgar is represented with the facial features of Emperor Constantine VII, who in 944 moved the relic to Constantinople [61].

imageThe images of St Judas Thaddeus are very late in the West, and the saint is always represented carrying a medal depicting Jesus’ face. In Early Christianity and in the Middle Ages, the apostle Judas is only represented in the apostolic college, with no reference to the Mandylion (mosaics in Monreale, el Bawit in Egypt, etc.).

The saint depicted on the left has a face similar to that of the character who, on the right, hands over the Mandylion to King Abgar. This similarity does not prove that they are the same person, since byzantine painters used to employ patterns to reproduce the human face and, as always, painters tend to make self-portraits; this, therefore, would explain the similarity of the two and also the similarities of the saints depicted in the lower part.


*  The English version is a translation from Italian by Augusto Monacelli

Categories: Conference, History Tags:

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