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Decrypted: Iconosteganalysist or Iconocryptanalyst

November 4, 2014

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.)

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  1. Max patrick Hamon
    November 4, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Thank you Dan for posting the first draft of my research paper. The fact is your conversion of the latter from a DOCX to a PDF did mess up the iconocryptanalysis… The third Tables of illustration is not readable. Too bad.

    • Dan
      November 4, 2014 at 10:45 am

      If you will send me a corrected file in PDF format, I will replace the other file. I cannot post DOCX files. And I cannot get into the business of reformatting and correcting anything.

      • Max patrick Hamon
        November 4, 2014 at 11:29 am

        Sorry Dan for the inconvenience but I have a problem creating PDFs with my computer. I’ll try to fix it.

  2. Max patrick Hamon
    November 4, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Hugh,

    On another thread (re my identification of a Western-style (most likely Templar) loros depiction,

    Hugh, (on another thread)

    you FIRST wrote, on October 30, 2014 at 7:16 am pm:

    “The archangel Michael has collar, wings, halo, hem of tunic, sash and a thin central panel of his tunic in herringbone. NONE OF THEM RESEMBLES A LOROS (upper cases mine). He (Saint Michael) is carrying a cloth over one arm.”

    AND LATER on the very same day at 7:54 pm:

    “I freely admit, Max, that I had never heard of the loros until you introduced the term (…)”

    AND THEN, on October 31, 2014 at 7:31 pm AND
    November 1, 2014 at 7:03 am, you wrote:

    “You know what, Max? I think you’re right (= the Archangels Gabriel and Michael’s loroi are Western depictions of the Byzantine loros.” In fact I said this several posts ago (sic!).”

    “This is all excellent, Max. This is what an expert does, and goodness me I think you’ve proved your point, especially with your last reference, which shows the inside of the loros not only as it sweeps up from the waist to the arm, but also as it drops down the other side, which is unusual, but is the same as the Archangels in the Grandson antependium. Even the wings are the same shape. Many thanks.”

    REMINDER for you: I had rather a jasmin or rose flavoured shisha (water pipe) with a couple of glasses of Ksarak (Libanesse arak) than ‘a (fat) cigar’, thank you.

    More seriously, you STILL do seem to have neither the foggiest notion of what iconosteganalysis and iconocryptanalysis is all about nor how they can be very accurate for identification’s sake as they both can lead to A SERIES OF SMOKING GUN PIECES OF EVIDENCE…

    A- ‘Iconosteganographically’ speaking, the Pray Codex Ms folio 28 UPPER section does show:

    1/- ‘the red smudge’ on the HP MS threnos epitaphios Christ’s forehead is the accurate depiction of the lower portion of the tailed-epsilon-shaped shaped blood trickle on the TS man’s forehead with its clotted extension on the eyebrow ridge (this is eye catching as a clincher for the ‘iconosteganalyst’)

    2/- though apparently very dissimilar, the HP Ms folio 28 Christ’s face and Turin Shroud face does have strikingly similar ACCIDENTAL characteristics.

    B -‘Iconosteganographically’ speaking, the Pray Codex Ms folio 28 LOWER section does show:

    1/- symbolic depiction of the scourging via three diagonal red Xs that is to be seen in conjunction with the TS man’s scapula regions.

    (In the 1268 CE T’oros Roslin/Armenian miniature of the Resurrected Christ, the flagellation mark-covered body on the Sindon, now kept in Turin, is cryptosymbolically depicted as Christ’s palmette-covered white himation or sindon)

    2/- simplified yet recognizable depiction through one accidental characteristic of the blood flow on the TS man’s right arm in conjunction with a steganosymbolic depiction of the TS man’s side wound (The double wriggly lines are a simplified version of the TS man’s right arm blood flow indeed).

    3/- same stepped-pyramid simplified pattern close-up

    4/- same two (L- & P-like shaped) series of Water marks and burn holes

    5/- the ’embedded yet perfectly recognizable symbolic depiction’ of the TS frontal image right foot two lateral symmetrical bloodstain patterns.

    Whether on their own or in conjunction, those striking accidental characteristics do lead to
    conclusive evidence of the HP Ms-TS connection. The 28 folio upper and lower sections are
    derived from the TS image indeed.

    Too bad one of my crucial illustrations to prove my point is totally messed up via conversion rom a DOCX to a PDF. Still methinks people can get a fairly good idea of what iconocryptanalysis is all about.

  3. Max patrick Hamon
    November 4, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Correction and additions:

    Hugh,

    you STILL do not seem to have neither the foggiest notion of what iconosteganalysis
    and iconocryptanalysis is all about nor how very accurate they are for identification’s sakeas both can lead to A SERIES OF SMOKING GUN PIECES OF EVIDENCE…

    A- ‘Iconosteganographically’ speaking, the Pray Codex Ms folio 28 UPPER section does show:

    1/- ‘the red smudge’ on the HP MS threnos epitaphios-like Christ’s forehead is the accurate depiction of the lower portion of the tailed-epsilon-shaped shaped blood trickle on the TS man’s forehead with its clotted extension on the eyebrow ridge (this is eye catching as a clincher for the ‘iconosteganalyst’)

    2/- though apparently very dissimilar, the HP Ms folio 28 Christ’s face and Turin Shroud face does have strikingly similar ACCIDENTAL characteristics.

    3/- The HP M Christ’s head tilted at a gentle angle is anatomically consistent with the TS man’s slightly tilted head.

    4/- Though more realistic, the life model’s face pencil drawing by the Hungarian American professional artist, Isabel Piczek, is far less congruent than the cartoon-like Christ’s face Hungarian Pray Ms folio 28r ink drawing by the Hungarian Benedictine monk illustrator

    B -‘Iconosteganographically’ speaking, the Pray Codex Ms folio 28 LOWER section does show:

    1/- symbolic depiction of the scourging via three diagonal red Xs that is to be seen in conjunction with the TS man’s scapula regions.

    (In the 1268 CE T’oros Roslin/Armenian miniature of the Resurrected Christ, the flagellation mark-covered body on the Sindon, now kept in Turin, is cryptosymbolically depicted as Christ’s palmette-covered white himation or sindon)

    2/- simplified yet recognizable depiction through one accidental characteristic of the blood flow on the TS man’s right arm in conjunction with a steganosymbolic depiction of the TS man’s side wound (The double wriggly lines are a simplified version of the TS man’s right arm blood flow indeed).

    3/- the TS as Christ’s burial cloth lying almost totally flat on the sarcophagus lid as it does show the same stepped-pyramid simplified pattern when seen in close-up

    4/- the TS as a camouflaged burial cloth, does show the same two (L- & P-like shaped) series of water marks and burn holes

    5/- the ‘embedded yet perfectly recognizable symbolic depiction’ of the TS frontal image right foot two lateral symmetrical bloodstain patterns.

    Whether on their own or in conjunction, those striking accidental characteristics do lead to
    conclusive evidence of the HP Ms-TS connection. The 28 folio upper and lower sections are
    derived from the TS image indeed.
    Too bad one of my crucial illustrations to prove my point is totally messed up via conversion
    from a DOCX to a PDF. Still methinks people can get a fairly good of what
    iconocryptanalysis is all about.

  4. November 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Max, are there any other experts in iconocryptanalysis — alive or dead? The challenge, as I’m sure you will appreciate, is that if you are the proto-iconocryptanalyst then it will be almost impossible to obtain peer review of your work. How can this challenge be overcome?

    • Max patrick Hamon
      November 4, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      David,

      Have you got eyes to see?
      What do you make (for instance) of‘ the red smudge’ on the HP MS threnos epitaphios-like Christ’s forehead as an accurate depiction of the lower portion of the tailed-epsilon-shaped shaped blood trickle on the TS man’s forehead with its clotted extension on the eyebrow ridge? Do you seriously think it was by mere iconographic chance, the Benedictine illustrator added such a ‘red blood-like smudge’?

  5. Thomas
    November 5, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Of course the red smudge above the right eyebrow is just a coincidence

  6. Max patrick Hamon
    November 5, 2014 at 6:06 am

    Thomas, you wrote:

    “OF COURSE (upper cases mine) the red smudge above the right eyebrow is just a coincidence a coincidence?”

    Of specifically (CRYPTO)SINDONOGRAPHIC course you mean!

    • Max patrick Hamon
      November 5, 2014 at 6:30 am

      This is NO coincidence at all!

      • Max patrick Hamon
        November 5, 2014 at 6:36 am

        From a forensic cryptologist viewpoint, this is the first smoking gun evidence the 12th CE Benedictine monk did see the Shroud now kept in Turin and, using the iconosteganographic technique, was drawing from selective memory!

  7. Max patrick Hamon
    November 5, 2014 at 6:20 am

    Correction: (In the HP Ms lowwer section) the TS (is depicted) as Christ’s burial cloth FOLDED IN FOUR (once lengthwise and once widthwise) and lying almost totally flat on the sarcophagus lid as it does show the same stepped-pyramid simplified weave pattern when seen in close-up.

    • Max patrick Hamon
      November 5, 2014 at 6:29 am

      Re Christ’s burial cloth FOLDED IN FOUR (once lengthwise and once widthwise), once “folded or doubled in four”, it could be described in Greek as both tetraplon = in four layers/two double thickness (in reference to result only) OR tetradiplon = folded twice in four layers (in reference to both process and result).

  8. November 5, 2014 at 7:16 am

    The thing is, Max, that some of us disagree with you. While it is perfectly possible to draw all sorts of interesting comparisons between a couple of images – and I treasure your comments regarding “The Shroud of Turin Blimp” more than I can say – it is also possible that none of these was intended or noticed by the people who made the images, and have only been recognised by people whose profession is to do just that.
    Now I’m bothered by how you might be able to persuade us doubters that your parallels between the Pray manuscript and the Shroud are deliberate, as it seems hardly fair just to say ‘I don’t believe you’ without suggesting how you might go about changing our minds. Being supported by other experts in iconocryptanalysis would be a start, as David Goulet has suggested, or demonstrating more unequivocal comparisons. To me, the blood smudge is trivial, but the diagonal line of crosses and the L&P holes, although I do not agree that they are connected with the Shroud, are clearly deliberate, and not easy to explain. A picture of Christ being flogged leaving cruciform welts would be good, and your ‘palmette’ illustrations are a good start, but they don’t convince me. Similarly, some kind of artistic tradition showing a rigid rectangular shroud in a Three Marys painting, or a herringbone design being represented as stepped pyramids rather than stacked zig-zags would also be effective. Otherwise, merely inventing long words, entertaining though they be, doesn’t do it for me. Sorry.

    • Max patrick Hamon
      November 5, 2014 at 9:22 am

      I am no entertainer, I mean cryptological business.

    • Max patrick Hamon
      November 5, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Hugh you wrote:

      “(…) the blood smudge is trivial”. TOTALLY WRONG (AGAN!), it is deliberate and even a STARTLINGLY ACCURATE DEPICTION of the lower portion of tailed-epsilon shaped blood mark on the TS man’s forehead!

      Reminder just for you: regarding the Grandson antependium Saint Micheal’s herringbone patterned loros you most misleadingly wrote (twice or thrice) they were just patterns and the archangel did not wear a loros. Now I did prove you wrong beyond the shadow of a rational doubt: Saint Michael (and saint Gabriel) were both wearing a loros INDEED and their herringbone weave patterned loros in light of the Byzantine imperial loros as a symbol of Yeshua’s shroud was a give away as far as the Loros-TS connection was concerned.

      • Max patrick Hamon
        November 5, 2014 at 10:40 am

        Hugh, if you don’t like long though accurrate words such as iconosteganalysis and iconocryptanalysis, what about Late Antique and Medieval ‘image steganalysis’ and ‘cryptanalysis’, which would tend to tell us you are more form than substance.

        • November 5, 2014 at 10:54 am

          Max, ENOUGH! Why do you have to always turn the discussion into personal jabs? Hugh has merely pointed out the challenges he has with your observations. I did the same. I’m more than willing to concede that you have special cryptoanalysis skills – but not based simply on your claiming to have them. There must be other academics you share notes with, discuss iconography with. Could you not invite one of them to this forum to chime in on your observations? One peer corroboration would be worth a hundred of your mini-post ‘reminders’ claiming you can see things the rest of us cannot.

      • November 5, 2014 at 11:25 am

        Thank you Max. I did deny that the archangels wore a loros, and you convinced me that they did. How did you do that? By smothering me in archeocryptosteganographanalysis? No. By writing in capital letters with lots of exclamation marks? No. By telling me how clever you are and how stupid I am? No. It was by actually producing sufficient corroborating evidence to convince me. Why not do that again?

  9. Max patrick Hamon
    November 5, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Hugh,

    First it was ‘just pattern’ when actually it was herringbone weave pattern in conjunction with a very specific cloth that was symbolic of Yeshua’s Shroud!

    Now ‘the blood smudge is trivial’ when actually it is the accurate depiction of the lower portion of the tailed-epsilon-shaped shaped blood trickle on the TS man’s forehead with its clotted extension on the eyebrow ridge and I have produced a smoking gun comparative iconographic evidence!

    Re the crooked or skewed external appearance of the TS man’s nose (central cartilage in the nose is skewed to one side) see e.g. Colin’s life-like 3D-enhanced image of the TS face. Link at

    I have already told you this very accidental characteristic was copied as early as the end of the 7th c. CE and refer you to nearly a dozen of Justinian II Solidii that bear the Face of Christ with skewed nose. This is non minting error! Now how do you incorporate the information in your comments? You still think the TS is late medieval!?

    When are you really going to tell me the skewed nose TOO is indeed remarkably shroud-like,
    and it is difficult not to think it was indeed the model just because this is exactly what it is?

    • Max patrick Hamon
      November 5, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      Typo: this was not Colin’s but OK’s life-like 3D-enhanced image of the TS face. SORRY OK!

      See ‘Fanti’s solidus’ obverse:

      https://shroudofturin.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/image_thumb28.png?w=462&h=515

    • Max patrick Hamon
      November 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      Hugh, nope if you not have eyes to see…

    • Max patrick Hamon
      November 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      On October 23, 2012 at 6:31 am, I wrote:

      It should be here reminded:
      1/- The true medical forensic fact IS the TS man’s nose shows slight deviation both of the tip of the nose and central cartilage
      2- The true archaeological fact IS, in Late Antiquity and Byzantine time, sculptors and engravers did have the ability to turn 2D image into 3D model.
      3/- Ancient Observers would in fact report as observations and copy BOTH what they did really see and what they believed they saw

  10. Max patrick Hamon
    November 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    What is advanced archaeocryptology all about? (excerpt from one of my still unpublished research papers on the TS)

    Late Antique & Medieval non-Christian and Christian ‘Icono(stegano)graphy’ (or /‘Icono(stegano)logy’; from Greek, icon, “image”, steganos, “covert”, and graphein, “writing” –suggesting not only tracing, engraving, drawing, and inscribing, but also an intellectual activity–, or -logia, “study”, respectively) is a relatively new archaeological approach I unofficially created in 1994. At its simplest, it is the art of literally camouflaging (i.e. hiding in full view via subtly equivocal signs translated and in translation for the beholder) visual (with or without textual) information within the structure of an apparently rather conventional and innocuous iconographic ‘cover’ (panel painting, sculpture, manuscript illumination, graffiti) so that outsiders are not aware of its very presence. Or to put it in other words and paraphrase Carvin, “it is simply a case of disguising a covert image within an overt one for the purposes of concealment”.

    Whereas more specifically, its Christian form is none other than the advanced crypto-mnemonic Art of embedding the sacred image of Christ’s body image and blood on his burial winding sheet in an overtly conventional (or even overtly non conventional) biblical, New Testament and/or hagiographic scenic ‘cover’ for the Benedictine monk’s or nun’s eye well-versed in ‘Histotheoria’ (interpretative image/text processing from material direct observation to spiritual teachings) to (discreetly/secretly) meditate at will on the Christian Mystagogic Image par excellence.

    In both cases, this is an unrecognizable advanced form of cryptography for the non-initiated Archaeologists, Historians and Art Historians who have no efficient detection methods or tools to tackle such an encryption form properly. This is definitely where ‘Iconosteganalysis’ comes in.

  11. November 5, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Sorry, Max, still no jasmin chisha. For a start I never agreed that the herringbone pattern on the loroi of the Granson antependium was intended to represent the Shroud, and now I have to say that I do not agree with your ‘true facts’ above. In detail, I do not agree that the smudged red blob on the Pray manuscript is a representation of the lowest arm, coupled to the pendant drop, of the epsilon bloodmark in the shroud. Nor do I think that the nose on the Shroud is sufficiently crooked for anyone to have depicted it on a painting, let alone engraved it on a coin. The Pray manuscript shows the nose absolutely straight. If I were you I wouldn’t bother about these tiny details and concentrate on the three diagonal crosses. They’re big, they’re clearly deliberate, and I don’t know why they’re there (although I have made a suggestion). Do they appear anywhere else as unequivocal scourge welts?

  12. Max patrick Hamon
    November 6, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Hugh,

    You wrote: “I never agreed that the herringbone pattern on the loroi of the Granson antependium was intended to represent the Shroud”.

    So what do you make of the loros as Byzantine imperial insigne symbolic of Christ’s Shroud?
    NOTHING!
    How can you explain this striking departure from the traditional Byzantine depiction of the lavishly adorned ceremonial long and narrow stole if not connected to the very fact Shroud Westerners (most likely Knight Templars living in Cyprus) would identify the specifically long narrow herringbone weave patterned loros to Christ’s LONG NARROW HERRINGBONE PATTERNED BURIAL SHEET now kept in Turin? YOU JUST CANNOT!

    You “do not agree that the smudged red blob on the Pray manuscript is a representation of the lowest arm, coupled to the pendant drop, of the epsilon bloodmark in the shroud.”

    I have produced a comparative iconography of the lower portion of the TS face ‘tailed-epsilon’ shaped blood trickle dripping onto the eyebrow ridge in BOTH the HP Ms Christ’s and the TS man’s forehead. The HP Ms Christ’s is REMARKABLY SHROUD-LIKE while the TS man’s is REMARKABLY HP MANUSCRIPT-LIKE! Have you really eyes to see? Need glasses to see or are you STILL relying on a very bad photograph of the HP Ms in which it just appears just as any other red blob? The true fact (if you take a good look a my illustrations) is this is NO other red blood mark!

    Besides I never said ‘the nose on the Shroud (was) sufficiently crooked for anyone to have depicted it on a painting or a coin’. Don’y you misrepresent (AGAIN!) my opinion, Mr. Fraudo!

    I just wrote (as a reminder):

    1/- The true medical forensic fact IS the TS man’s nose shows slight deviation both of the tip and central cartilage of the nose
    2- The true archaeological fact IS, in Late Antiquity and Byzantine time, sculptors and engravers did have the ability to turn 2D image into 3D model.
    3/- Ancient observers would in fact report as observations and copy BOTH what they did really see and what they believed they saw.

    What do you make of observers having a keener eye or better examination conditions than others? What do you make of selective memory, drawing from memory or directly from the model, copying a copy? Those types of subtleties do seem to totally elude you!

    In sum, ‘your disagreements’ are essentially unsubstantiated! You just do not agree, that’s all. This is what I would call ‘a non-contribution’, ‘just arch-sceptic’s blabla’.

  13. Max patrick Hamon
    November 6, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Hugh, and what do you make of OK’s life-like 3D-enhanced image of the TS face showing the man had a skewed nose and forensics’ opinions corroborating OK’s 3D image? NOTHING as usual. When it comes to your opinion on the three issues, bad will and bad faith are sheer euphemisms!

    • Max patrick Hamon
      November 6, 2014 at 6:56 am

      See too Max Patrick Hamon on the Skewed Nose in this vey blog.

      https://shroudofturin.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/image_thumb34.png?w=900&h=1121

      • Max patrick Hamon
        November 6, 2014 at 8:08 am

        Hugh,

        In the perfect overlap of the two most famous allegedly ‘non made by hand’ Christ face images on cloth (aka the Turin Sindon and the Manoppello Veil), the skewed nose is plain as the… nose on your face (if you really have eyes to see… and a nose!). The slight deviation both of the tip and central cartilage of the nose is confirmed via OK’s life-like 3D-enhanced image of the TS face too.

    • Max patrick Hamon
      November 6, 2014 at 7:38 am

      Hugh, BTW on October 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm, you wrote (‘Based on the Shroud of Turin: Justinian II Solidus has Face of Christ with Skewed Nose and Unbalanced Hair Length?’ thread)

      “The coins of Justinian II’s first reign (685 – 695 AD) are indeed remarkably shroud-like, and it is difficult not to think it was indeed the model.”

      Could you first agree with yourself BEFORE disagreeing with me, PLEASE?

  14. Max patrick Hamon
    November 6, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Addenda:

    In the Justinian II obverse Pantocrator’s engraved face, TS man’s epsilon-shaped forehead clot appears dis-located in centre hairline of the forehead with stylisation as a double stranded quiff of dropping hair.

    On October 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm, October 25, 2012 at 6:41 am and October, 30, 2012, I wrote:

    “In terms of additional spy clue as far as the Justinian coin obverse Christ face is concerned, you rotate the numismtic “three-four strands of hair” 90° clockwise then you’ll get the mirrored form of the Greek letter epsilon-shaped like TS man’s forehead clot yet dislocated as a BONUS!”

    “In all likelihood and obedience to a specific iconological canon, the TS man’s forehead clot DISlocation in centre hairline of the forehead and stylization as a double stranded quiff of dropping hair, was deemed more suitable both within the general economy of the Justinian II’s Solidus obverse Christ face and… the engraver’s eye.”

    “Now put together with the skewed nose, the sole two minute details make a crucial evidence not unlike a fingerprint leading to the identification of the source-object: the Turin Sindon face (whether or not in conjunction with the Manoppello face).”

    “(…) in addition to the first four Byzantine gold coins I referred you to internet, I found 4 “more visually convincing” Justinian gold soldii with skewed nosed Pantocrator Christ face (see
    NumidsBids, ancientcoins.com, lot numbers: 1729; 578; 579 and 580). They are to added to the 2 (or 4) Giulio already mentioned;”

  15. November 6, 2014 at 11:55 am

    I love the way you ask a question and then shout ‘Nothing!’ or ‘You just cannot!’ before giving anyone a chance to answer. The Annual General Meetings of the International Society of Cryptostenographologists must be a riot.

    “So what do you make of the loros as Byzantine imperial insigne symbolic of Christ’s Shroud?” Not nothing at all. It seems that this was a pre-Christian tradition overlaid by Christian symbolism, rather like Saturnalia turning into Christmas. Actual loroi, as you have mentioned, seem to have been richly decorated with jewels and bore no relation to the real thing. The Grandson antependium is indeed somewhat different, in that it is more simple, but there is nothing to suggest that the herringbone needlework is intended to represent the herringbone of the Shroud, particularly as the insense burners are filled in in exactly the same style. I do agree that if the Shroud were ever convincingly shown to be ancient, then the herringbone loroi might constitute a contributory corollary, but I do not think that they can be assumed to be derivative until that occurs.

    “How can you explain this striking departure from the traditional Byzantine depiction of the lavishly adorned ceremonial long and narrow stole.” The relatively late date and the Western artistic tradition are adequate in themselves as explanations without needing any knowledge of the Shroud by the embroiderers.

    “I have produced a comparative iconography of the lower portion of the TS face ‘tailed-epsilon’ shaped blood trickle dripping onto the eyebrow ridge in BOTH the HP Ms Christ’s and the TS man’s forehead. The HP Ms Christ’s is REMARKABLY SHROUD-LIKE while the TS man’s is REMARKABLY HP MANUSCRIPT-LIKE!” I have studied your article carefully. The two alleged blood smears are not remarkably similar at all to me, and I think it is special pleading to suggest that the Pray artist only used the bottom third of the epsilon stain, which he then smudged downwards to represent the pendant tear-drop.

    “I never said ‘the nose on the Shroud (was) sufficiently crooked for anyone to have depicted it on a painting or a coin’.” Well forgive me; I must have misinterpreted this section, as it appeared to me that you only mentioned the skewed nose in connection with “Fanti’s solidus” to which you provided a link, and you now say “This is totally consistent with one (Edessenian-Byzantine?) engraver incorporating Christ’s skewed nose in his engraving of the Pantocrator’s face.” So did they or didn’t they?

    “When it comes to your opinion on the three issues, bad will and bad faith are sheer euphemisms!” That’s just rude, and also untrue. (Unconnected speculation – is it only authenticists who find it difficult to face contradiction without abusing their antagonists? Can anybody quote an example of an abusive non-authenticist?)

    ““The coins of Justinian II’s first reign (685 – 695 AD) are indeed remarkably shroud-like, and it is difficult not to think it was indeed the model.” I did write that, and it’s surely true. It doesn’t mean that the Shroud was the model for the coins, but it is certainly interesting. I’ve no doubt that a Byzantine art historian would attribute it – and perhaps by association the Shroud of the 14th centrury – to the influence of a Roman or Greek image of ‘the wise old man’ being brought from Rome to Constantinople, but I wouldn’t know the truth of the matter.

    “In all likelihood and obedience to a specific iconological canon, the TS man’s forehead clot DISlocation in centre hairline of the forehead and stylization as a double stranded quiff of dropping hair, was deemed more suitable both within the general economy of the Justinian II’s Solidus obverse Christ face and… the engraver’s eye.” Not in all likelihood as far as I’m concerned. In all likelihood there is no conection whatever between the double stranded quiff and the epsilon.

    “NumidsBids, ancientcoins.com, lot numbers: 1729; 578; 579 and 580.” Alas I can only find the last two of these, as you forgot to provide the auction details. They are good specimens, beautifully photographed, but no more convincing than any of the others, in my view.

  16. Max patrick Hamon
    January 20, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Hugh, to make it short here, methinks you do have a vivual problem if you just cannot see how remarkably similar the blood smear on the HP MS Christ’s forehead and the lower portion of the TS face ‘tailed-epsilon’ shaped blood trickle dripping onto the eyebrow ridge ARE!

    • Max patrick Hamon
      January 20, 2015 at 11:25 am

      Typo: visual problem

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