A paper, Othon de La Roche and the Shroud: An hypothesis between History and Historiography by Alessandro Piana (pictured) has just been published at Academia.edu. The introduction reads:
From the fourteenth century, when the Shroud appeared in the French village of Lirey, there are no historical gaps. Unfortunately, there isn’t a tradition of the precise way in which Geoffroy I de Charny has come into possession of an object of such importance . Although the period prior to the fourteenth century we have no certain news as well as that of the centuries that follow, not for this has ceased to carry out research and, most importantly, does not mean that we must hold closed adversely research on the ancient history of the Shroud, especially considering the significant acquisitions that direct examination have over the years accumulated . Even if it is accepted that the Turin Shroud and the cloth observed in Constantinople by the crusader knight Robert de Clari  (“Among other astonishing things there is a church called Saint Mary of Blacherne, where there is the sydoines (Shroud), in which Our Lord Jesus was wrapped and that every Holy Friday is lifted up vertically, so that the shape of Our Lord could be seen very well” .) were one and the same object, there still difficulties remain in establishing a chronology for the relic during the historical gap of more or less one hundred and fifty years, from 1204 in Constantinople to its reappearance in Lirey in the fourteenth century. Different hypotheses have been formulated .
In this paper, the author presents an additional hypothesis in an attempt to explain that intervening period during which the Shroud completely disappeared.
The paper goes from there through . . .
- THE “GREEK TRACK”
- OTHON DE LA ROCHE, MÉGASKYR OF ATHENS
- BLOOD-LINE OF OTHO DE LA ROCHE
- RAY-SUR-SAÔNE CASTLE
- THE SHROUD IN RAY-SUR-SAÔNE?
- THE SHROUD AND THE DE VERGY FAMILY
- FAMILY TREES
and concludes . . .
A set of elements make suppose transit of the Shroud in Athens, thank to Othon de La Roche, at the beginning of thirteenth century. To this Burgundy noble family are linked a series of attestations that, if further confirmed, would help to set Shroud arrival in Europe a long time before the middle of fourteenth century. At present this hypothesis appears the most likely, well-documented and able to give a series of ideas for further researches that other hypothesis cannot suggest. This work has to be considered as the seeds of ongoing research, not the end but just the beginning.