Newly Published Paper: Othon de La Roche and the Shroud by Alessandro Piana

imageA paper, Othon de La Roche and the Shroud: An hypothesis between History and Historiography by Alessandro Piana (pictured) has just been published at 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 [1]. 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 [2]. Even if it is accepted that the Turin Shroud and the cloth observed in Constantinople by the crusader knight Robert de Clari [3] (“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” [4].) 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 [5].

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 . . .


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.

3 thoughts on “Newly Published Paper: Othon de La Roche and the Shroud by Alessandro Piana”

  1. The mystery lies not so much in Jeanne de Vergy being a direct descendant of Othon de la Roche as in a possible family connection between the De Molay and De Vergy families

    On May 22, 2013 at 6:26 pm and May 23, 2013 at 5:02 am, I wrote:

    “Have (you) ever heard of the De Molay De Vergy family? If not see Acta Templarorium or La prosopographie des templiers by Jean-luc Alias, p. 269.”

    “The fact is no medieval historian really know Jacques de Molay’s place of birth. Indeed there are three possibilities… and one of them is directly linked with the De Molay De Vergy family.”

  2. The links between Othon de la Roche and Jeanne de Vergy acquiring the Shroud were first presented by Daniel Scavone at the 2008 Ohio conference. Scavone reviews the various alternative hypotheses for the “missing years” 1200 – 1400, and seems able to dispose of them in favour of Othon arranging to consign the Shroud from his signeurship at Athens to his home cathedral in Besancon in Burgundy. The claimed family tree links between Othon and Jeanne are shown as Fig 31 in Wilson 2010, but I note they were recently challenged on this site by either Rinaldi or Nicolotti.

    Scavone’s thesis is that as Burgundy was close to the German border and a target for the Empire with Roman pontiff sympathies, while the Charnay-Vergy families were French with Avignon anti-pope sympathies, Jeanne de Vergy arranged to rescue the Shroud from Besancon for France. She later arranged to replace her Besancon requisition with a copy which has been discussed elsewhere on this site, and may have led to the D’Arcis confusion on the matter.

    Scavone’s paper has some 33 footnotes and a copious bibliography of references.

    “BESANÇON AND OTHER HYPOTHESES FOR THE MISSING YEARS: THE SHROUD FROM 1200 TO 1400” by Daniel Scavone, University of Southern Indiana, Evansville.

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