Home > History > Is the Shroud the Inspiration for the Holy Grail Legends?

Is the Shroud the Inspiration for the Holy Grail Legends?

July 31, 2015

Today, Stephen Jones is back to working on his dictionary of the shroud. He posts. He is working on G:

Grail, Holy. The "Holy Grail" is a dish, plate, stone, or cup and is part of the Arthurian (King Arthur and the knights of the round table) legendary literature. But historian Daniel Scavone, professor Emeritus of history at the University of Southern Indiana, has shown that the Shroud of Turin is the real object that inspired the Holy Grail legend….

It is an interesting idea.  I’ve heard Dan talk about the idea a couple of times. A more recent paper on the subject, Edessan sources for the legend of the Holy Grail is from the Frascati conference in 2010. And here is an interview that Russ Breault conducted with Dan Scavone back in 1999.

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  1. ekmcmahon
    July 31, 2015 at 6:33 am

    I found this interesting, it is rather difficult for me to wrap my head around this. I’ll have to watch this and read the written version.

  2. Max patrick Hamon
    July 31, 2015 at 8:23 am

    In 2010, in Frascati, I personally showed Daniel Scavone (and Marinelli) the “archaeocryptopareidolia” or dormant vision/falsely positive semblance of the Holy Grail Chalice of blood (the visual fact is if you look at a positive image of TS man’s bust seen upside down, you be able to see (“I think I see”) the semblance of a blood chalice right in the vertical axis of the TS man’s face.

  3. Yannick Clément
    July 31, 2015 at 9:26 am

    This is as much a pure fantasy as the idea that the Mandylion of Edessa was once the Shroud folded in 8, which is another idea defended by Scavone who is someone with lots of imagination (not great for an historian).

  4. July 31, 2015 at 11:30 am

    You can also find a very good summary on this possibility and strong link between the Shroud and the Holy Grail story in the Epilogue of… Upper Room The Way: 33AD to 57AD.

  5. Gabriel
    July 31, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    The first two accounts of the Holy Grial are the books by Wolfram von exchenbach and Christiaene de Troyes, titled “Parsifal”. The rest are ulterior developments of the same story.
    In Wolframs book the Grial is callep lapsis exceali or stone from heavens in latin and the story takes place in the Iberian Peninsula where many locations have been identified. It is widely believed that the Grial is the Chalisse of Valencia, which in fact, is a semiprecious carved stone and which is widely admitted by art experts to have been manufactured at a 1st century workshop somewhere in Middle East
    There is not one single indication in the Grial literature connecting the Shroud and The Holy grial (a stone)

  6. daveb of wellington nz
    July 31, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Notwithstanding Gabriel’s objections, I find Scavone’s 2010 Frascati paper persuasive. Venerable Bede’s confusion of Lucius … Abgar VIII in his citadel Britio Edessorum with a non-existent British king Lucius, who is converted to Christianity ~200 AD, is also mentioned by other writers including Jack Markwardt. The linguistic evolution from “Abgar” to the “Arthur” of the Grail legends would seem plain enough. There is also the Glastonbury legend with its connection to Joseph of Arimathaea.

    It is Markardt’s contention that the apostle Peter took the various Passion relics to Antioch, including the Shroud, and his papers on this have been discussed at various times. In 1098 crusaders captured the city of Antioch and claimed to have discovered the hiding place of the Holy Lance of Longinus. Curiously another artefact which might well be the true Grail was discovered there as recently as 1910.

    “In 1910, local Arabs unearthed, at the traditional site of Antioch’s ancient cathedral,42 a silver chalice comprised of an unfinished inner cup and a finished outer holder, akin to a reliquary, exquisitely decorated with ten human figures, in two groups of five.43 Professor William Newbold has noted that only in the middle of the first century did two groups of five men each govern the respective Churches of Jerusalem and Antioch and only at such time would a Christian religious object have displayed such a depiction.44 Dated to the first century and considered genuine by many archeological and scientific authorities,45 the Great Chalice of Antioch has been called “a most sacred Cup, in all probability the one
    which once served the Lord and his disciples at the Last Supper, the most precious object in Christian history, legend and tradition”.46 ” “Antioch and the Shroud”, p.4, Markwardt, 1998-99. The numbered references include citing of Eisen, Gustavus A., The Great Chalice of Antioch, Kouchakji Freres (New York 1923).

    In a separate paper, Markwardt has also proposed an alternative 1204 – 1355 route from Constantinople to Western Europe. He considers that the Cathar Crucifix may have originated as a result of the Shroud coming into the possession of the Albigensians at Languedoc in Southern France, through their connections with the Balkan Bogomils sect, which had similar doctrines. In the early 14th century the Cathars were suppressed, and subsequently Geoffrey I de Charnay acquired the Shroud pursuant to a royal grant. THE CATHAR CRUCIFIX: NEW EVIDENCE OF THE SHROUD’S MISSING HISTORY By Jack Markwardt, 2000

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