Do those Justinian II Solidus coins look different?

BimageT writes:

Re: Critical Summary 3.0, pages 16 & 17. Can we go back to comments by Hugh Farey and Nabber on 10/22/15 & 10/23/15 and to something I wrote 7/9/15?  In the last two paragraphs of section 9.1, Jackson and company portray some very dubious information as though it was based on an important study. I love Fanti, but ask any art student and they will tell you this is simply how any artist might draw a neckline. Trying to compare it to an almost invisible wrinkle that may well be a modern day wrinkle is like looking for elephants in the ephemeral clouds. And if I buy this the authors have a bridge for sale. Right?

First, let’s look at what Critical Summary 3.0 says on pages 16 and 17, in part:

In 2015 Giulio Fanti and Pierandrea Malfi co-authored an important book entitled: The Shroud of Turin: First Century after Christ. The book includes a long and detailed chapter devoted to the numismatic investigation of the Justin ¡an II 692 solidus as well as other coins bearing an image of Christ. The authors provide an in depth presentation of the tight correlation between the Shroud and the numismatic characteristics of the 692 solidus coin. Their study includes an exacting evaluation of an extensive list of "coincidences" that echo and build on the Vignon and Pfeiffer characteristics. They performed a statistical evaluation on the whole set of "coincidences" and report In their study a certainty greater than 99.99% that the Shroud was the model for Justinian’s 692 gold solidus coin.

We have shown the 692 Justinian II solidus coin with a photographic negative of the Shroud face (body image). The negative image, which was not available until the year 1898, could not have been the archetype for the coin. The actual faint Shroud image had to be the archetype according to Fanti and Malfi. But the negative shows more clearly for our purposes an Interesting "macro-characteristic" of the Shroud that is visible only on close visual inspection of the actual Shroud cloth. In the negative it is an easily observed "characteristic" illustrating the detail and care that must have been taken by the coin engraver. The arrow points out this feature. It is a subtle double fold in the cloth just below the neck. In their book Fanti and Malfi have pointed out how this double fold is interpreted on the coin as the hem of Jesus’ garment.

Hugh Farey, on October 22, had written:

It’s a shame that this blog is not read more carefully. Although it is full of opinions and discussion, from time to time something appears which is easy to check and which refutes previous arguments. For instance, pages 16/17 of this paper is devoted to a comparison of the Enrie negative with a Justinian solidus, with special attention being paid to “a subtle double fold in the cloth just below the neck”. It is easy to check that this fold, subtle or not in the Enrie photo, simply isn’t present in the Pia photo, and was therefore an artefact acquired between 1898 and 1931. Any resemblance to a Byzantine coin is entirely coincidental.

Nabber responded the next day (with pictures)

I have just put the two negatives side-by-side, the Enrie photo from Shroud Scope, and the Pia negative from the Musée de l’Élysée, Lausanne – there is a clear match of the Enrie markings found below the throat, with the Pia negative in the same location. It SIMPLY IS PRESENT in the Pia photo, and any fair-minded person with normal eyesight can see it. But, there is none so blind as he who will not see….

And it went back and forth. The above picture may help.

To see what BT wrote in July, let’s here simply repeat the blog posting from then: Byzantine Coins Again.

  I think the Byzantine solidi are a meaningful part of a larger historical picture
by which I am persuaded the shroud is much older than its carbon dating suggests.

Is John Jackson and company pointing to something lower down?

BT, a longtime reader of this blogimage writes:

There are many depictions of Christ on Byzantine coins with features that correspond to features on the shroud.  But then there are the exceptions. Then too there are the questions about whether those features are really features at all.  This solidus is an exception. Look at the hair and beard on Christ. Yet the common motif of two parallel curved lines at the neckline of Christ’s shirt is maintained.  It also raises questions about the motif of parallel lines in the neckline of the garment. Fanti on page 113 of his new book compares the neckline on Jesus’ “dress” (shirt) to a “wrinkle on the neck (double-lined)” on the shroud. This is so for many solidi. But in this one we find this very same feature on the neckline of shirts worn by Justinian II  and his young son and co-emperor Tiberius. It is a common way of drawing a hemmed collar on a shirt, is it not?

imageYes.  But aren’t the co-emperors wearing armor (click on the above image to see a larger version)? And does that make a difference?  I also wonder what wrinkle we are referring to. In the Siefker, Propp, Koumis, Jackson and Jackson A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypothesis (v 2.1) we see:


I always thought it was the more visible wrinkle. Was I wrong? Is John Jackson and company pointing to something lower down? It makes sense.

MORE:  We had an interesting discussion in the blog with 69 comments about the second-reign solidus in October of 2012 when Hugh Farey had asked:

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. However, when, after a period of exile, Justinian returned to the throne (705 – 711 AD), the same sort of coins (with the same designation – Christus Rex Regnantium) have a closely shaven Christ with tightly curly hair. Can anyone suggest why the changed their mind about Christ’s appearance?

And we have had many other discussions in this blog about Byzantine coins:

I think the Byzantine solidi are a meaningful part of a larger historical picture by which I am persuaded the shroud is much older than its carbon dating suggests.

Note:  Critical Summary 3.0 has updated the picture used from 2.1.  Here it is. Do those coins in 2.1 and 3.0 look different?