Origin of the Gammadia

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imageRuss Breault writes:

I have run across something interesting and am trying to determine if it has significance.  From the 3rd to the 9th centuries it was apparently common in Byzantine iconography for the outer garments, especially representing people with high authority, to be marked with a stylized "L" called a "Gammadia".  No one seems to know what the origin is but is it possible it is derived from the L-shaped pattern of burns on the Shroud?  These holes when seen on the Lierre copy are very pronounced and for centuries, until the 1532 fire would have been the most obvious marking on the cloth. Was it picked up and turned into a symbol for ancient iconographers?  Would some of your participants like to investigate this further?  Here is an example from Ravenna:

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Anticipating the Conference: Dan Scavone on Evidence of the Shroud in Edessa

Daniel Scavone  | 12-Oct-2014  |  10:00-10:30 am

imageCONSTANTINOPLE DOCUMENTS AS EVIDENCE OF THE SHROUD IN EDESSA

In 944 Edessa’s cloth-image of Jesus arrived in Constantinople.  It remained there until the 13th century.  Of the Edessan sources, the most important was the 6th c. Acts of Thaddaeus, which attests to a faint image of Jesus’ face on a cloth imposed during His ministry.  Importantly, the cloth was referred to as a sindon tetradiplon, literallya “burial cloth folded in eight layers.”

In Constantinople, the Edessa cloth-image was named, described, and/or depicted in art in at least 17 documents.  Some writers saw only the face of Jesus visible on the folded cloth (Mandylion).  Other eyewitnesses describe blood and full body on the cloth.  My study of these texts provides strong evidence that the imaged cloth from Edessa to Constantinople was the cloth known today as the Shroud of Turin.

Click on the title to read the full abstract. Click here for the conference home page.

Picture: (Click to Enlarge) Surrender of the Mandylion of Image of Edessa by the inhabitants of Edessa to the Byzantine parakoimomenos Theophanes, unknown 13th century author – Chronography of John Skylitzes, cod. Vitr. 26-2, folio 131a, Madrid National Library.

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