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Comment Promoted: The Stavronikita Epitaphios

June 28, 2014 14 comments

imageDaveb writes in the Discussion about the Pray Codex and it’s relation to the Shroud is over? thread:

Some two years ago on this site, there was considerable discussion [Herringbone Weave within Stavronikita Epitaphios (Revisited)] on the Epitaphios Stavronikita. Several features necessarily connect it to the Shroud, one in particular was an undeniable replication of the herring-bone twill. Other features included a bloodied, scourged, prostrate Christ with crossed hands over the groin. Despite the many similarities, thumbs are nevertheless clearly visible. However, there was clearly disagreement about the date of provenance, some asserting it as late 15th – 16th centuries, while others insisted that it was as early as 12th century, a most unsatisfactory state of affairs. I have attempted to pursue this further via the web, but the only references to this particular epitaphios all relate back to Dan’s web-site only. There appear to be no other web references to it. I can’t even find it on any of the Mt Athos Stavronikita monastery web-sites.

There were several other comments relating to herring-bone twill representations, including several from Max PH referring to the St Mark’s 7th century carving. Someone had found a reference to the Stavronikita in a university library, but the matter of dating it still remains unresolved.

Even though the TS was known in the west by the 14th century, would monks or artisans at Mt Athos be likely to use this knowledge as a model for an epitaphios for use in Greek Orthodox liturgies at this time? I think not! A rational explanation for whatever model was used for it, demands that some remembered features of the Shroud cloth when it was under Greek custody influenced its design.

Meantime, someone may like to pursue the date of provenance of the epitaphios stavronikita with better success and more conclusivity than I’ve been able to manage.

I had said then that the implications are significant. Look very carefully at the weave pattern on the burial shroud pictured (two photographs) and the enlarged section showing the cloth below the shoulder.

Photo 1:image

Photo 2:

image

Section beneath shoulder showing herringbone:

image

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