Two Articles on the Shroud’s History

They appear in the Italian language daily L’Indro (the links include translation into English):

image1)  Shroud: before the Middle Ages did not exist: The Mandylion is not the Shroud of Turin, which appeared only in 1355 in Lirey by Andrea Nicolotti

Google Translate says:  A much exploited in past to attribute an ancient history in a relic that is lacking is to take the hypothetical events attributed to a relic different and apply them to that, or to argue that two relics are actually the same thing. There are some stories that concern ancient images acheropite, ie ‘not made ​​by human hands’, fabrics on which it would miraculously imprinted the image of Christ. One of them is the Veronica, another is called Mandylion , ie ‘handkerchief’ or ‘towel’ of Edessa . The clip_image001legend on this handkerchief took its first steps in the V century as an appendix of another apocryphal legend and free of historical verisimilitude, already known in the previous century, which told of a correspondence exchanged between Jesus and King Abgar V of Edessa . In the text known as the ‘ Doctrine of Addai ‘it is said that King Abgar had sent his messenger to Jesus, who not only gave him a letter, but he also painted a portrait. Towards the middle of the sixth century, the legend was further modified and instead of the painted colors there was talk of a miraculous image : seeing the inability of the messenger in painting the portrait, Jesus would have washed his face and he wiped with a towel ; and on the fabric would miraculously imprinted the image of his face

image2) From the Mandylion Shroud: Reconstruction of the history of the Mandylion of Edessa in Lirey by Filippo Burgarella

Google Translate says:  To which attributes the discovery of the icon hidden for centuries in a niche of the walls of Edessa and prodigiously duplicated. A ‘icon, then, on two different media: the original on a towel folded four times (‘ rhakos tetradiplon ‘) and the copy on tile (‘ Keramion ‘). It was believed that the copy was formed by contact with the original on Keramion place to protect that niche. An Icon that in both formats ‘achiropita’, ie not painted by the hand of man, even to distinguish it from the pagan idols, facts instead of human hands (‘deadly works facta’) as reaffirm the imperial laws. Since then it was kept in the cathedral rebuilt by Emperor Justinian made. In 639 Edessa falls under Islamic rule, which saves the icon from the havoc of the Byzantine iconoclasts. From then on it is called Mandylion….

The Shroud of Turin is not the Image of Edessa?

the sixth-century Image of Edessa “probably never actually looked like a cloth at all.”

If you weren’t in St. Louis on Sunday morning of the conference for Jack Markwardt’s special presentation, then Modern Scholarship and the History of the Shroud of Turin is a MUST READ:

clip_image002In 1997, Professor Robin Cormack, an art historian, concluded that Wilson’s identification of the Turin Shroud with the Mandylion was “an impossible guess”, pointing to a depiction of that icon in a St. Catherine Monastery panel painting that is datable to 945-959 (Figure 1).

In 2010, Wilson acknowledged that “a fringe runs along the bottom edge where we would expect the Shroud’s fold line to be,” but he then proceeded to argue that varying portrayals of the Mandylion cancelled out one another as reliable representations of that icon and made it improbable that Byzantine artists “had actually viewed at first hand the original Image they were copying”; however, this stance constituted a rather dramatic about-face from that which he had assumed in 1998 when, in support his folded-relic hypothesis, he had contended that copies of the Mandylion, such as the now-lost image of Spas Nereditsa (Figure 2), “convey other recurring possible clues to the original’s clip_image004appearance”, such as a lattice-type decoration possibly denoting the presence of an overlay grille and an image which had been set upon a landscape-aspect cloth. If, as Wilson presently asserts, Byzantine artists did not actually view the original Mandylion in producing copies of it, then depictions that feature lattice-type decorations and landscape-aspect cloths would not necessarily be evidential of that icon having been the hypothetically folded and framed Turin Shroud.

Other unfavorable academic commentary would quickly ensue. In 1998, Professor Cameron flatly pronounced that “the Edessan image has nothing to do with the Shroud of Turin.” In 2003, Andrew Palmer, a professor of Byzantine history, in dating the Acts of Thaddeus, which alludes to an image of Jesus on cloth, to the period of 609-726 CE,undermined Wilson’s claim that it had been written in the sixth century and coincidental with the alleged historical appearance of the Edessa icon. In 2004, Professor Sebastian Brock, perhaps the world’s foremost authority on Syriac texts, declared that the Mandylion’s history provided “a very unsatisfactory ancestry for those who would like to identify the famous Turin Shroud with the Edessan Mandylion.”

In 2007, Mark Guscin, a well-known authenticist, concluded that the Sermon of Gregorius Referendarius recites “that the sweat of agony (like drops of blood) adorned the Image (of Edessa), just like blood from its side adorned the body from which the sweat had dripped, i.e. two different events at two different times,” refuting Wilson’s assertion that it referenced blood flowing from Jesus’ side wound, thereby proving that the Edessa icon had borne a full-length image of his crucified body. In that same year, Professor Irma Karaulashvili, a Georgian scholar and specialist in Syriac texts, observed that the Image of Edessa “seems to have been painted, most plausibly on wood”, citing several Syriac sources which had variously described the early Edessa icon as a quadrangle wooden tablet, a dappa (tablet), and a piece of wood.In doing so, Karaulashvili concurred with Cameron that the sixth-century Image of Edessa “probably never actually looked like a cloth at all.”

But, read on:

clip_image003Not only does the cloth of the Image of Edessa, as so depicted, strongly resemble an imaged Byzantine labarum (see Figure 19), but also the image of Jesus presented on that cloth mirrors the facial image of the Turin Shroud, absent its wounds and bloodstains, particularly with regard to their respective mouths, beards, and uneven lengths of hair (see Figure 20),and if the tenth-century Image of Edessa was, in fact, a late sixth-century Byzantine labarum, an object which modern scholars “nearly universally believe” to have been modeled upon Constantinople’s Image of God Incarnate,then that archetypal acheiropoietos image of Jesus was almost certainly the Shroud of Turin.


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The Metamorphosis and Manipulation of a Legend?

imageAndrea Nicolotti’s book, From the Mandylion of Edessa to the Shroud of Turin: The Metamorphosis and Manipulation of a Legend (Art and Material Culture in Medieval and Renaissance Europe) has finally been published in English. It was available in Italian in 2011. Andrea, who has commented in this blog on occasion, considers this to be a “revised and augmented edition.”

The price for the Hardcover edition is $124.00 at Amazon. The list price is $142.00.  (Please note that Amazon is reporting that the book has not been released even though the publication date is September 15th. Nonetheless, Amazon is accepting orders at this time).

A limited preview of the first chapter and the conclusion from the last chapter is available at Academia.org. The Table of Contents and Index are also provided.

The whet your appetite here are three paragraphs from the conclusion:

There is not a shred of evidence that the Mandylion of Edessa was a long shroud or that it showed the entire body of the crucified and wounded figure of Christ. Those who argue for the shared identity of the Shroud of Turin and the Mandylion of Edessa have based their arguments on evidence that cannot withstand close scrutiny. In order to argue for the authenticity of the Turinese relic, some have gone to great lengths. In so doing, they have approached the changing nature of the legends concerning this relic too simplistically. More-over, they have used evolving legends as if they were trustworthy historical sources, which is utterly unacceptable.

It is clear that the ultimate aim of the theory that identifies the Shroud with the Mandylion is to demonstrate that the Shroud of Turin has existed and can be documented since antiquity. But the first historical documents that mention the Shroud date to the fourteenth century, and the date obtained by radiocarbon dating places it between 1260 and 1390 CE. The history of the Shroud is the topic of my next book, but it is important to clarify that even if the Shroud was authentic and dated from the first century, it is a completely different object than the Edessean image.

We can therefore end this analysis by quoting the 1786 opinion of the Marquis Giovanni de Serpos, in regard to the reliability of that “sweet illusion” and the “birth of a devout imagination” in the legend of Abgar: “Everything so far narrated must be counted as mere fable.”

Order it today and Amazon will ship it the minute it becomes available. I look forward to reading this book and his next book on the history of the Shroud.

More on the Long Cloth Mandylion

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(Please comment in the original Long Cloth Mandylion thread.)

Rice Professor writes:

Here are some possibly useful links. These links contain the picture in question. Plan to use Google translate unless you are brilliant. I think this is a picture of the shroud.

(Please comment in the original Long Cloth Mandylion thread.)

A Long Cloth Mandylion?

O.K. writes:

Some time ago I found an interesting illustration of a "long" Mandylion. First in the Holger Kersten&Elmar Gruber book "Jezus ofiarą spisku" (the polish edition of The Jesus Conspiracy) I provide a scan from it [Illustration1]. The picture is not adressed anywhere in the book, and as the source is given simply "Bibliothéque Nationale". The same picture is reproduced in Antonio Teseo blog, who gives the source as Bibliothéque Nationale, ms lat.2688, dated 1280-85.

Another time when I saw this illustration is in Francesac Saracino 2007 documentary LaSacra Sindone; la storia. [Illustration2]. It confirmed that the illustration is generally monochromatic. However it is certain that the cloth is "long" (just look on the position of hands and the frame [Illustration3]), even though nothing more except the face is seen on it. It shows that the cloth have been considered by some as much larger than often claimed, larger than just handkerchief. Possibly large enough to contain the image of the whole body (as implied by Codex Vossianus and Ordericus Vitalis), even though, as I said, only face is depicted on the presented illustration.

Illustration 1:

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Illustration 2:

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Illustration 3:

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Navy Seals at the Battle of Gettysburg? A Picture of the Shroud in 1036?

If it is the shroud perhaps it explains the poker holes

imageIs this what is now known as the Shroud of Turin being carried through the streets of Constantinople.?

(Click on the picture for a larger view)

Pam Moon writes:

. . .

Last year I spent a lot of time with the Madrid Skylitzes and I wondered if you would be interested in the image which doesn’t fit at all.

It is one of the finest images in the Madrid Skylitzes and the one every google search picks up.

But it is the equivalent of of putting a modern day company of Navy Seals into a picture of the Battle of Gettysburg. 

The army in the image is the Varangian Guard (pg 16/17) It doesn’t fit – it is 160 years out of date. 

Is the image actually of the Shroud in the 1036 exposition through the streets of Constantinople which has been redacted by a later copyist to make it fit a wrong part of history?

If it is perhaps it explains the poker holes on the Shroud?

Pam has put together a paper, The Shroud of Turin in Constantinople? Paper I: An analysis of the L Shaped markings on the Shroud of Turin and an examination of the Holy Mandylion and Holy Shroud in the Madrid Skylitzes .   Take the time to read it. It is quite fascinating.

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.

From Wikimedia:  The official position taken by the Wikimedia Foundation is that "faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain". This photographic reproduction is therefore also considered to be in the public domain.