Here is part 3, "The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo,"
of my critique of historian Charles Freeman's, "The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey," May 24, 2012 [page 3]. The paper's words are bold. See previous parts 1 and 2.Freeman continues with his thesis that the Shroud of Turin is just another one, among many fake medieval relics:
The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo
If the Shroud of Turin had not been photographed in 1898 and its haunting image revealed, it is unlikely that it would have stood out from the rest. It was never recognized as anything very special until the sixteenth century and was in its own time considered a fake, although such denunciations were often made by shrine guardians who feared their own lucrative relic cults might be threatened by rivals. Calvin probably is aware of it but lists it among many others. The shroud at Compiegne had the most respectable pedigree, the abbey had held it since 877. The shroud at the Abbey at Cadouin on the pilgrimage route to Compostella was probably the most lucrative. The abbey claimed that its shroud had been brought back from the Holy Land after the First Crusade had captured Jerusalem in 1099. Indeed it had been, but we know that, as it still exists, that it is a fine piece of cloth from the Fatimid workshops, as were many other cloths and veils brought back as genuine relics by gullible crusaders.
Freeman omits to explain to his readers that the reason the "haunting image" of the Shroud was "revealed" in 1898, despite reformer John Calvin (1509–1564) having been "probably ... aware of it" three centuries before, is that it was only when the Shroud was photographed in 1898, it was realised that the Shroud's image was a photographic negative! That omission saves Freeman having to further explain to his readers that photography, and therefore the very concept of a photographic negative, was not known until the early 19th century:
"In 1839, John Herschel made the first glass negative, but his process was difficult to reproduce ... the Langenheim brothers of Philadelphia and John Whipple of Boston also invented workable negative-on-glass processes in the mid 1840s." ("History of photography," Wikipedia, 22 June 2012).
Yet in this very article Freeman hypocritically criticises Ian Wilson because allegedly:
"Wilson fails to tell his readers that it [The Doctrine of Addai] contains relevant material which might undermine his case" [page 15]!
But quite clearly the image on the Shroud of Turin being uniquely a photographic negative, at least six centuries before the very concept of a photographic negative was known, not only undermines Freeman's case, that the Shroud of Turin is just one of many fake medieval relics: it totally destroys it!
And Freeman cannot claim ignorance, because Ian Wilson points this out in his latest book which Freeman is discussing in his paper:
"[Secondo] Pia returned to the cathedral the night of 28 May, accompanied by Don Nogier and cathedral security guard Felice Fino, another amateur camera enthusiast. He began at around 9.30 p.m. with two trial exposures, and Don Nogier and Fino seem to have taken some unofficial photos of their own at this time. For the proper, definitive photos that he intended to take, Pia loaded his camera with the first of four 50 X 60 photographic plates, applied his most prized Voigtlander lens, then took four exposures, the maximum of fourteen minutes, the minimum of eight, only two of which he would officially record. In his darkroom later that night, as the best of the four plates revealed itself under the developer, Pia was able properly to verify the odd effect he had observed on his first trial negatives. There slowly appeared before him not the feeble ghosts of the shadowy imprints visible on the cloth, as anyone might expect, but something altogether more extraordinary. In negative, the Shroud's head-to-head double figures could be seen to have undergone a dramatic change. Instead of their former difficult-to-interpret shadowiness, which so many of the copyists had 'seen' as grotesque, they had now acquired quite unmistakably natural light and dark shading, giving them meaningful relief and depth. The bloodstains, showing up in white, could be seen to flow very realistically from the hands and feet, from the right side, and from all around the crown of the head. Instead of a mask-like, almost gingerbread-man appearance, the man of the Shroud could be seen as a well-proportioned individual of an impressive build. Most striking of all was his face, so dignified in death, so incredibly lifelike against the black background - yet all on a photographic negative. With that eerie chill that can accompany such experiences, Pia found himself thinking that he was the first man for nearly 1,900 years to gaze on the actual appearance of the body of Christ as he had been laid in the tomb. He had discovered what could only be interpreted as a real photograph, hitherto hidden in the cloth, until it could be revealed by the eye of the camera." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.18-19)
But neither the word "photographic" nor "negative" appear in Freeman's paper. So here (and as we shall see elsewhere in his paper) Freeman, by his own professed standards which he applied to Wilson, is guilty of "fail[ing] to tell his readers ... relevant material which might [indeed would] undermine his case"!
I have decided to split this part 3, "The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo" into parts 3 and 4, so I can comment in a separate post on Freeman's dismissal of the Sudarium of Oviedo also as just another fake medieval relic.
Continued in part 4, "The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo."