Saturday, May 13, 2017

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: Tenth century

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 to the present
© Stephen E. Jones

This is the eleventh (which is a continuation of the tenth) installment of part #10, "Tenth century," of my "Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 - present" series. For more information about this series see part #1, "1st century and Index." Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated.

[Index #1] [Previous: 9th century #9] [Next: 11th century #11]

10th century (901-1000)

[Above (enlarge)[2]: King Abgar V (c.25 BC-AD 50) of Edessa is depicted in this 10th century icon at Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai[3], receiving the Image of Edessa (the Shroud "four-doubled" - tetradiplon) from Jesus' disciple Thaddeus[4] [see "50"]. Abgar's face is that of Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (r. 913-959)[5], to commemorate the arrival of the Image of Edessa/Shroud in Constantinople on 15 August 944[6] [see below].]

943 In the Spring of 943, Byzantine usurper Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos (r. 920–944)[7] sends an army led by his best general, John Curcuas (fl. 915–946)[8], to Edessa to negotiate with its Muslim emir ruler for possession of the Edessa cloth[9], to add to his collection of Christian relics[10]. In exchange for the Cloth, Curcuas offered on behalf of the Emperor, a guarantee of perpetual immunity of Edessa from Byzantine attack, 12,000 pieces of silver and the release of 200 Muslim prisoners[11].

944a After lengthy consultations with his superiors in Baghdad[12], in the Summer of 944[13], Edessa's emir accepts Curcuas' terms and Bishop Abraham of nearby Samosata[14], enters Edessa to receive the cloth, and despite the resistance of Edessa's Christians[15], he is

[Above (enlarge): "The surrender of the Holy Mandylion (the `Image of Edessa'), bearing the face of Christ [and behind it the full-length Shroud!], by the inhabitants of Edessa in Mesopotamia to the Byzantines in 944," by John Skylitzes (c. 1040s – aft. 1101)[16] [see future "c. 1070"]. Note that in the 11th century Skylitzes depicted the Image of Edessa/Mandylion, at the time of its transfer from Edessa to Constantinople, as known to be full-length[17]! This occasion is usually assumed by pro-authenticists to be the arrival of the Image in Constantinople in 944[18]. But not only does its Wikipedia title contradict that, the persons on the left appear to be wearing red turbans and hence are Islamic/Eastern, and also the buildings on their side have no Christian crosses. However, that the buildings on the right have Christian crosses suggests that by artistic license Skylitzes depicted both the Image being handed over in Edessa and its arrival in Constantinople!]

satisfied that he has the original, as well as two copies of the Image[19] and Abgar V's (spurious [see "50"]) letter from Jesus[20]. After a short stay in Samosata[21], the bishop travels with the Image, escorted by Curcuas' army[22] across Anatolia back to Constantinople[23].

944b On Thursday 15 August 944 the Image of Edessa arrives in Constantinople[24]. It is carried in its framed portrait, fastened to a board and embellished with gold[25], through the streets of the city amidst great celebration[26]. The Image is then taken to the church of St Mary at Blachernae[27], where it is viewed by members of the imperial family[28]. Romanos' two sons Stephen and Constantine find the face blurred and cannot distinguish its features[29] (further evidence that this was the Shroud: its image is faint and difficult to see close-up[30]). But the legitimate Emperor, Constantine VII, son of the late Emperor Leo VI (r. 886–912), was artistic and readily discerns them[31]. The Image of Edessa/Shroud is then taken to the Imperial (Boucoleon) Palace where it is placed overnight in the Pharos chapel[32].

944c The next day, 16 August 944, the Image is carried around the walls of Constantinople[33], thereby establishing it as the city's new palladium (guarantee of a city's Divine protection)[34]. The Image is then taken to Constantinople's Hagia Sophia cathedral[35], where it is placed on the "throne of mercy"[36]. During that enthronement of the Image ceremony[37], Gregory Referendarius (overseer of relationships between the Patriarch and the Emperor[38]), Archdeacon of Hagia Sophia[39], an eyewitness of these events[40], delivers a sermon[41] in which he says that the Cloth bears not only "the sweat from the face of the ruler of life, falling like drops of blood" but also "drops from his own side ... [of] blood and water":

"This reflection, however - may everyone be inspired with the explanation - has been imprinted only by the sweat from the face of the ruler of life, falling like drops of blood, and by the finger of God. For these are indeed the beauties that have coloured the true imprint of Christ, because that from which they dripped was also embellished by drops from his own side. Both are highly instructive - blood and water there, here sweat and image. O equality of happenings, since both have their origin in the same person. The source of living water can be seen and it gives us water, showing us that the origin of the image made by sweat is in fact of the same nature as the origin of that which makes the liquid flow from the side"[42].
By "the sweat from the face of [Christ] ... falling like drops of blood" Gregory refers to Lk 22:44:
"And being in agony he [Jesus] prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
which occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mt 26:36; Mk 14:32)[43]. But the "drops from his own side ... [of] blood and water" refers to Jn 19:33-34 which was after Jesus' death on the cross:
"But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water."
Clearly the face-only Image of Edessa does not show the blood-stained wound in Jesus' side that is on the Shroud[44]. But Gregory could not have made that reference unless he had been aware of the wound in the side of the image and of bloodstains in the area of that wound[45], and hence knew that the Cloth was full-length rather than merely a face-cloth[46]. And to know that, Gregory must have seen that under the Image of Edessa face was a full-length, bloodstained, body image of Jesus[47]. This is a further corroboration of Ian Wilson's insight that the Image of Edessa was the Shroud ("four-doubled" - tetradiplon)[48]!

944d In December 944, the co-Emperor sons of Romanos I, Stephen and Constantine, fearing their ~74 year-old father was going to confirm Constantine VII as his successor[49], forced him to abdicate[50].

945a On 27 January 945, with the help of his wife, Romanos I's daughter Helena Lekapene (c. 910–961), Constantine VII exiled Stephen and Constantine (Helena's brothers!) and became sole emperor at the age of 39[51]. Within weeks of his accession, Constantine VII had a new gold solidus coin struck[52], bearing

[Above (enlarge): "Coin ... [a gold solidus] minted in 945 under the reign of the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII. On the obverse, a bust of Christ similar to the Shroud face image; on the reverse, Constantine VII ... Notice ... the overall similarity of the facial representation with the face on the Shroud ... the left cheek of Christ, that is, the cheek that appears on our right, shows a clear protuberance, which is also on the Shroud. The beard and hair are also similar to the Shroud. Note the very peculiar lock of hair on the forehead. This is similar to the inverted '3' shape as seen on the forehead on the Shroud"[53].]

a very Shroud-like Christ 'Rex Regnantium' (King of Kings) portrait, inspired by the recently arrived cloth of Edessa[54]. Note also the `pellets' within Jesus' halo above, two groups of four each forming an

[Above (enlarge)[55]: Two sets of L-shaped `poker holes' on the Shroud man's dorsal image and two sets of three in a line on the frontal image.]

L-shape and the other two groups of three each in a line, match the so-called 'poker holes' on the Shroud (see above), as pointed out by Ian Wilson[56].

945b On 16 August 945, the anniversary of the solemn exposition of the cloth in Hagia Sophia cathedral, Constantine VII proclaimed 16 August as the Feast of the Holy Mandylion in the Eastern Orthodox church calendar[57], which it continues to celebrate to this very day, even though the Image has been lost to them since 1204[58]!

945c Soon after becoming sole Emperor, Constantine VII commissioned[59] an official history of the Image of Edessa[60], the "Narratio de imagine Edessena"[61], or "Story of the Image of Edessa"[62]. Indeed it may have been written by Constantine himself[63]! The Story is actually a sermon to be read to Eastern Orthodox congregations on each 16 August Feast of the Holy Mandylion, starting in 946[64], hence it is also known as the "Festival Sermon"[65]. Fastened to a board The Official History states that the Image of Edessa "now to be seen" in Constantinople in 944, had in Edessa been fastened to a board and embellished with gold by Abgar V:

"Abgar ... set up this likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ not made by hand, fastening it to a board and embellishing it with the gold which is now to be seen, inscribing these words on the gold: `Christ the God, he who hopes in thee is never disappointed'"[66].
This fits Ian Wilson's theory that the Shroud was folded and mounted in such a way ("four-doubled" - tetradiplon) that only the facial area was visible and accessible, so "every description of the Image of Edessa during the period in question is compatible with a viewing of the Shroud"[67]. Two alternative versions of the origin of the image The Official History gives two mutually exclusive versions of the origin of Jesus' image on the cloth[68]. The first version is that Jesus washed his face in water, wiped it on a towel, and his likeness was impressed on the towel, which he then gave to Abgar V's servant Ananias, who in turn gave it to Abgar V[69]. The second version is that:
"... when Christ was about to go voluntarily to death ... he ... pray[ed] ... sweat dropped from him like drops of blood ... he took this piece of cloth which we see now from one of the disciples and wiped off the drops of sweat on it ... the still-visible impression of that divine face was produced. Jesus gave the cloth to Thomas, and instructed him that after Jesus had ascended into heaven, he should send Thaddaeus with it to Abgar ... Thomas gave the divine portrait of Christ's face to Thaddaeus and sent him to Abgar"[70].
That is, the image was formed during Jesus' agony in the Garden of Gethsemane when His "sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Lk 22:44)[71]. See also Gregory Referendarius' sermon above. This second version would be inexplicable unless dripping blood could be seen on the face of the Image of Edessa[72], as on the Shroud face[73], but which could not be explained by the first version[74]. This second version may be the parent of the tradition of Veronica's veil[75] - or it may be the other way around [see 06Mar17 and future "1011"].

To be continued in the twelfth installment of this part #10 of this series.

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page[return].
2. "Image of Edessa or Holy Mandylion," Digital Journal, 28 March 2012. [return]
3. "Abgar V," Wikipedia, 12 May 2017. [return]
4. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, 154-155. [return]
5. Wilson, 1979, pp.151,154. [return]
6. Wilson, 1979, pp.116,151,255; Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.148,268; Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, pp.4-5; Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition, p.24; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.165, 300. [return]
7. Wilson, 1979, p.255; Wilson, 1998, p.267; Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, p.31. [return]
8. Wilson, 1979, p.148; Wilson, 1998, p.148. [return]
9. Scavone, D.C., 1989a, "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA, p.84; Oxley, 2010, p.31. [return]
10. Morgan, R.H., 1980, "Perpetual Miracle: Secrets of the Holy Shroud of Turin by an Eye Witness," Runciman Press: Manly NSW, Australia, p.36; Scavone, 1989a, p.84; Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., 1999, "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," Missouri Botanical Garden Press: St. Louis MO, p.4. [return]
11. Morgan, 1980, p.36; Wilson, 1998, pp.267-268; Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.130; Guerrera, 2001, p.4; Tribbe, 2006, p.24; Wilson, 2010, p.300. [return]
12. Wilson, 1998, p.148; Antonacci, 2000, p.130; Tribbe, 2006, p.24; Oxley, 2010, p.31; Wilson, 2010, p.158. [return]
13. Wilson, 1979, p.255; Tribbe, 2006, p.24. [return]
14. Wilson, 1979, pp.149, 255; Antonacci, 2000, p.130; Tribbe, 2006, p.24; Oxley, 2010, p.32; Wilson, 2010, p.159. [return]
15. Wilson, 1979, pp.149-150, 255; Oxley, 2010, p.32; Wilson, 2010, pp.159-160. [return]
16. "Chronography of John Skylitzes, cod. Vitr. 26-2, folio 131a, Madrid National Library, in "File:Surrender of the Mandylion to the Byzantines.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 20 December 2012. [return]
17. Scavone, D.C., "The History of the Turin Shroud to the 14th C.," in Berard, A., ed., 1991, "History, Science, Theology and the Shroud," Symposium Proceedings, St. Louis Missouri, June 22-23, 1991, The Man in the Shroud Committee of Amarillo, Texas: Amarillo TX, pp.171-204, 193-194; Scavone, D.C., "Underscoring the Highly Significant Historical Research of the Shroud," in Tribbe, 2006, p.xxvii. [return]
18. Wilson, I., 1990, "Correspondence," BSTS Newsletter, No. 25, April/May 1990, p.10; Fanti, G. & Malfi, P., 2015, "The Shroud of Turin: First Century after Christ!," Pan Stanford: Singapore, pp.54-55. [return]
19. Wilson, 1979, p.255; Antonacci, 2000, p.130; Tribbe, 2006, pp.24, 39. [return]
20. Wilson, 1979, pp.286-287; Oxley, 2010, p.32; Wilson, 2010, pp.159-160. [return]
21. Wilson, 1979, p.255; Tribbe, 2006, p.24. [return]
22. Wilson, 1998, p.148; Wilson, 2010, p.159. [return]
23. Wilson, 1979, pp.149, 255; Tribbe, 2006, pp.24, 39; Oxley, 2010, p.32; Wilson, 2010, p.159. [return]
24. Maher, R.W., 1986, "Science, History, and the Shroud of Turin," Vantage Press: New York NY, p.92; Wilson, 1998, p.268; Guerrera, 2001, p.4. [return]
25. Wilson, 1979, pp.282; Drews, 1984, pp.35, 57; Scavone, 1989a, p.84; Antonacci, 2000, p.131. [return]
26. Scavone, 1989a, p.84; Scavone, 1991, p.194; Wilson, 2010, p.300. [return]
27. Wilson, 1998, pp.148-149, 268; Guerrera, 2001, pp.4-5. [return]
28. Wilson, 1998, pp.149, 268. [return]
29. Wilson, 1979, p.116; Maher, 1986, p.92; Scavone, 1991, p.192; Wilson, 1998, p.268; Antonacci, 2000, p.130; Tribbe, 2006, p.25. [return]
30. Wilson, 1979, pp.116, 122; Scavone, 1991, p.192; Antonacci, 2000, p.130. [return]
31. Wilcox, R.K., 1977, "Shroud," Macmillan: New York NY, p.94; Scavone, 1991, p.192; Wilson, 1998, p.268; Tribbe, 2006, p.25; Wilson, 2010, p.300. [return]
32. Wilson, 1998, pp.149, 268. [return]
33. Wilson, 1979, p.256; Wilson, 1998, pp.149, 268. [return]
34. Currer-Briggs, N., 1995, "Shroud Mafia: The Creation of a Relic?," Book Guild: Sussex UK, p.57; Wilson, 1998, p.149. [return]
35. Wilson, 1979, p.256; Wilson, 1998, pp.149, 268. [return]
36. Wilson, 1979, p.256; Maher, 1986, p.92; Currer-Briggs, 1995, p.57; Wilson, 1998, pp.149, 268. [return]
37. Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, p.58. [return]
38. Guscin, M., 2009, "The Image of Edessa," Brill: Leiden, Netherlands & Boston MA, p.4. [return]
39. Scavone, 1991, p.192; Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, p.143; Oxley, 2010, p.13. [return]
40. Scavone, 1991, p.192; de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.185. [return]
41. Scavone, 1991, p.192; Wilson, 1991, p.143; Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, p.115; Oxley, 2010, pp.13, 36; de Wesselow, 2012, p.185; Fanti & Malfi, 2015, p.56. [return]
42. Guscin, 2009, p.85; Oxley, 2010, p.36. [return]
43. Wilson, 1998, p.268. [return]
44. Scavone, 1991, p.192. [return]
45. Oxley, 2010, p.36. [return]
46. Iannone, 1998, p.115; Ruffin, 1999, p.58; Oxley, 2010, p.36. [return]
47. Scavone, D.C., 1998, "A Hundred Years of Historical Studies on the Turin Shroud," Paper presented at the Third International Congress on the Shroud of Turin, 6 June 1998, Turin, Italy, in Minor, M., Adler, A.D. & Piczek, I., eds., 2002, "The Shroud of Turin: Unraveling the Mystery: Proceedings of the 1998 Dallas Symposium," Alexander Books: Alexander NC, pp.58-70, 63; Wilson, 1998, p.268. [return]
48. Scavone, 1991, p.192; Guerrera, 2001, pp.5-6; Scavone, 2006, p.xxvii. [return]
49. "Romanos I Lekapenos: End of the reign," Wikipedia, 4 November 2016. [return]
50. Maher, 1986, p.92. [return]
51. "Constantine VII: Reign," Wikipedia, 15 March 2017; Wilson, 1979, p.154; Wilson, 1998, p.268; Wilson, 2010, pp.166-167. [return]
52. Wilson, 1979, p.154; Maher, 1986, p.92; Tribbe, 2006, p.164; Wilson, 2010, p.300. [return]
53. Latendresse, M., 2007, "The Shroud of Turin and Byzantine Coins," [return]
54. Wilson, 1998, p.268. [return]
55. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical," [return]
56. Wilson, 1998, p.268. [return]
57. Wilson, 1979, p.256; Maher, 1986, p.92; Wilson, 1998, p.149; Guerrera, 2001, p.6; Wilson, 2010, p.300. [return]
58. Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.113; Wilson, 2010, p.167. [return]
59. Wilson, 1979, pp.116-117; Wilson, 2010, pp.167, 174. [return]
60. Wilson, 1979, p.272; Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, p.112; Wilson, 1998, pp.151, 268; Oxley, 2010, p.34. [return]
61. Wilcox, 1977, p.95; Wilson, 1998, pp.256, 268 [return]
62. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI, p.207; Antonacci, 2000, p.130; de Wesselow, 2012, p.185. [return]
63. Wilson, 2010, pp.167, 174. [return]
64. Antonacci, 2000, p.130. [return]
65. Drews, 1984, p.115. [return]
66. Wilson, 1979, p.280; Oxley, 2010, p.34. [return]
67. Wilson, 1986, p.112; Wilson, 1998, pp.152-153; Oxley, 2010, p.34; Wilson, 2010, pp.140, 174. [return]
68. Wilson, 1979, pp.117, 256; Wilson, 1998, pp.150, 268; Wilson, 2010, p.174-175. [return]
69. Wilson, 1979, pp.117, 276-277; Drews, 1984, pp.35, 56; Wilson, 1998, pp.150, 268; Wilson, 2010, pp.174-175; de Wesselow, 2012, p185. [return]
70. Wilson, 1979, pp.117, 277-278; Wilson, 2010, p.175. [return]
71. Wilson, 1979, pp.117, 123; Drews, 1984, pp.35, 57; Scavone, 1991, p.190; Wilson, 1998, pp.150, 153, 268; Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.111; Wilson, 2010, p.175. [return]
72. Wilson, 1979, p.123; Drews, 1984, pp.35; Scavone, D.C., "The Shroud of Turin in Constantinople: The Documentary Evidence," in Sutton, R.F., Jr., 1989b, "Daidalikon: Studies in Memory of Raymond V Schoder," Bolchazy Carducci Publishers: Wauconda IL, pp.311-329, 315; Scavone, 1991, p.190; de Wesselow, 2012, pp185-186. [return]
73. Drews, 1984, pp.35. [return]
74. Scavone, 1989b, p.315. [return]
75. Wilson, 1979, p.117; Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.25; Currer-Briggs, N., 1988, "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, p.59. [return]

Posted: 13 May 2017. Updated: 24 May 2017.

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