Thursday, January 31, 2019

Abgar VIII: Turin Shroud Encyclopedia

Turin Shroud Encyclopedia
Copyright © Stephen E. Jones
[1]

Abgar VIII #3

This is "Abgar VIII," part #3 of my new Turin Shroud Encyclopedia. For information about this series, see part #1 and part #2. Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated.

[Index #1] [Previous: Abgar V #2] [Next: Accetta, A. #4]


Abgar VIII Abgar VIII, the Great (r. 177–212) was, like Abgar V [see

[Above (enlarge): Abgar VIII coin depicting a Christian cross on his head-dress, probably issued during the tolerant reign of Roman Emperor Commodus (r. 177-192)[2]. While there probably were previous Christian kings of Edessa, e.g. Abgar V, Abgar VIII was the world's first overtly Christian king. See "177".]

"Abgar V"] a king of Osroene, in today's eastern Turkey, the capital of which was Edessa [see future "Edessa"], today's Urfa. The two Abgars may have been no relation, there being 127 years between the AD 50 end of Abgar V's reign and the AD 177 start of Abgar VIII's, and "Abgar" may have been a generic name for the kings of Edessa[3].

Osroene had been absorbed into the Roman Empire in 114 as a semi-autonomous vassal state, after a period of rule by the Parthian Empire.

In 163 Osroene's king Ma'nu VIII bar Ma'nu (139–163, 165–167)[4]was deposed by the Parthians but he was reinstated by the Romans in 165, when the Roman general Gaius Avidius Cassius (c.130–175) besieged Edessa and its citizens killed the Parthian garrison and admitted the Romans into the city[5].

In 177 Abgar VIII (177–212), the Great, became king of Osroene and therefore of Edessa, its capital.

In about 180, during the tolerant reign of Roman Emperor Commodus (r. 177-192), Abgar VIII asked Pope Eleutherus (r.174-189) to send missionaries to Edessa. In Abgar VIII's reign Edessa became the world's first Christian city as evidenced by this stone Christian cross over a former fountain based on lion's head in modern Sanliurfa (ancient Edessa) [Right (enlarge)[6].], which has survived the almost complete eradication of Edessa's Christian history since the Muslim conquest in 1144. The lion was the symbol of the Abgar dynasty, which ceased with Abgar IX's death in 213 (see below)

Abgar VIII supported Parthia in its 194 war against Rome, which Parthia lost. So Roman Emperor Septimius Severus (r. 193-211) took Edessa's rule from Abgar VIII and gave it to a procurator (Roman governor), until 197-198 when Abgar VIII assisted Rome in its defeat of Parthia.

In 201 a major flood of its river Daisan devastated Edessa, thousands died, and the "church of the Christians" was damaged. This is the first mention anywhere of a Christian church building and is further evidence that Edessa had become a Christian city.

As a reward for assisting Rome in its war with Parthia in 194, Abgar VIII was invited to Rome in 202, which he visited after 204.

In 205 Abgar VIII built on higher ground within the walls of the old Edessa, a new walled Citadel (below), called Birtha in Syriac, and Britium in Latin.

[Above (enlarge)[7]: The ruins of Edessa's citadel, within the modern city of Sanliurfa, Turkey.]

The early church father Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215), in his Outlines, listed the burial places of Jesus' disciples, including that Thaddaeus/Addai was with that of the Apostle Thomas "in the Britio of the Edessans." That is Edessa's birtha, or citadel (see below).

In 212 Abgar VIII died, and was succeeded by his son Abgar IX (r. 212-213).

Abgar IX was a reprobate, who ill-treated his subjects and killed Aggai, the aged Bishop of Edessa by breaking his legs[8]. He was summoned to Rome in 213 and executed on the orders of Roman Emperor Caracalla (r.211–217).. In 214 Caracalla ended the independence of Osroene and incorporated it as a province of the Roman Empire.

The English monk, the Venerable Bede (c.673–735), was told that in the Liber Pontificalis (Book of the Popes) in Rome that Pope Eleutherus (r.174-189) had received a letter from Lucio Britannio rege (King Lucius [Abgar VIII] of the [Edessa] Citadel), asking for Christian missionaries to be sent [to Edessa] that he might become a Christian and to help convert those within his lands to Christianity. Bede wrongly interpreted this to have been a previously unknown British King Lucius, and wrote in his influential Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in 731, that Lucius was a British king and that Christianity had commenced in Britain in the second century!

[Above (enlarge)[9]: "King Lucius (middle) from the East Window in York Minster." But there there never was an English King Lucius: he was in fact Edessa's King Lucius Septimius Severus, aka. Abgar VIII (r. 177-212)!]

Because of Bede's misunderstanding the French creators of the Holy Grail [see future "Grail"] legends located their stories not in France but in England, and the legend arose that Joseph of Arimathea had visited England!

Continued in the next part #4 of this series.

Notes
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. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, plate 15a. [return]
3. Segal, J.B., 2001, "Edessa: The Blessed City," [1970], Gorgias Press: Piscataway NJ, Second edition, Reprinted, 2005, p.13. [return]
4. Segal, 2001, p.13. [return]
5. Segal, 2001, p.13. [return]
6. Wilson, 2010, p.146G. [return]
7. Extract from "Edessa citadel in Urfa, Turkey (Google Maps)," Virtual Globetrotting, 2016. [return]
8. Segal, 2001, pp.14, 18. [return]
9. "File:King Lucius and two other Kings, East Window, York Minster.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 27 May 2018. [return]

Posted: 31 January 2019. Updated: 18 April 2019.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: Fifteenth century (2)

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 to the present
FIFTEENTH CENTURY (2)
© Stephen E. Jones
[1]

This is part #19, "Fifteenth century (2)" of my "Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 - present" series. This part (2) has been split off from part (1). For more information about this series see the Index #1. As previously mentioned in my posts of 27Dec18 and 08Jan19, to save time installments will now be to the whole post and not specifically linked. Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated.

[Index #1] [Previous: 15th century (1) #18] [Next: 16th century #20]


15th century (1454-1500).

[Above (enlarge): "Man of Sorrows"[2] depiction of the Shroud with its distinctive wounds, bloodstains and crossed hands:

"... the wounds of the Christ can be seen to be Shroud-related. Not only are the hands crossed in the Shroud manner and Christ's body peppered with most-Shroud-like scourge-marks, particularly telling are long streams of blood as from the nail-wounds that are depicted running down the front of the forearms"[3]
in 1485 by French miniaturist Jean Colombe (c. 1430-c. 1493)[4], on behalf of Charles I, Duke of Savoy (r. 1482-1490) (left), to commemorate his marriage in that year to Blanche (Bianca) de Montferrat (1472–1519)[5] (right). This miniature was added to the collection, Les Très Riches Heures (the "Very Rich Hours") of King John II (r.1350–1364)'s son John, Duke of Berry (1340–1416)[6], by Duke Charles I, John's descendant[7] [See "1485a"].]

1457 On 29 May, evidently having learned that Marguerite de Charny (c. 1393–1460) [see "c.1393"] had transferred the Shroud four years earlier to Duke Louis I of Savoy (r. 1440-65)[8] [see "1453a"], the Lirey church canons continued with their extortion racket [see part (1)] by issuing her, the rightful owner of the Shroud [see "1398"], with a pro-forma writ of excommunication through the ecclesiastical Court of Besançon [see 09Nov18], if she did not return the Shroud to them immediately[9] [see 1418b, 1443 and 1447]! Then on the next day, 30 May 1457, Marguerite was excommunicated[10]!

1459 Marguerite de Charny's half-brother Charles de Noyers[11], a son of Marguerite's mother's second marriage[12] [see 03Jul18], negotiated compensation to the Lirey canons for their `loss' of `their' Shroud[13], which they specifically recognise they will not now recover[14]. On the promise of payment of monetary compensation[15], which never was paid[16], Marguerite's excommunication was lifted[17].

1460 On 7 October Marguerite de Charny died[18], leaving her Lirey lands to her cousin and godson Antoine-Guerry des Essars (c. 1408-74)[19]. As previously mentioned (see "c. 1392" and 11Jul16), Antoine-Guerry des Essars was the son of Guillemette de Poitiers (1370–1450), who in turn was one of four illegitimate children of Bishop Henri de Poitiers (r. 1354–1370) and his nun concubine, Jeanne de Chenery (1340–)! According to the 1389 Memorandum of the Bishop of Troyes, Pierre d'Arcis (r. 1377-1395), one of his predecessors, Bishop Henri de Poitiers, had discovered that the Shroud was "cunningly painted" and even the "artist who had painted it":

"... Henry of Poitiers ... then Bishop of Troyes ... after diligent inquiry and examination, he discovered the fraud and how the said cloth had been cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed"[see "1389d"].
But not only: 1) is the Shroud not painted [11Jul16]; 2) there is no evidence that Bishop de Poitiers had a problem with the Shroud[21Aug18]; 3) Geoffroy II de Charny married Marguerite de Poitiers, who was Bishop de Poitiers' niece[c. 1392]; and 4) so close was the relationship between Marguerite de Charny and her mother's de Poitiers family, and Guillemette de Poitiers in particular, that Marguerite was the godmother of Guillemette's son Antoine and left him her Lirey lands! A more comprehensive refutation of the d'Arcis Memorandum is difficult to imagine!

1464 The Liray canons, having received nothing from Marguerite or Charles de Noyer, next approached Duke Louis I of Savoy (r. 1440-65)[20]. On 6 February by an accord drawn up in Paris, Louis agreed to pay the Lirey canons an annual rent of fifty francs[21], to be drawn from the revenues of the castle of Gaillard, near Geneva, as compensation for their loss of the Shroud[22]. The accord notes that the Shroud had been given [sic] to the church of Lirey by Geoffroy I de Charny, and that it had then been transferred to Duke Louis by Marguerite de Charny[23]. This is the earliest surviving document to record the de Charny's Shroud of Lirey had become Savoy property[24].

1465 Duke Louis I died at Lyon[25]. He was succeeded by his son Duke Amadeus IX (r. 1465-72)[26] [Right (enlarge)[27].], who shared with his wife Duchess Yolande (1434-78), a daughter of King Charles VII of France (r. 1422-61), a particular devotion to the Shroud[28]. Due to his retiring nature and epilepsy[29], Amadeus delegated to Yolande the day-to-day admin-istration of his territories[30].

1467a On 21 April Pope Paul II (r. 1464-71) approved the upgrading of the Chambéry Royal Chapel [see "1408"], where the Shroud had been primarily kept since 1453 [see "1453b"] to a collegiate church[31], with twelve canons[32].

1467b In that same year, the Franciscan theologian Francesco della Rovere was appointed a Cardinal[33]. In his 1464 treatise The Blood of Christ, della Rovere wrote:

"... the Shroud in which the body of Christ was wrapped when he was taken down from the cross. This is now preserved with great devotion by the Dukes of Savoy, and it is coloured with the blood of Christ"[34].
On the death of Pope Paul II, Cardinal della Rovere was elected Pope and took the name Sixtus IV (r. 1471-84)[35].

1471a Commencement by Duke Amadeus IX of the enlargement and embellishment of the Chambéry Royal Chapel[36]. Pope Sixtus IV approved its name to be the Sainte Chapelle, Chambéry[37] [see "1479"], after the Sainte Chapelle, Paris, which was completed in 1248 by King Louis IX (r. 1226–1270) to house Passion relics, including the Crown of Thorns[38].

1471b On 20 September the Shroud was taken from Chambéry, France over the Alps to Vercelli, Italy[39]. It may have been due to a fear that with the impending death of Duke Amadeus IX [see next], Yolande's estranged brother King Louis XI (1461-83), would try to seize the Shroud [see "1476"]. The Shroud would be away from Chambéry for four years [see "1475b"].

1472 Death of Duke Amadeus IX[40]. He was succeeded by his six-year old son Philibert I (r. 1472-82)[41]. His mother, Dowager Duchess Yolande [Left (enlarge)[42].], assumed the role of regent during his minority[43]. But this was contested by Yolande's brother King Louis XI[45], who in 1451 had married, without the permission of his father King Charles VII, the ~10 year old Charlotte of Savoy (c.1441-83), a daughter of Duke Louis I and Anne de Lusignan (1418–62)[44]. Louis XI presumably wanted his own 2 year-old son, Charles VIII (1470–98), to succeed Amadeus IX as the next Duke of Savoy.

1473a On 14 May representatives of the Lirey canons visited Regent Yolande in Chambéry and pressed her for eight years' arrears in the promised rent [see "1464"], or return of the Shroud to them[46]. But Yolande, presumably knowing that their claim was fraudulent [see "1457"], sent them away empty-handed, because they then petitioned Louis IX requesting that the king himself assign them revenues as compensation for their loss of revenue from the Shroud[47]! Louis responded by sending letters to the baillis of Sens, Troyes and Chaumont[48], presumably to seize the Shroud if it entered their jurisdictions.

1473b On 2 July 1473 the Shroud was taken from Vercelli to Turin[49].

[Right (enlarge)[50]: The rear of the Palazzo Madama, Turin, which in the 15th century was a Savoy castle. Presumably the Shroud was kept here from July to October 1473.]


1473c Then on 5 October the Shroud was moved from Turin to Ivrea[51].

[Left (enlarge)[52]: The 14th century Savoy castle in Ivrea, Italy. Presumably the Shroud was here from October 1473 to July 1474 and August 1474 to October 1475 - see below.]


1474a On 18 July the Shroud was moved from Ivrea to Moncalieri[53].

[Right (enlarge)[54]: Savoy Castle of Moncalieri. The twin towers were part of the 15th century castle where the Shroud was presumably kept in July and August 1474.]

1474b On 25 August the Shroud was taken from Moncalieri back to Ivrea[55].

1475a End of the Hundred Years' War between England and France with the signing of the Treaty of Picquigny by King Louis XI of France and King Edward IV of England (1461–1470, 1471–1483)[56].

1475b Then on 5 October 1475b the Shroud was returned from Ivrea back to Chambéry[57].

1476 Like her late younger brother Charles, Duke of Berry (1446–72), Yolande was an ally of her near neighbour Charles, Duke of Burgundy (r. 1467–77) against her eldest brother King Louis XI of France[58]. But after Burgundy's humiliation at the Battle of Grandson in 1476, the Duke of Burgundy accused Yolande of being in league with Louis, attacked Savoy, seized Yolande and imprisoned her[59]. But Yolande was released by Louis[60] and remained on good terms with him thereafter[61].

1477-8 The Shroud was in the Piedmont towns of Susa, Avigliano and Rivoli[62].

[Left (enlarge)[63]: The unfinished Savoy castle at Rivoli, Italy[64]. Presumably the Shroud was here in 1477-8.]

1478 On 20 March (Good Friday), the Shroud was exhibited at Pinerolo[65].

Duke Louis and his successors needed to visit their extensive properties[66], and in doing so they took the Shroud with them[67], both to safeguard it from theft[68], and to protect them as a palladium (a guarantee of Divine protection)[69]. In some or all of these above places the Savoys may have exhibited the Shroud as a symbol of their rising dynastic status[70], but except for Pinerolo, the records have not survived.

It is noteworthy that from 1473 to 1478 above it must have been Dowager Duchess Yolande, acting as regent for her very young son, Duke Philibert I (1465-82), who carried the Shroud around with them and exhibited it!

1479 Completion of the Sainte Chapelle, Chambéry[71].

[Above (enlarge): The Sainte-Chapelle, Chambéry[72], as it is today, after the 1532 fire fire [see future "1532"].]

1482a A warrant is issued on behalf of the Lirey canons that the Dowager Duchess Yolande should observe the agreement made by Duke Louis I [see "1464"] [73]. But again no payment was forthcoming and as this was the Lirey canons' last attempt to obtain compensation, they evidently gave up on what had clearly become a lost cause[74].

1482b In this same year Duke Philibert I of Savoy, now about sixteen years old, dies in a hunting accident[75]. He is succeeded by his fourteen-year-old brother Charles, who becomes Duke Charles I (r. 1482-1490)[76], inheriting through the 1458 marriage of his late younger brother Louis II of Savoy (c. 1436–82) to Charlotte de Lusignan, Queen of Cyprus (1444–87) the empty titles of King of Cyprus and King of Jerusalem[77].

1483a Death of King Louis XI of France[78] who is succeeded by his eldest surviving son King Charles VIII (r. 1483-98)[79].

1483b An inventory dated 6 June 1483 of the Sainte Chapelle at Chambéry, described the Shroud as "enveloped in a red silk drape, and kept in a case covered with crimson velours, decorated with silver-gilt nails, and locked with a golden key"[80].

1485a On 1 April Duke Charles I of Savoy married Blanche (Bianca) de Montferrat (1472–1519)[81]. That same year the French painter Jean Colombe added to a Book of Hours that Duchess Bianca had inherited, a Shroud-like miniature of the risen Christ, with the coats of arms and portraits of Duke Charles and Duchess Bianca [see above] [82]. Duchess Bianca followed in the footsteps of the previous Duchesses of Savoy in her piety and veneration of the Shroud[83].

1485b On 2 June of that year a clerk Jean Renguis, who seems to have had special charge of the Shroud, is recorded as being paid 2 ecus 'in recompense for two journeys which he made from Turin to Savigliano carrying the Shroud'[84].

1488a On Easter Sunday 1488 the Shroud was exhibited at Savigliano[85].

1488b A Passion play known as the Passion de Semur was written in this year, probably at Semur-en-Auxois in Burgundy, that includes what mediaevalist Lynette Muir (1930-2007) described as "an explicit and undeniable reference to the Lirey Shroud"[86]. In the scene of the Marys [sic-see 27May12] visiting the tomb on Easter Day, the second Mary says, "There is nothing but the Shroud", followed by Mary Magdalen exclaiming, "See the trace of the wound". This is then followed a little later by a stage direction requiring that Mary Magdalen "shall take the Shroud "sudorem" and display it thus"[87].

1490 Death of Duke Charles I of Savoy at the age of twenty-one[88], his seven-month-old son becoming Duke Charles II (r. 1490-96)[89]. Dowager Duchess Bianca acted as regent and ruler of Savoy for her son Duke Charles II, until he died six years later [see "1496"][90].

1492 Conspiracy theorists Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince claimed

[Right[91]: Their blurb states:

"Despite often bitter opposition from many vested interests, Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince have fearlessly exposed cover-ups and conspiracies, from the faking of the Shroud of Turin ..." [92]. But as I showed on 14Jul09, they "are patent liars in this matter ..."!]

that:

"Leonardo [da Vinci (1452–1519)] faked the Shroud in 1492 ... just two years before the Shroud emerged from its forty-year period of obscurity"[93].
But for starters [see Scavone, 1996], as can be seen above, far from having been in "obscurity" for forty years until 1494 [see "1494], i.e. from 1453-94, the Shroud was publicly exhibited only four years before 1492, in 1488 at Savigliano! And there must have been many people who attended both the 1488 Savigliano exposition and the 1494 Vercelli exposition, who would have noticed that the Shroud they saw only six years earlier was not the same[94]!

1494 On Good Friday Dowager Duchess Bianca of Savoy exhibited the Shroud at Vercelli in the presence of Rupis, secretary to Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua (r. 1484-1519)[95]. According to Rupis' report:

"A sudarium was exhibited, that is, a sheet in which the body of our Lord was wrapped before being laid in the tomb, and on which his image can be seen outlined with blood - both front and back - and it looks as though blood is still issuing"[96].

1496 Death of the now seven-year-old Duke Charles II of Savoy[97]. And with his death the male line of Duke Amadeus IX (r. 1465-72) became extinct[98]. The next in line was Philip II, Count of Bresse (r. 1496-97), who became Duke of Savoy at age 58[99]. Phillip II (1438–1497) was was actually a younger son than Amadeus IX (1435-72) of Duke Louis I and Anne de Lusignan[100]!

1496 Death of Duke Philip II of Savoy[101]. He is succeeded by his seventeen-year-old son Philibert II (r. 1497-1504)[102].

1498 An inventory lists the Shroud at Turin this year as:

"a coffer covered with crimson velours, with silver gilt roses, and the sides silver and the Holy Shroud inside wrapped in a cloth of red silk"[103]

To be continued in the next part #20 of this series.

Notes
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. "File:Folio 75r - The Man of Sorrows.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 4 June 2018. [return]
3. Wilson, I., 1994, "A New Finding," BSTS Newsletter. No. 38, August/September, pp.16-19, 17; Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.285. [return]
4. "Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry," Wikipedia, 24 August 2018. [return]
5. Wilson, 1994, p.17; Wilson, 1998, p.285. [return]
6. "John, Duke of Berry," Wikipedia, 12 October 2018. [return]
7. Wilson, 1994, p.17. [return]
8. Humber, T., 1978, "The Sacred Shroud," [1974], Pocket Books: New York NY, p.103; Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.217; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.243-244. [return]
9. Wilson, 1979, pp.217, 261; Wilson, 1998, p.283; Wilson, 2010, p.244. [return]
10. Humber, 1978, p.103; Wilson, 1979, pp.217, 261; Currer-Briggs, N., 1995, "Shroud Mafia: The Creation of a Relic?," Book Guild: Sussex UK, p.40; Wilson, 1998, p.283; Wilson, 2010, p.244; de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.15. [return]
11. Wilson, 1979, p.213; Currer-Briggs, 1995, p.36; Wilson, 1998, p.283; Whiting, B., 2006, "The Shroud Story," Harbour Publishing: Strathfield NSW, Australia, p.51; Wilson, 2010, p.240. [return]
12. Oxley, 2010, p.70. [return]
13. Wilson, 1979, pp.217, 261; Currer-Briggs, 1995, p.40; Wilson, 1998, p.283; Wilson, 2010, p.244. [return]
14. Wilson, 1979, p.217; Wilson, 1998, p.283; Whiting, 2006, p.54; Wilson, 2010, p.244. [return]
15. Oxley, 2010, p.71. [return]
16. Humber, 1978, pp.104-105. [return]
17. Wilson, 1998, p.283; Oxley, 2010, p.71. [return]
18. Wilson, 1979, pp.217, 261; Currer-Briggs, N., 1988, "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, p.47; Currer-Briggs, 1995, p.40; Wilson, 1998, p.283; Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.16; Whiting, 2006, p.54; Wilson, 2010, pp.244, 303. [return]
19. Currer-Briggs, 1995, p.40; Wilson, 1998, p.283; Oxley, 2010, pp.70-71. [return]
20. Humber, 1978, p.104. [return]
21. Wilson, 1998, p.283; Guerrera, 2001, p.17. [return]
22. Ibid; Ibid; Oxley, 2010, p.71; Wilson, 2010, p.244. [return]
23. Humber, 1978, p.104; Wilson, 1998, p.283; Oxley, 2010, p.71; Wilson, 2010, p.244. [return]
24. Wilson, 1998, p.283; Oxley, 2010, p.71; Wilson, 2010, p.244. [return]
25. Wilson, 1998, p.283; "Louis, Duke of Savoy," Wikipedia, 18 December 2018. [return]
26. Wilson, 1998, p.283; Guerrera, 2001, p.17. [return]
27. "File:Antoine de Lohny Amedeo IX.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 26 October 2013. [return]
28. Wilson, 1998, p.283. [return]
29. "Yolande of Valois," Wikipedia, 29 December 2018. [return]
30. Wilson, I., 1994, "A Chronology of the Shroud 1452-1509, BSTS Newsletter, No. 38, August/September, pp/20-25, 21. [return]
31. Wilson, 1998, p.283. [return]
32. Guerrera, 2001, p.24. [return]
33. Wilson, 1998, p.283; Guerrera, 2001, p.24. [return]
34. Wilson, 1979, p.217; Wilson, 1998, p.283; Guerrera, 2001, pp.24-25; Oxley, 2010, pp.75-76; Wilson, 2010, p.245. [return]
35. "Pope Sixtus IV," Wikipedia, 16 October 2018. [return]
36. Wilson, 1979, p.218; Wilson, 1998, pp.283-284; Guerrera, 2001, p.17. [return]
37. Guerrera, 2001, p.24. [return]
38. Moretto, G., 1999, "The Shroud: A Guide," Neame, A., transl., Paulist Press: Mahwah NJ, p.19. [return]
39. Wilson, 1998, pp.116, 284; Oxley, 2010, p.74; Wilson, 2010, p.248. [return]
40. Wilson, 1998, p.284; Wilson, 2010, p.248. [return]
41. Ibid; Wilson, 2010, p.246. [return]
42. "File:Dedication by Guillaume Fichet of his book Rhetorica to Yolande of France, Duchess of Savoy.jpg," (1471), Wikimedia Commons, 6 January 2017. [return]
43. Wilson, 1998, p.284; Oxley, 2010, p.74. [return]
44. "Charlotte of Savoy," Wikipedia, 11 December 2018. [return]
45. Wilson, 1998, p.284. [return]
46. Humber, 1978, p.104; Wilson, 1998, p.284; Oxley, 2010, p.72. [return]
47. Humber, 1978, pp.104-105. [return]
48. Humber, 1978, p.104; Wilson, 1998, p.284. [return]
49. Wilson, 1998, pp.116, 284; Oxley, 2010, p.74; Wilson, 2010, p.248. [return]
50. "Palazzo Madama in Turin," Aree Protette del Po e della Collina Torinese, 2015. [return]
51. Wilson, 1998, pp.116, 284; Wilson, 2010, p.248. [return]
52. "File:Castello Ivrea-1.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 12 September 2017. [return]
53. Wilson, 1998, pp.116, 284; Wilson, 2010, p.248. [return]
54. "Castle of Moncalieri," Wikipedia, 11 March 2015. [return]
55. Wilson, 1998, pp.116, 284; Wilson, 2010, p.248. [return]
56. "Treaty of Picquigny," Wikipedia, 5 October 2018. [return]
57. Wilson, 1998, pp.116, 284; Wilson, 2010, p.248. [return]
58. "Yolande of Valois," Wikipedia, 29 December 2018. [return]
59. Crispino, D.C., 1988, "To Know the Truth: A Sixteenth Century Document with Excursus," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 28/29, September/December, pp.25-40, 39; "Yolande of Valois," Wikipedia, 29 December 2018. [return]
60. Crispino, 1988, p.39. [return]
61. Ibid. [return]
62. Wilson, 1998, p.284. [return]
63. "File:CastelloRivoli.JPG," Wikimedia Commons, 6 July 2014. [return]
64. "Rivoli, Piedmont: Main sights," Wikipedia, 16 December 2018. [return]
65. Wilson, 1998, pp.116, 284. [return]
66. Wilson, 1998, p.116; Scott, J.B., 2003, "Architecture for the Shroud: Relic and Ritual in Turin," University of Chicago Press: Chicago & London, p.39. [return]
67. Wilson, 1998, p.116; Scott, 2003, p.39; Oxley, 2010, pp72, 74; de Wesselow, 2012, p.16. [return]
68. Scott, 2003, p.39. [return]
69. Scott, 2003, p.39; Oxley, 2010, p.73; de Wesselow, 2012, p.16. [return]
70. Scott, 2003, pp.39, 47. [return]
71. Scott, 2003, p.39. [return]
72. "File:Sainte-Chapelle (Chambéry).jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 7 May 2016. [return]
73. Wilson, 1998, p.284. [return]
74. Oxley, 2010, p.72. [return]
75. Wilson, 1998, p.284. [return]
76. Ibid. [return]
77. Ibid; Wilson, 2010, p.246. [return]
78. Ibid. [return]
79. Ibid. [return]
80. Ibid; Wilson, 2010, p.248. [return]
81. Ibid; Oxley, 2010, p.74; Wilson, 2010, p.248; "Blanche of Montferrat," Wikipedia, 12 April 2018. [return]
82. Wilson, 1998, p.284; Wilson, 2010, p.246. [return]
83. Oxley, 2010, p.74. [return]
84. Wilson, 1998, p.284; Wilson, 2010, p.246. [return]
85. Wilson, 1998, p.285; Oxley, 2010, p.74; Wilson, 2010, p.248. [return]
86. Wilson, 1998, p.285. [return]
87. Ibid. [return]
88. Ibid; Wilson, 2010, p.246. [return]
89. Ibid; Wilson, 2010, p.246. [return]
90. "Blanche of Montferrat," Wikipedia, 12 April 2018. [return]
91. "The Official Website of Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince," 27 June 2015. [return]
92. Ibid. [return]
93. Picknett, L. & Prince, C., 2006, "The Turin Shroud: How da Vinci Fooled History," [1994], Touchstone: New York NY, Second edition, Reprinted, 2007, p.138. [return]
94. Oxley, 2010, p.75. [return]
95. Wilson, 1979, p.262; Wilson, 1998, p.285; Oxley, 2010, p.74; Wilson, 2010, p.248. [return]
96. Wilson, 1998, p.285; Oxley, 2010, p.74; Wilson, 2010, p.248. [return]
97. Wilson, 1998, p.285; Wilson, 2010, p.246. [return]
98. Wilson, 2010, p.247. [return]
99. Wilson, 1998, p.285; Wilson, 2010, p.246. [return]
100. Wilson, 2010, p.247. [return]
101. Wilson, 1998, p.285; Wilson, 2010, p.246. [return]
102. Ibid; Ibid. [return]
103. Ibid; Ibid. [return]

Posted: 14 January 2019. Updated: 17 February 2019.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Abgar V: Turin Shroud Encyclopedia

Turin Shroud Encyclopedia
Copyright © Stephen E. Jones
[1]

Abgar V #2

This is "Abgar V," part #2 of my new Turin Shroud Encyclopedia. As mentioned in my post of 27Dec18, to save time installments will now be to the whole post and not specifically linked. Except that I have provided a link to these restarted installments. Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated, For information about this series, see part #1, "Index A-Z"

[Index #1] [Previous: Index #1] [Next: Abgar VIII #3]


Abgar V Abgar V Ukkama bar Ma'nu (r. 4 BC-AD 7, 13-50), was the

[Above (enlarge): King Abgar V of <Edessa> is depicted in this mid-10th century icon at Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai, receiving the Image of Edessa (the Shroud "four-doubled" - tetradiplon) from Jesus' disciple <Thaddeus>. Abgar's face is that of Byzantine Emperor <Constantine VII> (r. 913-959), to commemorate the arrival of the <Image of Edessa> / Shroud in <Constantinople> on 15 August <944> [see 13May17].]

King of Osroene, the capital of which was <Edessa>, today Urfa. Abgar V's predecessor was his father Ma'nu III Saphul (r. 23BC –4 BC) and his successor was his son Ma'nu V bar Abgar (AD 50–57). Abgar V's Abgarid dynasty were probably Arabs. Abgar V came to power in 4 BC. He became a Roman client, was deposed in AD 7, but regained his throne in 13, from when he reigned until his death in 50.

Osroene was a semi-independent kingdom under the protection of the Parthian Empire from c. 132 BC until AD 114 when it was absorbed into the Roman Empire as a semiautonomous vassal state, after which it fell under direct Roman rule in c. 242.

The church historian Eusebius (263-339) recorded that he had read in Edessa's archives letters in Syriac between Abgar V and Jesus. Eusebius, a native of Palestine, translated the letters into Greek in his Church History.

In Abgar's letter to Jesus he asked Jesus to come to Edessa to heal him. In Jesus' reply letter to Abgar, He declined Abgar' invitation but promised that after His Ascension He would send a disciple to heal Abgar and convert him and his people to Christianity.

Historians have dismissed the Abgar-Jesus correspondence as a "pious fraud," albeit based on "a substratum of fact". But Mt 4:23-25 records that Jesus' "fame spread throughout all Syria" because of His "healing every disease and every affliction among the people." The Roman province of Syria shared a border with Osroene, so an ill Abgar would surely have heard of Jesus' healings. And it is not unlikely that a king would write an official letter to Jesus to give weight to his request. What does seem unlikely is that Jesus, knowing that He is God the Son (Jn 8:58-59; 10:30-36), would provide a pagan king with a physical letter that could become an object of idolatrous worship. Especially when a verbal reply would have sufficed.

But both Abgar's letter to Jesus and Jesus' reply letter to Abgar contain anachronisms. Abgar's letter to Jesus appears to be based on Jesus' verbal reply to the disciples of John the Baptist (Mt 11:1-3; Lk 7:18-21):

Mt 11:5 "the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them."

Lk 7:22 "And he answered them, `Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them."
And in Jesus reply to Abgar, there is no Old Testament verse resembling the quotation:
"For it is written concerning me, that they who have seen me will not believe in me, and that they who have not seen me will believe and be saved."
but there are New Testament verses that it evidently was based on:
John 6:36 "But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe."

John 20:29 "Jesus said to him, 'Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'"
Nevertheless, after Jesus Ascension (Acts 1:9-11), one of Jesus' disciples, Thaddeus (Syriac Addai), one of the Seventy-two (Lk 10:1,17), not to be confused with the Apostle Thaddeus (Mt 10:3; Mk 3:18), did go to Edessa and lay the foundations of Christianity there. That Thaddeus also did heal Abgar, as stated in an addendum to the Abgar-Jesus letters, is evident in that Abgar V died ~20 years later in AD 50, and if Abgar was never sick and healed via Jesus it would never have been recorded in the Abgar-Jesus correspondence in the first place.

And by the early late second/early third century, under <Abgar VIII> (r. 177-212), Edessa did become the world's first Christian city and Abgar VIII the world's first overtly Christian king!

So a verbal request from Abgar V to Jesus and a verbal reply from Jesus to Abgar, both of which were later transcribed from oral tradition into letters, embellished with relevant New Testament passages, would explain this.

In the late 5th century (c. 490), the Gelasian Decree, attributed to Pope Gelasius I (r.492-496), classified the correspondence between Abgar V and Jesus as apocryphal.

In 544 the Edessans invoking Jesus' letter failed to lift the siege of Edessa by the Persian king Khosrow I (r. 531-579). But the Shroud brought to Edessa from Ravenna in 540 by fleeing Ostrogoth Arians (according to my theory), did cause the Persian siege tower to catch fire and the Persians to abandon their siege. From then on the Shroud folded "four doubled" (<tetradiplon>) became the Image of Edessa and replaced Jesus' letter as Edessa's new palladium (guarantee of a city's Divine protection).

In 944 the Abgar-Jesus letters were, with the Image of Edessa/Shroud, taken to <Constantinople> (as depicted above by John Skylitzes in c. 1070), where on 15 August <944>, they were received into the Church of St. Mary of Blachernae. The letters were subsequently lost, either in the <1204> Sack of Constantinople or more likely they had before then deteriorated into illegibility.

The story of Abgar V was progressively updated in subsequent centuries to incorporate the growing realisation that under the face-only <Image of Edessa> was the full-length Shroud bearing Jesus' bloodstained, double body image.

Although the earliest surviving account of Abgar V's healing, that of Eusebius in the third century, does not mention a cloth or image, Eusebius does mention that Edessa's archives recorded that Abgar was healed upon seeing "a great vision" when Thaddeus appeared before him:

"And immediately upon his [Thaddeus'] entrance a great vision appeared to Abgarus [Abgar] in the countenance of the apostle Thaddeus ... [and] ... Abgarus was cured of the disease and of the suffering which he had."
The Doctrine of Addai (i.e. Teaching of Thaddeus) was composed in Edessa in the fourth century (c.375-90) and built on the Abgar story that Abgar's keeper of the archives, Hannan, painted Jesus's portrait "with choice paints." This is the earliest mention of a likeness of Jesus associated with Abgar. It also suggests that there was in Edessa's archives a record of Abgar V having been healed and converted by an image of Jesus (i.e. the Shroud) shown to him by Thaddeus (Addai). See above.

See also my post of 07Aug12 and comments under it where St. Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria (c. 328-373), "affirmed that a sacred Christ-icon, traceable to Jerusalem and the year 68, was then present in Syria." And that Emperor Constantine I's half-sister, Flavia Julia Constantia (c.293–c.330), asked Eusebius the whereabouts of that image so she could add it to Constantine's relic collection in Constantinople. And how Eusebius instead of saying there was no image, was evasive and appeared to be covering for that image. So Eusebius would have had a reason to not mention that Edessa's archives recorded that the "great vision" that Abgar saw was a portrait of Jesus, i.e. the Shroud.

In the sixth century (c.590) historian Evagrius Scholasticus (c.536-594), recorded in in his Ecclesiastical History that in Khosrow I's 544 siege of Edessa (see above) it was "the divinely made image not made by the hands of man, which Christ our God sent to King Abgar," which saved the city:

"The mine was completed; but they [the Edessans] failed in attempting to fire the wood, because the fire, having no exit whence it could obtain a supply of air, was unable to take hold of it. In this state of utter perplexity they brought out the divinely made image not made by the hands of man, which Christ our God sent to King Abgar when he desired to see him. Accordingly, having introduced this sacred likeness into the mine and washed it over with water, they sprinkled some upon the timber ... the timber immediately caught the flame, and being in an instant reduced to cinders, communicated with that above, and the fire spread in all directions".
The seventh century Acts of Thaddeus is in Greek and so likely was composed in Edessa when it was under Byzantine rule, i.e. before 639. It is a further update of the Abgar V legend, which described Christ's image as having been imprinted on a tetradiplon ("four-doubled") which was a sindon ("linen sheet"):
"And Ananias [Abgar V's courier], having gone and given the letter, was carefully looking at Christ, but was unable to fix Him in his mind. And He knew as knowing the heart, and asked to wash Himself; and a towel [tetradiplon "doubled in four"] was given Him; and when He had washed Himself, He wiped His face with it. And His image having been imprinted upon the linen [sindon] ... "
And as Ian Wilson experimentally proved, when the Shroud is doubled four times, with the face always uppermost, it results in the face centred in landscape aspect, exactly as it is in early copies of the Image of Edessa! (see below). This is proof beyond reasonable doubt that the

[Above (enlarge): Tetradiplon and the Shroud of Turin illustrated: The full-length Shroud of Turin (1), is doubled four times (2 through 5), resulting in Jesus' face within a rectangle, in landscape aspect (5), exactly as depicted in the earliest copies of the Image of Edessa, the 11th century Sakli church, Turkey (6) and the 10th century icon of King Abgar V of Edessa holding the Image of Edessa, St. Catherine's monastery, Sinai (7).]

Image of Edessa was the Shroud, doubled four times, mounted on a board and framed, so that only Jesus' face was visible in landscape aspect. And therefore that the Shroud already existed in the seventh century!

In the eighth century, St. John of Damascus (c.675–749), in his De Fide Orthodoxa (The Orthodox Faith), updated the Abgar story by referring to the cloth that Jesus' face was imprinted upon as a himation:

"Abgar, king of the city of Edessa, sent an artist to paint the Lord's image but could not do so because of the shining brilliance of his face. The Lord therefore placed a large cloth [himation] on his divine and life-giving face and wiped his own imprint onto it. He sent this to Abgar in answer to his request"[2]
A "himation" was "an outer garment worn by the ancient Greeks over the left shoulder and under the right." See

[Left (enlarge): A "himation was with the ancient Greeks ... a loose robe ... worn over [clothes] ... alike for both sexes"[3].]

Mt 5:40; 9:20-21; 14:36; Mk 5:27-30; Jn 19:2 and Acts 12:8 where the Greek "himation" is translated "coat," "cloak" and "robe." So in the seventh century, when the Image of Edessa/Shroud was still at Edessa, it was known to be, under the face-only Image of Edessa, the full-length Shroud!

Also in the eighth century, Pope Stephen III (r. 768–772), in 769 delivered a sermon in which he referred to the Abgar V story, where he paraphrased Jesus' reply to Abgar:

"Since you wish to look upon my physical face, I am sending you a likeness of my face on a cloth"
See below an early twelfth century interpolation of Jesus' "whole body ... divinely transformed" into Stephen's sermon.

In the mid-tenth century, soon after he became sole Emperor in 945, Constantine VII (r. 913-959), commissioned an icon, now at Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai (see above), which visually told the Abgar story, with Thaddeus handing the Edessa Cloth (with Jesus' face in landscape aspect as it is when the Shroud is "four-doubled" tetradiplon) to Abgar V.

At about the same time, Constantine VII commissioned an official history of the Image of Edessa, the Narratio de imagine Edessena (Story of the Image of Edessa). This "Official History," which may have been written by the scholarly Constantine VII himself, gives two alternative, mutually exclusive, versions of the origin of the Image. The first is the traditional explanation 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. The second version is that 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), This second version can only be explained by drops of blood being seen on the face of the Image of Edessa, as they are seen on the Shroud face!

The Official History claimed that when Abgar V was healed by "a likeness of the Lord's appearance," there was a a statue of one of the Greek gods standing before the public gate of Edessa and "everyone wishing to enter the city had to offer worship and customary prayers":

"Henceforward the ruler [Abgar V] totally honored and reverenced such a likeness of the Lord's appearance and added this to the other marks of honor. A statue of one of the notable Greek gods has been erected before the public gate of the city by the ancient citizens and settlers of Edessa to which everyone wishing to enter the city had to offer worship and customary prayers. Only then could he enter into the roads and streets of the city"[4].
But Osroene, of which Edessa was it's capital, had long ceased being under Greek rule with the collapse of the Greek Seleucid Empire a century before in 136 BC. So it seems unlikely that there would still be a statue of a Greek god at Edessa's main gate in Abgar V's day. But if there was, it would seem even more unlikely that in Abgar V's day "everyone" entering Edessa had to offer "worship and ... prayers" to this unnamed Greek idol. Edessa was then effectively under Parthian rule, and the Parthians had conquered that part of the Seleucid Empire. So it seems unlikely that Parthians would submit to forced worship of a Greek god to enter Edessa. Nor would Jews, including Thaddeus, a Jewish Christian, have entered Edessa to heal Abgar V under that condition.

The Official History further claimed that Abgar V "destroyed this statue ... and in its place set up the" Image of Edessa/Shroud:

"Abgar then destroyed this statue and consigned it to oblivion, and in its place 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"[5]
This contains the core assumption, which is extremely unlikely, that the disciple Thaddeus handed over the Shroud to a former pagan king, Abgar V, upon his becoming a Christian.

And also since only a tiny minority of Edessa's population would then have been Christians, it is very doubtful that Abgar V would have had the political power to destroy a statue of a Greek god that the majority of Edessa's pagan population had long worshipped, and replace it with a new "likeness of ... Christ the God" whom most Edessans would have known little about and would not have accepted. According to the Official History (see below), after Abgar V died in the year 50, he was succeeded by his Christian son Ma'nu V bar Abgar (r. 50–57), but he only reigned 7 years before he in turn was succeeded by his pagan son Ma'nu VI bar Abgar (57–71), and then Edessa reverted to paganism.

According to the Official History, Abgar V then substituted pagan idolatry with `Christian' (so-called) idolatry, by decreeing that "everyone" who wished to enter Edessa must "worship" that "image of Christ":

"And he laid down that everyone who intended to come through that gate, should-in place of that former worthless and useless statue-pay fitting reverence and due worship and honor to the very wondrous miracle-working image of Christ, and only then enter the city of Edessa"[6].
Even if it were argued that, since the Image of Edessa/Shroud really is the image of Christ, it wouldn't be idolatry for Christians to worship it, I have never heard of anyone who argues that, and I certainly don't. But requiring non-Christians to worship the Image of Edessa/Shroud would definitely be idolatry. And there is no way that Jewish Christians like Thaddeus would have condoned that.

The Official History claimed that the Image of Edessa/Shroud remained in the place where that Greek god statue had been outside the main gate of Edessa, until the reign of Abgar V's pagan grandson Ma'nu VI bar Abgar (57–71):

"And such a monument to and offering of his piety was preserved as long as Abgar and his son were alive, his son succeeding to his father's kingdom and his piety. But their son and grandson succeeded to his father's and grandfather's kingdom but did not inherit their piety, but spurned their piety and deserted to demons and idols. Therefore, as intending to pay their due to demons, he wished just as his grandfather had consigned that idolatrous statue to oblivion so he would bring the same condemnation on the image of the Lord also"[7].
But assuming (for the sake of the Official History's argument), that Thaddeus healed Abgar V in the year 31, given that Jesus' Ascension was in 30, that Abgar V set up the Image/Shroud in the place of the Greek god statue in 32, and that the Image/Shroud was hidden by the unnamed bishop (see below) when Abgar V's grandson Ma'nu VI bar Abgar (r. 57–71) became king of Edessa, in 57. That would be 57-32 = 25 years that, according to the Official History the Image/Shroud remained outside Edessa's main gate, continually exposed to Edessa's weather, which varied from freezing snow in Winter to 40°C heat in Summer! Clearly the Shroud would not have survived under those conditions.

The Official History then claimed that an unnamed "bishop of the region" hid the Image/Shroud in "the place where the image lay."

"But this treacherous move was balked of his prey. For the bishop of the region, perceiving this beforehand, showed as much forethought as possible, and, since the place where the image lay had the appearance of a semispherical cylinder, he lit a lamp in front of the image, and placed a tile on top. Then he blocked the approach from the outside with mortar and baked bricks and reduced the wall to a level in appearance. And because the hated image was not seen, this impious man desisted from his attempt. For the following reason, I think the priest decided to place the tile in front of the image namely that there might be no rot from the dampness of the building or the wetness of the mortar in the receptacle of the image which might increase the damage done by lapse of time"[8].
The above has the following problems: ■ This unnamed bishop who saved the Image of Edessa/Shroud from destruction would have been a hero and his name would have been remembered. ■ This is self-contradictory: previously the Image/Shroud was set up "in its place" of "A statue of one of the ... Greek gods ... erected before the public gate of the city." Now it is in "the place where the image lay." ■ This "lit ... lamp in front of the image" was still alight after a mere 544-57 = 487 years (see below)! And the oil from this lamp would "fall onto the Persians who were in the tunnel" and "killed them all" (see below)! ■ On the "tile" which was "placed on top" and "in front of the image" (which was it?) after ~487 years, it was "found that there had been engraved another likeness of the image" (see below)! ■ It is most implausible (to put it mildly) that no one would have noticed, including "this impious man" (King Ma'nu VI bar Abgar) or any of his officials, nor even the guards on the wall that night), that "the place where the image lay" was now "blocked ... from the outside with mortar and baked bricks" and that part of "the wall" at Edessa's main gate had been "reduced to a level in appearance," with still "wet... mortar"! ■ The "priest" (who was a "bishop" originally), "place[d] the tile in front of the image... that there might be no rot from the dampness of the building or the wetness of the mortar ... which might increase the damage done by lapse of time," when the Image had already been exposed to the open air (whether in the place of the statue of the Greek god, and/or in this previously open "receptacle" high in the gate part of the city wall) for at least 25 years (see above)! Besides, how would a mere "tile" prevent such "damage done by [the] lapse of time" of 487 years to the image?

The Official History jumps ahead "a long interval of time" to the 544 siege of Edessa by "Chosroes, king of the Persians," aka Khosrow I (r. 531-579). See above the account of the siege by historian Evagrius Scholasticus (c.536-594).

"16. Then a long interval of time elapsed and the erection of this sacred image and its concealment both disappeared from men's memories. When then Chosroes, king of the Persians, in his time was ravaging the cities of Asia and hurried to Edessa too and in front of it fixed a rampart and moved up every sort of machine and prepared every suitable instrument for the taking of the city and constructed every kind of machine for heaving missiles, violently shaking walls, and breaking through gates ... And so it was in the course of that night there appeared to the bishop (Eulalius it was) a well-dressed, awe-inspiring figure of a woman, larger than human, who advised him to take the divinely created image of Christ, and with it to entreat that the Lord would give a complete demonstration of his marvelous acts. The bishop replied that he had no idea whether the image existed at all, or, if so, whether they or anyone else had it. Then the apparition in woman's form said that such an image lay hidden in the place above the city gates in a way which she described"[9].
This has the following problems: ■ It is highly implausible (to put it mildly) that "the erection of this sacred image" the Image of Edessa/Shroud in the place of a statue of a Greek god (see above) "and its concealment" (see above) "both disappeared from men's memories." Indeed, it is self-refuting. How did the Official History or its source know this history if that were the case? Or, as Classics Professor Robert Drews (1936-) put it:
"How, one will immediately ask, could a story of the icon's concealment have survived from the first century to the sixth, when the fact of the concealment had disappeared from men's memories?" (Drews' emphasis)[10].
■ No bishop named "Eulalius" is known in the history of Edessa[11]. The name of the bishop of Edessa in 544 is known and it was "Jacob bar Addai"[12]. ■ As for this "woman, larger than human, who advised" the bishop where to find the long-concealed and forgotten Image, see next that this 944 Official History story closely parallels, and therefore presumably was derived from, a pre-787 Caesarea in Cappadocia story of a cloth bearing Jesus' image having been concealed in that city's wall and long-forgotten until its existence and location was supernaturally revealed.

The Official History's account of the discovery of the concealed and forgotten for ~487 years Image of Edessa/Shroud continued:

"17. The bishop was convinced by the clearness of the vision which appeared to him, and therefore at dawn he went prayerfully to the spot, made a thorough search, and found this sacred image intact, and the lamp which had not been put out over so many years. On the piece of tile which had been placed in front of the lamp to protect it he found that there had been engraved another likeness of the image which has by chance been kept safe at Edessa up to the present time. And so he took in his hands the sacred likeness of Christ, God in human form, and with rising hopes he walked over that place where, because of the rattling of the copperware, the Persians had been detected by the noise of the bronze vessels in the act of trying to dig their way. The citizens began to dig from inside, and when the two sides came within a short distance of each other they dripped oil from that lamp into the fire which they had prepared for use against the enemy, and by letting it fall onto the Persians who were in the tunnel, killed them all. Next, after their deliverance from this stratagem, they tried a similar form of attack against the siege equipment outside the walls, and at one stroke burned them down, killing many of the enemy who manned them ..."[13].
Problems with this include: ■ The oil lamp was still burning after ~487 years! Apart from this being impossible, absent a great miracle from God, the smoke and smell of burning oil would have long since betrayed the concealed Image. ■ The tile now has on it "engraved another likeness of the image". ■ The story about the oil from the lamp killing the Persians and lifting their siege contradicts the historian Evagrius Scholasticus above account. ■ As previously mentioned, this part of the Official History's Abgar V story has close parallels with a pre-787 Caesarea in Cappadocia story, and is presumably derived from it:
"A more complete tale attached itself to another cloth, the icon of Cappadocian Caesarea (present-day Keyseri, about a hundred miles southeast of Ankara). Its imprint was advertised as an acheiropoietos image of Jesus at least as early as 574 in the little town of Camulia, not far from Caesarea, a woman named Bassa lived during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). Although she wished to be baptized into the Church, her husband, Camulus, who was toparch of the district, persecuted the Christians in conformity with Diocletian's command. Bassa prayed that Christ would give her a sign by appearing to her, and in response to her prayer a divine voice ordered her to place on a table a glass bowl filled with water, and a clean, white cloth. As Bassa knelt outside the room, Jesus appeared at the table, washed his face in the bowl, and dried his face with the cloth. When Bassa inspected the cloth, she found to her amazement that Jesus had miraculously imprinted his image upon it. For the rest of her life Bassa — who now changed her name to Aquilina — treasured the cloth. But as she neared the end of her life, she decided that she must preserve the cloth from the enemies of the Church. Accordingly, Aquilina wrote out the full story of the image and sealed up the story, along with the cloth itself, a thurible of incense, and a lighted votive lamp, in the exterior wall of her house. Many years later, in the days of the Christian emperor Theodosius the Great (378-395), Bishop Gregory of Nyssa [r. 372-378 ] (the most famous bishop the area produced) was moved by the Holy Spirit to open the wall. There he found the cloth, the account that Aquilina had written, the thurible with its incense, and the votive lamp, still burning. He fetched the cloth with its acheiropoietos image to the metropolis, Caesarea, where it performed many miracles of healing. This story of the Caesarea icon, which so closely parallels the Festival Sources' [Official History] story of the Edessan Icon's concealment and rediscovery, was composed before 787, since it was quoted at an Ecumenical Council in that year"[14].
Prof. Drews pointed out that there is no evidence of the above part of the Official History before 944[15]. He also noted that the Greek name, Eulalius, of the bishop (above) indicates that the story originated in Greek rather than in Syriac circles[16]. Presumably that was in Edessa before the Muslim conquest of 639, when it was still under Byzantine control.

It is clear from the above that that part of the 944 Official History is a fabrication, presumably by someone in Edessa to provide an explanation of how the Image/Shroud came to be in Edessa in 544, for it to have repelled the Persian siege of that year. The story of the Image/Shroud's replacement of the Greek statue, its long forgotten concealment in Edessa's gate in c.57, and its discovery ~487 years later in 544, may have come with the Image/Shroud when it was transferred in 944 from Edessa to Constantinople), and Emperor Constantine VII, accepted it at face value.

Evidence that the Image/Shroud was not hidden and forgotten in Edessa's main gate for ~487 years from c.57 to 544, includes: ■ A 4th century fresco in the catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter (not the Apostle), in Rome [Right (enlarge)]. Although Jesus' face does not have the Vignon markings of later Byzantine icons, it "shows a very striking similarity to" the image on the Shroud and is such a radical departure from the "beardless Apollo" depictions of Jesus then current, that the simplest explanation is that the artist had seen the Shroud and painted this part of the fresco from memory, in the 4th century [04Oct16], when according to the Official History, the Image/Shroud was hidden, long forgotten, in Edessa's main gate!

■ The c.526 "Christ Enthroned" mosaic in the Sant'Apollinare Nuovo church, Ravenna, Italy [Left enlarge]. By my count, this has thirteen of the fifteen Vignon markings! And since this is a mosaic, created in situ, not a portable painting, it is evidence that the Shroud was in Ravenna in the early sixth century (not hidden in Edessa's gate until the mid-sixth century)! [08Oct16 & 07Dec16] This is evidence for my Ravenna theory (see also above).

I will now critique Ian Wilson's speculation that the Image of Edessa/Shroud was discovered inside Edessa's main gate during repairs to damage caused by Edessa's catastrophic river flood in 525 (see below).

Wilson evidently realised that the Image/Shroud could not have been exposed to Edessa's open air weather extremes at its main gate for ~25 years (see above), so he makes it the tile (not the Image/Shroud) that was erected in place of the Greek god before Edessa's gate:

"It was common practice in the Parthian empire to display stone or clay heads of gods and gorgons over gateways. There are still examples to be seen at Parthian Hatra. Almost certainly the Keramion [tile] was one of these made in the likeness of the Christ head on the Mandylion and displayed on the city gate at the time that Christianity was tolerated by Abgar V. When persecution set in, it had to be removed. The real surprise is that, in stowing it away in a niche behind, the Mandylion was concealed there too"[17]
But this contradicts what the Official History actually says (see also above), that it was the "likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ" fastened "to a board" and embellished with gold "which is now to be seen" in Constantinople (i.e. the Image/Shroud) that replaced the Greek god statue "before the public gate" of Edessa:
"A statue of one of the notable Greek gods has been erected before the public gate of the city by the ancient citizens and settlers of Edessa to which everyone wishing to enter the city had to offer worship and customary prayers ... Abgar then destroyed this statue ... and in its place 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 ... And he laid down that everyone who intended to come through that gate, should-in place of that former worthless and useless statue-pay fitting reverence and due worship and honor to the very wondrous miracle-working image of Christ, and only then enter the city of Edessa"[18]
As footnote [18] shows, Wilson repeated his patently false tile explanation in his 1998 and 2010 books The Blood and the Shroud and The Shroud, presumably rather than to admit that the Official History was self-evidently wrong that the Image/Shroud would have survived ~25 years in the open air before Edessa's gate.

Wilson did admit that the Official History's account of the lamp still burning (after ~487 years) and the Image/Shroud's role in repelling the Persian siege of Edessa in 544 were both "fanciful" (i.e. false)[19]. Wilson nevertheless maintained (and I agree) that the latter was when and where the Image/Shroud entered history as a real historical object[20].

However, surprisingly for an Oxford University trained historian, Wilson illogically assumed that because the Official History was correct about the Image/Shroud entering history during the 544 Persian siege of Edessa, it must have been correct about it having been hidden in Edessa's gate and completely forgotten for ~487 years (see above):

"Carefully the Mandylion [Image/Shroud] was laid underneath the tile likeness for protection. As a mark of respect the lamp also was left. The niche was then sealed with plain bricks to render the surface once again neat and tidy. The person who hid the Mandylion seems not to have had the opportunity to return to the hiding place, or to pass the knowledge of it on to surviving Christians. Whoever he was, he did his job well. He provided hermetically sealed conditions for the preservation of the Mandylion, something for which posterity would be more grateful than he could ever know. He had no way of knowing that it would be nearly five hundred years, in a totally different political and religious climate, before his place of concealment would come to light"[21].

Wilson does admit that if the Image/Shroud had been discovered in Edessa's gate during the 544 siege, historian Evagrius Scholasticus (c.536-594), who wrote about the Image/Shroud's role in repelling the Persian siege, would have mentioned it[22] (but see below). And if the Image/Shroud had been discovered in Edessa's gate before 521 then Edessan author Jacob of Serug (c. 451–521) also would surely have mentioned it[23].

So Wilson assumed that the Image/Shroud must have been discovered inside Edessa's gate between 520 and 544:

"So one can be reasonably certain that this discovery took place sometime between 520 and 544"[24].
Wilson then assumes, without any evidence, that the Image/Shroud must have been discovered by workmen repairing the damage to Edessa's main gate after its River Daisan's catastrophic flood in 525:

"It is not too difficult to determine during which incident of Edessa's history in those years it might have taken place. The year 525 was a particularly black one in Edessa's history ... Through the city, and past some of these churches ran the river Daisan, normally an unspectacular stream. But every so often, as already noted, rains could cause it to rise dramatically and burst its banks, bringing about widespread destruction in the low-lying areas of the city. In 525 the scale of the damage was the most serious ever. Many of Edessa's citizens were asleep in their beds when the river rose to an extraordinary height ... levelled to the ground a large part of the outworks and of the circuit-wall, and covered practically the whole city, doing irreparable damage... and caused the death of one third of the population ... emperor-to-be Justinian, who subsequently reigned from 527 to 565 ... dispatched engineers to Edessa to begin the work of reconstruction ... among Justinian's engineers' activities was their work on the walls ... In such circumstances we might expect the old Parthian gateway containing the Mandylion to have been dismantled and its intriguing contents brought to light. The news of the discovery does not seem to have been received with rapture in Edessa" (my emphasis)[25].
Note Wilson's disguised admission that there was no news of the discovery of the Image/Shroud in Edessa following the 525 flood!

And Wilson overlooked that just because historian Evagrius Scholasticus (c.536-594) was not yet born in 525 (see above), he would have written about the discovery of the Image/Shroud in Edessa's gate following the great flood of 525, if it had happened. Moreover, according to Google Books, Evagrius in his Ecclesiastical History did mention Edessa's flood of 525, calling the river the Skirtus (presumably its Latin name):

"About the same time Edessa. a large and flourishing city of Osroene, was inundated by the waters of the Skirtus, AD 525 [margin] which runs close by it so that most of the buildings were swept away, and countless multitudes that were carried down by the stream, perished. Accordingly, the names of Edessa and Anazarbus were changed by Justin, and each of them was called, after himself. Justinopolis"[26]
And as can be seen, Evagrius did not mention the discovery of the Image/Shroud, which Wilson himself admits Evagrius would have, if it he was aware of it (see above)!

Finally, Wilson does not consider that the source of the Official History would have mentioned that the Image/Shroud was found in Edessa's main gate during repairs following the flood of 525. if it really happened.

So in conclusion, the Official History's account of the Image/Shroud having been displayed in the open air before Edessa's main gate for ~25 years, hidden and completely forgotten for ~487 years, and discovered during the 544 Persian siege of Edessa (or Wilson's after the 525 flood), is PATENTLY FALSE!

An early twelfth century Vatican Library codex, No. 5696, Fol. 35 (pre-1130), contains an update of Pope Stephen III's eighth century sermon (above, which paraphrased Jesus reply to Abgar, that: "I am sending you a likeness of my face on a cloth.". The twelfth century version added that Jesus was sending Abgar a cloth on which was the image of His "whole body ... divinely transformed":

"If indeed you desire to look bodily upon my face, I send you a cloth on which the image not only of my face, but of my whole body had been divinely transformed."
Also in the early twelfth century, about 1130, an English-born Normandy monk Ordericus Vitalis (1075–c.1142), in his History of the Church, retold the Abgar story, but with an update - Jesus had wiped the sweat from His face with "a linen cloth" and His "image ... was miraculously imprinted" on it displaying "the form and size of the Lord's body":
"Abgar the ruler reigned at Edessa; the Lord Jesus sent him a sacred letter and a beautiful linen cloth He had wiped the sweat from His face with. The image of the Saviour was miraculously imprinted on to it and shines out, displaying the form and size of the Lord's body to all who look on it."
In these two early twelfth century updates of the Abgar story, this can only be the Shroud, in Constantinople, ~130 years before its earliest 1260 radiocarbon date!

In the early thirteenth century (c. 1212), Gervase of Tilbury (c.1150 – c.1228), an English born but Rome-educated lawyer, referring in his Otia Imperialia to the Abgar story in which Jesus had impressed an image of His face on a cloth and sent it to King Abgar V, added that Jesus had prostrated himself full length on a linen cloth and the likeness ... of the whole body of the Lord was impressed upon the cloth":

"... it is handed down from archives of ancient authority that the Lord prostrated himself full length on most white linen, and so by divine power the most beautiful likeness not only of the face, but also of the whole body of the Lord was impressed upon the cloth".
This is another (see Vatican Library codex, No. 5696 and Ordericus Vitalis above) altered versions of the Abgar V story which substituted for the miracle of Jesus' pressing his face onto a cloth to explain His face on the Image of Edessa, with Jesus lying full length on a cloth to imprint a likeness of His whole body on it!

Again, this can only be an early 13th century reference to the Shroud, nearly a half-century before the earliest radiocarbon date of 1260, and mentioned in archives which were "ancient" even then!

Continued in the next part #3 of this series.

Notes
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. Guscin, M., 2009, "The Image of Edessa," Brill: Leiden, Netherlands & Boston MA, pp.151-152. [return]
3. "Himation," Wikipedia (Danish), 30 November 2014. [return]
4. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.280. [return]
5. Ibid. [return]
6. Ibid. [return]
7. Wilson, 1979, pp.280-281. [return]
8. Wilson, 1979, p.281. [return]
9. Wilson, 1979, pp.281-282. [return]
10. Drews, R., 1984, "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on Its History and Origins," Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD, p.70. [return]
11. Guscin, M., 2009, "The Image of Edessa," Brill: Leiden, Netherlands & Boston MA, p.77). [return]
12. Drews, 1984, p.71. [return]
13. Wilson, 1979, p.282. [return]
14. Drews, 1984, p.71. Footnote omitted. [return]
15. Ibid. [return]
16. Ibid. [return]
17. Wilson, 1979, p.132; Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.174; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.132-133. [return]
18. Wilson, 1979, p.280. [return]
19. Wilson, 1979, pp.132, 137. [return]
20. Wilson, 1979, pp.137-138. [return]
21. Wilson, 1979, p.135. [return]
22. Wilson, 1979, p.138. [return]
23. Ibid. [return]
24. Ibid. [return]
25. Wilson, 1979, pp.138-139. [return]
26. "The Ecclesiastical History of Evagrius: A History of the Church from AD 431 ..." By Evagrius (Scholasticus), Google Books, p.143. [return]

Posted: 8 January 2019. Updated: 6 April 2019.