Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Prehistory of the Shroud (3) #46: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!

Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is the third installment of #46, "Prehistory of the Shroud (3)," of my series, "The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!" For more information about this "overwhelming" series, see the "Main index #1" and "Other marks and images #26." For more information about this "Prehistory" series, see "Prehistory" (1).

[Main index #1] [Previous: Prehistory of the Shroud (2) #45] [Next: Prehistory of the Shroud (4) #47]

Prehistory of the Shroud (AD 30-1354).

526b Antioch was severely damaged by a major earthquake[DG63, 243; OM10, 22; AEW], followed by a fire[AEW], which together killed 250,000[DG63, 243; AEW]. Most of Antioch's buildings and walls were destroyed including the Cathedral[DG63, 244; AEW]. Emperor Justin I (r. 518-27) despatched a relief team, and engineers to clear away the rubble and begin rebuilding public faciliies[DG63, 244-45].

528 A major aftershock earthquake did further major damage to Antioch's buildings and the city walls[DG63, 245; OM10, 22; AEW]. Attorney and amateur historian, Jack Markwardt rightly criticised 's Ian Wilson's theory that the Image of Edessa/Shroud was concealed in Edessa's "city walls for almost five centuries" (see "525"):

"In 1978, Ian Wilson ... suggested that, shortly after the Crucifixion, an otherwise-unknown disciple named Thaddeus had carried Christ's image-bearing burial shroud to Edessa where it was soon portraitized and concealed in the city walls for almost five centuries. This particular portion of the theory was not grounded in history but, instead, was based upon the so-called Abgar legend, a fourth-century Syrian tale significantly permutated by tenth-century Byzantines in order to bestow an Apostolic history upon the Mandylion cloth that had been brought from Edessa to Constantinople in 944[MJ98, 296]
But Markwardt original 1998 theory is also implausible, that the Image of Edessa/Shroud was hidden in 362 within Antioch cathedral by the Arian Treasurer Theodoretus (-362) (see "361") so well that his fellow Arians could not find it[MJ98, 304] (even though the cathedral could not have been very large and the Arians could have searched every square centimetre of it multiple times in the 18 years from 362 to 380 - see 01Jan20). So when they were expelled from Antioch in 380 (see "380"), according to Markwardt's original theory, the Arians had to leave the Image of Edessa/Shroud behind[MJ98, 304]. And it remained lost within Antioch cathedral for ~166 years from 362 to ~528 when, "in the process of clearing away the debris of the earthquake-ravaged cathedral, Monophysites discovered the Shroud in the place where it had been hidden in 362[MJ98, 304-305]. Markwardt does not provide any evidence for this, since there is none, and in fact he abandoned his original theory without explanation in 2008, as we shall see. My Ravenna Theory is that the Arians who controlled Antioch Cathedral from 357 (see "357"), if the Image of Edessa/Shroud was among the cathedral's relics (which Markwardt agees it was), then the Arians would have taken it with them in 380 and joined the Arian Ostrogoths who had been permitted to settle inside the Western Roman Empire from the 380s[OSW].

540a Byzantine general Flavius Belisarius (c.500–65) captured Ravenna[SRW] after a 2 year siege and took the Arian Ostrogoth king Vitiges (r. 536-40) captive to Constantinople where he died that same year[VTW]. Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (r. 482–565) had in 535 commissioned Belisarius to attack the Ostrogoth Kingdom of Italy[BLW], as part of Justinian's strategy to recover the territory of the Western Roman Empire that had been lost in the previous century[JNW]. It is my Ravenna Theory (see 07Dec16; 08Jan19, 01Jan20 & 22Jan24) that before the 540 Byzantine capture of Ravenna, the Image of Edessa/Shroud was taken by Ravenna's Arians to Arian-friendly Edessa[ETW].

540b Persian king Khosrow I (r. 531–79) in June 540 sacked and burned Antioch[DG63, 247; KNW].

To be continued in the fourth installment of this post.

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to extract or quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided the extract or quote includes a reference citing my name, its title, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]

AEW. "526 Antioch earthquake," Wikipedia, 7 January 2024.
BLW. "Belisarius," Wikipedia, 18 February 2024.
ETW. "Ephrem the Syrian: Life," Wikipedia, 13 January 2024.
DG63. Downey, G., 1963, "Ancient Antioch," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ.
JNW. "Justinian I," Wikipedia, 18 February 2024.
KNW. "Khosrow I," Wikipedia, 20 February 2024.
MJ98. Markwardt, J.J., 1998, "Antioch and the Shroud," in MM02, 296-319
MM02. 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.
OM10. Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK.
OSW. "Ostrogoths," Wikipedia, 24 November 2023.
SRW. "Siege of Ravenna (539–540)," Wikipedia, 24 August 2023.
VTW. "Vitiges," Wikipedia, 31 October 2023.

Posted 20 February 2024. Updated 22 February 2024.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Report of the 1969 Turin Commission on the Shroud: Turin Shroud Encyclopedia

Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is the sixth and final installment of, "Report of the 1969 Turin Commission on the Shroud," part #26 of my Turin Shroud Encyclopedia, which will help me write Chapter 14, "Science and the Shroud" of my book in progress, "Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus!" See 06Jul17, 03Jun18, 04Apr22, 13Jul22 & 8 Nov 22. The Report is one 1976 document, which includes also the 1973 Turin Commission on the Shroud. I will treat the 1969 and 1973 Commissions separately.

[Index #1] [Previous: Objections answered (1) #25] [Next: Report of the 1973 Commission #27]

On 25th March 1969, by letter and subsequent interviews, Cardinal Michele Pellegrino (r. 1965-77), Archbishop of Turin, with the approval of Pope Paul VI (r. 1963-78) and ex-King Umberto II (r. 1946), established a special

[Right: Cover of the report PDF.]

commission to verify the state of preservation of the Shroud and provisions for its future preservation; and to study the possibility of further examinations and research on the Cloth[JM76, 3, 6; WI79, 64-65; TF06, 1].

Commission members were: Mons. Pietro Caramella - Chairman; Mons.Jose Cottino – Vice-Chairman; Mons. Sergio Baldi - Secretary; and Professors: Silvio Curto, Enzo Delorenzi, Giorgio Frache, Noemi Gabrielli, Giovanni Judica Cordiglia, Camillo Lenti and Enrico Medi – experts; as well as Prof. Luigi Gedda - King Umberto II's personal representative[JM76, 3; WR77, 37; WI79, 65; GV01, 55].

Pietro Caramello (1908 -97) was an Italian priest and Professor of Philosophy[PCW], and the Shroud's actual custodian below the Cardinal[WI79, 65]. Jose Cottino (1913-83) was actually an American, from New Bedford, Massachusetts[AF82, 92; CD84, 37]. Silvio Curto (1919-2015) was Curator of the Egyptian Museum of Turin[GV01, 55; SCW]. Enzo Delorenzi was Head of Radiology at the Mauriziano Hospital in Turin[WI79, 65; GV01, 55]. Giorgio Frache was Director of the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the University of Modena[GV01, 55]. Noemi Gabrielli (1901-79) was the former Director of the Piedmontese art galleries[BR78, 77; RC99, 74; GV01, 55]. Dr Giovanni Judica Cordiglia (-1980) was a lecturer in Forensic Medicine at the University of Milan[WR77, 37; GV01, 55]. Camillo Lenti was a biochemistry professor. Enrico Medi (1911-74) was a physicist at the University of Rome[WR77, 37]. Luigi Gedda (1902-2000) was an anthropologist[WR77, 37].

The existence and membership of the commission was not officially made public for three years[WI79, 66; BR78, 49], hence it is known as the "Secret Commission"[GV01, 55; TF06, 1]. However leaks to the press had by 1973 revealed the commission's existence and membership[WR77, 37; WI79, 66; SH90, 61; GV01, 55].

On 16 June, Cardinal Pellegrino celebrated the Mass of the Holy Shroud on the altar of the Royal Chapel, facing towards the Royal Palace[JM76, 3; WI79, 64]. Immediately afterwards , in the presence of the members of the to-be-appointed commission, and other dignitaries, the grille of the safe on the altar was opened, with the three keys, one of which was presented by the Archbishop and two by the Palatine Clergy[JM76, 3; JM76, 3; WI79, 64]. The silver casket containing the Shroud was brought down and transported to the adjoining Royal Chapel, which had been equipped for the examination [JM76, 3-4; WI79, 64].

Here the Cardinal Archbishop, having verified the identity of the seals, had the casket opened and the Shroud removed. The Shroud was then placed on the table provided , for the purpose, which was covered with a white cloth. The Palatine Chaplains took turns at watching over the Shroud day and night during the period of the investigation[JM76, 4].

During the examination of the Shroud it was placed on a vertical frame, suitably placed for photography which was to be undertaken by the expert photographer Giovanni Battista Judica Cordiglia (1939-2018), son of Dr Giovanni Judica Cordiglia[WI79, 65-66; CD83, 61; CD85, 31], assisted by Carlo Andrea Filipello[JM76, 4].

The experts then made examinations with the naked eye and with a microscope, by normal light, by Wood's light (ultraviolet) and by infrared light[JM76, 4]. They had lengthy discussions on the data obtained, finally drawing conclusions which, compiled in a separate report, shall be presented to Cardinal Pellegrino[JM76, 4].

On completion of the examinations the Shroud was replaced on the 18 June at 10 am[JM76, 4].

The relic was rolled up again and returned to its silver casket with the seals of the Archbishop and of the Royal Chapel and the casket was replaced on the altar, in the presence of Mons. Francesco Sanmartino, Aitular Archbishop of Summola, Vicar General and Auxiliary of the Archbishop, who signed this report with the witnesses Mons. Caramella and Mons. Cottino, Count Provana, Arch. Chierici and Ragonier. Toncelli[JM76, 4].


After exhaustive discussions the said commission agreed the following conclusions:

1. The shroud was observed to be in in excellent state of preservation, and it is advised that it should, for the time being, be kept in the usual condition (wound on a roll, wrapped in silk, in the established place). Later a method of preservation of the cloth between two panes of glass may be studied, which would also be suitable for future exhibition, as well as following relevant museum experience. Within the scope of such studies the advisability of keeping or substituting the present backing of white cloth will also be examined[JM76, 6].

2. With reference to the second point contained in the previously mentioned letter of the Archbishop, it is felt that research on the famous relic should be conducted along the following lines:

a) Ascertaining at least the probable dating of the cloth and patches, by means of archaeological research and eventually by physical and chemical means[JM76, 6].

b) Ascertaining the various substances present in the marks of a different colour which are to be found on the cloth[JM76, 7].

c) *Weighty [Italian unclear] and separate examinations of the Shroud (with packing cloths - without packing cloths - without the backing cloth - as far as possible, taking into account the conditions laid down by the proprietor)[JM76, 7].

d) Examination of the whole sheet by various optical methods (photography, microphotography, chromatic and spectroscopic analysis) on various bands of different wavelengths, under different angles, both of the source and of the registering apparatus, with precise references to a fixed system of coordinate axes. The construction of suitable equipment will be proposed for this[JM76, 7].

e) Examination of the material itself[JM76, 7].

f) Documentary cinema shots - recording with telecamera and videorecorder[JM76, 7].

g) Equipping a room as a laboratory in the immediate vicinity of the chapel with adequate guard, for the occasion of a new inspection which it is foreseen will take some time[JM76, 7];

3. The separate experts reserve to themselves the right, having personally investigated the problem of the Shroud, to inform the chair of eventual further observations and suggestions that after examination by all the other members of the commission may give place to other proposals[JM76, 7].

4 In conclusion the requests listed below are submitted to the royal owner and the appropriate authorities:

a) The removal of the white backing cloth, that is sewn together with the patches, leaving; the patches themselves intact[JM76, 7].

b) The removal of minimal samples (for microdetermination) for the physical, chemical and textile [Italian "merceological"] examinations etc.

5. The commission takes note of the declaration of Count Umberto di Provana di Collegno, present at the meeting, and of Prof. Luigi Gedda, according to whom His Majesty Umberto II intends that the parts of the backing cloth eventually removed be returned to him. Should the substitution of the said backing cloth be necessary His Majesty will undertake the task[JM76, 8].

6. The commission was unanimously satisfied at having had the possibility of, directly and at length and with all calm, observing the Holy Shroud over two days[JM76, 8].

This allowed and will allow concrete proposals to be made, as those described above, for the development of investigations. The chair will do its best to comply with the requests of the commissioners where they request bibliographical or photographic aid and useful informationk[JM76, 8].

Turin, 17th June 1969

Signed: Mons. Pietro Caramella
Mons. Jose Cottino
Don. Sergio Baldi
Prof. Giorgio Frache
Giovanni Judica Cordiglia
Silvio Curto
Noemi Gabrielli
Camillo Lenti *
Enrico .Medi *
Enzo Delorenzi
Luigi Gedda

* Prof. Camillo Lenti later resigned from the commission for personal reasons.
Prof. Enrico Medi, who had enthusiastically participated in the examination, formulating suggestions and proposals, was prevented from continuing his valuable collaboration by the painful illness which caused his premature death[JM76, 8].

Conclusion. I was preparing a summary of the 1969 Commission for my book, but it is taking too long. So I will make a few observations. Cardinal Pellegrino was criticised for the commission being secret[BR78, 49; WI79, 66] and for not including Shroud experts from beyond Italy[BR78, 49; WI79, 65]. But he was motivated primarily by the urgent need to check on the condition of the Shroud and its ongoing preservation in Turin's polluted industrial atmosphere[WR77, 37; SH81, 59-60]. Also, it would have been an enormous task for Turin's clergy (who had a full-time day job of running a diocese of ~2 million adherents) to organise an international Shroud commission. There were few, if any, internationally known English-speaking Shroud scholars in 1969: Shroud News' first issue was in was in 1980; Shroud Spectrum International's was in 1981 and the BSTS Newsletter's was in 1982 - more than a decade later! Some critics disparaged the number of priests on the Commission[BR78, 49; WI79, 65]. But there were only three: Chairman Caramello, Vice-Chairman Cottino and Secretary Baldi[GV01, 55). And the Chairman, Pietro Caramello (1908-97) was no ordinary priest: he was ordained a priest at age 18, by a special papal dispensation[PCW] so he evidently had a genius IQ! It may be that the "priest" Caramello, the actual Shroud custodian[WI79, 65],was the unsung driving force behind the 1969 and 1973 Commissions. Shroudies should be grateful, as I am, that Cardinal Pellegrino established the 1969 Commission, with its farsighted recommendations, which paved the way for the 1973 Commission and its testing, which started the actual scientifc examination of the Shroud itself!

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to extract or quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided the extract or quote includes a reference citing my name, its title, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]

AF82. Adams, F.O., 1982, "Sindon: A Layman's Guide to the Shroud of Turin," Synergy Books: Tempe AZ.
BR78. Brent, P. & Rolfe, D., 1978, "The Silent Witness: The Mysteries of the Turin Shroud Revealed," Futura Publications: London.
CD83. Crispino, D.C. , 1983, "In Memoriam - Max Frei," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 6, March, 60-61.
CD84. Crispino, D.C., 1984, "In Memoriam: Mons. Jose Cottino," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 10, March, 37-38.
CD85. Crispino, D.C., 1985, "News and Activities Around the Worldi," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 16, September, 30-31.
GV01. Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL.
JM76. Jepps, M., ed., 1976, "Report of Turin Commission on the Holy Shroud," Turin, Italy.
PCW. "Pietro Caramello," Wikipedia, 24 January 2020.
RC99, 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.
SH81. 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.
SH90. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson: Nashville TN.
SCW. "Silvio Curto," Wikipedia, 12 February 2023.
TF06. Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition.
WI79. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition.
WR77. Wilcox, R.K., 1977, "Shroud," Macmillan: New York NY.

Posted 13 February 2024. Updated 20 February 2024.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Prehistory of the Shroud (2) #45: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!

Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is #45, "Prehistory of the Shroud (2)," of my series, "The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!" For more information about this "overwhelming" series, see the "Main index #1" and "Other marks and images #26." For more information about this "Prehistory" series, see "Prehistory" (1).

[Main index #1] [Previous: Prehistory of the Shroud (1) #44] [Next: Prehistory of the Shroud (3) #46]

Prehistory of the Shroud (AD 30-1354).

c. 150 Several second century Christian writings record that the Shroud had been saved from Jesus' tomb: the Gospel of the Hebrews (late 1st/early 2nd century - see "c. 100"), the Acts of Pilate = Gospel of Nicodemus, the Gospel of Peter and the Gospel of Gamaliel[SD89, 74]. This shows that these second century writers knew the Shroud existed in their day[SD89, 74].

177 Accession of king Abgar VIII, the Great (r. 177-212)[AFW]. Abgar was the ruler of Osroene, a Syriac-speaking kingdom in Upper Mesopotamia, whose capital city was Edessa[OSW]. Abgar VIII was Edessa's (and the world's) first Christian king[GV01, 2; GM09, 142], as is evident from some of his coins which were the first to feature a Christian symbol: a prominent Christian cross on his crown[WI98, 167; WI10, 118-119] (see below).

[Above (enlarge)[JRC]: Second century Edessan coin, one side with Abgar VIII wearing a crown bearing a Christian cross (right), and on the other side the head of the Roman emperor Commodus (r. 180-192) (left).]

c. 183 During the tolerant reign of Roman EmperorCommodus (r. 180-192) Abgar VIII asked Pope Eleutherus (c. 174-189) to send Christian missionaries to Edessa[WI98, 172; SD10, 1]. In Abgar VIII's reign Edessa became the world's first Christian city, as evidenced by this stone Christian cross over a lion's head in a former fountain in modern Sanliurfa (ancient Edessa) [Right (enlarge)[WI10, 146G]. This had survived the almost complete eradication of Edessa's Christian history since the Muslim conquest of Edessa in 1144[WI10, 1]. The lion was the symbol of the Abgar dynasty[WI10, 119] which ceased ruling over Edessa after Abgar VIII's death in 212[WI10, 119]

194 Abgar VIII supported Parthia in its war against Rome[SD97, 35-36] causing Emperor Septimius Severus (r. 193-211) to take Edessa's rule from him and give it to a procurator[SD97, 36].

197-8 Abgar VIII changed sides and assisted Rome in its defeat of Parthia[SD97, 36]. To show his loyalty to the Emperor, whose full name was Lucius Septimius Severus, Abgar took on the Latin names Lucius Aelius Aurelius Septimus[SJ01, 14].

201 A major flood of its river the Daisan (`Leaper') devastates Edessa[WI98, 162; WI10, 132], thousands die, and the "church of the Christians" is damaged[WI98, 162]. This is the first mention anywhere of a Christian church building[WI98, 162] and is further evidence that Edessa had become a Christian city

202 As a reward for assisting Rome in its war with Parthia, Abgar VIII was invited to Rome in 202, which he visited after 204, to a lavish reception[SD02, 10; SJ01, 14].

205 Following the flood of 201, Abgar VIII built on higher ground within the walls of the old Edessa, a new walled Citadel, called "Birtha" in Syriac[SD97, 36; WI98, 172].

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

212 Death of Abgar VIII the Great[WI98, 264]. He was succeeded as king of Osroene by his son Abgar IX[WI98, 264].

213 Abgar IX and his son were summoned to Rome and murdered on the orders of Roman Emperor Caracalla (188–217)[AFW]. In 214 Caracalla ended the independence of Osroene and incorporated it as a province of the Roman Empire[AFW].

c. 315 Roman Empress Constantia (c.293-330), the half-sister of Emperor Constantine I the Great (c.272–337), wrote to the church historian, Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea (260-339), asking him to send her an "image of Christ"[PR21]. Constantia's letter is lost but from Eusebius' reply, she seemed to be asking for a specific image of Christ, presumably the Image of Edessa/Shroud. This is supported by Eusebius' reply in which, instead of simply answering Constantia along the lines of, "Sorry, but I don't have an image of Christ to send to you," he gave a long-winded refusal which indicated that Eusebius knew which image Constantia meant, but he needed to find a way to refuse Constantine's half-sister's request without actually saying "no". This is further evidence that the Image of Edessa/Shroud existed in the fourth century, known in Christian circles, but hidden from those who would seize it

315 Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor[BW57, 44], abolished crucifixion throughout the Roman Empire[BW57, 44; MP78, 36; AM00, 102], out of veneration for Jesus, crucifixion's most famous victim[CRW]. Crucifixion continued to be banned in the remnants of the Roman Empire which included Europe[IJ98, 69]. Neither the Bible, nor writers in the Roman era, described crucifixion in detail[AF82, 70; OM10, 120] presumably because everyone then knew those details, and crucifixion was so abhorrent[OM10, 120]. Therefore a medieval European forger, ~1000 years later, would not know enough about Roman crucifixion to depict it accurately as it is on the Shroud[MP78, 36; AF82, 70; HJ83, 204; CT99, 292].

325a The First Council of Nicaea, convened by Emperor Constantine I, and attended by over 300 bishops from all parts of the Roman Empire, overwhelmingly rejected Arianism (see below) and affirmed Trinitarian Orthodoxy, that the "Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God" was "begotten not made, of one substance with the Father"[FCW].

325b At the First_Council of Nicaea, Macarius, the Bishop of Jerusalem (r. 312-335), petitioned Constantine to demolish Hadrian's temple to Venus and uncover the tomb of Christ[CH14]. Which happened (see 01Jan20).

c. 325 Eusebius, in his Church History[EEH, 43-47. [See Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers], includes an account of "Agbarus, Prince of Edessa" (Abgar V) who suffered from an incurable disease. When he heard of Jesus' miraculous healings, Abgar sent Jesus a letter by a courier, Ananias, requesting that Jesus visit Edessa and heal him. Jesus replied by letter that he could not come now, but after his Ascension he would send one of his disciples who would heal Abgar's affliction and give life to Abgar and to those who are with him. Included in Eusebius' history are the two letters in the Syriac language which Eusebius had found in Edessa's public records. With the letters in Edessa's records it is stated that after Jesus' Ascension, the Apostle Thomas sent Thaddeus (Addai), one of the seventy (or seventy two - Lk 10:1-17), to Edessa. Thaddeus healed Abgar, and many Edessans and preached the Gospel in and around Edessa. However, there is nothing in the account of a cloth (the Shroud) having been taken to Edessa. There is no reason why this account, including the letters to, and from, Jesus are not genuine. In their favour is an exchange of letters between Abgar V and the Roman Emperor Tiberius (r. 14-37), which are regarded as genuine[ATW].

c. 330 Athanasius (c. 296–373), who was bishop of Alexandria from 328 to 373[AAW], affirmed in the times of Constantine the Great, who was Roman Emperor from 306-337[CTW], that a sacred Christ-icon, traceable to Jerusalem in the year 68, was then present in Syria, when Syria did not include Edessa[MJ08] [See "68"].

337 Death of Constantine I (c. 272-337)[MJ99, 98]. The Roman Empire was divided among his three surviving sons[MJ99, 98]. The eldest, Constantine II (r. 337–340) would rule the West, and the youngest, Constans (r. 337-350) would rule the South[MJ99, 98]. The middle son, Constantius (337–361) would rule the Eastern Empire[MJ99, 98]. Constantine II and Constans were closely aligned with the orthodox Church[MJ99, 98]. But Constantius became an avowed Arian[MJ99, 98]. Arianism holds that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but He did not always exist having been made before time by God the Father, and therefore the Son, was not coeternal with God the Father, as Trinitarian Orthodoxy maintained[ARW]. However, Constantine II and Constans were killed in 340 and 350 respectively[MJ99, 98], leaving the Arian Constantius in absolute control of the entire Roman Empire[MJ99, 98].

c. 338 St. Nino (c. 296–340), belonged to a Greek-speaking Roman family from Cappadocia[SNW]. She brought Christianity to Georgia during the reign of Constantine the Great (r. 306-337)[HT78,75; PM96, 172]. Nino's father was a Roman army officer by the name of Zabulon, and her mother, Sosana, was the sister of a bishop of Jerusalem, Houbnal I.[SNN]. When Nino reached the age of twelve, her parents sold all their possessions and moved to Jerusalem[SNN]. Nino's father became a monk and left his family to labor in the wilderness of the Jordan[SNN]. Sosana was ordained a deaconess, so she left Nino in the care of an old woman, Sara Niaphor, who raised her in the Christian Faith and related to her the stories of Christ's life and His suffering on earth[SNN]. In 338 Nino wrote in her memoirs that she had been told that the linen strips (othonia[GM04, 20] Lk 24:12; Jn 11:44) had been taken by Pilate's wife, to Pontus, but later they were brought back by St Luke to Jerusalem[BA34, 50; RC99, 53]. The face cloth (sudari[GM04, 20] Jn 20:7), Nino had heard, had been taken by Peter, but it was not by then known where it was[BA34, 50; RC99, 53]. Nino did not mention the Shroud (sindon), but the linen strips (othonia). It is not impossible that Pilate's wife, who Mt 27:17-19 records was a believer in Jesus, did obtain the linen strips temporarily. If the Sudarium was in Jerusalem in Nino's time, she did not know that. Her father being a former Roman army officer may have made Nino a security risk and she may not have been told if the Sudarium was still in Jerusalem. The importance of Nino's memoirs is that she confirmed that it was common knowledge in the fourth century that Jesus' facecloth (the Sudarium of Oviedo) had been recovered from his tomb!As for the Sudarium having been kept by the Apostle Peter, that agrees with Christian tradition. In c. 850 the Syrian bishop Ishodad of Merv, wrote of the Sudarium (Syriac sudara):

"Simon [Peter] took and it remained with him. And whenever he made an ordination, he arranged it on his head ... just as even now leaders and bishops of the Church arrange their turbans that are on their heads ..."[BJ01, 23-24; GM69, 11; GM98, 80; OM10, 184].
An earlier mention of the Sudarium was in the 570 chronicle of an anonymous pilgrim from Piacenza, Italy, who wrote that "the sudarium of Christ" was in a cave close to the Monastery of St. Mark, Jerusalem[BJ01, 22-23; GM99, 129]. According to his c. 1109, Book of Testaments, Bishop Pelayo of Oviedo (-1153) recorded that the Sudarium was in Jerusalem up to 614 when it was taken to Alexandria and eventually Spain[GM98, 14-15; GM99, 129; GV01, 41-42]; ahead of the Persian king Khosrow II (r. 590-628)'s conquest of Jerusalem[SCW].

357 In Antioch, the orthodox faction split, Eudoxius (r. 357-360) an Arian, was elected bishop, and Antioch became "a stronghold of Arianism"[DG63, 157; MJ99, 98]. The Arians took control of Antioch Cathedral[MJ99, 98; OM10, 20]. With Arians now in control of both the imperial government (see 337) and the official Church of Antioch, it would have been propitious to exhibit the relics of the Passion, including the Shroud and exhibit them to Arian believers within the confines of the cathedrall[MJ99, 98;OM10, 20].

361 Constantius II died childless and was succeeded by his cousin, Julian the Apostate (r. 361-363)[DG63, 160; JAW], so called because he rejected Christianity and sought to restore pagan worship[MJ99, 99; OM10, 22]. Julian originally intended to be tolerant of all religions[MJ99, 99] but when he was visiting Antioch in 362, the Temple of Apollo in nearby Daphne caught fire and both its roof and an idol of Apollo were damaged[DG63, 169; MJ99, 99]. Julian wrongly blamed the Christians and ordered that Antioch Cathedral be closed and its liturgical vessels and other treasures be confiscated[DG63, 169-170; MJ99, 99]. Julian had made his uncle, also named Julian, the Count of the East, and when he attempted to enforce his nephew's order to confiscate the Cathedral's sacred objects, the Arian treasurer of the cathedral, Theodoretus (-362), refused to deliver them even under torture and death[MJ99, 100; OM10, 21]. If the Shroud was in Antioch Cathedral (which is likely - see c. 330), then it was one of those "treasures" and would explain both Julian's strange attempted confiscation of them and Theodoret's chosing death by torture rather than hand Christianity's holiest relic over to the pagans.

c. 375 Composition of the Doctrine of Addai (Syriac for "Thaddeus")[DR84, 63; SD03; WI98, 264], based on earlier versions of the Abgar story[see "50"] [DAW]. After quoting verbatim the texts of Abgar's letter to Jesus, and Jesus' reply letter to Abgar[DR84, 63], the Doctrine of Addai interpolates a story of Abgar's keeper of the archives, and king's artist, Hannan (Syriac of Ananias[DR84, 63]), painting Jesus' portrait with "choice paints"[DR84, 63]:

"When Hanan the archivist saw that Jesus had spoken thus to him, he took and painted the portrait of Jesus with choice pigments, since he was the king's artist, and brought it with him to his lord King Abgar. When King Abgar saw the portrait he received it with great joy and placed it with great honor in one of the buildings of his palaces"[DR84, 63].
This is the earliest mention of a connection between Edessa and an image of Jesus[SD89, 80; OM10, 21]. In fourth century Edessa Jesus' image on the cloth was regarded as not supernatural, but as the product of merely human skill[DR84, 63]. It provides no support for the 945 Official History's claim that Abgar V set up this likeness of Jesus "not made by hand," fastened it to a board, embellished with gold, over Edessa's main gate[WI79, 280][see "945c"]. And yet the description of the Image as having been "painted with choice pigments" indicates a memory of the Image of Edessa/Shroud having been brought to Edessa and exhibited in the time of the Abgars[WI98, 173, 265]. That Addai was a real, historical person who evangelised Edessa is evidenced by the Outlines of early Christian philosopher Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-216), which recorded that the tomb of Addai (and the Apostle Thomas) was in "Britio Edessenorum," the Citadel built in 205 by Abgar VIII[WI98, 172, 264] (see above).

380 Emperor Theodosius I (347–95), the last emperor to rule the entire Roman Empire before it permanently split between West and East[TOW], established Nicaean orthodoxy as the official religion of the Roman Empire, so the Arians were expelled from Antioch and custody of its cathedral was returned to the Orthodox[MJ99, 98; OM10, 20]. Emperor Theodosius also fought to expel the Arian Goths who had settled inside the Roman Empire between 376–382. It is my Ravenna Theory that the Antioch Arians did obtain possession of the Image of Edessa/Shroud in 357 and took it with them when they fled Antioch in 380. And that they sought refuge from their common enemy, Theodosius I, with their fellow Arians, the Ostrogoths. And so the Shroud came to be in the Ostrogoth Kingdom centred on Ravenna, as evidenced by the "Christ enthroned" mosaic below completed in situ by 526, with its 8 of the 15 Vignon markings. Then in, or before, 540 [see "540b"], when the Ostrogoth kingdom was about to end and Ravenna was about to become part of the Byzantine Empire, the Image of Edessa/Shroud was taken from Ravenna to Arian-friendly Edessa[ETW]. This is more plausible than Ian Wilson's theory that the Image of Edessa/Shroud had been hidden, and then completely forgotten, in Edessa's wall from c.60-525 [see 525 below]; and that part of Jack Markwardt's theory that when the Arians were expelled from Antioch in 380 they left the Image of Edessa/Shroud for the Orthodox to find[MJ99, 100-101].

c. 384 Visit to Edessa by the pilgrim nun Egeria[WI98, 265; GM09, 146]. She had travelled from Spain[DR84, 62] in a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and important Christian sites in Palestine and Syria[DR84, 62; WI98, 298]. Egeria kept a record of her visits and experiences, the beginning and its end of which is lost, leaving only the middle, although the account of her visit to Edessa has survived[GM09, 146; WI10, 123-124]. Lacking an introduction to her travel diary, Egeria's real name is uncertain[WI10, 123-124]. Egeria described how Edessa's bishop Eulogius (-387), took her to the gate of the Bastions through which Hannan, Abgar's messenger, had entered carrying Jesus' letter[WI79, 136-137; PM96, 173]. He also told her that an attack on Edessa by the Persians [361 by Shapur II (r. 309–379)?] had been repulsed by the reading of Jesus' letter from this gate[WI79, 136-137; GM09, 147]. But, significantly, Egeria makes no mention of being told that an image of Christ was then, or had been, in Edessa [DR84, 62; AM00, 135]. This is consistent with my Ravenna Theory (see 07Dec16 & 01Jan20) that the Image of Edessa/Shroud only arrived in Edessa from Ravenna, Italy, shortly before 544 (see "540a" and "544").

c. 400 The German Shroud scholar, Prof. Werner Bulst (1913-95),

[Left (enlarge)[FCP]: Extract from "Christ Between St. Peter and St. Paul" fresco (see original) in the catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Via Labicana, Rome, Italy, end of third centuryPM96, 189]. Although Jesus' face does not have the rigid frontality[WI98, 173] and 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[AF82, 18; DR84, 29; IJ98, 151, etc] depictions of Jesus then current, that the simplest explanation is that the artist had seen the Image of Edessa/Shroud and painted this part of the fresco from memory.]

dated the fresco in the catacomb of Peter (not the apostle) and Marcellinus (above) to "about 400" and noted that "... the image on the Cloth of Turin ... shows a very striking similarity to ... [this] picture in the catacomb of Peter and Marcellinus ..."[BW57, 41]. This is more evidence against the 945 Official History's highly implausible story that the Image of Edessa/Shroud was bricked up above Edessa's public gate in c.60, was completely forgotten, and not rediscovered until 525 [see "c. 60" and "525"].

402 Emperor Honorius (r. 393-423) transferred the capital of the Western Roman Empire from Mediolanum (today's Milan) to Ravenna[RVW]. Ravenna subsequently served as the capital of the empire for most of the 5th century and the last de facto western emperor Romulus Augustulus (r. 475-476) was deposed there in 476[RVW]. The transfer was made partly for defensive purposes: Ravenna was surrounded by swamps and marshes, and was perceived to be easily defensible[RVW]. It is also likely that the move to Ravenna was due to the city's port and good sea-borne connections to the Eastern Roman Empire[RVW].

c. 450 The Gospel of Nicodemus or Acts of Pilate, in its current form, is thought to date from around the 4th or 5th century[GNW]. According to that Gospel, on the first Easter Saturday, Joseph of Arimathea. is seized by Jewish leaders and locked up, because he had asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in a tomb (Mt 27:57-60; Mk 15:43-46; Lk 23:50-53; Jn 19:38-42)[SD02]. But on the next day, he had mysteriously disappeared from his cell. Joseph later related how angels had lifted up the prison at its four corners and how Jesus had released him and had proved his identity by showing him the linen shroud and face napkin still in the tomb[SD02]. This was evidently based on Jn 20:6-7 where Peter and John enter the empty tomb and see the "linen cloths" [othonia] and the "face cloth" [soudarion]. But in this fourth or fifth century writing, the Shroud and face cloth (Sudarium of Oviedo) are known to still exist. Otherwise what would be the point of writing about them if they had ceased to exist four centuries earlier?

525 Edessa suffered another major flood (see 201) of its river, the Daisan ("the Leaper")[WI98, 162; WI10, 118-119]. According to a contemporary historian, Procopius of Caesarea (c. 500-65):

".. .the river rose to an extraordinary height ... It levelled to the ground a large part of the outworks and of the circuit-wall and covered practically the whole city, doing irreparable damage. For in a moment it wiped out completely the finest of the buildings and caused the death of one third of the population"[WI79, 138; WI98, 266; GV01, 2].
The city, its wall, and a new Hagia Sophia ("Holy Wisdom") cathedral, were then rebuilt by the Byzantine Emperor Justin I (r. 518-27), although the actual work was carried out by his nephew and future Emperor, Justinian I (r. 527-65)[DR84, 60; GV01, 2; WI10, 298]. Justinian also constructed a diversion channel for the river, to prevent future flooding of the city[WB06, 224]. According to the 945 `Official History of the Image of Edessa' [see "945c"] the Image of Edessa/Shroud, had been hidden in the city wall above Edessa's public gate, early in the reign of Abgar V's pagan younger son, Ma'nu VI (r. 57–71), then been completely forgotten, and was not rediscovered until just before the 544 siege of Edessa by the Persian King Khosrow I (r. 531-79) (see "544"). However this story of the Image of Edessa/Shroud having been hidden in Edessa's wall, completely forgotten, for almost 500 years, contains multiple implausibilities [see "c. 60"].

Likewise Ian Wilson's theory, based on that `Official History' story, that the Image of Edessa/Shroud was discovered in, or soon after 525, during the rebuilding of Edessa's flood damaged wall[WI79, 139, 254; WI98, 266], suffers from the same multiple implausibilities and it does not even have the support of the `Official History' that the Image of Edessa/Shroud was discovered during the 544 Persian siege of Edessa. Wilson only theorised that the Image of Edessa/Shroud was discovered during the repairs to the wall after the 525 flood because the historian Evagrius (c. 536-94), who lived through the 544 Seige of Edessa, in his Ecclesiastical History ascribed Edessa's deliverance to a "divinely wrought image"[RC99, 55; WI91, 134; WI98, 266] (the Image of Edessa/Shroud), but does not mention its discovery during the siege, which he surely would have if its was[WI79, 139; DR84, 60]. But according to my Ravenna Theory (see above), the Image of Edessa/Shroud only arrived in Edessa from Ravenna just before the Persian seige of 544!

526a Completion of mosaic, "Christ enthroned with four angels," in

[Above (enlarge): Face of the "Christ Enthroned" mosaic in the Sant'Apollinare Nuovo church, Ravenna, Italy[RMW] (see full mosaic at "526a") compared to the Vignon markings[WI78, 82E] (see 11Feb12).]

the Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna. According to Maher, this "early (sixth-century) ... mosaic of Christ enthroned" has "eight [of the 15] Vignon markings"[MR86, 77], which is proof beyond reasonable doubt that it was based on the Shroud, over 700 years before its earliest 1260 radiocarbon dating[DP89]! And since this is a mosaic, created in situ, not a portable painting, it is evidence that the Shroud ("four-doubled" = tetradiplon, as the Image of Edessa), was in Ravenna in the early sixth century! See above that Ravenna was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402-476. After which it was the capital city of the Ostrogoth Kingdom until, very significantly, 540. [See "540a" ].

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to extract or quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided the extract or quote includes a reference citing my name, its title, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]

AAW. "Athanasius of Alexandria," Wikipedia, 24 January 2024.
AFW. "Abgar VIII," Wikipedia, 22 August 2023.
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ATW. "Abgar VIII: Letters of Abgar to Tiberius," Wikipedia, 22 August 2023.
AF82. Adams, F.O., 1982, "Sindon: A Layman's Guide to the Shroud of Turin," Synergy Books: Tempe AZ.
AM00. Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY.
BA34. Barnes, A.S., 1934, "The Holy Shroud of Turin," Burns Oates & Washbourne: London.
BJ01. Bennett, J., 2001, "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image: The Sudarium of Oviedo: New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin," Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA.
BW57. Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," McKenna, S. & Galvin, J.J., transl., Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI.
CH14. "The Church of the Holy Sepulcher," Jerusalem 101, 2 December 2014.
CT99. Cahill, T., 1999, "Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World before and after Jesus," Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: New York NY.
CRW. "Crucifixion: Ancient Rome," Wikipedia, 16 January 2024.
CTW. "Constantine the Great," Wikipedia, 19 January 2024.
DAW. "Doctrine of Addai," Wikipedia, 18 February 2023.
DP89. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, 611-615.
DG63. Downey, G., 1963, "Ancient Antioch," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ.
DR84. Drews, R., 1984, "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on Its History and Origins," Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD.
EEH. Eusebius, "The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus," Cruse, C.F., transl., 1955, Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth printing, 1966.
EFE. Extract from "Edessa citadel in Urfa, Turkey (Google Maps)," Virtual Globetrotting, 2016.
FCP. "File:ChristPeterPaul detail.jpg," Wikimedia, 15 January 2016.
ETW. "Ephrem the Syrian: Life," Wikipedia, 13 January 2024.
FCW. "First Council of Nicaea," Wikipedia, 12 February 2024.
FG08. Fanti, G., ed., "The Shroud of Turin: Perspectives on a Multifaceted Enigma," Proceedings of the 2008 Columbus Ohio International Conference, August 14-17, 2008, Progetto Libreria: Padua, Italy, 2009.
GM04. Guscin, M., 2004, "The History of the Sudarium of Oviedo: How It Came from Jerusalem to Northern Spain in the Seventh Century A.D.," Edwin Mellen Press: Lewiston NY.
GM09. Guscin, M., 2009, "The Image of Edessa," Brill: Leiden, Netherlands & Boston MA.
GM69. Green, M., 1969, "Enshrouded in Silence: In search of the First Millennium of the Holy Shroud," Ampleforth Journal, Vol. 74, No. 3, Autumn, 319-345.
GM98. Guscin, M., 1998, "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK.
GM99. Guscin, M., 1999, "Recent Historical Investigations on the Sudarium of Oviedo," in WB00, 122-141.
GNW. "Gospel of Nicodemus," Wikipedia, 28 November 2023.
GV01. Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL.
HJ83. Heller, J.H., 1983, "Report on the Shroud of Turin," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA.
HT78. Humber, T., 1978, "The Sacred Shroud," [1974], Pocket Books: New York NY.
IJ98. Iannone, J.C.,1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY.
JAW. "Julian (emperor)," Wikipedia, 9 February 2024.
JP78. Jennings, P., ed., 1978, "Face to Face with the Turin Shroud ," Mayhew-McCrimmon: Great Wakering UK.
JRC. "Jewish Origins of the Cross: Kingdom of Edessa, Commodus & Abgar VIII (179-214)" (no longer online), VCoins, 2016.
MJ08. Markwardt, J., 2008, "Ancient Edessa and the Shroud: History Concealed by the Discipline of the Secret," in FG08, 382-407, 382.
MP78. McNair, P., 1978, "The Shroud and History: Fantasy, Fake or Fact?," in JP78, 21-40.
MJ99. Markwardt, J., 1999, "Antioch and the Shroud," in WB00, 94-108.
MR86. Maher, R.W., 1986, "Science, History, and the Shroud of Turin," Vantage Press: New York NY.
OM10. Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK.
OSW. "Osroene," Wikipedia, 17 December 2023.
PM96, Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta.
PR21. Pearse, R., 2021, "Eusebius, Letter to Constantia – an English translation by Cyril Mango," June 14.
RTB. Reference(s) to be provided.
RC99. 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.
RMW. Extract from "File:Christus Ravenna Mosaic.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 31 October 2016.
RVW. "Ravenna," Wikipedia, 26 January 2024.
SD02. Scavone, D.C., 2002, "Joseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail and the Edessa Icon," Collegamento pro Sindone, October, 1-25, 10.
SD03. Scavone, D.C., 2003, "Chronological Listing of Supporting Texts (from an article that appeared in Issue #56)," BSTS Newsletter, No. 57, June..
SD10. Scavone, D.C., 2010, "Edessan sources for the legend of the Holy Grail," Proceedings of the International Workshop on the Scientific approach to the Acheiropoietos Images, ENEA Frascati, Italy, 4-6 May 2010, 1-6..
SD89. Scavone, D.C., 1989, "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA.
SD97. Scavone, D., 1997, "British King Lucius and the Shroud," Shroud News, No. 100, February, 30-39, 35.
SJ01. Segal, J.B., 2001, "Edessa: The Blessed City," [1970], Gorgias Press: Piscataway NJ, Second edition, Reprinted, 2005.
SNN. "Saint Nino (Nina), Equal of the Apostles, Enlightener of Georgia," The Orthodox Church in America, 14 January 2008.
SCW. "Sasanian conquest of Jerusalem," Wikipedia, 19 January 2024.
SNW. "Saint Nino," Wikipedia, 4 December 2023.
TOW. "Theodosius I," Wikipedia, 5 February 2024.
WB00. Walsh, B.J., ed., 2000, "Proceedings of the 1999 Shroud of Turin International Research Conference, Richmond, Virginia," Magisterium Press: Glen Allen VA.
WB06. Whiting, B., 2006, "The Shroud Story," Harbour Publishing: Strathfield NSW, Australia.
WI78. Wilson, I., 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London.
WI79. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition.
WI91. Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London.
WI98. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY.
WI10. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London.

Posted 22 January 2024. Updated 22 February 2024.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

My reply to Prof. Nicholas Allen (assumed) #2

Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

Prof. Allen (assumed)

This is my reply to your comment of 2 January under my 15 November 2020 post, "My reply to Prof. Nicholas Allen (assumed)." Your words are bold.

Anonymous said

Your objection to Dr Allen’s use of a quartz lens is meaningless. I did not object to your use of a quartz lens. I objected to your use of a modern synthetic quartz lens. You titled your book, "The Turin Shroud and the Crystal Lens" [Right (enlarge)] when hidden deep within it, not mentioned in the index, you admitted that you had used a piece of synthetic quartz to make your 180 mm lens, not a natural quartz crystal:

"Through the kindness of my institution I was made a loan with which I purchased a blank piece of high grade quartz. After many months of waiting, a blank sent from Switzerland, finally arrived in South Africa, where through the sterling efforts of both Derek Griffith and Dan van Staaden, it was ground and polished into a bi-convex lens"[AN98, 99].
Yet, you yourself wrote that your medieval photograph theory is based on "technology available to certain medieval societies c 1200--1350 AD" and "quartz (rock-crystal)":
"Since 1990 the author has formally conducted a number of experiments which have employed the kind of technology available to certain medieval societies c 1200--1350 AD, and has shown that it is quite possible to produce a chemically stable (fixed) negative photographic image of a human corpse on a piece of linen employing only three substances, all of which were available to people living well before the thirteenth century. These substances are quartz (rock-crystal), the silver salts (specifically silver nitrate (eau prime and silver) and/or silver sulphate (oil of vitriol and silver) and ammonia (urine)..."[AN95, 21]
You need to go back to square 1. Find a large, optical quality quartz rock crystal, that would have been available to your medieval photographer. Then you need to have that quartz rock crystal ground, using only medieval technology, into an optical quality 180 mm = 7 inch diameter, circular quartz lens. Your failure to do that shows that you can't do it and therefore your medieval photograph theory failed from its very outset!

Da Vinci would have used a camera obscura to create the shroud. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was born in 1452, ~98 years after the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history in 1355.

Allen’s use of the lens only speeds the process by allowing a much wider aperture. You yourself have written that medieval glass would have "screened out the vital ultraviolet wavelengths in sunlight that had an effect on silver nitrate" and "the only suitable material for a medieval forger ... would have also been optical quality rock-crystal":

"I also discovered, very early on in my investigation, that despite the rapidity that certain silver salts reacted to direct sunlight, that silver nitrate samples when placed under crown glass remained unaffected in the short term. Glass screened out the vital ultraviolet wavelengths in sunlight that had an effect on silver nitrate. Now, the only substance which does allow the transmission of UV light, is optical quality rock-crystal (quartz), and as it turns out the only suitable material for a medieval forger (who was employing silver nitrate) would have also been optical quality rock-crystal. Medieval glass would have been totally unsuitable as a medium for this kind of lens, as it was invariably tinted and its formula certainly not much different to modern window and bottle glass. I now know that silver sulphate can be exposed successfully with a modern glass lens as well. However, it is far more likely that the forgers used quartz since it was an easily obtainable, clear material, whereas optically clear glass would have been very difficult to produce at this time[AN98, 86]

The only critical question is whether his technique replicates physical details of the shroud, because da Vinci's ability to project focused images onto paper (or linen) are well known. He described them in his writings. See above that Da Vinci was born nearly a century after the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history in 1355!

You wrote that the "connection between da Vinci and the Shroud" was "highly dubious" and the unknown "genius" who invented photography, and created the Shroud by photography, "must be found in the years shortly before 1357":

"In this regard, despite the recent spate of interest in a highly dubious connection between da Vinci and the Shroud of Lirey, our sought after genius must be found in the years shortly before 1357"[AN98, 76].
So your "Medieval Photography" theory requires that there was 1) "in the years shortly before 1357" almost a century before Da Vinci was born; 2) an unknown "genius"; 3) who invented photography; 4) created the Shroud by photography; 5) didn't photograph anything else; 6) left no writings or drawings describing his invention; 7) didn't tell anyone about it; 8) didn't sell or give the Shroud away (otherwise the the buyer/receiver would know who the "genius" was); or 9) died without the Shroud being found in his possessions, otherwise it would be known who the "genius" was. For once I agree with Joe Nickell, that your theory is "astonishingly absurd":
"Knowledgeable skeptics were avoided. Instead, viewers were subjected to the astonishingly absurd notion of an art historian named Nicholas Allen that the image was "the world's first photograph." (The technique was supposedly invented to make a fake shroud and then conveniently lost for subsequent centuries!)"[NJ04].
The Pray Codex alone (and it isn't alone!) proves that the Shroud

[Above (enlarge): "The Entombment" (upper) and "Visit to the Sepulchre" (lower) in fol. 28 of the Hungarian Pray Codex (1192-95)[BI69].]

existed at least 160 years before 1355. For references below see 04Oct18.

The upper scene contains the following seven correspondences with the Shroud: 1. Jesus is lying in a shroud-like pose, which was uncommon in the art of that period. 2. He is completely naked (unique in the 12th century; 3. He is about to be wrapped in a double body length shroud (see 27May12). 4. Jesus' hands are crossed, right over left, awkwardly at the wrists, covering his genitals. 5. His fingers are unnaturally long; 6. Jesus' hands have four fingers each but no thumbs. 7. Red marks in Jesus' scalp and forehead, match the crown of thorns puncture marks and the `reversed 3' bloodstain on the Shroud.

The lower scene of fol. 28 (above) contains the following further three correspondences with the Shroud: 8. The sarcophagus lid (which together with the sarcophagus represents the empty tomb (Mk 16:1-6), has a representation of the Shroud's herringbone weave pattern. 9. Red zig-zag lines in the sarcophagus lid represent the blood trickles down on the Shroudman's arms. 10. Two patterns of four and five tiny circles in the sarcophagus lid and sarcophagus, represent the two basic patterns of four and five `poker holes' on the Shroud.

Another of the four drawings has a further four correspondences with the Shroud: 11. The nail wound in Jesus' right hand (left facing on the Shroud) is in his wrist, while its counterpart in the other hand (hidden on the Shroud) is in Jesus' palm (as per Christian tradition). 12. A red elliptical mark on Jesus' right chest is about the same size, shape and location (except it is on the left-facing side) as the spear in the side wound on the Shroud). 13. Jesus is clothed in a long shroud, the ends of which match those in the entombment scene above. 14. An angel is holding a cross in which are three nails, corresponding to the three nail wounds on the Shroud (one in each wrist and one through both feet.

[Above (enlarge): "Christ enthroned with the Angel Holding the Instruments of Torture": fol. 28v of the Pray Codex.]

As can be seen above, there are at least fourteen correspondences between the drawings on two folios of the Pray Codex and the Shroud! Clearly this many `coincidences' cannot be the results of chance. The only explanation is that the 11th-12th century artist had before him the Shroud as his `model'! So your "genius ... in the years shortly before 1357" medieval photography theory is again wrong! As are theories based on Bishop d'Arcis 1389 memorandum that the Shroud was "cunningly painted" in c. 1355[WI79, 267], wrong. As is the 1260-1390 radiocarbpn dating of the Shroud[DP89, 611], wrong!

The following will help me write your section in Chapter "16. Sceptics and the Shroud" and Chapter 17. "How was the Image Formed?" of my book in progress, "Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus!" See 06Jul17, 03Jun18, 04Apr22, 13Jul22 & 8 Nov 22.

Photograph Allen's is the only claimed replication of the Shroud which replicates its full-length, front and back. Even though Allens's replication fails to include major features of the Shroud (see below), as Ian Wilson pointed out, the value of Allen's contribution to sindonology is that he demonstrated that the Shroud image really is a photograph, and not a painting as claimed by most Shroud sceptics, led by Walter McCrone (1916-2002):

"Now it can also be said unreservedly of Professor Allen that more than anyone else before him he has demonstrated that the Shroud's image really is photographic in character. This is in fact something that those in favour of the Shroud's authenticity have been saying for years and is certainly bad news for Walter McCrone and others"[WI98, 216].
Wilson himself in 1978 described the formation of the Shroud image as a "`snapshot' of the Resurrection" of Jesus:
"Even from the limited available information, a hypothetical glimpse of the power operating at the moment of creation of the Shroud's image may be ventured. In the darkness of the Jerusalem tomb the dead body of Jesus lay, unwashed, covered in blood, on a stone slab. Suddenly, there is a burst of mysterious power from it. In that instant ... its image ... becomes indelibly fused onto the cloth, preserving for posterity a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection"[WI78, 211]!
Circular firing squad Is defined as, "A group, usually a political party, that is allied against a common enemy or opponent but whose internal disagreements and attacks end up doing more damage to each other than to their target"[CFS]. In advancing his Medieval Photography Theory, Allen attacks the image formation theories of his fellow sceptics. And leading sceptic Joe Nickell (1944-), returned fire, dismissing Allen's theory that the image on the Shroud was the world's first photograph, but the technique was then lost for subsequent centuries, as "astonishingly absurd"[NJ04]

Image characteristics Allen agreed with STURP that the man's image was:
Superficial: The image is essentially a straw-yellow discolouration of the uppermost fibres of the linen threads of the Shroud's fabric. This discolouration has not 'penetrated' the individual threads which make up the Shroud nor is the image visible on the underside of the Shroud[AN98, 28].

Three-dimensional: The intensity of the image varies according to the distance of the body from the cloth. In other words features such as the nose, forehead and cheeks are more intense than areas such as the neck, ankles, and elbows[AN98, 28-29].

Negative: The image acts like a photographic negative which is as visually coherent as a positive photograph when its polarity is reversed[AN98, 29].

Directionless: Unlike hand-painted images (e.g., paintings) the image on the Shroud contains no 'directionality'. In other words the image could not have been produced by any technique which involved the use of brushwork[AN98, 29]. Here Allen smuggles in his own definition of non-directional to only exclude brushwork, because his `shroud' is strongly directional by the passage of the sun (see below). But by "non-

[Above (enlarge): Allen's image of a plaster bodycast painted white (left) and a negative photograph of the Shroud's frontal image (right)[EL10] (flipped horizontally for comparison). Note the directional sunlight from above on the head, shoulder, arm, wrist, knee and feet of Allen's image and the total lack of light directionality on the Shroud (the white patches on the Shroudman's side, wrist, arms and feet are dark blood which is white in a photographic negative. See 16Jun19 & 15Nov20.]

directional" STURP meant by any means. STURP member Barrie Schwortz pointed out that Allen's `shroud' photographs contain a strong directionality of light:

"Allen's photographs contain a strong directionality of light. This is obvious from the deep shadows cast on his subject by the strong overhead sunlight he used to create his images (Figure 1). These are clearly seen in the eye sockets, under the nose and chin and below the hands and is unlike the image on the Shroud (Figure 2), which demonstrates no such directionality of light at all. It is further confirmed by the "washing out" of detail in certain parts of the image, most notably the tops of the feet, which received far more light and cumulative exposure than the rest of the body (Figure 3)"[SB00].

So again Allen's medieval photograph theory fails. As Schwortz pointed out:

"In the end, any attempt at duplicating the image on the Shroud of Turin must match all of its physical and chemical properties, not just a select few. It must also withstand the scrutiny of careful, side-by-side comparison to the original"[SB00].
AN95. Allen, N.P.L., 1995, "Verification of the Nature and Causes of the Photonegative Images on the Shroud of Lirey-Chambery-Turin," De Arte 51, Pretoria, UNISA, 21-35, 21.
AN98. Allen, N.P.L., 1998, "The Turin Shroud and the Crystal Lens: Testament to a Lost Technology," Empowerment Technologies: Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
BI69. Berkovits, I., 1969, "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," Horn, Z., transl., West, A., rev., Irish University Press: Shannon, Ireland, pl. III.
CFS. "Circular firing squad," The Free Dictionary by Farlex, 2022.
DP89. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, 611-615.
EL10. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Enrie Negative Horizontal," (rotated left 90 degrees), Sindonology.org. [return]
NJ04. Nickell, J., 2004, "PBS `Secrets of the Dead' Buries the Truth About Turin Shroud," Skeptical Inquirer, April 9.
SB00. Schwortz, B.M., 2000, "Is The Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph?: A Critical Examination of the Theory," Shroud.com.
WI78. Wilson, I., 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Victor Gollancz: London.
WI79. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition.
WI98. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY.

Posted 20 January 2024. Updated 9 February 2024.