© Stephen E. Jones
This is the fourth (and an update of the third) installment of part #6, "Sixth century," of my "Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 - present" series. See part #1, "First century" and index, for more information about this series.
6th century (501-600)
[Above (enlarge): Face of the "Christ Enthroned" mosaic [c. 526] in the Sant'Apollinare Nuovo church, Ravenna, Italy (see full mosaic future below), compared to the Vignon markings (see 11Feb12). According to Maher, this "early (sixth-century) ... mosaic of Christ enthroned" has "eight Vignon markings", which is proof beyond reasonable doubt that it was based on the Shroud, over 700 years before its earliest 1260 radiocarbon dating! But according to my count, it has thirteen of the fifteen Vignon markings! [See 08Oct16]. 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! See future below 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 future "540" below].]
625 Edessa suffers a major flood of its river, the Daisan ("the Leaper"), killing one-third of the city's population (about 30,000) and destroying buildings and much of the city wall. The city and its walls were then rebuilt by the Byzantine Emperor Justin I (r. 518 to 527), although the actual work was carried out by his nephew and future Emperor, Justinian I (r. 527-565). According to the 945 `Official History of the Image of Edessa' [see future "945"] the Mandylion (the Shroud "four-doubled" = tetradiplon), had been hidden in the city wall above Edessa's public gate early in the reign of Abgar V's pagan grandson [Ma'nu VI (r. 57–71)], then been completely forgotten, and was not rediscovered until the siege of Edessa by the Persian King Chosroes, i.e.
[Right (enlarge): A 17th-century icon in the Verkhospassky Cathedral, Moscow, depicting the discovery of the Mandylion in the sixth century, which had (supposedly) been hidden in a niche above one of the city's gates
Khosrow I (496-579), which was in 544 [see future "544" below]. However this story of the Mandylion/Shroud having been hidden in Edessa's wall, completely forgotten, for almost 500 years, contains multiple implausibilities [see "60"]. Likewise Ian Wilson's theory, based on that `Official History' story, that the Mandylion/Shroud was discovered in, or soon after, 525 during the rebuilding of Edessa's wall, suffers from the same multiple implausibilities and it does not even have the support of the `Official History' that the Mandylion/ Shroud was discovered during the Persian siege of Edessa, which was in 544 [see future "544" below].
"The Christological Cycle of Mosaics in St. Apollinare Nuovo ... The mosaics of the last register of the central nave, all from the time of King Theodoric in the second decade of the VIth c., represent the most complete Christological cycle known in paleochristian art" .]the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy. Faced with the threat to Rome by the Germanic Visigoths under the leadership of Alaric I (c.370–410), Roman Emperor Honorius (384–423) relocated the capital of the Western Roman Empire to Ravenna in 402. The sack of Rome by Alaric did occur in 410. Ravenna remained the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until its final collapse in 476, when the Ostrogoth king Theoderic the Great (493-526), an Arian, executed Flavius Odoacer (433-493), the first King of Italy (476–493) at Ravenna. Theoderic thereby became King of Italy (493–526) and based his Ostrogothic Kingdom at Ravenna. Ravenna remained the capital of the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths until the Ostragoth king Vitiges (536-540) died in Constantinople under captivity to the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (c. 482–565). Ravenna then became part of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire until 751 when it was conquered by the Lombard king Aistulf (r. 749-756).
My theory that the Mandylion/Shroud was at Ravenna in 526 and was taken to Edessa in 540. The Arians believed that Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, had been created in time by God the Father, and so was not eternal. In 325 Arianism was rejected as heretical by the Council of Nicaea. However, the Syrian city of Antioch, which was an important centre of early Christianity (Acts 11:19-26), where the Shroud had likely been taken to in Apostolic times, had become predominantly Arian. In 357 the Arians gained control of Antioch cathedral, which held the city's Passion relics, and so the Shroud may then have (and it is my theory it did) come into the possession of Antioch's Arian faction. Evidence of that is in 362, when the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate (r.361-363) ordered the closure of Antioch's cathedral and demanded to know the whereabouts of its relics, the Arian cathedral treasurer Theodoretus died under torture rather than reveal that secret. In 380 the Emperor Theodosius I (347–395), 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. Emperor Theodosius also fought to expel the Arian Goths who had settled inside the Roman Empire between 376–382. It is my theory that the Antioch Arians did obtain possession of the Mandylion/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 possessed by the Ostrogoth Kingdom at Ravenna. Then in or before 540, when the Ostrogoth kingdom was about to end and Ravenna was about to become part of the Byzantine Empire, the Mandylion/Shroud was taken from Ravenna to Arian-friendly Edessa [see future below "540"].
To be continued in the fifth installment of this part #6 in this series.
1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted 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. Extract from "File:Christus Ravenna Mosaic.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 31 October 2016. [return]
3. Wilson, I., 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London, p.82E. [return]
4. Maher, R.W., 1986, "Science, History, and the Shroud of Turin," Vantage Press: New York NY, p.77. [return]
5. Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, p.3; Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.125, 140-141; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.108. [return]
6. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.138; Wilson, 1998, p.162; Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.136; Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.3; Wilson, 2010, pp.132, 142, 298. [return]
7. Wilson, 1979, p.139; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.142. [return]
8. Wilson, 1979, pp.280-281; Wilson, 1998, p.158. [return]
9. Polverari, S., 2014, "From the Mandylion to the Shroud," Shroud of Turin: The Controversial Intersection of Faith and Science Conference, October 9-12, 2014, St. Louis, Missouri, pp.1-9, 4. [return]
10. Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.107. [return]
11. Wilson, 1979, p.254; Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI, p.18; Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville TN, p.76; Antonacci, 2000, p.136; Wilson, 2010, pp.143, 298. [return]
12. "Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo [Ravenna]," Wikipedia, 22 November 2016. [return]
13. Pfeiffer, H., 1983, "The Shroud of Turin and the Face of Christ in Paleochristian, Byzantine and Western Medieval Art: Part I," Shroud Spectrum International, Issue #9, December, pp.7-20, 17. [return]
14. Guscin, M., 1999, "Recent Historical Investigations on the Sudarium of Oviedo," in Walsh, B.J., ed., 2000, "Proceedings of the 1999 Shroud of Turin International Research Conference, Richmond, Virginia," Magisterium Press: Glen Allen VA, pp.122-141, 126; Markwardt, J.J., 1999, "Antioch and the Shroud," in Walsh, 2000, pp.94-108, 96-97. [return]
15. Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta, p.189. [return]
16. Markwardt, 1999, pp.94-95; Markwardt, J.J., 2008, "Ancient Edessa and the Shroud: History Concealed by the Discipline of the Secret," in 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, pp.382-407, 382; Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, p.17. [return]
17. Oxley, 2010, p.20. [return]
18. Ibid. [return]
19. Markwardt, 1999, pp.100-101; Oxley, 2010, p.22. [return]
Posted: 7 December 2016. Updated: 11 December 2016.