1. The crucial difference, apart from the face which I mentioned yesterday (with or without the Jesus-identifying long hair, beard and moustache, is that “chain” (if indeed that is what it is) that spans the waist region. One the Badge one sees it clearly on the dorsal side only.
It’s not visible on the frontal side – the one that attract most interest – but there are suggestions it was there and has been gouged or filed away. Interestingly, the drawing has a clear chain on the frontal side too. Is that because the chain was there, on the front, in 1865 when the drawing was published in one of Arthur Forgeais’ books, or was it not? Did Forgeais spot the gouge marks and “improve” so to speak, the way he “improved” the face by making it more Christ-like?
It would be entirely understandable for a pilgrim or someone later to have removed the chain from the frontal image if they had no idea why it was there, and could see no connection with the Gospel accounts.
So why was a chain there? I’m assuming now it was a chain. Could it have been intended to represent something else? Blood flows – hugely exaggerated ones that spurt from both sides of the body? It is Ian Wilson no less who said he saw pooled blood on the back that corresponded with that on the Shroud image. But why would the person who commissioned the badge, presumably Geoffroi de Charny (the later one with no “e” in the surname), the first known owner of the Shroud in Europe, have wanted the badge, his badge with his and his wife’s coat of arms, to carry a detail that was not present on the Shroud?
Maybe the Shroud from which the badge was copied did have real, not imagined chains showing front and back, ones that looked unmistakeably like chain links, extending left and right. Maybe the Shroud at that time did have an image of an un-Christ like figure with no beard etc. Maybe the Shroud had a strange muscular build that made it seem as if he were naked, but bearing medieval armour, especially on the shoulders and chest. (I shall offer an alternative to “armour” later).
Heretical thought: maybe the Shroud from which that Badge was copied was a Mark 1 version which bore the image of a man, a knightly man, who had NOT been crucified (despite the prompts elsewhere) but who had endured a different kind of torture and execution, one that involved being initially chained, rather than nailed. Was there a Mark 1 Shroud with an image of a de Charny family predecessor who had been chained to a stake for a different kind of execution current at the time – namely “burning at the stake”? How about someone with a name almost identical to Geoffroi de Charny, said to be his uncle, namely the Preceptor of Normandy, Geoffroi de Charney (note the “e” in the surname) who was famously dispatched in a hideous manner to meet his maker along with Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar in 1314. And how? By being burned at the stake, quickly or slowly, a method of execution that DID require a chain . If so was it rapid burning, perhaps with mercifully quick release by asphyxiation, or was it another altogether nastier variant that involved slow grilling, as I learned yesterday was famously applied to Saint Lawrence, aka St. Laurent?
So let’s now take a look those feet. Are there any clues there that the Man on the Badge had been burned at the stake, and NOT crucified? Why not? Because he was not Jesus Christ but someone else, shown on a deliberately ambiguous Mark 1 Shroud. Was he in fact Geoffroi de Charny’s alleged uncle, Geoff’ de Charney-with-an -“e”, as I sussed out a couple of days ago, and have since learned am by no means the first to have arrived at that conclusion. Sceptical minds occasionally – and mercifully – think alike…
2. Regarding those feet:
Just look at those peculiar knees and legs on the original, and then compare with more idealized ones in the drawing. Are you thinking what I am thinking? Those knees and legs are severely burned – right down to the bone, especially noticeable at the knee caps. Now look closely and you will see some detritus-looking material at feet level in both original and drawing. Might that represent twigs and branches – for the burning thereof (seen more clearly in the drawing)? And what about that cross-hatched area below the feet? I’ve read that’s supposed to be part of an architectural feature if the badge is turned through 90 degrees. But might it not be there for a more sinister and hinted-at purpose – to represent a grill for the slow roasting of the feet, shins and thighs of a human being? Are we seeing an alternative reason for the entire body looking puffed-up, reminiscent of joints of meat in a butcher’s shop: it cannot be explained away as poor craftsmanship – given the attention to detail elsewhere with heraldry etc. Neither is it due to assorted pieces of armour – breast and shoulder plates etc. (though the Badge-makers of a knightly family would be relaxed about some arriving at that conclusion). Nope, the bloating is to convey an impression of someone who has not just been burned at the stake, but slow-roasted, as de Molay and de Charney were slow-roasted, and before them Saint Laurent! Might we at last have a credible explanation for those bony elongated fingers on the Shroud. No, nothing to do with miraculous X-rays or gamma rays emanating from inside the body – but another hint of a severely burned victim, with the fingers especially susceptible to being burned down to the bone (the victim’s hands probably being used initially to shield each new part of the body from ever increasing, ever rising heat)
3. What about that so-called “empty tomb”?
Yes, Ian Wilson and others have described that box-like structure as an “empty tomb”. But why? It is hardly redolent of the Biblical description of the sepulchre as being hewn out of rock. Since none of the Gospels describe the cave interior, why assume a sarcophagus, if that is the appropriate term? The clearest description of an empty tomb would surely have been a cave entrance with a large stone rolled back, and maybe an angel, or a glimpse of linen?
There is an opening in the side, granted, which the artist has played down, perhaps because he was at a loss to understand its significance (might it not have given the wrong impression, i.e. that one or more disciples had broken into the “tomb” and removed the body, i.e. no Resurrection (heretical stuff indeed – folk were burned at the stake for less!). Or maybe he wondered if the missing triangular portion was simply lead metal that had broken off the badge. Who knows? But there is another detail that needs addressing. It is that criss-cross structure at the top, which looks for all the world like a grid across the top. Again, the artist has de-emphasised something he perhaps does not understand, while making the white border more prominent so as to strengthen the appearance of it being an open sarcophagus.
Might the Badge designer really have wanted to represent a grid, and if so why? Building on what has been said previously here, I suggest that what might indecorously perhaps be described as a large barbecue, the purpose of which should be obvious. The triangular hole in the side? That was a make-shift access for admitting air and more timber.
Remember, if the aim is roast the victim slowly as a form of extended torture – one that might last hours before death, then one does not construct the conical pyre of popular imagination, with flames licking around the victim. One has something more akin to a horizontal grill with glowing charcoals and muted flame.
Now take a look at a artistic portrayal of the “barbecue” that was used to roast Jacques de Molay and Geoffroi de Charney-with-an-e in 1314. Notice any points of similarity with the “empty tomb” above?
Finally, for today at any rate, take a look at this one again – the Man on the Badge. Jesus Christ in death repose, or someone else, still alive, in excruciating pain, having his feet and legs roasted?
Then compare with this idealized 1865 version, in which our Arthur Forgeais has “seen what he wants to see”. How many commentators, one wonder, have inadvertently or otherwise been using this drawing, rather the actual non-Christ-like image on the badge – with no real evidence that the Man on the Shroud (Mark1 version?) was the crucified Jesus?
Addendum (added 29 April): some call it the Cluny medal, for reasons that are not clear. Why name it after the museum in which it is housed, least of all when that same museum makes no effort to promote this item, despite its bearing on the Shroud of Turin?
Here’s a link to the Cluny Museum site. Go to Collection, then enter Lirey into the search box and you get no returns whatsoever. If in desperation, like me you enter “enseigne de pelerinage” (pilgrim’s badges, roughly translated) then you get an intimidating table, where finally there is a mention of (“amateur”) Arthur Forgeais’ retrieval of 700 pilgrim’s badges dredged up from the Seine, BUT NO MENTION OF THE LIREY BADGE. The missus thinks this is just inertia on the part of State-employed fonctionnaires but I do wonder if it’s more than that. Have the Cluny curators also cottoned on to the fact that it is not Christ on the badge, and not someone who is being /has been crucified, but someone completely different – a Templar – who is not being crucified but slow-grilled? See the next post in this series for more interpretation, laced inevitably with a little speculation (but then one has to speculate to elucidate…)