Was The Shroud In Languedoc During The Missing Years?

Jack Markwardt

Copyright 1997
All Rights Reserved
Reprinted by Permission

INTRODUCTION: In 1204, a sydoine, bearing a full-length figure of Christ and a possible Apostolic pedigree,1 disappeared from Constantinople. Matching that cloth with the Shroud which appeared in Lirey, France a century and a half later requires an accounting of its hidden movements and an explanation for its acquisition by Geoffrey de Charny. This paper focuses upon the "Missing Years" in the history of the Shroud of Turin,2 presents a hypothetical reconstruction of several of the more mysterious chapters in the cloth's biography, and suggests that the sindonic path between Constantinople and Lirey runs directly through Languedoc.

1204: FROM CONSTANTINOPLE TO LANGUEDOC. In April of 1204, the Fourth Crusade attacked Byzantine Constantinople and, in the resultant chaos, someone pilfered the Emperor's cloth. If the thief had held orthodox beliefs or had viewed the Shroud as a sacred relic, he would not have kept it concealed for long, but, instead, would have promptly claimed the credit and wealth attendant to its ownership.3 Thus, the perpetrator probably had no affiliation to either the Crusade or the Church of Rome and probably considered the cloth to be something other than a purely religious artifact. In this regard, it is critical to note that, at the precise time of its disappearance, the Shroud was being treated less as a holy relic than as a palladium wielded by the Emperor, in weekly public exhibitions, against the military threat posed by the crusaders.4 In fact, for the preceding six and a half centuries, the Shroud, assuming its affinity to the Mandylion,5 had enjoyed a fabled reputation as a cloth possessing great powers of protection. In 544, it had reportedly saved the city of Edessa from a siege by the Persian army.6

Thereafter, the cloth not only maintained its status as Edessa's holy palladium,7 but it also served as the model for numerous copies which were similarly employed as palladia throughout the Eastern empire.8 The protective virtues of such images were described by Edward Gibbon as follows: "In the hour of danger or tumult their venerable presence could revive the hope, rekindle the courage, or repress the fury of the Roman legions".9 In the sixth century, Pope Gregory commissioned his own copy of the image and had it brought to Rome where it was subsequently invoked for protection by Popes of the eighth and ninth centuries.10 In 944, the Byzantine Emperor forcibly compelled the transfer of the original image from Edessa to Constantinople in order to obtain "a new, powerful source of divine protection" for the capital city.11 Consequently, the peoples of Edessa and Constantinople came to view relics as possessing "palladian virtues which could protect them from their enemies".12

In 1204, when the Shroud disappeared, two sects of religious dualists, the Bogomils and the Paulicians, were openly practicing their faith in Constantinople and, as will be shown, possessed both the opportunity and the motive to take and conceal the cloth. During the preceding century, Eastern dualism had made its way to Western Europe13 and, by 1160, permeated Languedoc14 in the form of Catharism.15 Condemned by the Council of Tours in 1163,16 the heresy continued to spread despite ever- increasing persecution by the Church.17 All the while, the Cathars remained part of a single dualist communion with their brethren in the East18 and maintained such extremely close ties with them19 that they themselves were frequently referred to as Bogomile or Paulician.20 In 1172, Nicetas, the dualist bishop of Constantinople, travelled to Languedoc as a representative of the Eastern mother church,21 and, presiding over a Synod,22 persuaded the Cathars to adopt an absolute form of dualism,23 reconsecrated Cathar bishops, and approved reformation of the Cathar hierarchy.24 The dualists of the East provided Cathars with scriptures25 and answers to their religious questions26 and some moved West and became involved in the political and religious affairs of Languedoc.27 This federation of Eastern and Western dualists was maintained for many decades and, in 1224, the Easterners were to offer their homes to Cathar refugees and send them a spiritual leader.28

In 1198, Innocent III became Pope and promptly demonstrated a proclivity to use military force whenever convenient to accomplish his religious and political goals29 and his fanatical hatred of heresy drove him to seek the elimination of Catharism in Languedoc.30 Thus, in 1204, and at the precise time when the Cathars desperately required protection from Innocent, their religious brethren in the East31 were, week after week, witnessing the exhibition and representation of the Shroud as a tried, true and mighty palladium. As Ian Wilson observed, the opportunity to take the cloth presented itself to some Byzantine who had access to it during the confusion of the crusader attack upon the city.32 Greek dualists enjoyed friendly contacts with the upper classes of the capital33 and harbored little love for a Church which had not only sent a Crusade to lay siege to their city, but had resolved to exterminate their fellow religionists in Languedoc. This paper suggests that it was they who snatched the relic, concealed it, and sent it to their persecuted brethren in Languedoc, not as an object of religious veneration,34 but as a powerful palladium which could be employed against the fanatically-militant Church of Rome.

If these Greek dualists did send the Shroud to Languedoc,35 they would have entrusted it only to someone who could provide for its safekeeping and ultimate deployment in the hour of need. Fortunately for the Cathars, they had a wealthy, powerful, and pugnacious champion who could do so. Esclarmonde de Foix, the widowed sister of the count of Foix, was a vociferous opponent of the Church36 and the patroness of a great complex of heretical workshops, schools, and hostels in Pamiers.37 In 1204, the year of the Shroud's disappearance, she was ordained a Perfect,38 the highest order of the Cathar hierarchy, and sponsored the fortification of Montsegur,39 a castle stronghold which had collapsed into ruins.40 If the coincidental kidnapping of the Shroud and the fortification of Montsegur were, in fact, part and parcel of the same Cathar defense program, the cloth would likely have been sent to Esclarmonde, in Pamiers, with the expectation that, when needed, she would take it to Montsegur where its fabled powers of protection could be invoked to save Cathars, just as they had once been unleashed to rescue Edessa from the Persian army.41

1204-1244: THE PALLADIUM OF HERETICS. There is circumstantial and anecdotal evidence that, from 1204 to 1244, the Shroud was kept as a palladium by the Cathars of Languedoc:

(1) 1205-1207: The Appearance of the Grail in Languedoc. The Holy Grail has been connected to the Shroud,42 the Cathars,43 and Esclarmonde.44 Between approximately 1205 and 1207,45 Wolfram von Eschenbach46 wrote a Grail legend, Parzival, which contained several apparent allusions to the Shroud47 and placed the Grail in Munsalvaesche, a name denoting a mountainous region of safety, very much like Languedoc, in general, and Montsegur, in particular.48 Wolfram's Grail was guarded by Templars who wore white surcoats with red crosses49 and, at that precise time, the Temple Order in Languedoc had been thoroughly infiltrated by persons from Cathar families or holding Cathar sympathies.50 In another poem, Wolfram named the lord of the Grail castle as Perilla,51 a transparent nameplay on Raymond de Perella, the lord of Montsegur from at least 1204 to 1244. Finally, in an unfinished work, Wolfram situated the Grail castle in the Pyrenees52 which border on Languedoc and lie quite near to Montsegur.53

(2) 1207: The Pope's Call for a Languedoc Crusade. In 1203, the so-called cult of relics influenced the diversion of the Fourth Crusade to Constantinople for purposes of rescuing relics from the schismatic Greeks.54 By 1207, as Parzival clearly demonstrates, some had concluded that the Shroud was held captive by the heretics of Languedoc. On November 12, 1207, Innocent called for a crusade against the Cathars;55 however, a palpable pretext for crusade did not materialize until two months later when a papal legate was murdered by a servant of Raymond VI, the count of Toulouse.56 Raymond's pleas for absolution were rejected by the Church in what Jonathan Sumption called "a scandalous breach of ecclesiastical law accomplished solely to excuse a military invasion of Raymond's dominions".57 Despite the Cathars having nothing to do with the murder, the Pope urged military action against them.58 By 1209, Raymond had completely capitulated to the Church and the Pope's plan to punish him was officially abandoned.59 Nevertheless, Innocent pushed forward with his war against the heretics, thus establishing that this crusade had always been designed to attack the Cathars, possibly to liberate the Shroud in furtherance of the goals of the cult of relics.

(3) 1209-1229: The Cathars' Three-Nail Crucifixion. In the early thirteenth century, the Crucifixion was typically depicted with Christ affixed to the cross with four nails, one placed through each of his hands and feet.60 During the Albigensian Crusade, reports were circulated of a three-nail crucifixion, prompting Innocent to proclaim an official four-nail dogma and resulting in the condemnation, as heretics, of anyone who asserted the use of three nails.61 In an attempt to win converts, some Cathars employed a crucifix which had no upper arm, the feet of Christ crossed, and three nails.62 There is no apparent explanation of why Cathars, who rejected the reality of Christ's death,63 would assert a three-nail crucifixion or employ a three-nail crucifix, particularly when attempting to proselytize orthodox believers who were accustomed to, and who were bound to believe in, a four-nail portrayal. A close examination of the Shroud reveals that only one nail pierced Christ's feet64 and the Cathars' possession of the cloth with its evidence of the use of one nail through both feet would explain their assertion of a three-nail crucifixion which contradicted the traditional and papally-mandated beliefs of the orthodox.

(4) 1218-1224: The Cathars and the Flesh and Blood of Christ. Joinville's History of St. Louis contains an anecdotal story which, for many centuries, has been employed to strengthen faith in the sacrament of the Eucharist. According to this account, Amaury de Montfort, while leading the Albigensian Crusade,65 declined a Cathar invitation to come and see the body of Christ "which had become flesh and blood in the hands of the priest".66 The Cathars rejected Christ's incarnation and believed that his humanity was merely symbolic.67 For Cathars, there never was a body of Christ which could have become flesh and blood in the hands of their priest. In addition, the Cathars rejected the sacraments, including the Eucharist, as being vain and useless68 and their priests did not say Mass or make sacrifices of the altar.69 Instead, Cathars performed a simple daily benediction of bread and wine while reciting the Lord's Prayer.70 For Cathars, there was no ceremony or rite by which the body of Christ could have become flesh and blood in the hands of their priest.71 Cathars considered lying to be abhorrent72 and their Perfects, who were forbidden to engage in any trade which would expose them to lying or fraud,73 refused to prevaricate, even to save their own lives.74 Since Cathars would not have fabricated any claim, especially one which would repudiate their own religious beliefs, it appears that they invited Amaury to view a cloth which, when displayed in the hands of their priest, manifested a mysterious image of the flesh and blood of Christ. The Amaury story was written prior to 1272,75 a mere fifty years after the event which it describes, and was related, no doubt, to inspire readers to emulate a pious virtue admired by St. Louis;76 however, it appears to have a factual and historical basis, particularly in light of other circumstantial evidence which demonstrates that, during the precise period of the story's setting, the Cathars were in possession of the Shroud.

(5) 1209-1244: The Mystical Cathar Treasure of Montsegur. After the outbreak of the Albigensian Crusade in 1209, Esclarmonde took up residence in Montsegur and, in 1215, presided there over a Cathar court.77 Likewise, in 1209, the most important Cathar prelate, Guilhabert de Castres,78 moved to Montsegur79 and, for the next thirty years, used it as his base for missionary activities80 and the site of a Cathar Synod in 1232.81 In approximately 1240, Guilhabert was succeeded by Bertrand de Marty82 who remained at Montsegur until its fall in 1244.83 As previously mentioned, from at least 1204 to 1244, Raymond de Perella,84 a vassal to Esclarmonde's brother and a man with strong sympathies for the heretics, served as the lord of Montsegur.85 If the Shroud was taken to Montsegur, knowledge of its presence there was likely limited to a privileged few who undoubtedly ascribed the castle's survival through more than three decades of crusade and persecution to the linen palladium.86 So long as the Cathar hierarchy was headquartered in Montsegur, it is inconceivable that the Shroud would have been taken elsewhere. Coincidently, throughout the Crusade, Montsegur was rumored to hold a mystical Cathar treasure which far exceeded material wealth.87 In January of 1244, with Montsegur under siege, all of the gold, silver and money which had been stored there was taken out and hidden in the forests of the Sabarthes mountains.88 In February, the Montsegur garrison left the castle and launched an attack which ended in disaster and compelled surrender on March 2.89 The Cathars sought and obtained a fifteen-day truce90 which permitted them to hold a festival91and, when the truce expired on March 16, more than two hundred Perfects were thrown into a burning pyre.92 That same night, four Cathars, who had been concealed,93 used ropes to scale down Montsegur's steep western rock-face,94 and, according to tradition, they took with them the mystical Cathar treasure.95 This paper suggests that the mystical treasure was, or included, the Shroud and that the Cathars had procured the truce in a desperate, but unsuccessful, attempt to invoke their palladium's legendary powers96 during the closing weeks of the season of its origin--Easter.97

1244-1349: THE PROPERTY OF HERETICS AND THEIR DESCENDANTS. The four escapees from vanquished Montsegur carried the treasure to a valley in the Sabarthes,98 a region loyal to the Cathar cause and home to the heretical Auteri family.99 Approximately fifty years later, an Auteri descendant, Peter, assumed leadership of a Cathar organization which was still active100 but persecuted relentlessly by the Inquisition.101 After Peter Auteri was captured and executed in 1311,102 the heretical community began to disintegrate.103 In 1320, a group of Cathars were forced to recant in Albi104 and, the following year, the last Cathar Perfect, William Belibasta, was lured from hiding in Catalonia and burned to death.105 Between 1318 and 1326, Jacques Fournier, the future Pope Benedict XII, prosecuted the Carcassonne Inquisition from Pamiers and walled up a Cathar remnant in the caves of Lombrives, located in the Sabarthes.106 Thereafter, scattered groups of heretics and isolated individuals carried on occasional guerrilla warfare,107 but, by 1350, the two-century struggle between the Church and the Cathars of Languedoc was brought to a close.108

This paper suggests that, from 1244 to approximately 1349, the Shroud was kept in Languedoc, most probably in the Sabarthes, by heretical families descended from the survivors of Montsegur.109 Title to the relic could not legally pass from one generation to another inasmuch as heretics, their sympathizers, and their descendants were prohibited from making a will or receiving a legacy.110 In addition, all personal property of heretics, their sympathizers, and their descendants was required to be confiscated and forfeited to the crown.111 Consequently, for a little more than a century, the Shroud was scrupulously kept concealed in a region where survival itself depended on secrecy112 and, upon the deaths of its respective heretical owners, the cloth was quietly handed down to surviving family members.

In October of 1347, the Black Death swept into Europe, ultimately killing more than a third of its population.113 Some towns with a population of 20,000 were left with a mere 200 and, in certain of the smaller villages, only 100 out of 1,500 survived.114 The Plague struck Marseille in January of 1348, with mortality rates of up to 60% and, by summer, had reached Montpellier, Carcassonne, and Toulouse.115 Montpellier's ultimate loss of life was so extensive that Italian merchants were granted citizenship rights just to allow the city to be repopulated.116 In Perpignan, just north of the Spanish border and not too distant from the region of heretical safe havens, the Plague killed 90% of the municipal physicians and barber-surgeons and 65% of the notaries.117 In Avignon, up to two-thirds of the population died,118and between February and May of 1349, as many as 400 of its people were killed every day.119 The Pope's physician, who advised Clement VI to flee the city until the Plague subsided,120 ultimately estimated that three-quarters of the entire population of France had been killed.121 In rural Languedoc, already devastated by famine and war, the Black Death killed close to 50% of the population.122 In 1350, the Plague killed King Alphonso XI of Spain,123 but finally ran its course in the Mediterranean Basin.124 By that time, however, it is statistically probable that, somewhere in the hill country of rural Languedoc, the heretical family that possessed the Shroud had been killed and that the cloth, as part of that family's possessions and personal effects, had been, or would soon be, confiscated and forfeited to the crown.

1349-1354: THE ACQUISITION OF THE SHROUD BY GEOFFREY DE CHARNY. Wilson astutely observed that the question of how the Shroud came to be owned by Geoffrey de Charny lies at the very core of the Missing Years mystery.125 Historical evidence indicates that Geoffrey acquired the relic between April of 1349 and January of 1354.126 Yet, there is no record of a military campaign,127 a gift,128 or an inheritance which would have brought the Shroud to Geoffrey after 1349 and, in fact, throughout 1350 and during the first six months of 1351, Geoffrey was held as a prisoner of war in England.129

Although it may have been unusual for Geoffrey to have come to own the Shroud,130 the virtually unquestionable personal integrity131 of "the wisest and bravest knight of them all"132 would never have allowed him to obtain the cloth under dishonorable circumstances or by the employment of improper means. Thus, the mystery's solution must lie along a rightful and legal path, and one such channel was opened to Geoffrey in the Spring of 1349. At that time, Geoffrey held a life annuity of 1,000 livres, payable directly from the royal treasury. On April 19, 1349, this annuity was modified to 500 livres payable to Geoffrey and his heirs from the first forfeitures which might occur in the Languedoc senechaussees of Toulouse, Beaucaire, and Carcassonne.133

This paper suggests that, subsequent to April 19, 1349, the Shroud was discovered among the confiscated and forfeited personal goods of a Languedoc heretical family, perhaps one victimized by the Black Death, and that Geoffrey de Charny, by right of royal grant, legally and rightfully acquired title to the relic. Given the location of the Sabarthes and the other likely areas of heretical safe havens, the Shroud forfeiture probably occurred in the seneschalsy of Carcassonne where Geoffrey's trusted bailiff would have confiscated the forfeited property even if Geoffrey himself was being held in captivity.134 In Languedoc, local bailiffs administered both high and low justice, arrested heretics, pursued lawbreakers through the mountains, and attempted to recover stolen objects.135 A forfeiture precipitated by the Plague would have probably taken place in 1349 or 1350 and Geoffrey could have been aware of his acquisition of the Shroud either before he was taken prisoner at Calais on December 31, 1349 or during his imprisonment in London through June of 1351.136 Such knowledge may have been responsible for the melancholy religious poetry which Geoffrey authored during the period of his captivity.137

1349-1390: PERPETUAL SILENCE AND THE MISSING YEARS. Geoffrey has never been quoted as relating the manner in which he acquired the Shroud and Wilson speculated that something in the cloth's biography may have caused his silence.138 If this is the explanation, it may have been either a Cathar or a Templar history; however, there is another possibility.

Given Geoffrey's noble character and personal integrity, it is virtually certain that he fully reported the circumstances of his acquisition to the Pope in Avignon.139 Indeed, a report and petition, together with papal approval, was surely a prerequisite to holding the Lirey Shroud exhibitions of the 1350's,140 and the Pope would never have permitted the relic to become the object of worldwide pilgrimage141 unless he knew exactly how Geoffrey had acquired it and was convinced that it was genuine; i.e., the Shroud was the same cloth as that which had disappeared from Constantinople. Once the Pope had learned of the reasons underlying the Languedoc forfeiture, he would have deduced that Cathars and their descendants had been the Shroud's keepers for a century and a half and concluded that a disclosure of such information might embarrass the Church, raise questions concerning the motives for the Albigensian Crusade, create empathy for Cathars who had preserved Christianity's most precious relic, prejudice the Church's ongoing prosecution of heresy, and/or expose the relic to attack as the forgery or idol of heretics. In addition, had it become known that the cloth was only recently discovered among the personal effects of Plague victims, it may have aroused fear of contamination and a clamor for the destruction of the relic. Finally, a disclosure of the Shroud's genesis may have precipitated a demand from the Byzantine Emperor or the Eastern Orthodox Church that the relic be returned to Constantinople.

This paper suggests that, for these and/or other reasons, the Pope ordered Geoffrey and his family to remain perpetually silent on the subject of how the cloth had been acquired and, on that specific condition, authorized the exhibitions of the Shroud which were held in Lirey during the 1350's. Geoffrey, ever the perfect knight and obedient servant of king and Church, would have dutifully complied with the Pope's directive and would have never publicly spoken of how he had come into possession of the relic, thereby keeping the information secure among himself, his wife, and their son, Geoffrey II.142

In approximately 1389, Geoffrey's son initiated a new round of Shroud exhibitions and Pierre D'Arcis, the Bishop of Troyes, attempted to terminate them. In a draft memorandum, which probably never reached Pope Clement VII in Avignon,143 D'Arcis claimed that the cloth was a cunningly-painted fraud, offered to supply the Pope with all relevant information "from public report and otherwise", and expressed a desire to speak personally to the Pope due to his inability, in writing, to sufficiently express "the grievous nature of the scandal, the contempt brought upon the Church and ecclesiastic jurisdiction, and the danger to souls".144 D'Arcis' reference to ecclesiastic jurisdiction appears directly related to the Inquisition's ongoing prosecution of heretics145 and his allusion to scandal indicates that he had learned something of the relic's heretical, but not of its Byzantine, history. In any event, Clement was already familiar with the Shroud's Cathar biography and Constantinople pedigree through the records of his predecessors and/or his familial relationship with Geoffrey's son.146 There is no evidence of the Pope's having requested any elaboration from D'Arcis or having conducted any investigation whatsoever. Instead, Clement permitted the Shroud exhibitions to continue (subject to rather trivial conditions) and he twice sentenced D'Arcis to the same perpetual silence as that which had previously bound Geoffrey and his family.147 Thus, the mystery of the Missing Years was born of the papal mutation of witnesses who could have attested to a heretical forfeiture which, in turn, would have directed historians to the sindonic road from Constantinople to Languedoc.

POSTSCRIPT--HERETICAL CUSTODIANS OF THE SHROUD: It is entirely possible that, on three separate occasions, the Shroud was in the possession of heretics. It has been argued that, for at least one hundred and fifty years after the Resurrection, the cloth was in the possession of Carpocratian Gnostics before being brought to Edessa, during the reign of Abgar the Great (177-212 A.D.), and remained there, in the possession of Gnostics, for an additional lengthy period.148 In the eighth century, and as the result of an alleged loan transaction, the cloth was given to Edessan Monophysites and/or Jacobites and remained in their possession for a period of almost two hundred and fifty years (circa 700-944 A.D.).149 Since this paper suggests that the cloth was in the possession of Cathars and their descendants for approximately one hundred and forty-five years (1204-1349 A.D.), the cumulative heretical history of the Shroud may exceed five centuries in length and constitute more than twenty-five per cent of its present life.


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Currer-Briggs, Noel, The Shroud and the Grail, Weidenfeld and Nicolson (London, 1987).

Drews, Robert, In Search of the Shroud of Turin, Rowman & Allanheld (Totowa, 1984).

Froissart, Jean, Chronicles (Trans. Geoffrey Brereton), Penguin Books.

Gottfried, Robert S., The Black Death, The Free Press (New York, 1983).

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Joinville, Jean de, The History of St. Louis (Trans. Joan Evans),

Oxford University Press (London, New York and Toronto, 1938).

Joinville, Jean de, The Life of St. Louis, (Trans. Rene Hague), Sheed and Ward (New York, 1955).

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Le Roy Ladurie, Emmanuel, Montaillou, The Promised Land of Error (Trans. Barbara Bray), George Braziller, Inc. (New York, 1978).

Madaule, Jacques, The Albigensian Crusade (Trans. Barbara Wall), Fordham University Press (New York, 1967).

Maurin, Krystel, Les Esclarmonde, Editions Privat (Toulouse 1995).

Nohl, Johannes, The Black Death, A Chronicle of the Plague (Trans.

C.H. Clarke), Harper & Rowe (New York and Evanston, 1969).

Oldenbourg, Zoe, Massacre at Montsegur (Trans. Peter Green), Pantheon Books (New York, 1961).

Shneidman, J. Lee, The Rise of the Aragonese-Catalan Empire, 1200- 1350, New York University Press (New York, 1970).

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Strayer, Joseph R., The Albigensian Crusades, The Dial Press (New York, 1971).

Wakefield, Walter L., Heresy, Crusade and Inquisition in Southern France, 1100-1250, University of California Press (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1974).

Warner, H.J., The Albigensian Heresy, Russell & Russell (New York, 1967).

Wilson, Ian, The Shroud of Turin, The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?, Image Books (Garden City, N.Y., 1979).

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1. Ian Wilson hypothesized that this sydoine was the Mandylion which could be traced back to before 50 A.D. Wilson, pp. 128-130.

2. Wilson, p. 172. It should be noted that an earlier period of "Missing Years" (from the Resurrection to 544 A.D.) also remains unaccounted for, except in the hypotheses of sindonologists.

3. See Wilson, pp. 176-177.

4. Wilson, p. 169, citing Robert de Clari, The Conquest of Constantinople, p. 112, trans. E.H. McNeal (New York: Columbia University Press, 1936). "The Byzantine Emperor had always relied on his relics to protect his throne and his city, and in 1204 both were gravely threatened by the Frankish Crusaders". Drews, p. 50.

5. See Wilson, pp. 112-124.

6. Wilson, p. 170.

7. Wilson, p. 140.

8. Wilson, pp. 140-141.

9. Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 49, as cited in Wilson, p. 141.

10. Wilson, p. 144.

11. Wilson, pp. 147-148.

12. Currer-Briggs, pp. 126-127.

13. Warner, Vol. 1, pp. 14-15. Dualists in Constantinople may have converted French crusaders to their heretical beliefs. Sumption, p. 36. Crusaders, pilgrims and merchants were the likely carriers of the heresy to Western Europe. Wakefield, p. 29.

14. Sumption, pp. 17; 24. Baigent, p. 23.

15. Sumption, p. 39. The term "Cathar" is derived from the Greek word for "purified" and was probably first used in Northern Europe in about 1150. Sumption, p. 39. Wakefield, p. 30.

16. The Council branded Catharism a "damnable heresy". Lea, p.118. Warner, Vol. 1, pp. 41-42.

17. Including a small military campaign. Wakefield, pp. 82-86.

18. Hamilton, p. 115.

19. It is "incontrovertible that Bogomils and Cathars had close relationships after the middle of the twelfth century". Wakefield, p. 29.

20. Warner, Vol. 1, pp. 11; 14. Absolute dualists held that there were two equal Gods, one good and one evil. Moderate dualists believed in one God who created an evil demiurge who, in turn, created the world. Paulicians were absolute dualists. The Bogomils started as moderate dualists but, as the result of a schism which likely occurred in the mid-twelfth century, split into factions of absolute and moderate dualists. By 1172, the absolute dualists had gained control over the Church of Constantinople. Hamilton, pp. 115-124.

21. Warner, Vol. 1, pp. 15-16. The date of the Synod was originally reported as 1167. See Hamilton, p. 116, f11. Reports were spread that the Cathars followed a pope headquartered in the Balkans. Wakefield, p. 32.

22. Warner, Vol. 2, p. 10. The Synod was held in the village of St. Felix-de-Caraman. Wakefield, p. 31.

23. Hamilton, pp. 116-117.

24. Lea, pp. 119-120. Sumption, pp. 49-50. Warner, Vol. 1, pp. 15-16.

25. Hamilton, p. 118. On a document located in the archives of the Inquisition of Carcassonne, it is noted: "This is a secret document of the heretics of Corcorezio, brought from Bulgaria by Nazarius their Bishop, full of errors". Warner, Vol. 1, p. 12.

26. The Council branded Catharism a "damnable heresy". Lea, p.118. Warner, Vol. 1, pp. 41-42.

27. Baigent, p. 30. In addition, the Cathars employed Bogomil scripture. See Wakefield, p. 35.

28. The Cathars' new leader, "Pope" Bartholemew, created bishops, consecrated churches, made official visits, and consulted with heretics throughout Languedoc. Warner, Vol. 2, pp. 109-110.

29. Innocent III employed the French to crusade, in 1199, against Markward of Anweiler, Emperor Henry VI's representative in Sicily, and, in 1202, against the Moslems. Strayer, pp. 45-47. In Languedoc, he first attempted to control the heresy by replacing local clergy and investing local legates with the power to excommunicate, to interdict, and to remove clergy with neither notice nor right of appeal. Sumption, pp. 60; 68.

30. Sumption, p. 67. Innocent referred to heresy as a "hateful plague" and a "spreading canker", and called heretics "vile wolves among the Lord's flock".

31. As noted, in approximately 1172, Nicetas had converted the Cathars from moderate to absolute dualism. Thus, in 1204, they shared religious beliefs both with the Paulicians and with the faction of the Bogomils which controlled the Church of Constantinople. The Cathar ascetic lifestyle was modeled on the Bogomils, who renounced worldly possessions, rather than the Paulicians, who owned property, married, and fought as warriors. Hamilton, pp. 115-124.

32. Wilson, p. 173.

33. See Hamilton, p. 123. The dualists of Constantinople had been permitted to have their own places of worship by the Byzantines. Currer-Briggs, p. 140.

34. The Cathars rejected relics as devices through which salvation could be procured. Lea, p. 93.

35. The Cathars also had sympathizers in the Knights Templar (see the discussion on the Grail appearance, infra., and endnote 48) and it is possible that a Templar crusader pilfered the Shroud in Constantinople and sent it to a Cathar friend or relative in Languedoc for their protection. Currer-Briggs initially believed that Templars, for their own purposes, may have brought the Shroud directly from Constantinople to Montpellier, in Languedoc. Currer-Briggs, p. 92.

36. Esclarmonde once sent her sons on a raid of a local monastery. Warner, Vol. 2, p. 11. During a disputation held in Pamiers, she heckled the Church's representatives, provoking a monk to exclaim: "Go away, woman, and spin at your distaff. It is no business of yours to discuss matters such as these". Sumption, p. 72. Warner, Vol. 2, p. 10. Oldenbourg, p. 60.

37. Warner, Vol. 2, pp. 10-11.

38. Lea, p. 138. Sumption, p. 60.

39. Warner, Vol. 2, p. 11. Perched 3,500 feet high atop an almost sheer rock, Montsegur was apparently a part of Esclarmonde's inheritance. Oldenbourg, p. 317.

40. Oldenbourg, p. 317.

41. A retelling of the Edessa saga appears in Wilson, pp. 137-138.

42. See, e.g., Currer-Briggs, pp. 1-29; 72-73.

43. See, e.g., Baigent, pp. 20; 34.

44. Maurin, pp. 60-61.

45. A conclusion reached by Prof. A.T. Hatto, a translator of Parzival. See Currer-Briggs, p. 16.

46. Wolfram may have obtained some of his Grail/Shroud information from his patron, the Landgrave Hermann of Thuringia, the owner of a psalter containing one of the first-known illustrations of the Crucifixion where three nails were used rather than four; i.e., in a manner consistent with the evidence of the Shroud. See Currer-Briggs, pp. 192-193 and the discussion on the Cathars' three-nail Crucifix, infra.

47. For example, at precisely the time when the Shroud remains hidden, Wolfram declares that the Grail is not a fantasy, but, rather, a clue to something of immense importance which has been concealed. See Currer-Briggs, p. 14. Wolfram also links the Grail with the concept of resurrection. Wolfram, p. 124. Currer-Briggs, pp. 14-15. Baigent, p. 266.

48. Currer-Briggs, p. 17. These and other coincidences between certain details of Parzival and circumstances involving the Cathars were first noted, in 1934, by a Nazi author, Otto Rahn in Kreuzzug gegen den Graal. See Currer-Briggs, pp. 16-18.

49. Wolfram, p. 124. Currer-Briggs, p. 15.

50. The Cathars had developed a close relationship with the Knights Templar by donating vast tracts of land to the Temple Order and by infiltrating its ranks to such a degree that, at the beginning of the Albigensian Crusade, a significant proportion of high-ranking Languedoc Templars derived from Cathar families. See Baigent, p. 46, citing E.-G. Leonard, Introduction au cartulaire manuscrit du Temple, Paris, 1930, p. 76.

51. Baigent, p. 34; p. 62.

52. Baigent, p. 274. The work was entitled Der Junge Titurel.

53. Warner, Vol. 2, pp. 10-11.

54. The cult of relics, such as the Passion and the True Cross, formed the premise and genesis of the Fourth Crusade. See Currer-Briggs, pp. 124-127.

55. The Pope proclaimed: "Let the strength of the crown and the misery of war bring them back to the truth". Sumption, pp. 75-76.

56. Sumption, p.15.

57. Sumption, p. 159.

58. Sumption, pp. 81-82. The Pope predicted that, if Raymond did not come to the aid of the heretics, "nothing should be easier than to finish them off" and counseled that, when the Cathars had been eliminated, the crusade should turn its attention to the Count of Toulouse. See, Oldenbourg, p. 15.

59. Wakefield, p. 97. Once Raymond had declared himself an obedient son of the Church and submissive to any condition which the Pope might impose upon him, he literally destroyed half of the raison d'etre of the Crusade. Oldenbourg, p. 14.

60. Currer-Briggs claims that, in an illustration appearing in a psalter dated to 1211-1212 and owned by the Landgrave Hermann of Thuringia, Christ is first portrayed as being pierced by three nails, with one nail driven through both feet, consistent with what Currer-Briggs believes to be the evidence of the Shroud. Currer-Briggs, pp. 191-192. It is an interesting coincidence that this depiction of the Crucifixion appears in the prayerbook of the patron of Wolfram von Eschenbach whose Grail legend seems to place the Shroud in Languedoc between 1205 and 1207.

61. Currer-Briggs, p. 192.

62. This was an "unconventional" form of the Crucifixion. Lea, pp. 102-103. Apparently, the hands were nailed above the head and parallel to the body, with either one hand nailed above (but not overlapping) the other or with one hand nailed to each side of the upright beam.

63. Sumption, 48-49.

64. See, e.g., Barbet, Pierre, Proof of the Authenticity of the Shroud in the Bloodstains: Part II, Shroud Spectrum International, No. 23, p. 10. Currer-Briggs, p. 192.

65. On June 25, 1218, the Crusade leader, Simon de Montfort was killed and was succeeded by his son, Amaury who served in that capacity until January 14, 1224 when he made peace with the counts of Toulouse and Foix.

66. Joinville (Trans. Joan Evans), p. 15. The precise date and circumstances of the invitation remain unknown. Guilhabert de Castres, who was probably among the privileged few to have viewed the Shroud, was in Castelnaudary during Amaury's eight-month siege of the city in 1220-1221 and escaped to continue his missionary work in the surrounding areas. Strayer, pp. 119-120. Sumption, p. 228.

67. Oldenbourg, p. 36.

68. Warner, Vol. 1, p. 31.

69. Lea, p. 93.

70. Lea, p. 94.

71. There is, however, one uncorroborated account of a Cathar Easter Day celebration in which the participants profess their belief that consecrated bread and wine is the body and blood of Christ. See Warner, Vol. 1, pp. 80-82.

72. Sumption, p. 234.

73. Warner, Vol. 1, pp. 73-74.

74. Lea, pp. 103-104.

75. Joinville (Trans. Rene Hague), pp. 5-6.

76. Including the future Louis X, who was presented with the book in 1309. Joinville (Trans. Rene Hague), p. 9.

77. Meanwhile, at the Fourth Lateran Council, Esclarmonde's brother, the Count, denounced her as an evil and sinful woman and the Catholic Bishop of Toulouse railed that she had perverted many. Oldenbourg, p. 182. Warner, Vol. 2, p. 85. The Count maintained that he was not responsible for his sister and that he had no authority over Montsegur. "Am I to be ruined for my sister's sins?", he asked. Sumption, p. 180.

78. Guilhabert was appointed Cathar Bishop of Toulouse in 1208. Madaule, p. 51; Wakefield, p. 169.

79. Sumption, p. 228.

80. Sumption, p. 228. Guilhabert's missionary work has been favorably compared with that of the Apostles. See Madaule, p. 51.

81. Sumption, p. 237.

82. Wakefield, p. 169.

83. Oldenbourg, p. 363.

84. Warner, Vol. 2, p. 152.

85. Oldenbourg, p. 317. Sumption, p. 236.

86. Montsegur remained untouched even as surrounding areas were captured by crusaders in 1209 and 1212. See Sumption, p. 236. Oldenbourg, p. 317f.

87. Baigent, pp. 30-31.

88. Oldenbourg, p. 353. Baigent, pp. 31; 35.

89. Oldenbourg, pp. 355-356.

90. The request was made, apparently, for some religious purpose. Sumption, p. 240.

91. Baigent, p. 33. Easter was the most important celebration of the Cathar religious year. Warner, Vol. 1, p. 81.

92. Sumption, p. 240. The victims included Raymond de Perella's wife, daughter, and mother-in-law. Oldenbourg, pp. 362-363.

93. Oldenbourg, p. 361.

94. Sumption, p. 241. Baigent, p. 32.

95. Baigent, p. 32. Some survivors of Montsegur claimed that these men were sent to retrieve the treasure which had been removed in January. Oldenbourg, p. 362.

96. It is rather ironic that the three most important years in the palladian history of the Shroud involve "forty-fours"; i.e., the Shroud saved Edessa in 544, it was taken from Edessa to protect Constantinople in 944, and it failed to rescue Montsegur in 1244.

97. In 1244, Easter fell on April 3.

98. Madaule, p. 136.

99. The Auteris lived in Ax-les-Thermes and had been heretics since 1230. Madaule, p. 136.

100. As late as the mid-1270's, the nobility of Aragon sought support against the King of France from Cathars hiding in the Pyrenees. Shneidman, p. 321. From 1298 to 1309, the Cathars hid an itinerant Perfect in the southern highlands of Languedoc. Sumption, pp. 242-243.

101. In 1299, Cathars were arrested at Albi and in 1310, the Inquisition of Toulouse extracted Cathar confessions. Lea, p. 97.

102. Warner, Vol. 2, p. 209.

103. Warner, Vol. 2, p. 214.

104. Warner, Vol. 2, pp. 214-216.

105. Sumption, p. 243. Madaule, pp. 137-138.

106. Madaule, p. 137.

107. Warner, Vol. 2, p. 216.

108. Strayer, p. 162.

109. Parenthetically, a Cathar-based Shroud biography which ends in the years after Montsegur still lends itself to a subsequent Templar possession and Geoffrey's acquisition of the relic through his family's putative Templar connections. The Temple Order, infiltrated by Cathars, provided safe havens for Cathar refugees who may have given the Shroud to their Templar protectors. See Baigent, p. 46.

110. Warner, Vol. 2, pp. 145-146; p. 174.

111. In 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council relegated punishment of condemned heretics to the State which was expected to confiscate their goods. Warner, Vol. 2, p. 90. In 1228, Louis IX ordered his bailiffs to seize the goods of the excommunicated. Warner, Vol. 2, pp. 194-195. The Statutes of Toulouse, promulgated in 1233, provided that all goods found in a heretic's house or hiding place were to be confiscated and that all heretical inheritances were to be forfeited unless the children could prove their own orthodoxy.In 1243, Pope Innocent IV approved the twelve statutes of Emperor Frederick which consigned condemned heretics to the State for punishment, treated heretical sympathizers as if they themselves were heretics, and deprived the heirs and successors of both heretics and their sympathizers of all temporal benefits. Warner, Vol. 2, pp. 153-154. In Toulouse, all forfeited real property was divided between the king and the bishop and all forfeited personal property belonged exclusively to the crown. Warner, Vol. 2, pp. 194-195.

112. Even up in the mountains, a careless word could lead to imprisonment or persecution by the Inquisition. See Le Roy Ladurie, pp. 13-14.

113. Gottfried, p. 42.

114. This according to the "thoroughly reliable" Gilles de Massis. Nohl, p. 40.

115. Gottfried, p. 49.

116. Nohl, p. 40.

117. Gottfried, p. 49.

118. Nohl, p. 40.

119. Gottfried, 50.

120. Gottfried, p. 50.

121. Nohl, p. 40.

122. Gottfried, p. 50-51. In Montaillou, one of the last centers of Catharism, only half of the population survived the catastrophes of the second part of the fourteenth century. Le Roy Ladurie, p. 3.

123. Nohl, p. 37.

124. Gottfried, p. 53.

125. Wilson, p. 86.

126. A change in Geoffrey's burial plans appears to pinpoint this period as the time frame for his acquisition of the Shroud. See Crispino, Dorothy, Why Did Geoffroy deCharny Change His Mind?, Shroud Spectrum International, Vol. 1, pp. 30-31.

127. Geoffrey fought at Calais in 1349 and 1351; at Picardy in 1353; at Normandy in 1354; and at Breteuil in 1356. See Crispino, Dorothy, Why Did Geoffroy deCharny Change His Mind, Shroud Spectrum International, No. 1, pp. 28-29.

128. Least likely is a gift from the king. See Wilson, p. 193.

129. Wilson, p. 196.

130. Wilson, p. 87.

131. Wilson, p. 192.

132. Froissart, p. 129.

133. Crispino, Dorothy, Geoffroy de Charny in Paris, Shroud Spectrum International, No. 24, Sept. 1987, p. 13. The grant is preserved in the Archives Nationales JJ77 #395, folio 245 and is hand-copied in the Wuenschel Collection.

134. In these three areas of Languedoc, Geoffrey probably employed bailiffs to represent his interests. See Crispino, Dorothy, Poor Geoffrey, Shroud Spectrum International, Spicilegium, 1996, p. 24. A bailiff (bayle) was generally a non-native who acted as mayor, chief of police, judge, tax collector, and army mobilization officer all in one. See Wilson, p. 204.

135. Le Roy Ladurie, p. 11.

136. Even while imprisoned, Geoffrey would have readily learned of his good fortune since his servants were travelling between London and Paris in connection with raising a ransom for his release and Geoffrey himself was released on parole in September of 1350 to attend the wedding of King John in Paris. Crispino, Dorothy, To Know the Truth, Shroud Spectrum International, No. 28/29, p. 34.

137. See Wilson, p. 90.

138. Wilson, p. 87. Wilson believes this something to be the

Shroud's hypothetical Templar history and the memory of that Order's "savage downfall". Wilson, p. 195.

139. In all likelihood, Geoffrey made his report to Clement VI, who became Pope in 1342 since Geoffrey would have probably filed his petition subsequent to his release from prison in June of 1351. Pope Clement VI died in December of 1352 and construction of the Lirey church took place between February and June of 1353, during the papacy of Innocent VI, who reigned until 1362. Both Clement VI and Innocent VI were French.

140. The documents have not yet been found, but certainly must exist. Crispino, Dorothy, Why Did Geoffroy deCharny Change His Mind?, Shroud Spectrum International, No. 1, p. 32. Church approval was sought in 1389 by Geoffrey's son who obtained it directly from the Pope's French legate, Cardinal de Thury, thereby circumventing Bishop D'Arcis of Troyes. Wilson, Appendix B, pp. 267-268.

141. At least as reported by Pierre D'Arcis in his draft memorandum of approximately 1389. See, Wilson, Appendix B, p. 267.

142. Geoffrey's son said only that it had been graciously given to his father, and his granddaughter stated merely that Geoffrey had acquired it. Crispino, Dorothy, Why Did Geoffroy deCharny Change His Mind?, Shroud Spectrum International, No. 1, p. 29. Crispino, Dorothy, To Know the Truth, Shroud Spectrum International, No. 28/29, pp. 30-31.

143. See, e.g., Bonnet-Eymard, Bruno, Study of Original Documents of the Archives of the Diocese of Troyes in France with Particular Reference to the Memorandum of Pierre D'Arcis, Shroud News, No. 68, pp. 8-9.

144. Wilson, Appendix B, pp. 266-272.

145. The Inquisition's Piedmontese trials were held in 1388. See, Lea, p. 96f.

146. Clement was the nephew of Geoffrey's widow, Jeanne de Vergy, through her second marriage. Wilson, p. 206.

147. Wilson, pp. 209-210. Wilson concluded that Pope Clement VII knew of the Shroud's Missing Years biography (albeit Templar-based) and suppressed the truth both for political reasons and in "a pious attempt to introduce a genuine relic for public veneration". Wilson, pp. 208-210.

148. This argument claims that the image on the Shroud is manmade. See, Drews, pp. 75-96.

149. The relic was pawned to a Monophysite, Athanasius bar Gumayer, and was deposited into the Jacobite Church of the Mother of God in Edessa. See Wilson, pp. 149; 254, citing J.B. Segal's, Edessa the Blessed City.

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