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4 The Translation of the Image of Edessa

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Chapter Summary

In his sermon, Gregory addressed his listeners and narrated the ancient tales of the Edessean image, repeating, paraphrasing and comparing the traditions. Roughly contemporary to Gregory Referendarius' sermon is the Narratio de imagine Edessena, a long "Story of the Image of Edessa" composed on the occasion of its translation to Constantinople and ascribed to emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos. Surviving manuscripts show that the treaty was altered over the course of several drafts. It can be concluded that none of the Byzantine texts composed on the occasion of the arrival in Constantinople of the Edessean image, written by emperor Constantine Porphyrogennetos, and reworked under his control, or created and subsequently disseminated all over the whole East especially for liturgical services contains any element that might be used to corroborate the hypothesis that the acheiropoieton cloth contained the entire image of a corpse or that it was the burial cloth of Jesus.

Keywords: Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos; Constantinople; Edessa; Edessean; Gregory Referendarius'; Jesus



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