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7 The End

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Chapter Summary

The legend behind the story of the Mandylion of Edessa is derived from another, older Syriac legend, which began with an exchange of letters between King Abgar of Edessa and Jesus Christ. Slowly the content of the letter written by Jesus, together with its apotropaic function for the city, were transferred, as from 5th century, onto an image. In 6th century, the image itself, which was originally a colored picture of the face of Jesus, was transformed, especially in the Byzantine environment, into a miraculous imprint of Jesus' face left on a cloth, but not everyone was aware of this evolution. One of these Mandylion was moved to Constantinople in 944, where it remained until the Fourth Crusade. It was then sold to Louis IX of France and disappeared in the chaos of the French Revolution.

Keywords: Byzantine; Constantinople; Edessa; Jesus Christ; King Abgar; letter; Mandylion

10.1163/9789004278523_008
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