The Shroud of Turin vs Two Byzantine Coins

This short presentation compares the face of the man on the Shroud of Turin and two coins minted in the 8th and 10th centuries by two Byzantine Emperors. One coin representing Christ is strikingly similar with the one found on the Shroud of Turin. The similarity is not only the overall appearance, but several small details are the same. These can hardly be taken as coincidences. Moreover, the two coins show two very different busts of Christ which demonstrate that the similarities with the Shroud is not an accident but is in direct relation with the Christ Pantocrator and the art of icons. Was the Shroud image fabricated according to the Pantocrator -- that is a cunningly created image based on religious Byzantine arts -- or was the Pantocrator created based on the Shroud, in which case it predates the 8th century? In the former case, it is even doubtful that the Shroud would have been fabricated in France as the most solid historical records -- e.g. Anti-Pope Clement VII -- would let us believe.

The following two images are the front and back of a coin minted between 705 and 711 AD, by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian II. On the front, a bust of Christ; in the back, Justinian II. It is unlike the Pantocrator depictions found in Byzantine basilicas.

Coin minted in 705-711 during the reign of Justinian II, an iconoclast
Christ (front)
Justinian II (back)

The emperor Justinian II (669-711 AD) was an iconoclast. That is, he disallowed the use of icons in liturgy and forbade their veneration. This explains his usage of a different representation of Christ from the Pantocrator.

The following two images are the front and back of a coin minted around 945 AD. On the back, a representation of Constantine VII (905-959 AD), the Byzantine Emperor from 913 to 959; on the front is a depiction of a Christ Pantocrator.

Coin minted around 945 AD during the reign of Constantine VII
Christ Pantocrator(front)
Constantine VII (back)

Notice the overall similarity of the facial representation with the Shroud (I assume you have a Shroud image at your disposal. You can find good ones at www.shroud.com). It certainly is quite different from the representation on the coin of Justinian II.

You should enlarge the image, by clicking it, to see several details that are similar to the Shroud. Note the left cheek of Christ, the one that appears on our right. It shows a clear protuberance which is also on the Shroud. The beard is clearly similar to the Shroud. Note the very peculiar lock of hair on the forehead. This is very similar to the inverted '3' shape as seen on the forehead on the Shroud.

The very fact that all these details and the overall appearance is very different on the Justinian coin shows that the artist who designed the coin was using a very different model.

A large number of Byzantine art works, in particular the Pantocrator, have similarities with the Shroud.