Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Yeah, That Never Happened

Yeah, That Never Happened
      Fictional portrayals of historical events can be entertaining, but as well they can be misleading. The historic timeline is sometimes altered for the benefit of the story, while at other times anachronisms are introduced.
     Today is the anniversary of the death of Piers Gaveston, the friend and confident (their remains debate as to whether they were as well lovers) of Edward of Caernarfon, the son of Edward I of England.
      Now in the movie Braveheart Piers is thrown from a window to his death by Edward I. Edward I died in 1307. Piers died in 1312. Quite a trick throwing someone from a window five years after your death.
     It never happened. Piers outlived Edward I, and received considerable royal favor from Edward II. He was in turn exiled from England at the insistence of nobles who thought their place as counselors to the king were being undermined by the overly close relationship between Edward II and Piers. Upon his return to England he was attacked and killed.
    Sorry, no riveting scene of the king throwing someone from a window to prove a point about leadership.
     The other day I was watching some back episodes of The Borgias. FYI, the supposed incestuous relationship between Cesare and Lucrezia is unconfirmed, and Juan's servant was killed at the same time he was.
      But I digress. There was an episode in while Catarina Sforza erects a fake shroud to attract pilgrims, it being identified as the Shroud of Constantinople. Anyone seeing it today would identify it as a replica of the Shroud of Turin, right down to the regular triangular holes. A few may know those holes are from fire damage.
      Now the fake relic exhibited in The Borgias is shown in 1500 - Sforza is trying to divert pilgrims from that year's Jubilee celebration. So why does her fake relic display the results of fire damage that was not suffered by the real Shroud until 1532?



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