The ring o’roses (Voynich map): notes in brief (2-i of 2)

[a short post, for a change. With a maths problem. Additional illustration added 17th April 2017; further illustration added 18/04/20177] To say that the Voynich map represents  'four continents' is inaccurate: what we see is a custom by which the maker's world was envisaged as square and for that reason envisaged fourfold. The custom was not European but was - as we've …

The ring o’ roses (Voynich map): notes in brief Pt.1 of 2

 In keeping with other indications that the Voynich map gained its final form after 1204 but more exactly within the Mongol century, and between 1260-1330, and given also those details I've noted which find  parallels in certain of the 'rhumb'-gridded cartes marine emerging from Majorca and Genoa in the early fourteenth century,[1] I'd suggest  researchers hoping to read the inscriptions  associated with the …

Getting it right – the first formal analysis of the Voynich map

For those who like to track the history of ideas, and are frustrated by the obstacles to doing so in this area of interest - you have my sympathy. Apart from anything else, it is hugely embarassing to conclude from some such source as voynich.nu that nothing has yet been done or written in an area you …

Image without text – in the real world. Part 1-Theory

In a recent post, Nick Pelling wrote, Whether we like it or not, history as practised nowadays is a tower built upon textuality, upon the implicit evidentiality striped within and through texts. Even archaeology .. and Art History rely heavily on texts for their reconstructions. Pelling seems to be saying, thoughout that post, that the key to …

Aldrovandi’s bowl – Voynichero style.

IN writing an earlier post, 'The Great Aldrovandi.. had a Ming bowl', I'd hoped to get a point across without too much fuss: namely, that there is a difference between the sort of provenancing which traces chains of ownership, and that concerned only with assigning an artefact or image to its time and place.  Personalities have no necessary role in …

Lamentable days

In  my opinion one of the most original, and potentially revolutionary observations made in recent years - by the conservative faction, at least - was made by Nick Pelling, in a post published on June 29th., 2015. I doubt if he quite realised the implications of his own insight, because it is offered almost as a side comment - …

Lamentable days – recommended reading

Recommended reading - 'Egyptian Days' (Connects to versified instructional texts). Robert Steele noted that Voynich manuscript's vellum was 'unusually coarse, even for the thirteenth century'.  Lynn Thorndike constantly expressed his opinion, as an expert on medieval manuscripts of scientific, pseudo-scientific and alchemical matter, that the Voynich manuscript contained nothing of use to our study of those …

False and true histories – Europeans as ‘heirs of classical antiquity’.

  A constant problem in attempting to explain the utterly non-Latin character of the imagery in Beinecke MS 408 is finding that the general public, and many professional scholars, have a settled belief that Latin Europe was in some sense the centre of the medieval world, and thus that any manuscript found there could only be an …

False and true histories – Alexandra Marraccini and MS Digby 64

Alexandra Marraccini is an intelligent and interested newcomer, one who deserves the thanks of those dedicated to promoting an image of the Voynich manuscript as a wholly Latin Christian cultural product. She is the latest among those trained in medieval Latin history, art and manuscripts to have done their best to  provide the manuscript with a respectable lineage …

‘Like’-ness as criterion – a rarely-considered problem in Voynich studies.

I'd  written and have now scrapped, under the above title, a fairly standard academic paper on a fairly ordinary subject: the notion of 'like'-ness as the proper purpose of the image. Anachronistic and inapplicable assumptions in regard to 'realism' are pervasive in Voynich studies, result in false comparisons being proffered and affect attribution, description and interpretation - so I …

Notes on an Aegean connection: Ladies – archer -Despotiko- Constantinople.

- a long post but the summary may prove helpful- AEGEAN I'm reasonably sure - because I was obliged to run the usual gauntlet at the time - that none had previously noticed allusions to the Aegean in this manuscript until the point cropped up, as I recall, in connection with the alum trade,  linked by reasons of trade and …

Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) – a pleasant concurrence

Pleasant news: a comment at voynich.ninja suggests that another person has identified a plant in the manuscript as  C. tinctorius, this agreeing with a post I wrote about f.54r back in 2011. Before  closing the old research blog 'Findings' and another called 'voynich.retro' I thought it proper to have at least two scholars maintain their access to serve as safeguard against …

Black Sea -Treaty of Milan 1b

  Introduction. The aim of this introductory post is to demonstrate consonance between the later elements in the manuscript's imagery and events from 1285 to the 1330s. Details shown from Beinecke MS 408 have had detailed discussion in earlier posts. The 'Clear vision' series ended at 1290 AD, with the abrupt termination of Genoese involvement in a projected naval attack via Aden against Mamluk Egypt. The  plan had been initiated, …

The Black Sea – Treaty of Milan Pt.1a

This series sits between the 'Clear Vision' posts and those scheduled to appear  as 'Greater Khorasan..' 'Clear vision' treated folio 5v in some (but not complete) depth as a relatively accessible example of the manuscript's approach to mnemonic imagery, and also with an aim of offering  detailed comment on one detail of the many  which, by 2011, had led me …

A note about “theory-wars”

A silly bit of anonymous writing, attempting to use reverse psychology to damn all opinion save that which the anonymous writer ascribes to  "Pelling, Zandbergen and Wikipedia" was recently published by Pelling in a post to ciphermysteries. I have now received half a dozen emails from correspondents suggesting one or another person as author of that  lumpen satire... so unfunny that Pelling …

Parrot and Fox

this post isn't meant to imply any argument that Voynichese is Cuman, or Karaite or any combination of the two. The matter has more to do with the routes and times by which matter now in Beinecke 408 had come to western Europe - most particularly the matter in the 'ladies' folios.

Something cleaner – a “clear slate Conference” proposal

Nick Pelling's recent post made intriguing reading (ciphermysteries.com, January 7th., 2017) My first impression on reading it is that he is not so much proposing a conference about Beinecke MS 408 as proposing that we  - no, not 'we' - some persons to his taste explore the admittedly-fascinating  intersection of technology and codicology. But it …