Ring-o-Roses: heaven’s fabric in Byzantium

As demonstration that  Kabbalah relates naturally to representations of the heavens, of angelic ranks and of gridding 'by the Rose'  we have a vivid example in an illustration from  'Traité de la Cabale' or 'Traité de la Cabala chrétienne', an unpublished manuscript made by the Franciscan friar Jean Thenaud in 1521.

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Ring o’ roses: Genoa, Constantinople and Pera

This series isn't a reprise of the analytical studies published from 2011 as the first stage of provenancing the imagery. We are now in the third stage, where the various elements are set in their appropriate historical context. There is evidence of more than one stratum of additions and alterations to the imagery; we are now considering implications of the map's "roses" - of interest chiefly because the period when charts gridded 'by the rose' emerge in Latin Europe is known to within quite narrow limits.

War between science and religion: The Draper-White thesis and ideas about the Voynich manuscript

An ill-founded thesis by Draper and White gained popular appeal from the last quarter of the nineteenth century. It so excited the popular imagination, and so deeply infected popular notions about medieval Europe that its reflection is clearly seen in the attitudes and assumptions which Wilfrid Voynich and William Friedman brought to their study of the Voynich manuscript. Nor did such attitudes fade after the …

The world in Padua’s botanical garden

Until now I've spoken generally in referring to my opinion about the manuscript's manufacture, saying that I believe it was made in 'the Veneto', but having now said plainly (at voynich.ninja) that I think it likely taken from materials then in the University of Padua, I've decided to add a few notes here. The post is not particularly short, but is written to serve as background and quick reference for those at work on the Voynich script and language.

‘Tatar’ plant-names in the Trinity College Herbal – brief note

Those researchers such as Koen Gheuens interested in the Trinity College manuscript's text may like to know that - at just about the time that Athanasius Kircher became interested in the Voynich manuscript -  there was in Berlin a court physician at work on a massive multilingual glossary of plant-names, the published title of which …

Ivy and so forth. The much-mentioned comparison

It's no pleasure to write posts about a particular instance without first being able to  assure whoever [1]  offered it that the aim is to understand the manuscript better, not to disturb them. The  comparison so often mentioned is between folio 35v of Beinecke MS 408 and folio 60r of BNF MS  Lat 6823, the second manuscript being the often-mentioned 'Manfredus'  …

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 …