The Voynich Manuscript – the Internet speaks its mind!

So there’s this really old manuscript, it’s in Harvard or M.I.T., and it was discovered in 1812 (though Wikipedia says “1712″) by Wilfrid Voynitch who like doesn’t even know his own name because my spell-checker keeps suggesting “Wilfred” and that’s like totes annoying when you’re trying to tweet with predictive texting and that. So I don’t trust him, and he was a chemist and invented LSD or maybe Spanish fly while he was still young: and he really could have forged the manuscript because he had a moustache and that’s always like an awesomely bad sign in films, almost as bad as a British accent. But he couldn’t have don’t that because he didn’t even know his own name so was like completely stupid or something.

And people think the manuscript is really shocking ancient wisdom or alien DNA technology from the future but we’ll have to wait for the right person to time-travel back from meeting Roger Bacon in the past before we can read it. In fact, all the TV documentaries on the Voynitch manuscript start voice-over sentences with “Could it be that…” which is film-maker code that means that they know the real answers for sure but have been paid off with premium bond money not to tell.

Of course, it’s in code AND cipher AND shorthand AND microdots AND invisible ink AND tattooed on a slave-girl’s shaved head, and it’s secretly in a lost language that only alchemists can speak when they’re really, really close to creating the Philosopher’s Stonewashed Jeans and high on ergot and caffeinated beverages and fluoride, which are all poisons that completely surrounds us, there’s a whole alt.science newsgroup about that, everyone knows that the government scientists cover it up, worse than the cigarette makers. As if we can’t see through their lies, they’re so stupid, haha.

And anyone who says that Leonardo da Vinci wrote the manuscript is like so totally right, if you look at his notebooks there’s a helicopter and a bicycle and a T-1000 default form and he was writing in like mirror writing but he wasn’t using a mirror because they hadn’t been invented yet, duh. But it can’t actually have been Leonardo because there’s like lots of pictures of naked women in it and he was a gay vegetarian genius or something and that would have messed with his mind too much so he would have like imploded instantly.

But the real problem is that nobody wants to solve the Voynitch because it’s too much fun just pushing the numbers around and drawing graphs and infographics and stuff and they’re like getting paid by the hour by the CIA not to solve it so the economics are giving them the wrong financial incentive. Which means that they’re all getting rich on the back of us ordinary Internet surfers, especially that Cipher Mysteries guy who has like a Rolls Royce just for driving the mile down the drive to the gate of his mansion. He’s so rich, he pays the xkcd guy to draw stuff badly so nobody believes him when he tells the truth about stuff.

So I kind of met this guy on a mailing list who had solved the Voynitch and was about to publish his solution on the Internet but like the Men In Black burnt his house down and reduced him to a quivering empty shell of his former self, just like he was on crystal meth, except he swore he wasn’t (and I believe him). Worst thing is that they hypnotized him so that he couldn’t say the letter ‘c’ and it turns out that that is really important to the Voynitch’s secret secrets – people keep calling it the “Voynich Manuscript” but that’s because they can’t spell and that’s basically really annoying and stuff.

And anyway it turns out the answers are all in the Vatican Secret Archives which aren’t really “secret” they’re just called that to distract attention from the real secret archives which are in a bomb-proof basement two miles underneath Fatima in Portugal. But the really important stuff they put in the Secret Archives because nobody who knows how it all really works would think to look there, so it’s a huge double-bluff. The Catholic Church has been like that since 760 B.C., apparently they had to invent Christ because they had started 760 years Before something important beginning with “C” and the only word they could think of back then was “Christ”. And all the secrets of the early church are written in the Voynitch manuscript because that’s exactly where you’d hide something so dangerous it could bring the whole Church down. And that would cause real continuity problems for when TV repeat old episodes of the Simpsons with Ned Flanders in.

Only problem is that the Voynich is all definitely a hoax because if you have the right set of tables it has been scientifically proved you can write sentences that look just like peer-reviewed science, and then people will fund you to write whatever nonsense you fancy about anything you like. A bit like how Leonardo got paid to sit around and design butch-looking techno weapons even though he was a pacifist and the contradiction might make his brain explode. People don’t understand that the Voynitch is all about plant RNA and stimulating harmonics in your brain waves, you try reading it out loud you might become a genius or your own head might explode too just like Leonardo’s nearly did, nobody knows, that’s why it’s so dangerous and kept under wraps by the WTO.

And anyway, all the really powerful pages have already been removed, they’re been stored for safe keeping inside the Ark of the Covenant which is for real in a warehouse on the Isle of Wight. Nobody realises that the Indiana Jones warehouse thing was filmed in the actual place itself, they’re just laughing at us and we’ll never know because they have a Black Team removing all the good stuff from the archives just as we get close to seeing it, so we only get to see details that don’t make any sense.

95 Comments

  1. avatar Job December 14, 2013 4:02 am

    Your blog’s search rank has probably tripled with this fine entry.

  2. avatar Don Latham December 14, 2013 5:51 am

    And I suppose this essay was found in a bottle floating in the Thames, snagged just outside the Temple Bar on an earlier anniversary of the Templar pogrom?

    http://sixmilesystems.com

  3. avatar Jaksie December 14, 2013 9:43 am

    Yeh, bout time. Someone being real at last -you.
    There’s bees in that book. When the male honey bee climaxes his testicles explode and he dies.
    Evolution is b/s man.

  4. avatar nickpelling December 14, 2013 10:28 am

    Job: I just wish I could say I had made any of it up. :-(

    http://www.nickpelling.com/

  5. avatar nickpelling December 14, 2013 10:30 am

    Don: well… perhaps the Internet equivalent, yes. :-)

    http://www.nickpelling.com/

  6. avatar nickpelling December 14, 2013 10:32 am

    Jaksie: sorry for missing that out, I’ll try harder next time. ;-)

    http://www.nickpelling.com/

  7. avatar bdid1dr December 14, 2013 4:54 pm

    So that’s what it is called, ‘predictive texting’. So google is reading my mind? Whoa! Y’gotta 1-dr, who drives all those search engines. ;-)

  8. avatar nickpelling December 14, 2013 5:06 pm

    bdid1dr: if Google can manage to read your mind, we’re all in biiiig trouble.

    http://www.nickpelling.com/

  9. avatar Job December 14, 2013 9:36 pm

    Nick, i’ve noticed that the set of high-res color scans available at the Beinecke library’s site is missing images for f68r1, f68r2 and f68r3.

    Given that an image search yields low-res color images for this fold-out folio, it seems likely that the corresponding high-res versions exist somewhere.

    Do you know whether this is the case and how those images may be obtained?

  10. avatar Job December 15, 2013 6:06 am

    Found the high-res color versions of f68r1, f68r2 and f68r3 within the “Quires 9-10″ PDF available here:
    http://ixoloxi.com/voynich/pdf/single.html

    I know someone else will come looking for them.

  11. avatar bdid1dr December 15, 2013 3:21 pm

    Thanx, Job! As soon as I put another color cartridge into my printer, I’ll be checking those images out. :-) bdeyed1dr

  12. avatar bdid1dr December 15, 2013 3:47 pm

    The 6-page foldout folio is folio 86. When it is opened fully, you can see sun figures in upper left-most and bottom right-most corners of the fully unfolded and laid flat manuscript. You will also see a castle in only the upper-most right corner. Father Kircher, in his book, identifies each and every feature of that multi-paged folio. A lot of archaeological work has been occuring at Lake Nemi (which has been identified as both a “Sacred Grove” and a shrine to Diana, goddess of the moon. Another name for Lake Nemi is “Diana’s Mirror”.

  13. avatar bdid1dr December 15, 2013 4:03 pm

    The larger body of water (central to the foldout) is the Alban Lake. I’m now going to attempt to identify the castle-builder for the structure, which Kircher identified as Vellitre, in the uppermost right corner of the manuscript page.

  14. avatar bdid1dr December 15, 2013 8:18 pm

    I beg your pardon, Job. I shall now try to follow your lead to folio 68 (rather than 86)…Sincerely, beady eyed wonder

  15. avatar bdid1dr December 15, 2013 8:49 pm

    Women in barrels (some striped), all of which are “tied” to a star. If you should try to find other manuscripts/paintings/works of art which either depict women and stars or murals which are “framed” with stars and stripes, you are most likely looking at the Aldobrandini family’s sponsorship or commissioned works.
    So the B-408′s folios numbered in the 68′s are likely natal charts. Absolutely nothing to do with space travellers or Sirius.

  16. avatar Job December 16, 2013 3:19 am

    Eh, i don’t have a special interest in f68r, i just need all of the high-res color scans for processing.

  17. avatar bdid1dr December 16, 2013 4:47 pm

    And again — thank you for the reference to that high-res production!
    beady-eyed wonder

  18. avatar thomas spande December 16, 2013 6:59 pm

    Dear all, Leonardo, (this is real!) designed maybe the first bicycle but the supposedly accurate facsimile I saw at a deVinci museum in Florence, Italy had all the amenities except one, it was designed only to go in a straight line, no way to turn the sucker! The small museum had it conspicuously outside the main entry and I guess figured it was theft proof as no way to make a get away where the thief wouldn’t be quickly apprehended in the next block,just by plotting a straight line!. Cheers, Tom

    Thanks to Job for the link. I used to use that one a year ago but then it disappeared from my “Favorites”. Cheers, Tom.

  19. avatar Anon December 17, 2013 3:32 am

    Dude, OP… You’re [swearword] annoying.

  20. avatar bdid1dr December 17, 2013 10:45 pm

    But ThomS, think how easy it would be to ride with “no hands”! I used to be able to ride my bicycle with no hands — to and from school, books held in place on my head, my lunch-time bag beween my teeth. Have you taken a good look recently at the traffic patterns in some of India’s major cities?

  21. avatar Menno Knul December 18, 2013 1:12 pm

    bdid1dr

    Velletri (Lat. Velitrae), Provincia di Roma.

    http://www.rodinbook.nl

  22. avatar thomas spande December 18, 2013 7:10 pm

    Dear all, I’ve copied and pasted a comment by my daughter who is an art conservationist with an interest in the VM that predates mine by years. She noted a ceramic cylinder in a painting of St. Jerome done by a Flemish artist ca. 1425.

    “It is Saint Jerome by Flemish painter Jan Van Eyck (probably) from about 1425 and this painting or a copy of it was seen by Domenico Ghirlandaio in Florence who painted a similar scene as a fresco (but without that particularly Voynichian cylinder). The painting is in the poor beleagured Detroit Institute of Arts.
    cheers,
    -Helen”

    Anyway,there you have it. The particular St. Jerome is shown with many of the apparati associated with alchemy, nice volumetric flask, astrolabe, and a ceramic cylinder with what appears to be Latin. A religious hedging of bets maybe? To b: This is bike for you! Just no pedals either. I think it was a sort of early walker?! Cheers, Tom

  23. avatar bdid1dr December 18, 2013 9:33 pm

    Dear Menno, the reference is to Coriolanus’ neighbors in (Vellitre).

  24. avatar bdid1dr December 18, 2013 9:57 pm

    Dear ThomS: But it did have wheels, right? No tires (inner-tube or not)? Basically a seat on wheels (the wheels did turn?). Perhaps you can give us some background on the origins of the unicycle? (That’s if Nick doesn’t mind some of this “circular discussion.)
    BTW, Nick: Sometime last year, I was cruising some of your “telescope” posts, and maybe armaments. I came across a very strange sketch which portrayed a rabbit tied onto what looked like our modern “skateboard” — attached to the entire paraphanalia was what looked like a stick of dynamite. Nearby in the same sketch appeared a castle wall and a large bird. “Wutsup”?
    :-)

  25. avatar thomas spande December 18, 2013 11:32 pm

    Dear all, I would like to include the link to “St. Jerome in his study” but guess this would trigger an anti-spam rejection of my post so here is enough to locate the site and obtain a nice image.

    DIA Home >Art at the DIA > Search the Collection
    Rollover image to zoom

    Photo ©2013, Detroit Institute of Arts

    SAINT JEROME IN HIS STUDYJan van Eyck(Netherlandish, c. 1395 – 1441)Datec. 1435MediumOil on linen paper on oak panelDimensionsPanel: 8 1/8 x 5 1/4 in. (20.6 x 13.3 cm) paint film: 7 7/8 x 4 7/8 in. (19.9 x 12.5 cm) Framed: 12 1/4 x 9 x 2 in. ( 31.1 x 22.9 x 5.1 cm)-sight DepartmentEuropean PaintingClassificationPaintingsCreditCity of Detroit PurchaseAccession No.25.4ProvenanceDuke of Mantua, Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga (1652-1708); Venice, Field Marshall Johann Matthias von der Schulenberg (died 1747), acquired before 1738; Berlin, Schulenberg family, October 1738 (cited as no. 38 “Andreas Mantegna” in family inventories 1741, 1774); by descent through Schulenberg family, possibly kept at their home Hehlen, near Hanover Berlin, Paul Bottenwieser (dealer), 1924-25, from whom acquired by the DIA. Possible provenance proposed by E. Panofsky: painted for Cardinal Niccolò Albergati (d.1443) acquired by his estate executor Tommaso Parentucelli (later Pope Nicholas V) acquired by Medici family (described in inventory of 1492). See also proposed provenance in Eidelberg & Rowlands,

    My daughter Helen does not want to be pinned down as attesting to any date and it could date from as late as 1445.

    She has deduced the writing on the apothecary jar to be “Theriac” essentially the origin of “treacle” which the Greeks used as an antidote for snake bite. A desert hermit might find that essential. What appears to me to be a pomegranate, slightly dried out, rests on the jar. And what looks to me like a pen with steel nib? And a neat little pen holder. Cheers, Tom

  26. avatar Diane December 19, 2013 10:51 am

    Concerning van Eyck’s picture of Jerome:

    The picture is attempting to evoke the atmosphere of fifth- century Dalmatia, though van Eyck isn’t as adept at filling his archaized pictures with circumstantial detail as were contemporary Italians.

    Van Eyck seems to imagine the ancient cure-all known as Theriac identical to a contemporary version touted in his time by the Venetians .. but I needn’t explain about the non-specific nature of ‘theriac’, It’s all in the wiki article.

    The pomegranate’s inclusion can be read in different ways: I should see it as a quasi-theological allusion, but if one were thinking of an Armenian thesis, it could be taken as reference to that region, which had the pomegranate as its symbol. On the other hand, the Greek word ‘Granato’ might allude to Granada – suggesting the expulsions brought knowledge of the Venetians’ cure-all. The ‘good which cometh of evil’ is appropriate to the normally toxic ingredients in many theriacs, to the sense in which the pomegranate appears in Botticelli’s painting (1487), and so on.

    There’s something about van Eyck’s picture which reminds me irresistibly of paintings commissioned to advertise Pear’s Soap.

    The question is whether, when van Eyck painted, such jars were being made in Venice to ‘brand’ its own theriac, or whether these plain, white canisters which became common in Europe by the seventeenth century, were still imagined exotic. I’ve yet to see any in 15thC Europe which are coated red, and set on legs or on footed stands as the Vms ones are – but one lives in hope!

  27. avatar Diane December 19, 2013 2:44 pm

    Thomas,
    You may be interested to compare the traditional headdress of the pre-Christian kings of Armenia/Asia Minor with that shown in a German ‘lot-book’ which has been discussed on Elmar Vogt’s site. Curiously enough, no-one has noticed that European kings did not wear knotted head-scarves or caps under their crowns, though the chap in the picture obviously does. Actually, headdresses of that sort appear earlier still and were Phoenician in the first instance, but you see them more widely.

    See e.g. the wildwinds site (coins) – Tigranes II.

    Interesting chap, he spent some time in exile in Egypt, and when repatriated and installed as king, brought a number of people from Egypt to settle in his own land. It’s the 1stC BC too – critical in the formation of the Vms imagery.

  28. avatar bdid1dr December 21, 2013 5:17 pm

    ThomS, Diane, I recently checked out a library book which has a good, illustrated (medieval), discussion of doctors, pharmacies, and women’s cures:

    “A Day In a Medieval City”, author Chiara Frugoni, with an introduction by Arsenio Frugoni, translated by William McCuaig — University of Chicago Press

    So, I am now 1-dring if Bill Thayer participated in putting this fabulous little book (medieval illustrations on nearly every page, especially page 108, which portrays the shop of a pharmacy/spice dealer). Another illustration in this same book is page 115: The Birth of Julius Caesar by Caesarian Section”. Miniature beginning of the fourteenth century, from ‘Les Faits des Romains, Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale. Nouvelle Acq. Fr., Ms 3576, folio 197.
    Whew! This small book is packed with illustrations which are all explained just as the one I’ve just cited.
    Just in passing, I’d like to comment on an historical fiction paperback (with the usual bustier-ripper cover) which was written in 1965, by Doctor Reuben R. Merliss, Associate Professor of Medicine, on the teaching and attending staff of the Los Angeles County Hospital. Much more gory details of the plague, and the trials and tribulations of a young physician and an orphan boy while trying to reach Languedoc.

  29. avatar bdid1dr December 21, 2013 5:23 pm

    Paperback book title: “The Year of the Death”

  30. avatar bdid1dr December 28, 2013 5:42 pm

    My latest find: A four-legged ‘Scorpio’ — “Heures de la Duchess de Bourgnone”, manuscript 1362. I was not able to find which museum or university archive is currently holding this mss folio. The publication from which I photocopied the illustrations is:
    “The Horizon Book of the Middle Ages”, Editor Norman Kotker, Author Morris Bishop, American Heritage Bonanza Books, New York

  31. avatar bdid1dr December 28, 2013 10:10 pm

    Nick, it now appears that one can purchase “The Horizon Book of the Middle Ages, Kotner/Bishop”, for about 3 or 4 Euros(if used), if you can’t make it to the British Museum, which contributed some of the pictorial elements.
    Diane, I’m hoping you are following this latest (very exciting) discovery I made. If you can, find the full-color two-page circular map (from New York Library Map Division) appearing on pp 5 – 6. Further pages of discussion lead us to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Cistercians, and Frederick II.

    Page 57 of this book: “Frederick returned to Europe, carried on long, indeterminate wars to unite his empire, and established a brilliant Oriental court at his castles in Sicily and southern Italy. There he had everything he loved–gardens, pools, woods, strange beasts, singing birds, dancing girls, and wise men of good conversation.”
    :-)

  32. avatar bdid1dr December 28, 2013 10:17 pm

    Nick, it now appears that one can purchase the above-mentioned book, for about 3 or 4 Euros(if used), if you can’t make it to the British Museum, which contributed some of the pictorial elements.
    Diane, I’m hoping you are following this latest (very exciting) discovery I made. If you can, find the full-color two-page circular map (from New York Library Map Division) appearing on pp 5 – 6. Further pages of discussion lead us to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Cistercians, and Frederick II.

    Page 57 of this book: “Frederick returned to Europe, carried on long, indeterminate wars to unite his empire, and established a brilliant Oriental court at his castles in Sicily and southern Italy. There he had everything he loved–gardens, pools, woods, strange beasts, singing birds, dancing girls, and wise men of good conversation.”
    :-)

  33. avatar bdid1dr December 28, 2013 10:29 pm

    Sorry, Nick, for the duplicate post. My computer is quite elderly. So even though my spell-check/post-minder sometimes indicates to me a duplicate post, I’ve already hit “post” again.

    ;-(

  34. avatar bdid1dr December 30, 2013 6:09 pm

    Another (tiny) reference to a four-legged, long tailed, “Scorpio”, can be found on page 199, in the paperback second edition of “The Mute Stones Speak” – ‘The Story of Archaeology in Italy’, Paul MacKendrick. Pages 197-199: Figure 6.10 depicts “a large cameo” (The Gemma Augustea”) …’Capricorn, his zodiacal sign, is in a medallion over his head. Roman soldiers raise a trophy, with Tiberius’s zodiacal sign, Scorpio, on the shield’
    End of my comment, :-)

  35. avatar bdid1dr December 30, 2013 7:37 pm

    The same book I’ve just referred to discusses the market hall at Ferentino, on the Via Latina 75 miles southeast of Rome. Trajan’s Baths are also discussed. Trajan’s Market and Trajan’s column are discussed in re casts of various aspects of those ruins, in more recent times.

  36. avatar thomas spande December 30, 2013 11:06 pm

    B. On your post of 28 Dec, you mention a four-legged scorpion in a Fr. book of hours. Is this relevant to the zodiac rondel for Scorpio where a four legged creature is shown?Not any six-legged scorpion (the scorpion probably evolved from an arthropod (8 legged) where the front two legs became pincers?). Anyway, if the book of hours had that creature with a croc like snout (maybe devouring a baby) and a long, fairly HORIZONTAL tail, you may be onto something. At 1362, this is almost contemporaneous with the likely drawing for “scorpio” of the VM zodiac/calendar. Incidentally, are you proposing that the VM is contemporaneous with Holy Roman emperor Frederick?

    Diane, I noted also that the tetradrachm coin of Tigranes II shows him wearing a crown with an 8-pointed star in relief, a star that had resonance with Armenians as it was believed in the ancient world that the wise men of the biblical Christian nativity story were Armenian astrologers (they journeyed “from the East”) and the 8-pointed “natal” star remains a fixture of Christian iconography. Two prominent flowers among the VM botanicals have 8 petals, with 4 alternating major and minor points. Cheers, Tom

    ps. You are right on with Egyptian influences on the Armenians. One of the daughters of Tigranes II was named Cleopatra.

  37. avatar Diane December 31, 2013 7:37 am

    Thomas – wouldn’t swear to it, but I think it was Tigranes III after whom Tigrane Pasha street is named in Cairo. That’s the street under which is a tomb (not Armenian) which has figures with proportions and some emblemata similar to what we see in the Vms astrometeorological section. He is said to have taken non-Armenian communities to settle in Armenia, Egyptians among them. But then that corner of the world had seen Egyptian influence for many centuries – from the Egyptian conquests in Syria and the period when the southern coast of Asia minor was part of the Ptolemaic, not the Seleucid territory.

    The eight-pointed form for stars is generally associated with the Babylonian and Mesopotamian style, where the six-point is typical of Syria and the five-point near-invariable in dynastic Egyptian art.

    Funny that the Armenians even claim to have provided all three of the Magi, though frankincense is hardly a native product. How do they explain the tradition that Balthasar was not Caucasian?

  38. avatar bdid1dr December 31, 2013 4:24 pm

    Scorpions have six legs, and no long lizard-like tail, but rather a very sharp-pointed very venomous stinger. When the scorpion is resting, the stinger lies flattened and straightened behind the last set of legs. So, imagine some poor scribe/artist, two or three thousand years ago, trying to produce a picture of that animal/insect from someone’s spoken narrative.

  39. avatar bdid1dr December 31, 2013 4:38 pm

    Cancer, the Crab, gets transformed into some very odd shapes. Some medieval manuscripts portray the Crab as if it were a Crawdad (North American freshwater shrimp). In Florida, we have clawless lobster (or at least that is the legend told by our trawlers).

  40. avatar bdid1dr December 31, 2013 4:41 pm

    Happy New Year, y’all — all over the globe!

    :-)

  41. avatar thomas spande December 31, 2013 6:13 pm

    Diane, Frankincense trees are found in modern day Turkey in the SW region, in what would have been Armenian Cilicia. Balthazar’s race is harder to explain. Probably not for an Armenian however! Their astonomers claim to have seen the supernova that left behind the crab nebula and (as I recall) 8 passes of Halley’s comet.

    B. I know the traditional zodiac representation of Scorpio is the scorpion as we all know it with the stinger arched over its back and six (not four) legs. It that French book of hours from 1362 did have only 4 legs and a non-arched stinger or tail, then you have something to write home about! With a strong hand lens you will observe the croc-like snout of the VM Scorpio is chomping down on an infant in a very menacing manner. To me it has always looked like a croc not a scorpion. Happy New Year to one and all.

  42. avatar Diane January 1, 2014 2:49 am

    Thomas,
    If you come across any evidence for frankincense’s cultivation in old Armenia before the end of the fifteenth, or even the end of the seventeenth century, I hope you’ll share.

    Cheers.

  43. avatar bdid1dr January 2, 2014 11:25 pm

    ThomS & Diane, my Webster’s dictionary gives some interesting cross-references for frankincense and myrrh. Y’all might be able to define (for me, if no one else is interested) the various borders of Armenia, Turkey, and Cilicia — and from which trees/ bushes those resins were obtained. (ThomS has already contributed to our knowledge base of ‘mastic”). One cross-reference is to ‘labdanum’ — ‘an oleoresin obtained from a species of rock-rose (genus Cistus). This is my brief reference, from which I am sure both of you will be able to tell us a lot more about why the “Three Kings of Orient” presented these resins to Mother Mary and her newborn son. BTW, Diane, reference is made to the use of the oleoresin in making perfume. See, Diane, I don’t always get involved in some of your discussions. I do enjoy them!
    An aside observation (mine): It does seem that most medieval manuscripts were written and illustrated by men — and mostly pledged celibate men, even astrologers, astronomists, botanists, scribes, manorial managers,…..
    Pisan’s City of Women, is a beautiful example of a work of art which, itself, portrays women manufacturing paper upon which Christine de Pisan created her manuscripts. So, I still keep an eye out for other examples of extraordinary manuscripts, of which I am sure the “Voynich” is extraordinary only in the sense of “sloppy and ill-designed” for that period in history.
    Of course the major impairments of written history were the dreadful cycles of poxes and plagues. Even here, the US and Canada were greatly affected by the cycles of influenza and “viral pneumonia” during the 19th and 20th centuries. I speak from personal experience of the flu/pneumonia which maxed-out my sick leave allowance in the 1960′s.

  44. avatar Diane January 3, 2014 12:12 am

    Thomas,
    Which folio do you nominate for Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus)? It would be great if our identifications agree – I proposed f.89v-iii as P.lentiscus in my old research blog, but I doubt many people would have seen it.

  45. avatar Diane January 3, 2014 12:20 am

    PS Boswellia carterii is also sometimes called the Mastic tree

  46. avatar bdid1dr January 3, 2014 12:22 am

    ThomS: No, I wasn’t suggesting that the Vms (Boenicke ms 408) was contemporaneus with Frederick. I was suggesting that B-408 (the Vms) was just one of hundreds of manuscripts brought to the Viennese court by Busbecq. I am suggesting that Busbecq picked through the piles of mss to find one which would not be any more damaged by his “documentation of his departure from Istanbul-Ankara” before presenting the entire collection of 240 manuscripts to Ferdinand I.
    I am only making a semi-educated guess that much of Ferdinand’s and Rudolph’s estates’ furnishings, paintings, libraries, manuscripts, and Bibles ended up in the Jesuit holdings in Frascati and Rome — after the conclusion of the Thirty Years and Hundred Years wars.
    A bit of shocking history in re Fr. Kircher’s position with the Jesuits in Rome/Frascati was that it was while the Inquisition apparently was in full activity.
    This latest discovery of mine made me back up a little and do a “double-take” at the story of the Gregorian University’s development. Several years ago, archaelogists found some of Kircher’s hoard of manuscripts hidden behind a walled-off room of the former Roman School. Somewhere on the W-W-W you may still be able to view that television documentary of the finding of several hundred folios and manuscripts.
    Happy New Year! :-)

  47. avatar bdid1dr January 3, 2014 5:21 pm

    In regard to the translated term “theriac” / “treacle” : Even in our “modern” centuries, treacle was a sweet syrup, similar to molasses, that was added to bitter-tasting herbal remedies. So, whether ‘theriac’ was considered a cure or, rather, a flavor moderation is probably still being debated?
    ;-^ (my smirk, rather than smiley) Heh!

  48. avatar bdid1dr January 4, 2014 5:19 pm

    So, to resume my “Last-Year’s reading of “Voynich-related” history:
    Athanasius Kircher-A Renaissance Man and the Quest for Lost Knowledge — Joscelyn Godwin
    The Renaissance Princes — “Treasures of the World”, Olivier Bernier
    The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq — Forster/Roider
    A Day in a Medieval City — Chiara Frugoni
    The Horizon Book of the Middle Ages — Kotker/Bishop
    The Mute Stones Speak — Paul MacKendrick
    Herbarium, natural remedies from a medieval manuscript — Rizzoli
    Tulipomania — Mike Dash
    An Age of Voyages-1350-1600 — Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks
    The African & Middle Eastern World 600-1500 –Randall L. Pouwels
    Osman’s Dream — Caroline Finkel
    The Ottoman Centuries — Lord Kinross
    Lords of the Horizons — Jason Goodwin
    Palace of Gold & Light — Palace Arts Foundation — Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC, San Diego Museum of Art, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale
    All of the above-mentioned books can be found for sale with online vendors (Amazon, for one), except “Palace of Gold & Light, which I purchased from my local used book store.
    In addition to the literature, I have four atlases, of which three portray and discuss the earliest developments of the “civilized” world and its armies and navies.
    A song I’ve sung while admiring the maps: “Sailing, sailing — over the bounding main — for many a year may pass ‘fore Jack comes home again!”
    Guelphs and Ghibbelines (Barbarossa and Bocchinegra?) figure largely throughout European and Asian medieval history.

  49. avatar Diane January 5, 2014 12:12 am

    bdid1dr
    My congratulations.

  50. avatar bdid1dr January 5, 2014 4:37 pm

    I’m still trying to find provenance for the large map, pp 6-7 of the “Horizon Book of the Middle Ages” which is accompanied by some discussion of the features of Christ;s head at top and his feet at bottom. Absolutely no mention of who made that map or where it is currently archived. Ridiculous! Maddening!
    Diane, some while ago you directed us to the ‘Piri Reis’ map. Is there, anywhere, a good portrayal (internet or otherwise)?
    TIA — beedee
    BTW, I’ve just read that Piri Reis, upon his return to Suleiman’s court (with two galleys loaded with treasure) was beheaded — for leaving behind the rest of his fleet. (Ref: pp 244-245, ‘The Ottoman Centuries’, Lord Kinross)
    bdid1dr

  51. avatar Diane January 6, 2014 1:14 am

    Bdid1dr
    Sometimes you can find the details of a book’s plates in the Credits at the end of a book.

    Otherwise, the Henry Davis site may be helpful and since I can’t add a link here, I can only suggest you use search terms ‘Henry Davis’ with ‘Index of Cartographic Images’. The open each link till you find what you want.

    Some of Re’is maps were made by his students or followers – any particular image in mind?

  52. avatar Diane January 6, 2014 1:45 am

    You might check out the Psalter map and the Ebsdorf map, but there are others made that way. I’d avoid either the Ebsdorf or the Psalter because their discussion at present is affected by ideas about nationality more relevant to contemporary political ideologies than to discussion of how Latin art developed in different geographic areas during the medieval centuries. Still – as you like.

  53. avatar bdid1dr January 6, 2014 4:48 pm

    Diane, I just wrote a “wish-list” in re Piri Reis’ map (in particular, a 1513 map). Discussion in re this map appeared in a National Geographic magaizine issue “100 Greatest Mysteries Revealed” (printed and distributed by “Time”, Inc. in 2013). Ennyway, I hit the wrong button for “enter” and ended up exiting just a little while ago.
    Several months ago, I sent Nick a short review of this particular issue (page 30: “Voynich Manuscript”, and “Piri Reis Map” on page 31). At the time I wrote the somewhat negative review, I was clueless as to the ‘importance’ of Piri Reis’ 1513 map, which had disappeared for centuries, and which was eventually found (in twentieth century) in the Topkapi Museum. I just now dug up my copy of the magazine.
    Round n’ Round I go, once again! beedee eyed wonder :-)

  54. avatar thomas spande January 6, 2014 10:50 pm

    Diane, I was only mildly interested in the mastic tree but more interested in where the most productive trees (shrubs) were grown that had the most easily harvested gum. P.lentiscus can be found all over the Mediterranean and N.Africa but only on Chios can the gum just be scraped off the tree. It does not require “tapping” as one might tap a rubber tree, which seems true elsewhere. Dioscorides visited Chios to observe this phenomenon and recorded it in his Materia Medica. I then focussed on what appears to be a crude map of Chiostown in the upper right rosette. The lower right rosette shows I think, a schematic of the wind/water mills on Chios (13 at one time) and how a mill race could be manipulated. Well, neither your choice of f89v-iii nor mine of f87v look tree-like or even shrub-like but I chose mine because of the molar-like blossoms (30 est) that resembled the human tooth for which mastic gum was a proposed cure for tooth ache. Trade between the Genoese occupiers of Chios and the Ottoman sultans was brisk as mastic gum was used among the harem ladies to freshen the breath. Chians got a pass on taxes because of this. Cheers, Tom

    To b: If the VM came into Europe via Busbecq from Turkey and the Ottomans, how and why did it leave the possession of H.R. emperor Frederick? I am guessing that it might have been dangerous for Frederick to own such a codex. Maybe sets a poor example to have this thing around? Just deaquisitioned? Cheers, Tom

  55. avatar Diane January 7, 2014 12:30 am

    Bdid1dr –
    My comments about the earlier sort of map refer to your mentioning:
    “the large map … which is accompanied by some discussion of the features of Christ;s head at top and his feet at bottom.”

    My own ideal holiday would be spent at the Topkapi, after having become overnight perfectly fluent in all varieties of classical, medieval and modern Armenian, Turkish and Arabic, both written and spoken.

    :)

  56. avatar bdid1dr January 7, 2014 11:22 pm

    Diane, my husband brought home a video of several ancient sites of Turkey. We almost “went right around the bend” with every bend in the road; because the musicians DID NOT stop their gawdawful ruckus for even one moment while the commentator was commentating. Some of the photography was spectactular — but I am as ‘clueless’ as ever! :-)

  57. avatar bdid1dr January 8, 2014 5:00 pm

    Oh dear! I’ve just recalled a reference I made, several weeks ago, about the opening of the Aga Khan Museum (in Toronto?) set for this past January/February. I’m now doubling back to see if they’ve kept to their schedule — and I have my fingers crossed in the hopes that they will be making their archives W-W-W accessible. I have to remember that one crosses fingers on only one hand; otherwise one is double-X-ing oneself. A tout a l’heure!

  58. avatar bdid1dr January 8, 2014 8:23 pm

    Oh my! I’ve just re-read your query as to Frederick having the Vms. As far as I can tell Frederick was never part of Busbecq’s intinerary while negotiating with Suleiman in attempting to prevent another siege of Vienna and FERDINAND. FERDINAND soon sent Busbecque to RUDOLPH II’s court (Bohemia) with a menagerie. It is not possible to prove that FERDINAND may have also sent along with the menagerie and Busbecq, some, if not all, of the manuscripts which Busbecque had so carefully carried to Vienna.
    Much of the stories about Rudolph’s court and his art collection, his zoo, his gardens (Clusius and Dodoens were supposedly in Rudolph’s court for a while) and Rudolph’s passion for horses (part of Suleiman’s gift menagerie included some ‘Arabian” horses) — may never be proven to be truthful ‘facts’. Bacon’s reputation got somewhat ‘smeared’ when associations were made between Bacon, Dee, and Kelly. The last two persons (Dee, and Kelly) have been identified as being con artists — one of whom tried to con Queen Elizabeth.
    Current-day historians are relating Rudolph’s depression/mental illness and his being committed to isolation (Kastel Karlstejn?)by his relative, Matthias — brother/cousin?) as failure to avert the battle of “White Mountain” and the ensuing Thirty-Years War.
    So, how much of this famous manuscript is speaking for itself?

  59. avatar thomas spande January 9, 2014 8:42 pm

    Dear all, On Topkapi. Been there, done that. There is a letter in the treasury there, that Diane would love. Forget the dagger with the emerald handle (object of desire in the great film “Topkapi” with Peter Ustinov, R. Morley and M.Mercuri (sp?)). This letter was dictated by Muhammed to a scribe (Muhammed was illiterate) to the head of the Coptic church demanding his immediate conversion to Islam and reminding him that “we are Moslems” which then meant “warriers”. Probably still does. One tiny hair from the beard of the prophet can also be viewed under a strong lens (go to where the crowd is!). Also many very intricate clocks are on display as accurate time keeping came on the scene with the Moslems due to their requirements for prayer at set times, five times a day. Christians seemed to rough out their prayer times with marked candles. Although Topkapi was eventually abandoned for Domabacchi across the Golden Horn in “Europe” as the sultan’s domicile, that latter establishment was just gaudy extravagance with acres of creaky parquet flooring and Baccarat crystal bannister spindles. Only worth a visit to see the tiny austere office of Ataturk. All the clocks were stopped when he died but evidently some clocks were caught late and they range all over the dial. As my Lonely Planet guide to Turkey put it (about the Ottoman empire) “it all worked for awhile”. Cheers, Tom

  60. avatar Diane January 10, 2014 2:46 am

    ThomasS,
    I would be interested to know more about the letter – its script, materials and any other technical details you might happen to recall.

    Were you able to spend much time in the palace library?

  61. avatar SirHubert January 10, 2014 9:35 am

    ‘Muslim’ is derived from the Arabic root S-L-M and means ‘one who submits’.
    There are plenty of images of the letter online – a search for ‘letter to muqawqas’ brings up quite a few, and you’ll find adequate English translations also.
    As to the letter’s status and date, to paraphrase al-Tabari: “some say one thing, some another, and Allah knows best.”

  62. avatar bdid1dr January 10, 2014 5:17 pm

    ThomS, Diane, & other interested persons: In re the movie portrayal of the emerald-handled dagger:

    A book, “Palace of Gold and Light”, page B36 : A full page photograph of the “Topkapi Dagger, 1746-7. 1.35 cm. Topkapi Palace Museum, 2/160. Three very large emeralds on the handle. The sheath also has heart-shaped emerald on its tip.
    My husband has ordered the movie from ‘NetFlix’. Melina Mercouri was a favorite of mine. :-)

  63. avatar bdid1dr January 10, 2014 5:27 pm

    Facing page (B33) of this same book portrays Sword/Scabbard of Suleiman I. 16th century. 1.93 cm.scabbard 1.86 cm. Military Museum. 19.

  64. avatar thomas spande January 10, 2014 6:54 pm

    Dear all, I will defer to Sir Hubert on the details of that letter. It was not in a “library” at Topkapi but in one of the treasury buildings. It was considered unusual to have such a letter (probably on parchment, I did not focus on that at the time) as much of the Koran and the Islamic equivalent of the Jewish Torah was originally written on palm leaves and eventually transcribed so having anything so close to an original was considered noteworthy enough to be collectable by a sultan. I do recall the letter closed with “remember we are Moslems” and was considered as a threat to the head of the Coptic church of Egypt, but perhaps as Sir Hubert indicates, it was only meant to encourage “submission”? Cheers, Tom

  65. avatar SirHubert January 10, 2014 9:01 pm

    For anyone interested, the following translation of this letter comes from al-Raheeq al-Maktum by Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri:

    Peace be upon him who follows true guidance.

    Thereafter, I invite you to accept Islam. Therefore, if you want security, accept Islam. If you accept Islam, Allah, the Sublime, shall reward you doubly. But if you refuse to do so, you will bear the burden of the transgression of all the Copts.

    “Say (O Muhammad): ‘O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah.’ Then, if they turn away, say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.’ ” [Al-Qur'an 3:64]

    Fascinating, although I try to tread carefully along the frontier between religion and history.

  66. avatar thomas spande January 10, 2014 10:55 pm

    Sir Hubert, We are indebted to you for finding this translation. I am assuming that the letter in the Topkapi treasury was a retained copy? and not a return of the original? It was over 20 yrs ago that I saw this so some details are foggy. In the same treasury was an important sword carried by a supporter of Mohammed.

    In a small mosque along the Golden Horn is the mummified body of another fellow fighter and supporter of Mohammed. The line of pilgrims stretched for blocks and once anywhere near it, one was sort of sucked in and carried along by the crowds waiting for a quick peek and some reverent thoughts. I have not studied Islam at all except to note (as the letter implies), that Moslems had major problems with what they regarded as the polytheism (the Trinity) of the Christians. Initially Islam under the Ottomans accepted people “of the Book”, but later decided that if a follower of the Bible, whether Jew or Gentile had been exposed to Islam and declined, then he was good for the sword. Cheers, Tom

  67. avatar bdid1dr January 10, 2014 11:28 pm

    ThomS: Better late than never — is my follow-up to the lizard-like Scorpio which is pictured on page 261 in the “Horizon Book of the Middle Ages” which editors reference the manuscript as items 251-261 Heures de la Duchesse de Bourgogne Ms 1362.

    This reiteration is the best I can do for now. I’ll be photocopying the relevant two pages of the “hours/zodiac”.

    a tout a l’heure!
    beady eyed wonder

  68. avatar Diane January 10, 2014 11:32 pm

    The letter in question was written on leather.

    My source is

    S.Z.Mirza, ‘Oral Tradition and Scribal Conventions in the Documents Attributed to the Prophet Muhammad’, PhD thesis Uni of Michigan (2010) p.189 and figs. 13 and 14 (p.303 and 304).

    Concerning the Palace library: some fine examples of manuscript art are seen in Lale Uluç’s article for Muqarnas (vol.17) and most are cited as (e.g)
    Topkapi Palace Library H673 fol. 41r.

  69. avatar bdid1dr January 12, 2014 6:33 pm

    Thanks for the follow-up discussion — fascinating! I am now going to re-visit Boenicke ms 408 to take a closer look at those folios which appear to have people dancing in circles. I’ll be trying to correlate with Dante’s Inferno/circles of hell. I hope I’ll be returning to these pages “unsinged”!
    A parting expression from my ‘teens’: See you later, Alligator! After while, crocodile! :-)

  70. avatar bdid1dr January 12, 2014 8:06 pm

    Nick, I just tried to post a comment in re Dante’s Inferno, and tried to make an url link to the offering of photos and discussion which appears on the webpage dante worlds. Something that may be confusing “Mollom” is that the professor at U Texas and the professor at U Chicago collaborated in producing the works of Dante and Botticelli. (Too many ‘iffy’ comments?)

    :-)

  71. avatar bdid1dr January 13, 2014 6:07 pm

    In re “mummified body”, which ThomS (?) mentioned awhile ago: Could the relic possibly be Suleiman’s (the Magnificent) body? His heart apparently was buried near the village by his last battleground.

  72. avatar thomas spande January 13, 2014 10:44 pm

    BD. The largest mosque complex in Istanbul is the Sulemani mosque. Has everything for the worshipper including free soup, a school (madressa), and acres of clean outside toilets (appreciated by the traveller) with loads of running water. The mosque I refer to is really tiny for mosques but had the body of one of the main followers of Mohammed who was a fierce fighter. Not Suleman. It was Suleman who built the wall around Jerusalem. Cheers, Tom

  73. avatar bdid1dr January 14, 2014 5:43 pm

    ThomS, do I remember correctly that the Sulimaniye was the first palace/harem complex? And that Topkapi was the later-built complex because the Sulimaniye was “bursting at the seams”, so to speak?

  74. avatar thomas spande January 14, 2014 7:41 pm

    BD. You might be correct. I have never researched the original harem location. Harem, BTW, was just “home” for the sultan and his wives (4 max under the Ottomans; this became a chink in the stability of the empire) and children. The wives all fought among themselves to put their sons at the top of the list to become next in line. Some unexplained drownings occurred in the Topkapi swimming pool. Later the heir apparent was kept aloof from the other kids and lived in private apts. The wives of the Sultan were picked by his good old mom (a total matriarchy). The fighting for Islam was done mainly by toops led by an officer corps (the Janissaries) made up of children of Greek Christians raised and trained by the Ottomans. In one instance, a palace coup was rumoured to be plotted by the Janissaries so the Sultan, to take no chances, blew up a whole barracks of these officers. Dept of useless info. Cheers, Tom

  75. avatar bdid1dr January 15, 2014 7:01 pm

    And then we have Piri Reis. When Piri returned to Suleiman without the rest of his fleet, Suleiman had Piri beheaded (at Cairo, sez my references). I have only been pondering the “Jerusalem map” as far as if the two maps were made during the same time frame, and perhaps the same “map-maker”. Still studying.

  76. avatar bdid1dr January 16, 2014 4:38 pm

    ‘The wives fought among themselves’. Only on the behalf of their sons. Even though upon the death of a Sultan, all of his male children had to fight to the death — and only the sole survivor inherited the Sultan’s throne. Beautiful Roxelana was the best ‘manipulator’, though her sons didn’t do too well. Talk about attrition and decline of the Ottoman empire? Are any of you able to produce the name of the village/area where Suleiman’s heart was buried? I’m still looking.

  77. avatar thomas spande January 16, 2014 10:56 pm

    Dear all, On the harem, Nearly all the rooms were large and drafty and had draperies around them, providing great places to lurk and overhear conversations. Accordingly the sultan would choose to impart sensitive info alongside lovely but noisy fountains to muffle conversations. For his five time a day prayers, he chose a small, closet sized room, open only at the back and facing Mecca. He would conduct his ablutions and pray there after pulling closed a metal grate behind him. To avoid the stealthy blade or drowning in his water vessel. All sultans had to have an occupation and since calligraphy was considered a vocation, most opted for that BUT one late sultan was a very competent artist when it came to painting horses and I was fortunate to see an exhibition of his work at Dolmabachi.

    When Attaturk’s revolution was complete, he contacted the Harem ladies and said essentially, pick any country you want, grab a passport that will be supplied to you and be out of here within a week or so. Never return. (There is a huge sad story here). Because the last sultan had connived with the Brits, French and Greeks to carve up Turkey he banned the wearing of the fez and imposed on men hats with brims, the faithful could no longer touch their foreheads to the ground or floor but had to wear Hombergs.

    Interesting,the US played no role in post WW1 Turkish politics, because Wilson had had a serious stroke so the US was on autopilot. Consequently Turkey became pro-American without our doing anything in the way of geopolitical chicanery. Attaturk was driven in a Buick with all the sirens and extra lights possible. And a vintage Pierce Arrow -both can be visited in Ankara.These can be seen in a modest little museum of his personal effects, mainly cigarette lighters and holders and his opera going tuxes and opera glasses. The museum is off to one side from the immense tomb of Attaturk that is guarded 24/7 by members of the Turkish military.

    Likewise America played no role in the carving up of the middle East. More useless information. Cheers, Tom

  78. avatar Gregory January 17, 2014 9:55 pm

    Hi Nick.
    Quite recently I came across on the web on your blog. The subject of your research is very similar to mine, because I am also interested in the mysterious ciphers. Last mainly deals with an attempt to decode the prophecy of Nostradamus. I am the author of the website, which posted excerpts prophecies of Nostradamus ( Almanacs, Predictions ) with my interpretation. (link ) – http://gloriaolivae.pl/
    There is one drawback. I only write in Polish, so the google translation translet is certainly imperfect. When it comes to Manyskrypt Voynich, it also have some interesting ideas. More than that, I think that I managed to find the right way to decipher the manuscript. If you meet it with your interest, it soon on your blog I am ready to decode, describe each of the parties manuscript.
    My entry is in the fact that I would attempt to share with my interpretation of the Voynich Manuscript of the widest circle of stakeholders. Therefore, Nick, if you have an opportunity, I would ask you, would you my interpretation presented for example in the media.
    Gregory.

  79. avatar nickpelling January 18, 2014 9:36 am

    Gregory: feel free to email me whatever you like about your Voynich decryption, and I’ll try to shape it into a blog post. I’ll email you separately. :-)

    http://www.nickpelling.com/

  80. avatar Gregory January 19, 2014 11:09 am

    Hi Nick.
    I do not know if you got my email. Please confirm.
    Gregory.

  81. avatar nickpelling January 19, 2014 12:23 pm

    Gregory: yes, but I’ve been caught up trying to sort out problems with my website (an important file called “.htaccess” is getting corrupted and I don’t know why), will reply as soon as I can.

    http://www.nickpelling.com/

  82. avatar Menno Knul January 19, 2014 2:15 pm

    Nick, I have done some frequency analysis on the VMS text.

    1. First I made a frequency vocabulary of the complete VMS, using the transcription by Takeshi Takehshi (EVO transcription). This resulted in a vocabulary of some 8.000 words (including text errors and transcription errors).

    2. Secondly I made a character frequency on this vocabulary and compared the results with similar character frequencies of Latin, Italian, Spanish and German.

    3. The result was, that the character frequency of the VMS could best be compared with Latin, less with Italian and Spanish and even less with German.

    4. My conclusion from this was, that the VMS has been written in natural language Latin in a now obsolete script.

    5. The script itself shows similarities with the rounded Gothic script, which followed after the Carolingian script and is called Italian rotunda.

    6. This script makes abundantly use of ligatures, which you mentioned shorthand.

    http://www.rodinbook.nl

  83. avatar bdid1dr January 19, 2014 4:37 pm

    Could part of the problem be with the bold-face supposed identity of the whereabouts from which we enter our contributions to your website? Personally, I don’t mind, as long as it isn’t breaching our ‘privacy’ walls. Or interfering with your interfacing?
    Still hangin’ in there! :-)

  84. avatar Gregory January 19, 2014 6:02 pm

    Dealing with such a highly complex and difficult area which is decryption or decoding of what the author meant, in addition to encyclopedic knowledge and scientific treatment of the subject, it is also necessary intuitive ability to connect facts and draw conclusions from these facts.
    As far as the Voynich Manuscript, the vast majority of researchers focused on trying to decipher the code letter. Great respect for them. According to me, the text is intentionally used a hoax aimed to engage readers in a fruitless search for the code of the manuscript just as deliberately scattered like puzzle Centuries of Nostradamus. I am in my searches focused on the symbolic meaning of illustration. For someone who has only a scientific look at the issue of encryption, all suggest it may seem too unreliable, not falsifiable. Manuscript, namely the part of Herb is, according to me, a compendium of knowledge about the Evolution of Life on Earth – from its cosmological aspect, through Human Evolution (Theory Darwin ) to the Prehistory, History and Contemporary. In the following section, the author Herb encrypted all the important events of our common history with such precision that many a textbook of history might have envied accuracy. Not only that, the encrypted manuscript illustrations describe as quite contemporary events as well as those which only we will see in the future! When it comes to images of other parts such as: Astronomy, or Biological, they all also have their own symbolic meaning, but on this on another occasion.
    Considering the symbolic meaning of the Voynich manuscript illustration (especially in the herb section ) must take into account the various key elements of the plant: root, stem, leaves, and eventually flower.
    Continued…
    http://gloriaolivae.pl/

  85. avatar SirHubert January 19, 2014 6:33 pm

    Menno:

    I’m very pleased that someone else is trying to approach this analytically.

    You may find these helpful:

    www dot voynich.nu/a1_intro.html
    www dot voynich.net/neal/

  86. avatar Menno Knul January 20, 2014 2:12 am

    SirHubert,,

    Both references are well known to me and they are certainly helpful.

    http://www.rodinbook.nl

  87. avatar Menno Knul January 20, 2014 2:48 am

    Gregory,

    I don’t think the Nostradamus’ Almanachs of 1555-1556 have anything to do with the Voynich MS nor with the evolution of the world until the Egyptians as you describe in the folia f1R-f10v of the herbal section.

    http://www.rodinbook.nl

  88. avatar Gregory January 20, 2014 10:34 am

    Menno,
    This is only the beginning of a larger whole. My suggestion to decode the VMS contains August in the fact that each of its individual pages encodes some other information. Again, to me, is a kompendim knowledge about our history. Take into account that the encryption is not just a written form. There’s a whole spectrum of gnosis, which, because of the limited capabilities (eg letter runes – oldest inscriptions are from the second and third century AD, before the Egyptian hieratic writing , etc.) were also encoded in a different form – for example, by means of signs and symbols. I mean encoding information using symbols – semiotics. And in such a manner is encoded VMS – it is not my task, classic cipher written, only symbloiczny rebus – ideogram. When it comes to Nostradamus then I suggest you read my blog about what I mean. This is only the beginning of a larger whole, which has not yet handed. Also when it comes to the Voynich Manuscript is also is an example of historical komtinuum. In confirmation of this I give you, as well, and all the rest illustration – code. Do not end up on the ancient Egypt.
    Nick,
    if you do not mind it suggests you posted it here, or to set up a separate thread. According to me VMS – part herb should have a different name – the historical part, or history.

    1R – Big Bang and Kolaps – cylkiczność universe.
    1V – Approximately 4.5 – 5 billion years ago – the formation of the Earth’s crust.
    2R – About 3.5 billion years ago – the first organisms.
    2V – About a billion years ago – the first single-celled organisms ( eukaryotes ).
    3R – Approximately 900 – 700 million years ago – the first multi-cellular organisms.
    3V – approximately 700 – 600 million years ago – the first invertebrates.
    4R – 500 million years ago – the first vertebrates.
    4V – 400 million years ago – vertebrates came out of the water.
    5R – 220 million years ago – the beginning of the reign of the dinosaurs.
    5V – 65 million years ago – extinction of the dinosaurs , evolution of mammals.
    6R – About 65 – 30 million years ago – carnivores.
    6V – About 30 – 7 million years ago – the formation of plants and animals.
    7R – About 12 million years ago – the first hominids.
    7V – About 7 – 5 million years ago – the appearance of man.
    8R – About 100 thousand . years ago – the emergence of modern man.
    8V – Approximately 15-12 thousand years ago – man hiking – Bering “bridge”.
    9R – Approximately 11.5 thousand years ago – the end of the last ice age.
    9V – About 10 thousand years ago – hunter – gatherers , the birth of agriculture.
    10R – Around 400 , the BC – Development of urban community Mesopotamia.
    10V – Around 3000, the BC – The beginnings of civilization of ancient Egypt.
    11R – The turn of the second and first millennium BC – Judaism, Jerusalem.
    11V – turn of the century – Christianity. Rome.
    12R – No, according to me – Ancient Greece.
    12 V – No, to me – the Empire of Alexander the Great.
    13R – The Roman Empire.
    13V – Persian Empire.
    14R – Huns . Mongol Empire.
    14V – Byzantine Empire.
    15R – The State of the Franks.
    15V – The spread of Islam.
    16R – Vikings.
    16V – Slavs.

    The exact description of the illustration on page: http://gloriaolivae.pl/
    That’s all for now. I assure you that the further side of VMS are just as interesting, if not more interesting.
    Gregory.

  89. avatar Menno Knul January 21, 2014 12:31 am

    Gregory,

    You added some 10 pages, which I had not seen on your website yet, including the two missing pages 12r/v. As the total volume of the herbal section would have contained some 280 pages, most of them missing, there is some work ahead.

    Unfortunately your Nostradamus-like interpretation does not help us to identify the script, language and text of the VMS and why the VMS would offer you a better insight in the universum than other medieval herbals around, if you can’t even read it. This site of Nick Pelling is not the right place to discuss your views.

    http://www.rodinbook.nl

  90. avatar SirHubert January 21, 2014 9:33 am

    Dear Menno,

    With respect, that is for Nick to decide and moderate.

    There is much posted here with which I don’t agree, but I have come to realise that ideas can strike from the most unlikely sources.

    As Nick said in another context: “He’s doing his thing, you’re doing yours, and that’s fine.” There is much wisdom i that.

    PS…a small reminder that Currier identified two languages in the VMs, so some caution when running statistical tests on the whole thing…

  91. avatar nickpelling January 21, 2014 10:28 am

    SirHubert: as the American philosopher James Joseph Brown once said “I got mine / Don’t worry ’bout his”. Get up! :-)

    http://www.nickpelling.com/

  92. avatar Gregory January 21, 2014 12:21 pm

    Menno.
    I respect your opinion, but as I mentioned earlier, my interpretation of the VMS is not to decrypt the letter, but focuses solely on the interpretation of the illustration. Semiotics, in itself, also deals with the interpretation (typology of different varieties of characters). From the Greek: “semssticos” – significant, “semasia” – meaning, “semeion “- familiar from “sema ” – a sign, the image, signal.

  93. avatar thomas spande February 19, 2014 11:13 pm

    Dear all, Just confining myself to a single glyph and that is the “8″ with a flattened bottom “rocker”.It appears along with the “&” and garden variety “8″.What is odd, surpassingly so, is that the scribe with the tighter style who tends to slant his “8″s, uses it more than the looser styled scribe (with the more erect”8″) but both vary hugely in the number of times the “rocker 8″,sometimes 23 times on a folio page, sometimes none at all. It tends to be used in profusion, then scarcely (2 or 3 times) at all and on a single folio where I am virtually certain that a single scribe does both sides. It seems unamenable to any statistical treatment, where it is almost an all or nothing proposition. I think it may be an end of sentence indicator,but erratically applied as though it were being tried out from time to time.

    I think another indicator of the tight vs loose scribes (in addition to the “8″ that Nick first commented on), is the way the “tipped 2″ is made with the looser enscriber having more of the blottom stroke extending past the joint with the curl. Cheers, Tom

  94. avatar thomas spande February 21, 2014 6:12 pm

    Dear all, Take a peek at f21r. Nick and others have discerned hidden writing here and there in the VM,but on this page,intermixed on the plantstems along with what appear to be berries of some sort are “arabic numerals” (i.e. Indian based numbers that we all use).There is a lovely little “2″ near the bottom center, several “3″s, a nice “4″ and what might be a “7″. Everyone can play “where’s Waldo?”but another game is”what the hey do these numbers signify”? A brief study indicates that they appear to have nothing to do with the number of stems branching off the main stem and it would be very strange to incorporate these clues for any plant delineator into the final product! Baffled as always, Cheers, Tom

  95. avatar thomas spande February 21, 2014 8:32 pm

    Dear all, On the track of really tiny clues from the herbal/plant section of the VM, consider the little “eyebrow”shapes in pairs on both the green and white leaves of f49v. The upper convex crescent is blue, the lower is brown in every case. I think these are indications that the plant leaves are for eye problems. In bright sun, even “round eyes” tend to close down to a squint and these would resemble a convex crescent. If this idea is correct, then the VM might have been created in an area of the world where both blue and brown eyes occur. This does not narrow the search for venue greatly but it might tend to rule out the far East? Cheers, Tom

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