Friday, April 26, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: Calendula

My first association for fol. 18r of the Voynich manuscript (Beinecke 408) was Calendula. The overall impression I get is so strong that at this time I will go with it despite the fact that I like Edith Sherwood's proposal for Aster alpinus very much. Ethel Voynich was not able to decide between the Aster and the Calendula. O'Neill proposed Ringelblume, which is German for Calendula. Petersen went with Calendula officinalis. The leaves, the buds, the flower shape is so realistically drawn that I will go with Calendula. The coloring of every other petal in blue most likely has something to do with the text code. The same pattern is common all over the manuscript. Aster Alpinus, however, is a valid proposal - with its blueish-purple flowers and many people may like it better than Calendula.

 

8 comments:

  1. Plus the fact that some believe the VMs was colored later, and possibly by a different artist than the one who outlined the plants... which could mean the color difference is not important. I think this is a great match. Rich SantaColoma

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  2. Thanks Rich, I wish we were able to see those drawings before the coloring.

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  3. I'll place my bet on chicorium intybus; a member of the asteracae (compositae). A weed which also is/was valued for it roots, which were ground up and roasted so as to be a coffee substitute. Even today, some people add chicory to their espresso grind.

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  4. I'll place my bet on chicorium intybus; a member of the asteracae (compositae). A weed which also is/was valued for it roots, which were ground up and roasted so as to be a coffee substitute. Even today, some people add chicory to their espresso grind.

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  5. Hi BD.

    I love those chicory mixes, but my husband insists on plain coffee. Chicorium has been placed all over the VMs. Who knows - you may have the right place for it. Did you get a clue from the text?

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  6. So far, I've only placed my bet. I'll get around to doing a quick (validating?) download of the folio large enough for me to be able to read the handwriting (brown ink against tan vellum, which sometimes is transparent enough to show the drawings on the other side of the folio.
    Coffee in Key West Florida: One morning demi-tasse cup of brewed/not espresso Cuban coffee with a well-buttered Cuban-style baguette would keep me wired right up to sunset!
    I've just finished translating all 19 lines of folio 56r (Dianthus caryophyllus: -carnations,pinks, sweet william). It was a particularly difficult folio because there is little discussion anywhere about the background history. I did verify that the mss is referring to origins of the Caria district of SW Asia Minor area of Ceos & "Laconian handmaidens". This folio is one that Brigadier Tiltman was not able to "decode"

    bd

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  7. Meanwhile, another candidate may be the "cornflower". Hmm? You might enjoy perusing this link (I hope will go through, quite often my attempts to cite a link don't get any further than my keyboard):

    "Say It With Flowers -An Introduction to Floral Symbolism in Manuscript Illumination"
    Giles de Laval
    Lochac College of Scribes:

    www.sca.org.au/scribe/articles/flowers.htm

    We'll see what happens.

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  8. What might be of use to you is what I have observed for nearly all of the botanical Vmsfolios:

    If the discussion begins with the elaborate "P" (most do), that word is "Espe-cae"" or "Specea-eae". The discussion which follows that opening word does not always say directly a botanical nomenclatural word, but rather a regional area of the specimen's origin.

    So far I've found only one flower which was often used for religious manuscript illumination: the "Pink". So, more and more, I am seeing botanical-based medical practicum. Even the "Pink", as portrayed in the Vmsfolio56r, is telling another story. I'll be going back to Nick's "That Which........"pages to give ThomS my findings/translation.

    More later, if you give me any encouragement..............


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