Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: Doctor-Astrologer Jehan Michel

Jean (Jehan) Michel de Pierrevive was a poet,astrologer and personal physician of the King Of France Charles VIII.

Jean Michel is believed to be author of Mystery play about the Passion of Christ.

He made a great personal investment in the French-Italian War 1494-1495 by making a divine prophecy about Charles VIII success in the campaign. The prophecy survives in printed form (BNF Res. 4-Lb28-23 here ). The six-leaf work uses astronomy, astrology and propaganda to ensure everybody the future of the King is victorious.

The prophecy was fulfilled in half. Charles VIII reached Naples, but nothing great happened to him after that.

Jean Michel was his King's personal physician until month and a half after the battle of Fornovo. According to Andre de La Vigne (his contemporary): "On 23 August, 1495, there died at Chieri (Piedmont) Maistre Jehan Michel, first physician of the king, most excellent doctor in medicine".

So, if we speculate (just for fun) that the naked women book captured in the battle of Fornovo is the Voynich Manuscript and the doctor/astrologer/play-writer/prophet Jean Michel was the author, it would have been his last work.
UPDATE. Pierrevive family was originally from Chieri  (before settling in Lyon around 1470), so Jean Michel died somewhat at home. JM was one of four brothers who run their business in Lyon. His brother Amédée was apothecary. He also was tax collector and wealthy grocer (here).
Jean Michel got his training at the Medical Faculty of the University of Paris sometime around 1471.


  1. I recently put up (tongue in cheek) a blogpost in the speculative style.

    It was such an obvious contrast from my usual form, I thought people would get the joke - they didn't.

    You are very wise to add that all your identifications and historical contexts are pure imaginative reconstruction, and that having fun is the main point.

    I'll do the same if I ever post another like my 'Voynich script has a history post'.

    Best of luck. You've made the subject one that's fun for many others too, I should think.


  2. Hi Diane, there is zero hard evidence to support the Fornovo book origin of the VMs - just my wanderings :) Thanks for taking the time!
    All the best! Ellie

  3. No really, I enjoy watching your story take shape. You've found some excellent illustrations from your chosen period, too. I'm impressed by the similar physique of the women drawn by Colomb - he was in the Kingdom of Sicily then, too, wasn't he?

    It's a good historical novel a la Voynich, unfolding better than most.

    All the best.

  4. Ellie, have you ever contemplated applying for work with the US Diplomatic Corps? Probably, though, it would not be as much FUN as our visits with you on your blog! I bet this is one time, anyway, where Diane and I can agree!
    Cheers! :)

  5. LOL, BD, judging by our foreign policy - there are enough incompetent people there already :)