Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: Tents and Castles

I spent my day browsing through beautiful manuscript from the British Library -  Add MS 12228 here - late 14th century telling the story of Meliadus. Lots of knights battling and traveling - sea, castles, towers, tents and fountains - very VMs nine-rosettish.

What is really Voynichese  in this manuscript is the signature on the bottom of the first page, supposedly in 17th century hand, which reminds of the heavily damaged, yet still showing, signature of Jacobus Sinapius (of Tepenec). According to the British Library the signature reads T. de Metz - which with little smudging  can be turned into Tepenez. Most likely there is nothing to it. Just the preoccupation with the Voynich Manuscript skewing my perceptions.

You can read in dept research on the Tepenec's signature on Jan Hurych web-site here

UPDATE. Rene Zandbergen reminded me of his award-winning documentary The Voynich Code - The World's Mysterious Manuscript (see here) where the Tepenec's signature is displayed under special illumination. You can see that the name is spelled very similar to signature found in a book from the Tepenec's estate held today in the Clementinum library.

Rene Zandbergen also pointed out that next to Tepenec's signatures usually there is a number present and similar symbol for number and what is probably 9 appear under the signature in the VMs.
In light of all this research the T. de Metz signature seems to be just a coincidence.


  1. Ellie,

    Another clue to the mysterious "Vms handwriting:

    As far as being influenced by the Czechoslovak handwritten script, the Vms in its entirety uses a peculiar character for the sibilant before the vowel (a-e-i-o-u) in any word:

    The so-called Oscan capital "C", also known as the Cyrillic "C", which looks like the sickle shape on some Muslim flags.

    I can't even remember how many times I've explained my word-for-word translation of some 15 folios, now, by reiterating the difference those two backward-facing "S" Vms characters:

    The hand-sickle shaped character IS the sibilant "s".

    The backward-facing curved s-shape is the sound "ar" "er" "ir" "or" "ur".

    At the risk of confusing any of my "followers" further, I am once again going to explain a very important sibilant:

    The Vms character which looks like a figure "8" is the Vms syllable for the sound "aes"

    So, if while you're cruising the huge archives of medieval Mss, you should come to a screeching halt if you come across any of the above-explained "mystery" characters. Immediately back up and take a closer look! And, of course, IMMEDIATELY let us know of what will be a gr--eat discovery!

    Whoo! :)

  2. One more important syllabification:

    the numerous figures of "8" and "g" which appear side by side very often at the end of Vms botanical discussions represent the final words of nomenclature "aes-geus, aes-ceus, or aes-keus....... However, some confusion still abounds when it comes to the comparative sizes of the figure "9". If the smaller "9" is a tiny loop which extends to the back of the curved down-stroke "neck", this smaller "9" is "x" -- and basically in one full, tiny, stroke, is saying "x" as in the combined syllables of "aes-ceus. Say aes-ceus real fast as the many repetitions you see in the Vms and nearly ALL botanical discussions.

    Do you see why I find this last Vms syllable to be expecially important?

  3. Hi BD, I always wondered if all 9s are the same in the VMs or not. Interesting finds! I remember the sickle c and the El looped symbol. I'll keep it in mind when I get back to the text.
    All the best! Ellie

  4. In re Rene's appearance & commentary with you:

    First of all, I'm vastly relieved that Rene has been following the discussion. Actually Mr. Tepenecz' signature is one of the best clues to what the native language may have been for the writers of the Vms.

    Tepenecz may have been indicating the educated Latinized terminal syllable of his name:

    Tep-en-e-9 (large emblem "9"): Tepen-e-geus

    I am not saying that Sinapius Tepenecz was in any way involved in any of the processes of the development of Boenicke ms 408.

    Just for fun, and using "my" explanation of the Oscan Cyrillic, can you spell "Sinapius"?
    If I had the "right" keyboard, I would use only three letters for "S"- "n"- "P", and "9".

    Now, just imagine what I could do with a "suitable" alpha keyboard! In the meantime, when I'm cruising the WWW, I often use Wikipedia's "translate" function.

    A tout a l'heure!