Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: Persimmon and Noah's Ark

The drawing on fol. 43r of the Voynich manuscript may be composed to represent Noah's ark as we see it in medieval pictures - boat with a house. The ebony tree is one of the main suspects for gopher wood - the material of Noah's ark. The VMs drawing may be meant for ebony tree forest judging by the blue tint of the stems/trunks. Some ebony trees have edible fruits used in traditional medicine - the date-plum (Persimmon, Diospyros lotus) for example. Whatever the plant on fol. 43r is - it may be connected somehow to the story of Noah's ark.

Here is an example of the Ark with Gothic windows from the British Library, MS Royal 14 B IX,  (visit here).


2 comments:

  1. Any info on the inclusion of ebony in western herbals before 1440? Was it imported into Europe, or do we know of its use in building European ships before then? This would be important information.

    Of course, I didn't identify this folio as you do, but evidence is everything.

    Diane

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  2. This link may be helpful. It includes vernacular terms & the information that ebony was used in France by the fourteenth century.
    http://www.medievalwoodworking.org/articles/wood.htm

    Diane

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