Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: Anatomy

Here is my attempt to organize my thoughts on possible human anatomy drawings in the Voynich Manuscript.


The pictures on fol. 77r of the VMs may represent the aorta, the heart and the four humors of the Hippocratic medicine - the black bile (earth), the yellow bile (fire), the phlegm (water) and the blood (air).





Fol. 77v of the Voynich Manuscript may represent the anatomy of the intestines and the appendix. Various researchers note that the drawing on the top of the page may represent the Fallopian tubes and ovaries.




The drawing in the top part of fol. 75v  may represent the air passages. The details on of the tube are similar to the trachea. The function of inhaling/exhaling may be the meaning of the fountain-like drawing. The ripples on the edges of the 'lungs' may be representing the alveoli.



The two pools on fol. 78r of the Voynich Manuscript may be meant to represent the kidneys.



Scott Curry came up with the idea on the VMs list that the nymphs going down the 'waterfall' on fol. 75r are representing letters of the alphabet. I like the 'cheerleaders' idea, because it give us a whole new level to make up stuff based on our own theories/biases. For example, I believe the drawing on fol. 75r represents the anatomy of the stomach, so when reading the 'body language' of the nymphs I came up 'surprisingly' with 'word' supporting my theory: plcero - which resembles Italian pulsero - to pulsate - explaining the ripples the VMs author drew on the walls of esophagus and the stomach.



The senses - ear, eyes and nose may be represented in the drawings of fol. 83r and 83v.










Anatomy drawing may be part of some of the plants illustrations in the Voynich Manuscript. For example, the eyeball-like root of the possible cornflower on fol. 10r.




The possible wild tarragon (used to induce menstruation in the old times) on fol. 17r has roots resembling the anatomy of the female reproductive organs.




David Suter suggested that the root of the banana plant (id by E. Sherwood) on fol. 13r looks like heart.




At the end - really funny coincidence is the violet with letters on its petals on fol. 9v that reminds of Leonardo da Vinci's drawing of the muscles of the anus.




All these associations are just subjective speculations and any resemblance of the drawings in the VMs with the human anatomy may be just coincidental. For the record, I don't believe Leonardo da Vinci is the author of the Voynich manuscript. I just used his drawings as late 15th century examples.

10 comments:

  1. Ellie
    Small point but there is no 'Banana' - there are about 600 species of banana growing from south Africa to the Himalayas and westwards as far as Sicily in medieval times. In addition, there are the plantain bananas.

    So an identification has to be a bit more specific - saying 'a banana species' might do.

    I'm not disagreeing with Sherwood's idea. I can't - I made the same identification myself. I think every leaf is meant for a separate species, though I couldn't specify which.

    D.

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  2. Dear Ellie, I have identified and translated the commentary which appears below those two "rattle-shaped" globes. The commentary is referring to latin phrases "relax" and "ease". Those items are the FRUIT of the mandrake plant (withered blossoms still attached). The juice of that fruit can be strong enough to be an abortifacient, but most often the fruit juice is diluted enough to ease the pains of labor and delivery. Nowhere on any of Boenicke ms 408 folios are you going to see the actual words "mandrake" or "mandragore". At least I haven't seen the "Voynich" ciphers for the sounds of "m" or "n" or "d" ": these would have to appear as I've laid them out here (maybe an "a" between the "m" and the "n") . There is no Vms character which would clearly represent "dr" or "tr", except a "trilled" or "tapped" "tr" which I have explained and referred to several times on several blogs.

    In the same vein of our various discussions (You, Diane, and me) we've discussed coconuts. How about if you and Diane were to follow up on another word which describes banana -- "ananas". As far as I know, from my Key West Cuban neighbors, banana-shaped plantains were known as "platanos". Just my 2 cents worth. :-)

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  3. Dear Ellie, I have identified and translated the commentary which appears below those two "rattle-shaped" globes. The commentary is referring to latin phrases "relax" and "ease". Those items are the FRUIT of the mandrake plant (withered blossoms still attached). The juice of that fruit can be strong enough to be an abortifacient, but most often the fruit juice is diluted enough to ease the pains of labor and delivery. Nowhere on any of Boenicke ms 408 folios are you going to see the actual words "mandrake" or "mandragore". At least I haven't seen the "Voynich" ciphers for the sounds of "m" or "n" or "d" ": these would have to appear as I've laid them out here (maybe an "a" between the "m" and the "n") . There is no Vms character which would clearly represent "dr" or "tr", except a "trilled" or "tapped" "tr" which I have explained and referred to several times on several blogs.

    In the same vein of our various discussions (You, Diane, and me) we've discussed coconuts. How about if you and Diane were to follow up on another word which describes banana -- "ananas". As far as I know, from my Key West Cuban neighbors, banana-shaped plantains were known as "platanos". Just my 2 cents worth. :-)

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    Replies
    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ananas

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  4. My apologies for the double posts, my very elderly computer is very slow. So, sometimes I forget to allow for the lag when hitting the publish button.

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  5. Ellie,
    Though I'm not sure about your thesis here, I have to say that the detail you have for the ear does somehow remind me of a head in profile, with the nymph at upper left at the position of the eye, the detail below her nicely outlining the shape of a nose and looking nicely air-like. The line between them creates a nice cranial-like arc, while the nymph on the right could be rising up from a cerebellum.

    I do hope it isn't so; that I'm doing no more than seeing faces in clouds ~ because if it is so I'm going to have a lot of re-thinking to do.

    :)

    Diane

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  6. Ellie, those letters which you portray next to the ladies floating on the stream of water, are portraying the latin phrases in which the word "pax" can be applied/translated as peaceful, relaxing. Actually, every folio which has the naked and mostly gravid women floating on a stream or body of water is referring to techniques used by midwives to ease the birth labors. My earlier discussion, here on this blog page, in re mandragore/mandrake fruit juice is directly linked to the floating gravid women.
    Just a reference to something I read 'somewhere' many years ago: Romans loved their baths. Roman women even gave birth to their children in the baths! I vaguely remember some of our "hippy women" in the 1970's were doing that same thing in their commune's "hot tubs"
    bdid1dr

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  7. Dear Ellie!
    The voynich manuscript is not about human anatomy.
    It does not feature hot tubs or baths either.
    It seems that it is not that easy to reveal the code simply by trying to match the drawings.
    If you want to hack this secret you can go back as far as the thirteenth - fourteenth century and try to understand what Jacques de Molay and his fellow knights were doing at that time and what they were trying to conceal.
    If you want to uncover this secret, just drop your ideas to

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  8. Hi Ellie,

    Have enjoyed your blog. You did such a great job with the anatomy comparisons, I want it all to work with my own theory regarding these images. I haven't checked it out fully but if your identifications were aligned with my periplus theory, the eyes and nose would be on the last page, which seems appropriate somehow. Please have a look at my paper regarding the meaning of the diagrams and let me know what you think.

    Cheers, Linda

    http://figshare.com/articles/Geography_101_Periodos_Ges_Hydrographical_Iconography_in_Quire_13_of_Bienecke_MS408_Folios_75

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  9. https://www.facebook.com/363052437224724/photos/a.363281090535192.1073741828.363052437224724/377480689115232/?type=1&theater

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