Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: Decebre

BnF Français 19994 is 15th century French manuscript about medicine ( visit here ) which caught my attention with the way the names of the months in the calendar are spelled. The scribe used the 'open E' letter similar to the one used by the person who added the months in the Voynich Manuscript (that person most likely was not the author of the VMs).

The months of December, November, May and March give nice matches.





The rest of the months don't match as well.


The calendar in BnF Français 19994 is made for use in Toulouse, Southern France. This may not be related to the scribe, but to the text, which is based on work of the 14th century surgeon Guy de Chauliac (native of Toulouse). Chauliac is famous for his book Chirurgia Magna. Among other tools he used crossbow as surgical instrument.


6 comments:

  1. Ellie: it's a step in the right direction, but I think there will prove to be better matches to be found in digitised Southern French archives of births and deaths. Many of these are supposedly online, but I've never yet managed to find one, perhaps you'll have better luck... ;-)

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  2. Thanks nanodome, this is a great idea! Never thought of that. I'll keep it in mind!
    All the best! Ellie

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  3. Chirurgerie - Surgery - Smoke from burning mandrake root used as anesthesia for on-battlefield amputations. You won't find mention of this use, so far as I can see, in the Vms. However, you might like to visit the Ambrosia Society's discussion of its battlefield use.
    Discussion of the mandrake fruit juice as a sedative for women's labor pain (as well as an abortifacient in some cases) appears in Vms folio 83v.

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  4. Besides the illustration of the leg injury repair, I don't think you need to look for any more convincing samples of the handwriting! Fascinating! Yesterday I took a short tour of Nottingham University's discussion of scribal abbreviations and handwriting styles. Close, but I think the professor may have been focusing on British handwriting only.
    Have I already referred to Busbecq's bringing some 200-odd antique manuscripts to the courts of Ferdinand I (Vienna)and Rudolph II (Bohemia)? Most of the mss ended up in Papal archives after the the Thirty Years War -- and maybe the Hundred Years War.

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  5. In regard to the script for the month of November: The curlique above the script is indicating the presence of a couple of letters which would make the word illegible because of the phonetics: novmbr. In other words, a whole bunch of little bumps.
    That's what I see, ennyway. :-)

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  6. In regard to the script for the month of November: The curlique above the script is indicating the presence of a couple of letters which would make the word illegible because of the phonetics: novmbr. In other words, a whole bunch of little bumps.
    That's what I see, ennyway. :-)

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