Friday, November 29, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: Boat Root

MS Palatino 586 in Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale is 14th-15th century manuscript written in Provencal ( visit here ). Few details caught my eye. Some very 'Voynichese' berries are seen here.





Palatino 586 has the first example I've seen of herbal depicting a boat-root. So the plant on fol. 43r of the VMs is not 'sailing' alone anymore.


The plant drawing under the 'boat root' one in Palatino 586 has similarities with the drawing on fol. 45r of the VMs. The root in Palatino 586 may represent gamekeeper - which I've seen as a variation of a common name for cow-wheat (quail-wheat in German),  Melampyrum. I used for illustration Melampyrum arvense.



Distant possibility of 'elephant root' here




Some female creatures here and there


16 comments:

  1. Здравствуйте, Элли!
    Вы просто молодец! Большего сходства по стилистике просто трудно найти.
    Желаю удачи в Ваших дальнейших поисках!
    Y.M.

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  2. Ellie, do you know what the rest of the text above the Palatino 586 boat root page (p.29) says? I can't make it out at all from the BNCF scan - "Apellis (?)... etc"

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    1. Well, Nick
      I am reading Cypressus and the tree in the picture looks like a c. to me and the rest of the text is like the text next door as you would exspect in a Herbal and the less said the better.
      Helmut Winkler

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  3. Thanks Y.M.

    Hi Nick, I couldn't find better resolution of that folio. There are few zoomable pages from this manuscript at the Mackinney Collection of medical manuscripts images here
    http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/mackinney/id/4106
    They don't have this particular one, unfortunately.
    All the best! Ellie

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  4. Cipressus, id est albre caut e sec al .iij. gra. E val contra flux de ventre, contra stranguria, contra uliaca passion et cetera [source: M.Milani. Aloes es caut e sec: edizione di un erbario occitano]

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    Replies
    1. Rene, can you look up the text over the 'gamekeeper' plant?
      Thanks in advance! Ellie

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  5. Thanks Helmut and Rene - cypress is one of the suspected materials for gopher wood the Noah's ark was supposedly made of. My guess for the VMs drawing was ebony tree - also candidate for gopher - I wrote about it here
    http://ellievelinska.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-voynich-manuscript-persimmon-and.html

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  6. The way the berries are drawn on the cypress - looking nothing like cypress 'berries' - confirms the well-known fact that fifteenth-century western manuscripts often used conventional over literal forms in such details. More, it illustrates this motif in an early fifteenth century manuscript - confirming its use just when the Vms parchment was made - and in a mss from areas where Occitan was written, not just spoken! This offers yet more support for Erwin Panofsy's opinion that the Vms was made '..somewhere southern' (not somewhere central).
    MS Palatino 586 is a nice find, Ellie!

    Cheers
    D

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  7. Also, Ellie - are you intending to discuss the wind-motif on f.16v? If not, would you mind if I did? Your find, your prerogative.

    Diane

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  8. Hi Diane, I don't remember finding wind-motive on f.16v. It will be interesting to read your interpretation.
    Also, Rene pointed out that Palatino 586 was discussed previously on the VMs list before I joined.
    All the best! Ellie

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  9. Oh, perhaps he'd be kind enough to recap that discussion. The motif is the same as that used in folio 86v, and would seem to confirm my linking the latter to the rhumb-gridded charts known in the west as 'portolan-charts'. The rhumbs were named by winds &/or stars, as points of a compass 'rose'. But I explained all that when taking my readers around its circuit, so no need to repeat it, I think.

    I will credit you (too?) because when you linked to f.16v, I suddenly saw *just* why it is critical to study of the Vms.

    Di

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  10. Ellie,
    A kind person had read the text on folio 16v of this manuscript and tells me that the strange creature shown leashed by the hatted figure is probably meant to represent the murex 'sea snail' - from which purple dye was gained.

    I wanted to tell you too that indirectly I owe you thanks or just having found one possible solution to a different problem in the Vms - its evident avoidance of items in the black-purple range. An article about murex mentioned that in times of war the Ottoman Turks consided colours in that range ill-omened.

    Cheers.
    D

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  11. Ellie and friends, have a great holiday season, whatever holiday is being observed. I noted your notes about cypress. I'm now 1-dring how pine trees began to figure in European celebrations of Christmas. (?)
    bdid1dr (who is also memorizing the last six lines of the song, "Twelve days of Christmas" -- fun!

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  12. Hi BD, Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you too!
    All the best! Ellie

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  13. All the best for you and your family -- 2014 (already ?!!??) Heh! I've been on the back-trail for the location of where Suleiman's heart was buried. I've also found some interesting discussion of just what happened to Piri Reis when he returned to Suleiman's court with treasure ships but no fleet. I'm winding my research, and will be writing up my notes and extracts. I'll probably be silent for a while. Maybe Valentine's day will remind me to get my nose out of my notes and say hello!
    A tout a l'heure! Nasdrovnya!

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