Monday, March 31, 2014

The Voynich Manuscript: the Pyramid of Khafre

The signatures on fol. 66v and fol. 86v of the Voynich manuscript appear to be written by the same person. Both are unreadable so speculations about them are pointless. True VMs researcher, however, cannot be stopped from speculating, no matter how pointless the exercise is - so here we go...

The second signature seems to be decorated with a pie-chart - the kind that was used to represent the world in medieval times. In this example from c.1400 the world is shown as half part water, quarter of earth and quarter of air.

The first signature, in my opinion, is decorated with representation of the pyramids at Giza.

On the top is the sloppy attempt of isometric drawing of the pyramid of Khafre - with its iconic 'cap'.

There is no way to know if the signatures were already on the parchment at the time the VMs was in Prague, but it is fun to imagine that the 'pyramid' signature inspired the remarks by Jiří Bareš (in his letter to Athansius Kircher - read here ) that the author of the VMs went to the Orient to learn about Egyptian medicine.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Ellie! I'm probably still going to get the 'duplicate' post when I sign off. Here's the thing about Boenicke ms 408, folio 86: It is one large 'fold-out' section which has a central illustrated discussion of the look-alike mushrooms one of which is being described as hallucinative (Alcohol Inky) -- which I think may have killed your 'orphan pope'. The discussion continues on the rest of the foldout sheets. Very hard to read - nearly illegible.
    I'm pretty sure the section of discussion to which you refer as a signature (because it is off-set to the right margin of that section, as if a signature) was that the writer was simply indicating that it was necessary for the reader/lecturer to rotate the entire unfolded document in the direction indicated by the positioning of that final phrase (as if doing what we do: "continue ----->".
    I have already translated (and posted my findings) several times in the last fifteen months.
    I'm still recovering from a pneumothorax (last August), so I tire easily. I still think the entire central folio is discussing the hallucinative (and deadly effects) of the mushroom which was very often used to kill various powerful personages such as cardinals, emperors, princes and princesses, and even a pope or two. Especially if there happened to be THREE popes all jostling for supremacy.
    There IS a hair-raising tale being told in folio 86's foldouts. Much more than I can recount herein.
    Francesco di Medici even had a cut crystal dish made which discusses the goddess Alcyone and her husband Ceyx. That elaborately carved (and ornamented with UGLY lapis lazuli and gold figurines) candy dish is discussing the myth/legend. I'll drop by now and then.
    A tout a l-heure!
    beady-eyed wonder