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Re: Misovsky's MS in Uppsala

On Jun 22, 21:33, Jim Reeds wrote:

> Subject: Re: Misovsky's MS in Uppsala
> On Jun 22, 15:10, Rafal T. Prinke wrote:
> > Subject: Misovsky's MS in Uppsala
> > 
> > I have found a longer title of this intriguing manuscript 
> > _Strues Tritemiana_ (_Trithemian Pie_) by one of the important 
> > people involved in the early history of VMS. Here it is:
> > 
> > Constructio, sive Strues Tritemiana, cuius hae sunt principaliores 
> > utilitates. Qui nullum unquam idiomatis Bohemici calluit verbum, 
> > per eam in momento scribet convenienter Bohemice, quantum volet. 
> > Per eam potest quis spatio unius horae quam plurimas conficere 
> > periodos Bohemicas, quae etiam paginam unam atque alteram 
> > excedant, easdemque, quod caput rei est, intelligere et interpretari. 
> ...
> Very interesting indeed.  Someone should get a photocopy of this
> MS.  The quoted piece reads very much like one of Trithemius's
> controversial promises for his planned Steganographia work,
> the one that got him in hot water. (The one that was addressed
> to Arnoldus Bostius, which was read & circulated by Bostius's
> colleagues after his death.)  One of the planned 7 books of
> the Staganographia would explain how one could teach a person
> ingnorant of Latin how to write elegant sentences in Latin in
> the course of one hour...

I was wrong about the timing.

In his 1499 letter to Bostius, J.T. says

  Tertius liber docet artem, per quam possum hominem idiotam,
  scientiam tantum linguam maternam, qui nunquam novit verbum
  latini sermonis, in duabus horis docere scribere, et legere,
  et intelligere latinum satis ornate et diserte, quantumqunque
  voluerit; ita quncunque viderint ejus litteras, laudent verba,
  intelligant latine composita.

(Book 3 teaches a method by which it is possible to teach in two
hours an ordinary person who only knows his mother tongue, who
doesn't know any words of the latin language at all, to write,
read & understand polished & eloquent latin blah blah blah.

Misovsky promises to do the same for Bohemian, in the course of
1 hour!

It's commonly understood that T was hinting at the word-list
ciphers described in Books 1 through 4 of his Polygraphia.

But wouldn't it be nice if there really were such a method for
language instruction!  Two hours for latin, one for czech, then
its time for lunch.  In the afternoon, I think I'll master dutch and

Jim Reeds, AT&T Labs - Research
Shannon Laboratory, Room C229, Building 103
180 Park Avenue, Florham Park, NJ 07932-0971, USA

reeds@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, phone: +1 973 360 8414, fax: +1 973 360 8178