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RE: On the word length distribution: Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz
Thanks Claus for Caramuel's bio.
The letter I remembered is dated from Prague, 1647:
It is about music; it doesn't have binary numbers, but it has
a table of negative powers of 1/2 starting with
10,000,000 = 0, 5,000,000 = 1, 2,500,000 = 2, etc.
The third column of that table is positively tickling ;-)
The letter happens to mention our old friend Marci.
The following one, from Svirae(?) 1644, also mentions Marci and has
quotes in Arabic and Hebrew:
And here is a 6-page letter from Caramuel to Kircher, that contains
translations of the same text into many languages by various people:
including, in particular, Kircher's code language ("Polygraphia
Another variation of the same letter (or a copy thereof:)
> In 1648, when the Swedes attacked Prague, he armed and led a
> band of ecclesiastics who did yeoman service in the defence of
> the city. His bravery on this occasion merited for him a collar
> of gold from the emperor.
IIRC, Marci also got honors in the same battle for organizing a band
of students from Charles University.
> Look at these key words: Chinese, Prague, Astrony, Grammar etc.
> Seemed to be an interesting guy, who would have love the VMS (or
> did he?)
Chinese theory notwithstanding, you may recall my other theory that
the VMS was actually written by Rapahel Mnishovsky as a demo of his
new "uncrackable code". He would have had the book delivered to Baresh
for a first test. After watching the poor guy struggle with it for
many years, Raphael would have prodded first Baresh and then Marci to
send the book to Kircher for the final test. The story about Rudolf
and Bacon, quoted in Marci's letter, would then be merely a bait to get
It looks like one could imagine a similar plot with Caramuel
in place of Raphael. I don't believe any of it, but... 8-)
All the best,
PS. while browsing through Kircher's letters I noticed this one
(unrelated to the VMS), from Kircher to Pope Alexander VII, apparently
an expert's report on an "antiquo manuscripto" by "Johannes de
Sacrobosco Anglus" (that could be latin for "John of Holywood the
Englishman", I suppose). I can't quite read the Latin, but it seems
that the book in question is about alchemy, from the 1200's. The
letter lists "Batholomeus Vespucius", "Michael Scotus" and several
other names. Is anyone interested?
Here is one with a cipher alphabet used by a "Chevalier de Beauchamps"
in his correspondence with a certain "Don Felipo"
Also a report from Prague, 1648 (unknown author) on a coin transmuted
into gold alchemically in the presence of Ferdinand III:
And I would appreciate if anyone could identify the script
reproduced in this one: