[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
> (2) The definition of "quarto" I found on the Internet is "a book made
> sheets folded twice, giving signatures of four leaves (eight pages)".
> it be actually be an indication that symbols following it relate to
> code-words on a page elsewhere in the VMS that has been folded twice (ie
perhaps something like: "see page 12" ?
Many of the ciphers listed by Tranchedino (which date from 1450-1500) had
special symbols often wrapped around numbers, where the number was an index
into a code dictionary: typically,  would be "Pappa" (the pope), 
would be the King of France, etc.
But here there are no (obvious) numbers: so any number (or number-like
index) would need to be encoded into the Voynichese alphabet using an as
yet undetermined tricksy method.
If you sort EVA "ot-" words (like "otolal") in alphabetic order, these seem
to vary in small ways from each other - which brings to mind number
sequences far more than letter sequences.
So, my idea was really this: could EVA "qoteedy" actually be a contraction of:-
qo "Quarto" code: refer to the folded-in-four code-page
within the VMS
ot "Sun exalted in Aries" code: encoded number follows...
ee Pisces (AAH) - ie, digit associated with Pisces
dy Cancer (AAH) - ie, digit associated with Cancer
I don't think the VMS will turn out to be a purely number-driven code - but
certain parts of it (like ot- and qot- words) appear to have a different
morphology, which could well be a number or a code index. The likelihood of
there being no numbers in the whole VMS would seem to be fairly slim. :-)
On the one hand, "too obvious", on the other, why not use a symbol, even
a well known one? Books today (dictionaries, for example) often use an
arrow to mean "see another entry". Perhaps we should look around in the
VMS for other symbols which might be pointers, comparing them with similar
things in known mss -- I don't know if such things existed.
I've already done a lot of searching in this general area. To my way of
thinking, these could be arranged into several different categories:-
(1) intra-document references
- like footnotes, catchwords, "see figure 8", "cont. p.94",
(2) inter-document references
- like indices into an external codebook, or a bibliography
(3) indexing mechanisms
- like a TOC, external folio marks, or finding a page using a picture
(4) data-containing mechanisms
- like using colour to indicate feast-days (red-letter days etc)
(5) data-structuring mechanisms
- like Raymond Llull's ontology diagram
These categories are also bound up with what's called the notion of
"locus". To find out more, I've been strongly referred to this recent (but
as yet unread by me) article:-
Word and Image
Volume 17 Issue 1 2001
Benito arias montano and the evolving notion of locus in
sixteenth-century printed books
Paul Saenger pp 119-137
.....and here's the British Library's notes on "Word and image"...
Uniform title: Word & image. London. 1985
Title: Word & image. a journal of verbal / visual enquiry
Numerical designation: Vol.1, no.1 (Jan.-Mar. 1985)-
Subject: Arts. Periodicals
Subject: Arts. ? Serials
Publication details: London. Taylor & Francis. 1985-
Description: v.. ill. ports. 28cm
Notes: Cover title
Notes: Description based on: Vol.2, no.1 (Jan.-Mar. 1986)
Copy Notes: Lacking vol. 2 no. 1 and vol. 2 no. 2
[ ...though how the BL can base their description on an issue they haven't
got escapes me. :-) ]
The problem is that all my abovelisted categories appear to be fairly rare
pre-1500: and we would then have to make the leap of faith that a single
as-yet-undecoded document (that just happen to be the one we're looking at)
can contain a number of such mechanisms.
Even page-numbering (or folio-numbering) wasn't used a lot then - though I
did notice that Tranchedino's codes were numbered as they were added (the
hand-writing and numbering style changed in 1476). So: we must be really
careful not to project our modern ideas of how we would choose to structure
data on the page onto the VMS' author(s).
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....