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Re: Ludovico Albertini - author of the VMS?

Hi everyone (and especially Jorge),

Here are some tidbits found in the net, with my translation from
Italian into English, sort of.

Thanks very much for doing that! :-))) Patrizia Catellani's page was one of the key sites that got me excited about Caterina Sforza, and my tourist Italian only let me understand 50% of it. :-/

But note that a recent paper in Renaissance Quarterly concluded that the story of her raising her skirt ("anasyrmos") was a myth probably invented by Machiavelli - what she actually did was made "four figs" at her captors (from the safety of her fortress), probably an obscene gesture involving poking her thumb between her index finger and middle finger. Just so you know. :-)

Note the use of sunflower in one of her recipes!

That, and "snakeroot" too! :-)

FYI, I've been coming to the conclusion that the VMS is a compilation of three documents:-
(a) herbal + pharma + recipes, copied from Caterina Sforza's manuscript (1480-1500?)
(b) balneological + gynaecological, copied from another source (say, 1460-1480?)
(c) cosmological + astrological, adapted from an even older source (say, 1300-1350?)

So: when we talk about "the date" of the VMS, we are (in the absence of physical evidence, such as pollen samples in the vellum, etc) at high risk of confusing the dates of the original plaintexts with the date of the compilation/encryption. :-/

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....