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Re: John Dee

Apropos of Dee;  Is there an accessible copy of the entire Dee diary?
Thanks, Don
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jorge Stolfi" <stolfi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <Voynich@xxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 9:22 AM
Subject: John Dee

>     > [stolfi:] * The VMS was written by a single person.
>     > [Rene:] I'm less than 100% sure myself
> Well, I was only telling what *I* am convinced of. Needless to say,
> everyone is entitled to their own propbabilities (Chinese theory
> included! 8-).
>     > [stolfi:] * John Dee never owned it.
>     > 
>     > [Rene:] This we cannot know for sure. There are significant gaps
>     > in his diary IIRC. But it is certainly very possible.
> There is no evidence that Dee did *not* own the manuscript, of course.
> But once we exclude Bacon as the author, we have no reason to favor
> Dee over thousands of other scholars, diplomats, and book merchants
> that could have been the mysterious "bearer". So for me  
> Prob(Dee = bearer) << 0.001. In Voynichologese, that qualifies
> as "pretty certainly not" 8-)
> In fact, Dee is actually *less* likely to be the "bearer" than, say,
> Sendivogius. First, there is the matter of his "negative prestige" at
> the Court. Moreover, Dee's diaries are not complete, sure, but we seem
> to know much more about his doings than about Michael's. The diaries
> include a detailed account of his first (only?) audience with Rudolf,
> for instance (and it easy to see why Rudolf did not care to meet him
> again 8-). Now, if an egg can be in either of two cupboards, and we
> searched half of one cupboard without finding it, that makes it twice
> as likely that the egg is in the other one.
> Finally, Dee would surely know that the VMS could not be Bacon's ---
> and he doesn't come through as someone who would try to swindle the
> Emperor of Bohemia.
> Note that I am assuming here, for the sake of argument, that the VMS
> was indeed "Rudolf's Bacon". But I am fairly skeptical about this
> claim, too. If the VMS was never in Rudolf's hands, then the universe
> of possible owners is a lot bigger --- and Prob(Dee owned VMS) is
> correspondingly lower.
>     > [stolfi:] The alleged identification of Dee's hand in the folio
>     > numbers has been substantially discredited by Prinke.
>     > 
>     > [Rene:] If I understand correctly, the identification by a
>     > credable expert, as recorded in the Beinecke description,
>     > actually refers to a page in Dee's manuscripts written by Kelly.
>     > Even if the idenfication were correct (which I'm also not too
>     > sure about), it would be Kelly, not Dee, and Kelly had a
>     > completely different history in Bohemia than Dee.
> The first paragraph above applies to Kelley as well: if the VMS is
> not Bacon's, he is just one possibility among thousands.  
> Also, the "cupboard" argument is relevant to him too -- he left no
> diary, but we still seem to know more about his doings in Prague than
> about the other "cupboards" there.
>     > [Nick:] The *foliation numerals* are in an ordered, standard
>     > sixteenth-century hand (which, when put next to Kelly's at the
>     > British Library, appeared very similar - but this fell a long
>     > way short of definitive identification)... but that the *quire
>     > markings* were extremely similar to John Dee's random, careless
>     > hand, and that these had been identified as Dee's by several
>     > people (on-list and off-list).
> Well, I hope that Rafal can comment on that. In any case, the quire
> numbers seem to be too small a sample for the positive identification
> of one scholar among many.
>     > BTW: I'm now quite comfortable with identifying the VMS with
>     > Kelly's "boke of Dunstan", especially now that I've read (in
>     > Breisach) about Caterina Sforza's alchemical experiments - I
>     > couldn't see the link before that. :-)
> I thought that the theory "VMS=BoD" had been convincingly dismissed.
> Note that there is nothing in the VMS remotely suggestive of alchemy
> or gold-making, which I understand was the topic of the BoD. Isn't
> that so?
> All the best,
> --stolfi