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Re: Jacobus and Rudolf

A couple of interesting items on Marci:


Dana Scott

Jorge Stolfi wrote:

>     > [stolfi:] Note that in Baresch's letter to Kircher there is no
>     > mention of Bacon or Rudolf. In fact, Baresch offered a very
>     > different theory about the book's origins, and he seemed to
>     > think of it as a mere curiosity that was "taking up space
>     > uselessly in his bookshelf". That's is a strange way to describe
>     > a book that an Emperor once paid 600 ducats for.
>     > [Gabriel:] The interesting thing is that it seems that B did not
>     > want to send it to K, so perhaps it was important to him and
>     > knew about its value.
> That's a good point. Indeed, it seems that Baresh wasn't being wholly
> sincere here: according to Marci, he was at least as obsessed with
> deciphering the VMS as we are.  Would that explain his reluctance to
> part with the book?  (After all, Kircher didn't spend much time
> on the VMS, which he soon filed and forgot --- as Baresh must have
> feared he would.)
> Also, in his letter Baresh assigns great value to medicine, and
> speculates that the VMS might contain medical knowledge from some
> faraway land, possibly more advanced than Europe etc.. Thus he did
> consider the VMS to be a valuable book --- IF it could be deciphered.
>     > Also let's suppose that he was aware of the possible fact that
>     > JdeT "borrowed" the book and never returned it. How B would
>     > explain that it was in his hands? Maybe he did not want to
>     > explain anything and kept it quiet.
> Indeed, and worse: the Clementinum Jesuits were supposed to have
> inherited most of Jacobus's estate!
> But this argument can be turned around: if Baresh knew that the book
> had belonged to Jacobus, and hence could be a valuable piece of lost
> Jesuit property, why would he write to Kircher --- a Jesuit --- about
> it?
> (BTW, I seem to remember reading in Schmidl that the Clementinum was
> sacked during the war, shortly after Jacobus's death; but then the
> tide turned and the Emperor ordered all their stolen property to be
> restored.)
>     > Whether JdeT had it (and stamped his signature) has no
>     > consequence. He obviously could not read it either, but it
>     > creates a possible route from Rudolf to B if we are to believe
>     > Raphael. The alleged signature is the only link. Without
>     > signature we would have no idea how it appeared in B's hands.
> Actually, without the alleged signature there would be nothing to
> explain: we would have assumed that Raphael was wrong, that the book
> had never been Rudolf's, and that B just got it through ordinary means:
> a bookshop, flea market, or estate auction; in Rome, in Prague, or
> anywhere else.
> Or perhaps the signature is indeed Jacobus's, but the book was from
> his own personal library, and never belonged to Rudolph.
> It could in fact have been created by Jacobus himself, just for the
> fun of it, while he was still a teenage student and "lab assistant" at
> the Jesuit college in Cesky Krumlov.  Now we only need to find out where
> his pharmacy teacher Martin Schaffner did his missionary work, in Tibet or in
> Annam... 8-)
> All the best,
> --stolfi