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Re: John Dee

Jorge Stolfi wrote:

>     > [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.

Indeed, I don't think any expert can identify a person by numbers
alone - even if they are identical to the sample. On the other
hand, the scribe's identity can be positively excluded when one
(or more) digit are formed in a different way on regular basis.
This is exactly the case with the "Dee as foliator" theory.
There is no single "8" in all the Dee MSS formed in the same way
as in the VMS foliation - and vice versa. If I remember correctly,
Clay Holden also confirmed the same about Kelley.

The quire numbers are clearly older than the foliation. When you
look at the table of development of digits


you will note the ribbon-like "4" and the carret-like "7" under
the 15th c. Also the 7-like "5" is of special interest, as it
was different in both the 14th (4-like) and 16th c. (modern form).
Neither Dee not Kelley would use such forms, I believe. 

There is only one "8" among those numbers - and not a very good one.
It seems to me that it is formed by drawing two separate circles 
rather than a single stroke double loop - so a still different 
one than those of Dee and VMS-foliator.

Best regards,