[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

VMs: Balance and the maids

In re: Stan Tenen's comment (quoted in Nick Pelling's email, Dec 2001):

> But there's no other structure besides the unit-turn tetrahelical
> column that has 33 volumes and 3 ribbons of 22 faces. Also,
> the 18 flame-shaped leaves could be a reference to Islamic
> sources, where although the alphabet contains the full 27
> letters, the basic shapes number 18 (if I remember correctly
> -- someone should check this).
> So, I'd assume that the drawing on Voynich page 56 was
> passed down through a Moslem source, at least at some point.

Browsing through the National Library of Medicine's website section on
Pharmaceutics and Alchemy, I came across this paragraph:

> One of the last Arabic alchemical treatises -- and the most comprehensive --
> was that by the Egyptian alchemist `Izz al-Din Aydamir al-Jildaki, who died in
> 1342 (743 H). His treatise
> The Proof Regarding Secrets of the Science of the Balance (Kitab al-Burhan fi
> asrar `ilm al-mizan) was concerned to a large extent with the classification
> of plants, animals, and
> minerals, and with the concept of `balance'. The alchemist attempted to assess
> the `balance' of any given substance by a system employing numerology, the 28
> letters of the Arabic
> alphabet, and the numerical value of the name of the substance in order to
> determine the proportional structure of the substance's attributes -- that is,
> heat, dryness, coldness, and
> fluidity. Al-Jildaki's treatise represents the mystical and allegorical trend
> in alchemy, but it is also evident that the author had much experience with
> practical chemical operations and
> substances. 


Makes one wonder what kind of a substance's attributes would have anything
to do with our soaking nymphs.

Luis Vélez (back after a brief 5-year hiatus)