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VMs: Re: Random discoveries in the library

--- Petr Kazil <kazil@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I have added several interesting results from my
> searches in the Dutch Royal
> Library. 

Some of these are quite nice.
I wonder if you have ever seen the picture I
once scanned from Franz Boll 'Sphaera'. This was
from a Greek astrological diagram, now in Turin.
It has two nice features: 
1) it looks quite like the 12-segmented figure
   in the VMs (the one with the dark and bright 
   moon or planet faces). It is actually the picture
   that made me realise that the VMs drawing
   has seven individual words in there, which would
   really seem to be the names of the planets.
2) it has old-style Greek symbols for the zodiac 
   signs, and the one for Aries (a V with an under-
   score) looks exactly like the first red doodle
   on VMs f1r. 

I cannot find a single copy of this figure on any
of my old pages. Even the photocopy has gone missing.
I know that Dennis had a copy too, for a while, and
somewhere in the mailing list archive there is a
reference to another web page with the same figure
stating it is actually part of the VMs. (Jim Reeds
found that one).

> 2) There is a long tradition of rosette-like
> diagrams with characters around
> their perimeter, the so called "rota paschalis" used
> to determine the exact
> dates of Easter.

Didn't Gauss (well post-VMs) invent a way to predict
the dates of Easter using a method involving
prime numbers, a.o. 17? My memory is foggy here.
There is of course the 17-sequences page on
f57v, and a 34-sequence on the "partner page"
on the same bifolium (66r??). 

> 5) As always the pictures that have the strongest
> VMs look-and-feel are the
> German woodcuts (not the Italian engravings) that
> are usually much older
> than the actual dating of the VMs. There must be
> some significance in this
> fact but I don't dare to speculate.
> Is it reasonable to suppose that the VMs author
> could have seen more
> engravings and woodcuts than other manuscripts? Was
> printing technology
> already so common in his time?

Woodcuts were being used at this time. Printing 
was just in the process of being invented :-)
A MS like the VMs could well have been written after
the invention of printing for several good reasons.

Cheers, Rene

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