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VMs: New old pictures & a botany challenge (no prizes)
*** Real and fantasy plants - Plants with dead bodies and snakes from old
I imagine the pepper-snakes have VMs-like faces. Does anyone know *why*
these snakes are there? Is it just ornamentation or is there some story
behind it? And how do you like the early depiction of a flying saucer in
full thrust (see upper left corner ...)
*** A botanical challenge - can you tell which plants these are ?
The point I want to make with this exercise is that it can be extremely
difficult to determine ols plant pictures - even when they're realistic. So
how difficult is it to determine the fantasy plants of the Voynich
manuscript? A strange picture of a plant may still be identifiable. But when
it's copied one more time it becomes weirder and more Voynich-like ...
I'm quite interested in botany but I think I would get the family of no.4
right. I wouldn't know where to put the others. I think you'll be amazed at
no.1 and no.3.
BTW - I'm not making fun of Dana's and other's efforts to determine the
plants. I just want to point out that the pictorial language of 1400 - 1500
that was "realistic" at that time may look "fantastic" in our modern time.
Aprostilla - A fictious plant that may have originated through textual
confusion or misreading of a medieval manuscript. The text states that the
plant has several reddish divisions in the earth, leaves like rue, root like
an onion but larger, is white within, having a black skin (possibly blackish
red). It also says that it grew in the mountains and in rough or shadowy
places. It purged both upwards and downwards and excited lust in men and
women and therefore was forbidden to be placed in food. Apparently the
emetic qualities of of horseradish have been grafted onto black bryony, and
then mingled with the aphrodisiacal properties of Cyprian Garlic, possibly
in a corrupt version of the Pseudo-Pliny's De Medicina. Its prohibition in
food suggests a monastic author, or reviser, at some time in the career of
the manuscript that supplied this extract. - Hortus Sanitatis, Mainz 1491
Just a thought - what if the VMS author combined parts of existing plants to
make an allegory of a mix of properties or homours? - No this is not good -
there are simply too many plant pictures in the VMS. I can't think of any
story behind such an approach ...
Petr Kazil - Urban Adventure in Rotterdam