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VMs: Re: Mandaeans and the VMS...?

Hi Nick,

> Has anyone considered the Mandaeans as a possible source of the
> astrological (volvelle) pages in the VMS?

I have at least mentioned it :-) Below is what I posted
in January. Numbers 5 and 6 may now be excluded as I have
recently showed samples of the VMS to a noted international expert
on the Hungarian runes and other Turkic languages - 
Prof. Edward Tryjarski - who in turn showed them to other
experts at an international Turkic linguistic conference,
and they did not recognized anything known to them. 
I may mention that Prof. Tryjarski most recent research
was on alchemical notes in Armeno-Kiptchak (ie. Kiptchak
language writing in Armenian alphabet) - and these are
in no way similar to the VMS, either.

Best regards,


Browsing through my copy of Diringer's _Alphabet_ (Polish 1972 edition),
I noted a number of languages/scripts which I find suspect - but
as they are not illustrated (not in this edition, at least), I thought
I might mention them so that more knowledgeable linguists might

1. Syriac languages in Asia:
   a. Nestorians - in 1265 there were 70 bishoprics along the trail
           from Baghdad to Peking. They were active in Kurdistan,
           Turkistan, Mongolia, China, etc. In 1885 cemetaries
           from the 13th and 14th c. with nestorian inscriptions
           were discovered in southern Siberia (over 630 tombstones).
   b. Assirians or Chaldeans - in Kurdistan and Iraq.
   c. Jacobites and Melchites - in Near East and Egypt.

2. Mandeans - in Mesopotamia; there are many mandean MSS from
           the 16th-18th c. in the British Library, Oxford, Paris,
           Berlin and Vatican; they are magical, astrological,
           ritual and lithurgical; they were a gnostic sect and
           their most important scripture (The Book of Adam)
           is full of fantastic stories; the alphabet is quite
           different from other aramaic scripts and is considered
           to be sacred

3. Manicheans - the famous relion founded by Mani, of gnostic nature,
           with complicated cosmogony; they survived until circa
           1500 in China and Turkiestan; the origin on manichean
           script is uncertain; the manuscripts from Turkiestan
           are beautiful, colourful, on good paper, written in
           various languages (Iranian dialects and Old-Turkish).

4. Yezidis - a sect often (unjustly) called "satanistic", now in
           Northern Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the Caucasus; they have
           a cryptographic writing used only for one of
           the scriptures (published in Anthropos VI, 1911).
           Some think it is a 19th c. forgery.

5. Kok turk runes - used for Old Turkish (38 characters)

6. Old Hungarian or Seklerian - in Transylvania, used by Seklers,
           an ethnic group known as "border guards"; oldest
           documents known from 1501; some think it was

7. Uygurs - in Mongolia and later modern Turkiestan; they were
           shamanists, then buddhists, then manicheans, then
           nestorians, and finally moslems; in the 13th c.
           their alphabet was used as the official script of
           the Chenghis Khan's empire.

8. Mongolian - in 1310 it was used for mongolian translations
            of buddhist scriptures and became the basis of
            later Mongolian.