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VMs: Gallows as an embellished Cistercian number cipher....?

Hi everyone,

Here's yet another gallows-related hypothesis to throw onto the blazing fire of mailing-list conjecture. :-)

The single feature that connects all the gallows characters is their left vertical leg -- ie, you could quite reasonably describe them as a set of embellished left legs. This is also true of the "weirdo" gallows characters.

Now: David A. King's book "The Ciphers of The Monks" describes a number of ciphers which (he postulates) come from a mostly-lost Ancient Greek cipher, through the Basingstoke cipher and John of Tilbury, to various Cistercian ciphers (where they mostly faded out).

All these share a common feature of a straight line (either vertical or horizontal), with either two sets of end ornaments (for 1...99) or four sets (for 1...9999).

Could it simply be that the VMS' gallows are a stylised / simplified version of this general cipher?

If the gallows-as-suspended-crosses hypothesis is also correct, could the form chosen merely have been a reuse/appropriation of a very much older idea?

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....