[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
VMs: Gallows as an embellished Cistercian number cipher....?
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.....