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VMs: Re: f68v3 ("Andromeda") and it's T-O map...?
> I find it hard to look at that page and not think of the T-O map
> representing the earth, and the Wolkenband representing the Milky
> a linear sequence of stars strung out along the ecliptic - like 22
> on a necklace.
The surrounding dotted area (which is blue in the Yale color images)
could be the sky, except that its boundary looks more like the edge of
a pool. Also the spiral arms look like four roads with bridges over
the pool, alternating with four water channels that feed into (or draw
from) the pool.
I believe that the realization that spiral galaxies are assemblages of stars
is quite modern (18th century?); and the idea of the Earth being *within*
such a galaxy is newer still. If that is what f68v3 shows, then
move over, Vinland Map...
I think the explanation is much simpler: within a sequence of cosmological
images, the author felt that the relationship of the earth to the fixed
stars needed to be included as well. I don't think it represents what we
now think of a "galaxy", except in so far as there is an ecliptic line of
fixed stars (which we now conceptualise as "looking along the Milky Way's
Having said that, I don't have an explanation for the diagram's "spiral
arms", so who knows? :-)
Another candidate for T-O map is f86v3, the "garden of eden", where
the T-O map is obviously incomplete. Is it an unfinished sketch? A scribal
mistake? A palimpsest? Or a chance survival of a more complex figure,
which has faded away?
<...> This page, by the way, is a
panel of the big fold-out, which is a quire by itself; and in fact
f86v3 is the panel which would be the "back cover" of that quire, when
it was completely folded. Thus it is understandable that it has
suffered a lot more wear than the rest of the VMS.)
I'd guess that the various marks on f86v3 bled across onto the page from a
later scribe's nearly-but-not-quite-completely-dry writing, upon which the
quire had accidentally been placed. :-/
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....