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VMs: Some loose details

> Herbals generally fall into two categories - "copyist" and "empiricist" -
> and the VMS definitely seems to fall within the latter (as well as
> "fantasist", though that might be from bad copying).

Today I leafed through a secondhand book on late medieval manuscripts from
the  Library of Utrecht University. At 99 euro it was still a bit too
expensive :-(
But there were a lot of reproduction of "lesser" manuscripts. Not the "tres
riches heures" kind, but manuscripts decorated just with pen flourishes,
floral motifs (black/white line drawings only) and decorated initials. Some
illustrations were unfinished, showing only the rough sketch, badly drawn,
and therefore very interesting! I didn't find any exact matches, but the
"look and feel" was OK. It strikes me that althought the lettering is of
high quality, the accompanying drawings and illustrations are more

I will have to look closer at this idea, but it might be that the same
scribe who *wrote* the VMS, simply constructed the plant drawings from his
repertoire of decorative motifs.


>From a Czech book on "Esoteric Prague":

The first public baths were built in Prague in 1335. They were closed in
1564 during a plague epidemy. A medieval text fragment still retains the
relation between baths and pagan gods:

Balnea. vina, Venus - corrumpunt corpora nostra,
Restituunt eadem - balnea, vina, Venus.

(*** Interesting connection between baths and women.)

During the liberal reign of Karel IV (1316 - 1378) and his son Vaclav IV
(1361 - 1419) the arts  flourished. The mint-master Martin Rotlev ordered a
translation of the Scriptures (into German) for Vaclav IV. This book still
carries the name of "Vaclav IV's bible". This highly illuminated manuscript
hides a lot of esoteric details, that - amongst other - also bear a
relationship with balneology. In his personal set of esoteric beliefs Vaclav
IV saw baths as a means of both physical and spiritual cleansing  - and he
also liked the bodies of good-looking maid-servants. In one of the
illustrations the king himself is shown naked, while two maids wash his

My digital encyclopedia adds the following:

In 1354 and 1355 he stayed in Italy - invited by the Visconti's - and was
crowned king of Italy (Milaan, 6 jan. 1355) and German emperor (Rome, 5
april 1355).

It has different years for Wenceslaus IV king of Bohemen: 376 - 1419.

(*** Interesting connection between Prague and Italy).

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