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RE: VMs: New guy on the block
Even though I've read a lot about the Nabataeans, Bakr Ahmad ibn Ali ibn
Qais ibn Wahsiyah an-Nabati ("an-Nabati" from now on, puh-lease) doesn't
appear to have appeared on the VMS radar (and certainly not on mine) to
date... a very interesting lead! :-)
Making transcriptions of any of an-Nabati's work available might be a good
place to get more people involved, to help build a shared feel for how that
kind of language "worked".
I've appended a related message from the list archive, from John Hyaduck in
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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From: John Hyaduck <hyaduck@xxxxxxx>
Subject: my focus -
Date: Monday, May 19, 1997 4:06 PM
Just because I can't contain my enthusiasm until I have clearer
information to post, I want to let you know where my investigations are
heading. When I first looked at the few gifs posted here and there I saw
letters in patterns that I have seen before - from modern chaldean
handwriting from the Christian communities in Northern Iraq, Syria and
southern Turkey. There are several major scripts varying from the early
Syriac and a quick crib sheet gave me at least an 80-90% correspondence in
for the available characters from the FrogGuy letters.
Syriac calligraphic styles were ubiquitous throughout the eastern
Mediterranean for hundreds of years and served as the basis for Indian
alphabets from grantha to nagari to tamil, etc. Some of those eastern
offshoots have remarkable voynichese flairs (Tamil, gujarati - no guideline
above like Sanskrit) but my deepest impression was from the Syriac direct
descendants, especially in the quickly written styles. (Compare modern
Hebrew handwriting forms - not unfamiliar either).
There are large chaldean, assyrian, or neo-aramaic communities in the
United States and Canada in Detroit, Chicago, California, and Toronto. I
am pursuing the review of some of the voynich images by scholars familiar
with medieval Syriac manuscripts. Poetic, scientific/philosophical works
were written in the timeframes suggested for the VMS and would have been
available in centers of Christian, Islamic, or Hebrew learning.
Syriac/Assyrian traders and religious traveled to China, India, north
Africa, Spain, etc. and herbal "science" would be available to them.
It is too early for a well formed hypothesis for me but a copy of an
earlier Syriac/nestorian document, losing the vocalizations if they were
even initially there,
would be my brightest guess. If we think we are dealing with an
correction-free copy , then it is also possible that the illustrations were
"Europeanized" from more eastern forms. It is also just as possible that
the Syriac characters I'm seeing encode a nasty cipher in Hebrew, Arabic,
Latin or whatever. I thought that Ladin or medieval Spanish might have
been written here in a degenerate/shorthand Hebrew or Syriac as well, but
the structure would have stuck out prominently I would think. There are
not many scholars who could sight read Syriac structure (not me) but the
word forms, initials, vowel patterns are not that far from Hebrew/Arabic.
Take a look at the final Alap's in so many modern Assyrian words. The s
and 2 forms in Frogguy stand where Alaps and 'Ayin-like vowel/gutturals are
in assyrian. And the Frogguy a, c, o, u, x, 8, 9, iu, iiu, g, t, ', q, k,
p have embarrassingly similar correspondences.
Oh yeah, BTW the picnic table (n) would represent SH - the only consonant
in i:Su: (EESHOO) or Jesus. ALLAHA should show up too but I have not found
the L to my satisfaction. Anyone who wants to tiptoe through this stream
of inquiry should look at
http://members.aol.com/assyrianme/aramaic/aramaic.html for a start and try
not to be confused by the numerous names for the languages, peoples and
faiths referred to by modern Syriac culture and the number of variations of
Nineveh on-line at http://www.nineveh.com/ has fonts and information on the
sacred tree and fertility that may prove useful (fruitful?).
More information is at http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~jatou/.
I hope to put a cleaner picture together soon and submit a more scientific
proposal for discussion. Thank You. John M. Hyaduck hyaduck@xxxxxxx
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