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Re: VMs: Virgin Mary (was re: VMS: Finding)
Certainly no single thing can be used to define the VMS, but when
we start adding up all the things we know, a picture begins to
emerge with enough force to become far more than a simple guess.
the crown on 72v1 is a good example of overt christian symbolism,
but I'm willing to bet that if you focused on this tack, more
symbolism would be found that corresponds with other christian
feasts and traditions, and through these a much clearer picture of
the astrological pages would begin to emerge.
Here's another possible explanation: if, like me, you suspect the nymphs in
the astrological volvelles have a logical ordering (inner rings first,
count them clockwise from 10 o'clock [ie, around from the ascendant]), then
the crowned nymph's location would be 15 or 16 degrees of Libra.
So far, so nothing: but can we find any powerful Quattrocento women born to
My #1 guess would be Bona of Savoy, who ruled over Milan for many years
(latterly with Cicco Simonetta): she was born in Chambéry (in Savoy) on the
8th of October 1449, and married Galeazzo Maria Sforza in 1468.
My guess is that this date ought to be pretty close to 15/16 Libra (but
calendrical uncertainty means that's by no means certain) - can someone
please check this out in their archaeo-astrology programme?
It may be that Bona's horoscope still exists in the Milanese state archives
(which would make this test that much more definitive)... but I don't know
who I'd ask to find out. Hmmm...
According to John R. Spencer, an alliance between the Sforza and the royal
house of France had been rumoured from as early as 1460: and "[i]n June
1464 Bona of Savoy was officially offered to Galeazzo by letters from the
King of France and the Duke of Savoy." If the VMS was made in Milan, this
would point to an earliest likely date of (say) July 1464 "when the
marriage with Bona was the talk of the town", or an earliest possible date
of 1460 (though somewhat less likely).
My #2 guess would be Bianca Maria Sforza, but her birthday was 31st March
1425 (in Milano) - which we can probably rule out as being linked with
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
PS: for a lively rendition of various Northern Italian families' histories
(including the Visconti-Sforza), you might look at:-
Galeazzo married the French King Louis II's sister-in law, Bona
of Savoy (quite a stunner apparently but a bear of very little brain)
who had once been betrothed to Edward IV of England, until his
eyes (and a bit more) fell on Elizabeth Woodville.
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