Looking beyond the zodiacs, I would stick to some
sort of mechanical means.
The f70r1 and f6v1 details you mentioned show a
definite circle and I would say the details were added later using the circle as
a guide. The line of the circle is visible, thus inked, meaning it wasn't
merely scribed with a point which solely made an impression on the vellum which
could be followed.
Dana's comment about availability of instruments is
interesting and the idea could help narrow possibilities of authorship.
Given the size and scope of the VMS I've always felt like this was the product
of someone/some institution of means. It's not of the scale of a 15th
century Hollywood blockbuster, but it's no home movie either. What would
have been the "cost" of that much vellum, inks of varying colors and the tools
needed to produce such a ms. in 15th century terms?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, August 03, 2003 1:31
Subject: VMs: Drawing circles
At 10:54 03/08/2003 -0700, Dana Scott
>Very good. So perhaps our scribe had access to rather
>writing/drawing tools, such as might be found in a
monastery or an
>institution of higher education.
there, but we'll need to work just a little harder to lock
precise way that each circle was drawn. If there are indeed dots
centre of some (but perhaps not others), then it suggests a
(like a circinus) - but I'm also fascinated by the question
of how many of
the less obvious rings were produced.
Look at the outer ring on f70r1:
this has a sequence that looks like
....oooooooool ar..e.. sasa.. . . . .
. . (weird stuff). And look at the
outer rings on f67v1 - these look
hand-traced or hand-drawn, not mechanical
at all. Many of the circles
appear to be slightly wobbly and/or
non-circular - look at f67r1, for
Given the general production techniques for manuscripts, I'm
sure I understand how circular bands of text would be produced
unless the whole manuscript was rotating. I suspect that the weird
f70r1 is just a scribe having fun with a rotating writing table.
All in all, there are plenty of circular diagrams in the VMS - so
really be able to work out reasonably definitively from all
peculiarities how they were produced.
PS: a quick aside for Phil Neal: have you looked at the
horizontal lines on
f67r2? The text lined up by them appears to be largely
top-aligned (ie, to
the top of the gallows) on the second and third line,
but not on the first?
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