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Re: VMs: Arabic

(Please read my previous post:  Re: VMs: French Website)

In Robert's email of December 1992 he quickly dismissed Arabic as the root
language of the VMS. He jumps to a number of interesting conclusions which I
will list below:

1.  "If it's Arabic, the place of origin is surely Muslim Spain -
al-Andalus - and very likely Catalonia or the Balearic Islands."

Please remember that in 1683 the Ottomans were attacking Vienna. There is no
reason to point to Spain, or to any specific place as the origin of the VMS.
It could easily have originated deep in the Arabian world, been collected in
Baghdad at the height of the Islamic era, and have been one of the many
thousands of Arabic books that made it's way to Europe. The fact that it was
written in an unknown script would have made it an interesting if not
somewhat misunderstood book.

2. "Before some consonants, Arabic mutates; the L turns into the following
consonant. So we have "al-Kitab" ('the book'), but "ad-Din" ('the faith', ie
Islam), "ar-Rahman" ('the Merciful'), "an-Nur" ('the light'), and so on. In
all, there are 13 such consonants in the Arabic alphabet. . Well, let's
suppose the other gallows letters represent such duplicated consonants, so
that 'olp-' stands for "ar-R", which by frequency is plausible.
Unfortunately, there aren't enough gallows letters, and their frequencies
are a little too low."

But what about old Arabic and unvoweled text? The Nabataeans managed to
write their language (old Arabic) with 22 characters, and they did not
struggle with the definite article, or a lack of consonants.

3.  "These cannot be Arabic words - they show no sign of trilateral roots,
internal vowel mutations, or indeed any feature typical of Arabic."

So why are we now talking of the ""tripartite structure" of the VMS? When I
first glanced at the VMS I immediately noticed that many of the word shared
the same three root letters. This tripartite structure is common to all
Semitic languages, including Hebrew, Aramaic, Palmyrian, Syriac, Safatic, Th
amudic, Lihyanite, Nabataean, Dedanite, and the lanugages used in Southern
Arabia (Yemen and Oman), to mention a few. I see no reason why the root
language of the VMS could not be one of these, and indeed I see many reason
for suspecting that one of these languages is indeed the root language we
are all searching for.

An observation about the "western dressed" people in the VMS

After the rise of Islam, the Nabataeans, and their worship of the old gods
fell out of favor with the new Muslim rulers. These Nabataeans, although
despised for their paganism, were the originators of much of the scientific
knowledge of their time, and had a history of hiding their knowledge, and
using ciphers. The Nabataeans had a long standing connection with Rome, as
Rome was the focus of their east-west trade for many centuries, (They was
even a Nabataean community and temple in Italy.) Thus, their dress and many
of their customs may have echoed what was common in Europe. It is
interesting to notice that many of the Chaldean and Assyrian Iraqis that I
have met over the years in the Middle East, very much consider themselves to
be "western" and NOT Arab. They refuse to wear the traditional Arab
clothing, although much of their culture is Arab in nature. This has been a
long standing struggle for many of the people living in Iraq. They despise
the Arabs from the desert, and the Arabs despise them. Hence some of the
bitterness and struggles taking place in Iraq today. I would assume that if
it was one of these people who wrote the VMS, that they would have
illustrated the book using "European" looking clothing, while much of the
scientific pictures would be Arabic in nature. (such as the drying
containers for plants on f102r2).

However, all of this is simply circumstantial evidence. There is a lot more
of it, but nothing is conclusive, until a translation is attempted.

Dan Gibson

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