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Re: VMs: Arabic

Hi Dan,

At 10:46 09/01/2004 -0700, Dan Gibson wrote:
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.

I'd say that the Ottomans in Budapest were an even better example of this. A Latinised version of their administrative shorthand (siyaqat) was a prime possibility for the VMs' script - but having now seen a fair bit of it, I'm 99% certain there's no connection between the two. The Ottoman language of the mutes might also have been the source for the arm positions of the nymphs - but I'm 90% sure that it wasn't.

Note that I'm not saying "it's not Nabataean" (as it could well be) - but I certainly don't see any link with Arabic (culture, art, stylistics, language, calligraphy, palaeography, etc) per se.

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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