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Re: VMs: The Glyphset

It is still my opinion that the VMS is a collection of pages taken from other extent texts.  Based on Nick's and Dennis' notes, would there have been a library containing books/manuscripts with all of the elements we see (heraldic texts, old Tironian notae, etc)?

I assume that any major collection up through the late 1500s would have contained such a mixture?  Definitely the Vatican would...but would private collections?

Larry Roux
Syracuse University
>>> incoming@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 01/29/04 05:05 AM >>>
Hi Dennis,

At 22:43 28/01/2004 -0600, Dennis wrote:
>Jeff wrote:
> > What theory does anyone have about
> > the core ideas or characters from which the glyphs were originally derived?
>         I think these three are generally accepted.
>1) Early Arabic numerals and medieval Latin
>abbreviations, as mentioned by D'Imperio and seen in
>2) Early Renaissance cipher scripts, as seen in
>Trandechino; and
>3) Medieval gallows-style letter embellishment, as I
>show in a later reply to Petr Kazil.
>         Other elements, such as Tironian notae, astrological
>or alchemical symbols, etc. are much more

AIUI, medieval Latin abbreviations are (basically) Tironian notae, though 
as the Middle Ages progressed, fewer and fewer remained in active scribal 
use (by about 1500, the vast majority of notae seem to have been 
forgotten). The ones most obviously relevant to the VMs are (in EVA) y-, 
-y, d-, and -m.

EVA q- does appear to (visually) correspond to how some (typically 14th 
Century) authors wrote "q": but the gallows (shape-wise) remain a mystery.

I strongly believe that these are *not* early Arabic numerals, but are 
instead fossilised Tironian notae: I assert that the VMs' mindset dates 
from *before* the broad acceptance of Arabic numerals - that is, its heart 
is late medieval.

BTW, in the Quattrocento, "ch" was often written as a single (combined) 
shape, and "che" (because of its high frequency) often appeared as 
"ch-(overscore)", which resembles the lower part of (EVA) ch-strikethrough 
gallows (especially the single-leg gallows).

Astrology is a mystery: the signs and symbols of astrology were a dominant 
force in mental constructs of the universe circa 1400-1500, and so we 
should expect that the text in the cosmological section (and the zodiac 
section, and probably the herbal and recipe sections too!) should contain 
astrological symbols (for signs, planets, and perhaps aspects) - but, 
similar to the apparent absence of numbers, there seems to be no obvious 
constructs by which these are represented.

Alchemy seems more straightforward: while I do believe that heraldic images 
are hidden inside some of the images, I don't believe that there is a 
metaphorical/allegorical internal dimension to the images - that is, I 
don't see any signs of alchemy at all. Oh, nor of Hebrew, nor of the 
Kabbala. :-o

My general conclusion on the glyphs is that they were mostly appropriated 
from contemporary (Quattrocento) wax-tablet scribal single-stroke 
tachygraphy (shorthand) practice, even the gallows (which I suspect 
probably encoded low multiples of 10) - plus a (very) few Tironian notae 

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

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