[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: VMs: The Glyphset

Hi Dennis,

At 16:51 29/01/2004 -0600, Dennis wrote:
Nick Pelling wrote:
> I assert that the VMs' mindset dates
> from *before* the broad acceptance of Arabic numerals - that is, its heart
> is late medieval.

        Look at D'Imperio again, or the recent table of
Bright's Characterie.
They do go back that far.  In the Bright table, I
thought the ones most like
the VMs were from the 14th century, not the 15th.

Note that I'm *not* using this to date the VMs: I'm merely saying that the use of EVA <y-> and <-y> is far more consistent with a Tironian notae / late medieval abbreviatory practice than with an Arabic numeral mindset. The author is giving us hints here, which we should use. :-)

> 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 disagree.   Look at Capelli's Tavola IV again:
The resemblance is too strong to be coincidental. This
is one of the few definite things we've seen.

This is to do with the gallows' epistemology (ie their origin, nature and limits): origin-wise, you're saying that the shape has precedents (and with which I agree) - nature-wise, I'm saying that the function, structure and use of the symmetrical series of four connected gallows shapes is unprecedented, and remains a mystery.

> 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
> 'fossils'.

        Maybe so.  There's very little attestation of this
shorthand, so it's currently unknown.  Perhaps I've
missed something; if so, please correct me!

Many Quattrocento texts use a limited amount of ad hoc abbreviation, which is well documented (palaeographically). All I'm suggesting is a slightly more private (and more aggressively abbreviated) version of the same, not dissimilar to Radcliffe's or John Jewel's systems (in English), both of which I suspect to have emerged from existing European scribal wax-tablet practices (almost certainly Italian in Jewel's case, but currently unknown in Radcliffe's case).

For example, I'm reasonably confident that EVA <m> and the modern Capricorn (the tenth sign) glyph both ultimately derive from the same source - a single-stroke Italian wax tablet shorthand for "x", in use circa 1400-1500. It's a simple assertion - I just wish I could prove it. :-(

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

______________________________________________________________________ To unsubscribe, send mail to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxx with a body saying: unsubscribe vms-list