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Re: VMs: The Glyphset

From: "Nick Pelling" <incoming@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: 30 January 2004 10:54

> 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
> > > 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
> > > Century) authors wrote "q": but the gallows (shape-wise) remain a
> >
> >         I strongly disagree.   Look at Capelli's Tavola IV again:
> >http://www.geocities.com/ctesibos/voynich/image/tavolaiv-top.jpg
> >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
> 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
> > > 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
> > > '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
> (the tenth sign) glyph both ultimately derive from the same source - a
> single-stroke Italian wax tablet shorthand for "x", in use circa
> It's a simple assertion - I just wish I could prove it. :-(

This I absolutely agree with. Hey Nick at least we have some things in
common. :-)

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

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