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Re: VMs: Hunting for VMS lookalikes

Hi Petr,

At 21:51 30/01/2004 +0100, Petr Kazil wrote:
Nice book:
Bibliologia 12, LEs tablettes à écrire
Brepols Turnhout 1992
Elisabeth Lalou, Inventaire des tablettes médievales et presentation

Author Blanchard, Alain Author Holtz, Louis Author Lalou, Élisabeth Author Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes (France) Author Institut de Papyrologie de la Sorbonne Title Les tablettes à écrire de l'antiquité à l'époque moderne Subject Tablets (Paleography) Statement of Responsibility édité par Élisabeth Lalou Series Title (Volume) Bibliologia (v. 12) Publisher (Year) Turnhout (1992)

Elisabeth Lalou seems to be the authority on this subject.

BTW, here's Elisabeth Lalou's list of publications (top section), as part of her entry within APICES (Association Paleographique Internationale Culture Ecriture Societe):-

Another book by Elisabeth Lalou to look at:-
        Author   Lalou, Élisabeth
        Title   Les tablettes de cire médiévales
        Publisher (Year)   Paris (1989)

It might be most revealing to ask Elisabeth Lalou ( lalou@xxxxxxxxxxxx ) about wax tablets and shorthand practice in France around (and before) 1572, when Timothy Bright visited Paris (before devising his "Characterie"). He was staying with Huguenots there when the massacre of the Huguenots happened, and was lucky to escape - I've long suspected that Bright saw some kind of wax tablet shorthand practice during his stay there, which he then developed into his own system.

BTW: GC once mentioned Porta's 1568 discussion of shorthand as a means for secrecy, and a "tantalizing" shorthand cipher that may (or may not) have been used within Henry VIII's court, but the Parisian connection with wax tablets was continuous for centuries, so there may be more of a culture of wax tablet use there to find out about.

- Some Italian manuscripts on law, 1441 (?) that contain some VMS-like
characters (abbreviations)

This might be a good reference to look at - one can imagine wax tablets being actively used in schools, medicine, law, government and churches, but whereas medicine has its own set of symbols and abbreviations (like Rx etc), my guess is that law and government probably had their own cultural set.

- A primitively drawn naked lady (nymph) emerging from a flower (but this
one has all the pubic details neatly drawn - 1467)

Interesting... though the text around this picture might be more revealing than the drawing itself.

- A herbal with plants and snakes near their roots

Any pre-1500 (especially manuscript) herbal picture with a stylistic rendering of snakes or worms near its roots would be good to compare. :-)

My preliminary impression is that any *weird* element in the VMS can be
found in the *normal* literature. It's the combination of *all of them
together* in one book that makes the VMS so surreal. But the "building
blocks" of the VMS all fit the time and place that we have some consensus

I completely agree (but then again, I would, wouldn't I?) :-)

To accomodate all the new stuff I've rearranged my website. It should be
much better organized now and everything is in one place. Please take a look
at http://uair01.xs4all.nl and tell me if the links are working.

Excellent site (much clearer now!), but note that the top picture on each of these two pages aren't loading ATM. :-o

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

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