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Re: VMs: Writer's Motivation

Jonathan Lopez wrote:
Let me start off saying, I am not sure if this was
disgussed, but there are several questions that have
been buring and I was hoping this was solved

A lot of these questions have been addressed at length on the list. I think you would enjoy rooting through the archives looking for some of the discussion threads. Recent messages can be searched with Google. However, in the meantime I'll give representative but by no means comprehensive answers to some of them.

1. what would be the motives for writing an untranslatable book in the 1500's? (if this was in fact a hoax)

First, it's not established that it's untranslatable, even if it is a hoax. However, earning money is one possible motive. A recent suggestion is that its possession could give a person status.

2. the book was sold for 600 gold ducats which is how much in todays cash?

Jacques Guy worked on this last September, and estimated that it
would be much more than $15,000.

3. if Emperor Rudolf II of Bohemia was scamed in
buying this book what was he told it did or could do
for him?

Marci said in his cover letter to Kircher that he'd been told Rudolf II believed the author to be Roger Bacon. If this had been the case, Rudolf might have expected it to contain scientific or alchemical secrets.

4. it is implied that this is not the complete book, is there any info on who currently has or had the completed book?

It is not the complete book. We know that a number of pages went missing in the 20th century, and based on the numbering others had gone missing earlier.

5. using handwritting analysis (my psychology prof
would get upset at me suggesting this) what can this
tell us about the writer?

Jim Reeds had Sergio Toresella, an expert on manuscript herbals, investigate it -- his conclusion was that it was written in a humanist hand used only in Italy and only in about 1450-1500.

6. had the book been carbon dated yet?

Not to my knowledge. It's my understanding that its potential periods are in a bad spot for accurate carbon dating.

7. what in today's standards could convince you to buy
an untranslatable book?

I bought "Codex Seraphinianus" because it looks fascinating. I buy other books that I can't currently translate because I think they have information that I may someday want. Porta's "De furtivis literarum" is one such book that I'm happy to own and from which I gain a good deal of pleasure by "looking at the pictures"... just as I do with the Voynich Ms. -- Jim Gillogly

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