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Re: VMs: Viola tricolor
> Without understanding what the artist was trying to do, "reminiscent
> of" is probably as good as it gets - we have no grounds for concluding
> incompetence or sloth (etc).
1) Statistically speaking there is no bad assumption that the VMS author was
a bad or unskilled draughtsman. From the many (600 to 1000) period 1400-1500
documents that I've looked at, I can safely conclude that here were a lot of
competent scribes (nice lettering) who were incompetent draughtsmen. Often
even the ornamental signature under (well written) a document comes out
strange and untidy. Therefore, the VMS scribe with his nice hand could very
likely be the unskilled draughtsman we recognize in the pictures. Even today
many people can write legibly, but how many of those can make a decent
2) I think that "recognizeability" was no criterion for flora authors. I
think that most pictures were just mnemonic aids. The text was the most
important part. And I would bet that many herbalist learnt their trade by
collecting their plants together with a more experienced colleague. So the
user of the herbal would already know the plants he was reading about.
Otherwise I can't explain how pictures as bad as these could be useful:
http://uair01.xs4all.nl/Voynich/Strange_Plants/Strange_plants.html - see
plants number 1-6
Same argument applies to this Chinese example:
3) The simplest explanation is that the author had to fill a lot of pages
with interesting looking plants.
And I'm going to say something that could draw some flames :
4) Each time the theory is aired that the VMS might not be a meaningful
document, I feel a lot of resistance in the comments from the group. But
isn't *understanding* the VMS just as much fun as *decoding* the VMS? If
someone makes a plausible theory of how the VMS was hoaxed I'll be just as
happy as when someone deciphers the VMS. Wouldn't both be a victory?
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