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Re: VMs: 1006184 & 1006185


That is fine - but can these experts also offer us some descriptions of how the illustrations differ from the plants 'depicted'? If we had that then we'd know more about what allowances to make wrt the VMS illustrations.

Please don't misunderstand me. I'm simply concerned to clarify the basis on which people can say of any VMS illustration that it 'is of plant xxxxx'. Currently I'm underwhelmed by any of the suggestions offered, and really bothered that I can stroll into my garden to check (and look in piles of books I have to support the gardening) and find many many important taxonomical differences. If folk can genuinely explain away those differences then let's hear about it.

On the face of it the possibility that plants evolved a lot over 500 years seems implausible. That drawings might be systematically/stylistically 'erroneous' is interesting but I need the evidence.

That's all.


On 9 Jun 2004, at 12:37, Rene Zandbergen wrote:

--- William Edmondson <w.h.edmondson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

The point I am trying to make (non-tetchily) is
simply that 'looks-like'
is very subjective.  The drawing in question doesn't
look like a
strawberry plant - any strawberry plant - for a
number of reasons I  listed.

It being subjective is true, but the real problem is even worse. It was never really the purpose of ME MS herbals to create lookalikes of the plants, so the same objection could be applied to a great many ME herbal drawings which are known to represent a particular plant (the text being readable). I'm not a medieval herbal expert, but the above statement comes not from me, but from people who are (were).

Cheers, Rene

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Dr William Edmondson
School of Computer Science
University of Birmingham
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