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Re: Re: Re: VMs: Thoughts about Roman numbers in the VMS

Jan wrote:

>  Still, we do have to give him the credit for interesting detour, don't
you think? :-).  I did once
> published similar study, but I was not probably first either.   It is
obvious that the "characters" are
> constructed from several basic strokes, which are used in the subgroup of
certain combinations.  Is
> there intent behind this? I would say yes, but we still need proof.
Also, it covers only the part of the
> "alphabet".

Absolutely, and I don't consider this line of thinking a detour at all, but
straight to the heart of the matter!

Comments from elvogt aside, I have in the past put out a lot of information
along these lines, and I am now at a point where the conversation needs to
become far more specific than it has been in the past.  I was trying to
think back on when it all came together, and I know it was shortly after I
was talking to myself out loud on the list about problems I was having with
the gallows glyphs.  Every time I'd run into one of these, the system
collapsed, and I was left with only sentences and portions instead of a
clear and contiguous read.  They weren't the only ones I was having problems
with, but they were the primary reason for my detour down this road.  If you
look back in the archives, this was probably 2 years ago or so, maybe?

At that time I was using a modified Currier transcription, but I dumped that
in favor of something more specific, that I dubbed A-voynich.  I only had
copyflo images at the time, but once Takahashi posted the microfilm images,
I was forced to abandon A-voynich and begin the VGBT transcription to
accomodate the new information.  Now that we have the sids, I'm going
through and refining the VGBT transcription, because my previous read leaned
toward the conservative because of the continued lack of clarity.  The glyph
somewhat between the "o" and the "a" for instance, I was aware of, but
cautious to include.  Certain things in the text said it had to be real, but
I simply couldn't get a clear "picture" of it.

I only ramble on about this because it is important to demonstrate that the
primary reason the VMS hasn't been solved sooner is due to the poor quality
of images available, and no transcription, including my own, yet has a
perfect handle on what is going on in the text.  The shortcoming of my
understanding lies in the cramped text of the [b] folios, and there are a
couple of [a] herbal folios that don't carry the "c89" statistic usual to
[b] folios, but are apparently written in [b] just the same.   I also
covered that somewhere in the archives, but I don't remember when that was.
I've been putting off going back and reading what I wrote in the archives,
mostly because I'd find myself constantly saying "What the heck was I
thinking?"  The point being of course that I have a long history in this
line of thinking and research, but if I term myself a master, it is in jest,
I assure you! :-)   Nevertheless, you might benefit from what I've learned.
Back to the gallows that started it all, or maybe we'll just start with
gallows that begin paragraphs.

There are four primary gallows initials in the herbal section, which I've
termed {f} {g} {h} and {i}.  In EVA these would be ----- pause while I pull
up a translation table -----  <f> <p> <k> and <t>.The {f} and {g} appear to
be similar, and therefore part of a set, but this is incorrect, as can be
evidenced by mistakes made by the author in the VMS.  The proper groups are
{f,h} and {g,i}.  We'd naturally tend to group the two-legged gallows
together, and the one-legged gallows together, but that's not the proper
order.  Their assignment is based on the loops, not the legs.  This holds
also for the combo gallows.  So what do they mean, these groups, and why are
they used so often as an initial?  As a folio or paragraph initial, there is
no difference between {f} and {h} save one, that being that when the {f} is
used, the numeric string that controls the encipherment begins at 1, and
when the {h} is used, the {h} is directly translatable from the table and
the numeric string begins with the second glyph in the paragraph.  Why did
he do this?  I'm not certain, but it holds true whenever these glyphs are
encountered, even within the text body.  Within the text body is where I
have some glimmer of what he may have been trying to accomplish.  You don't
get "89" or "c89" so many times without having a great deal of flexibility
built in, and this is apparently one of the mechanisms that serve this

The combo gallows are very interesting in that they serve essentially the
same purpose, responding to the same notational rules as above, but they
stand for two or more letters taken from the same line in the table before
progressing in the numeric string.   They are combined simply for that
reason, and once in awhile you'll find them disconnected in some way, so
guess what you do then?  You progress in the numeric string - simple.  Their
combination is no different from the various "4o", "oe" and "89" sets that
exist throughout the VMS, and sometimes there are more than two glyphs
combined in this fashion, but all for the same reason, and all responding to
the same set of instructions.

When I finally caught onto this, things got a lot clearer.  There are a lot
more examples within the text itself, but you can only get there by luck or
accident when there are so many gallows in opening paragraph lines.  This is
not where it stops.  I initially grouped the "c", "cc" and "ccc" groups
together based on their connectivity and similarity.  This was incorrect.
These are separate entities for the most part, only similar in appearance.
"c" with a tail and "c" without a tail serve the similar function as the
bent leg of the gallows, so they are a set.  It appears to be
counter-intuitive, but there is another member of this "c" set, a "c" with a
hook, reflected in my transcription as a {2}, and in EVA as an <s>.   This
has a function on the "c" identical to the functions of the {f} and {h}
gallows glyphs.  Add to this set one more variable, the EVA <c>, known to me
as a {z}.  We certainly wouldn't group them together initially, and we would
most especially group the {z} with EVA <ch> and its variants, but when you
stop and think about it, there is a pattern forming here.

I could go on about the sets, but very quickly I'd begin to describe sets
that are not readily translatable in EVA, which means that I would soon run
out of the "language" to properly describe them.  The pattern I was
referring to I'll make a bit clearer - the hook changes things.  Whenever a
hook is present, something is the same, only different?!? - so you need to
look at the base glyph when these are present.  Tails (inverted hooks, such
as those found on the "9") have a similar function.  The "a" I was speaking
about that is in between an "o" and an "a", but deliberately written, is
grouped with the "9", not the "a" or "o".  Once this is fathomed, the
resemblance between a "9" and this "a" is evident in that it is a "9"
without a tail.  Statistically this puts our "9" in the middle of a host of
words, where none of our transcriptions or analyses previously identified
the "9" glyph as a major word-internal.  Does this change our understanding
of the shape of things?  Oh yes, it most certainly does.  But it doesn't
stop there - there is also a "9" (I term a {7} but no such distinction
exists currently in EVA) that has a deliberate straight tail.  Is it
functional or calligraphic?  It's functional.  There are sets, variations on
the same glyph, all with identical functionality.  They all serve a single
purpose, to identify when the cryptographic system undergoes alteration to
suit the present needs of the author.  The notation is systematic, which in
itself adds an easy "feel" to the script.  Nevertheless, it is a higher
order of notation than simple cryptography, and therefore must be viewed in
a different category than the system itself.

The half-spaces, or "polymillimetrics" if you will, (I just love writing
that feaux word), are a feature that are intertwined with this notation, and
cannot be found in any other known manuscript or cryptographic system.  The
author was apparently very visually oriented, as one can clearly divine from
the script.  These visual cues made his writing task fairly simple and easy
to remember, and at the same time turned a rather simplistic system into
something we've pondered for decades.

I don't believe I've ever grandstanded and screamed "Eureka!", though once
in awhile in the past I felt I was a lot closer than I was, so my speech was
confident, though sometimes misguided.  Today I state my case with
certainty, not by degrees, but by dead reckoning.   If elvogt will allow me,
I intend to finish that portion of the herbal and pharmaceutical sections
that please me, but the fat lady won't sing at least and until I've finally
read f1r.  I consider this my right, and if you wish to think of me as a
crackpot until then, think away - speak it out loud is you must - it doesn't
alter the landscape one iota.  Meanwhile you might review my previous
archived posts, and throw up some of the questions raised by them,
especially the ones that make me feel stupid for even thinking them, much
less writing them?  Hey, it's a creative process.


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