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Re: VMs: Re: Important

Hi everyone,

At 22:28 25/06/2004 -0600, GC wrote:
There are even some clues in this presentation that lean toward certain
herbal bifolios, both in [a] and in [b], being closely associated, but not
in the right order or sequence of writing.  I don't remember if I put this
list of folios on the VMS-list, or simply jotted it down on some now lost
personal page, but I know I ran some numbers that argued very strongly for a
different ordering of herbal bifolios than what is presented in the VMS as
it currently stands.  I do know I walked away from the excursion reasonably
certain that the VMS herbal section was written bifolio flat, one side at a
time.  There are more definitive ways of looking at this that would help
clear up some of these questions, but I never followed through because the
exact order of individual herbal bifolios has little bearing (to me) on
what's encoded in the text.

I suspect you're underestimating the importance of reverting the bifolios back to their original order (and to their original binding positions, in the case of quire 9) here, as well as the importance of seeing the VMs' images without an additional layer of misleading paint.

What we're looking at - even in the sidfiles - is still a secondary document obscured by these accreted layers: for example, your interpretation of the pharma pages is acutely dependent on who coloured what and when. Did the original author only draw the herbal plants' outlines? Did the original author paint the cosmology section? And so on.

By reconstructing the original order and structure of even a handful of quires, we can start to build up the page-by-page context of the VMs: in the herbal section, that might allow us to develop an understanding of the visual themes of quires far beyond what we can currently see.

  All I needed to know is whether the thing was
written folio by folio as it is bound, or by flat bifolio.  I do remember
getting a little laugh out of myself when I realized that the back sides of
the bifolios weren't necessarily written directly after the front sides.

Are you asserting here that all bifolios were usually written one side at a time, as opposed to both sides at a time? Do you remember roughly which bifolios you were looking at that supported this view?

FWIW, to my eyes, the thematic groupings from page to page (ie between bifolios, such as in the balneo section) and this idea (of text's being written one bifolio side at a time) seem fairly incompatible in a primary document - that is, the content is inter-bifolio, yet the writing is intra-bifolio, which I think supports the idea of the document's having been copied in some way.

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

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