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Re: VMs: Evidence review

Thanks for that Jorge. I'm filing it away because it will be useful to have
the general timeframe handy.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jorge Stolfi" <stolfi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: 12 July 2004 09:38
Subject: Re: VMs: Evidence review

>   > [Jeff:] I have always taken it on trust that the VMS was actually
owned by
>   > Emperor Rudolph. As my current thinking is now based on this I
>   > would like to review the actual evidence.
>   > [Jan:] So your "solid" evidence is actually only third hand
>   > information, providing Dr. Raphael was told about it directly by
>   > Rudolph :-).
> This (like most everything one could ask, it seems) was discussed
> some time ago in the list.
> Besides the problem of it being third-hand information, one should
> note that Rudolph's hypothetical acquisition of the VMS is unlikely to
> have happened after 1611. I know of no evidence that Raphael had much
> contact with Rudolph: according to Rene's bio he was hired by Rudolf's
> son Ferdinand II, then governor of Styria, and may not have spent much
> time in Prague until he became attached to the appeal's court in 1622.
> Raphael died in 1644 at age 64. The VMS was in Baresch's hands
> presumably from some time before 1637 until his death sometime before
> 1662. Marci wrote the letter to Kircher in 1665, when he was 70 and in
> failing health.
> So Rudolf's involvement is based on story that Marci had heard at
> least 21 years earlier, from Raphael who had learned it some 35 years
> earlier...
> One argument against the story: according to all specialists, the VMS
> author is not Bacon. So if Raphael was right, Rudolf had been deceived.
> Could that happen when he had so many knowledgeable people at his court?
> Another argument: One would expect that a manuscript bought by an
> emperor for so much money would show some sign of it, e.g. a decent
> rebinding, a seal, whatever...
> Another argument: Baresch was in contact with Marci since 1622, so he
> should have known Raphael's story through Marci; yet Baresch's 1637
> letter does not mention Bacon nor Rudolf (nor Jacobus's "signature",
> BTW). It seems strange that he would omit such an important detail
> when trying to convince Kircher to study the manuscript.
> My feeling (just a feeling) is that Raphael had heard about Rudolf
> buying a Bacon book, but never saw the latter; he just guessed that
> Baresch's book must be it, perhaps from a vague description. (He would
> not be the last one to jump to conclusions about the VMS... 8-)
> I give it 1% chance that the VMS was ever owned by Rudolf, 10% chance
> that it was owned by Jacobus, 1% chance that it ever was in England,
> 0% chance that it was ever seen by Dee or Kelley. But anyone is free
> to choose his/her own probabilities...
> All the best,
> --stolfi
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