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Re: VMs: A Possible Interpretation of the Four Figures, one with an Egg
At 17:12 10/09/2004 -0700, Pamela Richards wrote:
Eric spoke of doing some work to "clean up" these
images. Do I understand you to mean that these
figures are not discernable in the actual document
because of the flower-petal pattern? Does the image
need to be altered in order to see the figures in the
first place? That would be very interesting.
The figures in the "flower-petal/tombstone" page are discernible, but only
just - you certainly have to look several times to notice they're there at
all (look at the sidfile!). That, coupled with the obvious parallels with
the preceding page (which has much the same underlying magic-circle-like
basic structure) makes me suspect that it was "jazzed up" to make the two
appear quite different.
Did Kieckhefer happen to observe that the spirits
being called up were thought to have been connected
with the fixed stars? Angelic spirits, "evil"
spirits; even the spirits of the dead were so
associated, presumably each with its own star.
AFAIK, no fixed stars in necromancy - only demonic names. In the
necromantic universe, demons are not the spirits of the dead, but instead
more like fallen angels, working in a curious hierarchy which, for
Kieckhefer at least, mirrors the power-structure of the medieval Church.
FWIW, Kieckhefer's main thesis is that most necromancers were within the
Church, rather than outside it.
If there is anything in the VMs that describes
necromancy, that would be a good reason for the tight
encryption. Necromancy was punishable by death.
Worse case, yes: but in practice, many medieval necromancy trials had quite
different outcomes. Most medieval courts were not kangaroo courts run by
However, I would think twice about the idea that a
document bearing on such content was knowingly sold to
royalty. Either the VMs is a different document, or
Rudoplh II had no idea of the details of its contents,
or the author had lost control of it before it reached
the hands of Rudolph. Or all three. But I am very
hestitant to imagine that someone knowingly placed a
recipe for necromancy in the hands of the Holy Roman
Emperor, no matter how interested he may have been in
AFAICT, there's no obvious evidence to support the idea that any VMs owner
circa 1600 had any idea what it said (whether necromancy or not), which
rather weakens this argument - I'm perhaps the strongest advocate of
necromantic content in the VMs, and I'm only claiming three pages (of 220+)
are probable magic circles, which is not an overwhelming number. :-/
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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