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Re: VMs: Evidence review

Seth wrote on Jul 10 that he hadn't found a scan of the Marcus Marci
letter to Anathasius Kircher online. The letter is reproduced in
Newbold's __The Cipher of Roger Bacon__ and  I have put it online at:


along with some other plates from the Newbold book.

Coincidentally or synchronistically, I was reading James P. Allen's
__Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of
Hieroglyphs__ (Cambridge, 2000) this afternoon and came across this re

"Only with the work of Athanasius Kircher, in the mid-seventeenth
century, did scholars begin to think that hieroglyphs could represent
sounds as well as ideas. Kircher knew Coptic, and he also had the
inspired notion that this last phase of Egyptian might be somehow
related to the language of the hieroglyphs. But Kircher also believed
in the mystical nature of the ancient script, and this eventually
doomed to failure all his attempts at decipherment."

That Kircher had this reputation was new to me, although perhaps not
to this list. At any rate, I liked the bit about his belief in the
mystical nature of the ancient script dooming his attempts at
decipherment. :)

Ross Bender

On Sat, 10 Jul 2004 12:56:39 -0700, sethm@xxxxxxxxxxx <sethm@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 09, 2004 at 01:59:32AM +0100, Jeff wrote:
> > 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. It seems silly that I haven't already done this. Has
> > anyone got any information on this that I could read? I want to be able to
> > see for myself and determine whether or not it has just been decided out of
> > convenience. Basically I want to see the smoking gun.
> >
> > Jeff
> I believe that the only solid evidence is the letter from Johannes
> Marcus Marci to Anathasius Kircher (19 August 1665 or 1666).
> This letter was attached to the manuscript when it came into William
> Voynich's posession, but I haven't found any scans of it online.
> It doesn't seem like the Beinecke photographed it along with the rest
> of the manuscript, although they still have it in their collection.
> It reads, in part:
>     Retulit mihi D. Doctor Raphael Ferdinandi tertij Regis
>     tum Boemiae in lingua boemica instructor dictum librum
>     fuisse Rudolphi Imperatoris, pro quo ipse latori qui librum
>     attulisset 600 ducatos praesentarit, authorem uero ipsum
>     putabat esse Rogerium Bacconem Anglum.
>    ("Dr. Raphael, tutor in the Bohemian language to Ferdinand
>     III, then King of Bohemia, told me the said book had
>     belonged to the Emperor Rudolph and that he presented the
>     bearer who brought him the book 600 ducats. He believed
>     the author was Roger Bacon, the Englishman.")
> The full letter is transcribed here:
> http://www.voynich.nu/letters.html#mm66
> -Seth
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