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VMs: Re: Catoblepas

Hello Andrew and Welcome,

My thoughts were that this creature might be a sheep; however, I do find 
your suggestion to be intriguing. Thank you. The question now is, if it does 
represent a Catablepas, then to what purpose would it be included in the 

Dana Scott

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Andrew Sweeney" <andrew@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, October 12, 2004 5:39 PM
Subject: VMs: Catoblepas

> This is my first post. May I say I'm impressed beyond belief with the
> research that's been done here over the years.
> I've downloaded and searched the mail archives and I've not found this
> topic. If I'm treading old ground ignorantly, please excuse me.
> To business: On folio 80v, in the left-hand margin, the second figure
> from the top appears to be a catoblepas.
> A catoblepas is an imaginary creature described in Pliny's Natural
> History and later in medieval bestiaries. Essentially it's an armoured
> bull that always looks downward.
> You can see folio 80v on page 8 of the Beinecke digital collections
> database.
> (Go to http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/brbldl/ and search on "voynich"
> (without quotes).)
> Compare the figure from folio 80v with the woodcut of a catoblepas on
> this page:
> http://webhome.idirect.com/~donlong/monsters/Html/Catoblep.htm
> For the curious, there's a larger version of the same woodcut here:
> http://www.eaudrey.com/myth/catoblepas.htm
> I'm not suggesting that the figure from folio 80v is based on the
> figure from the woodcut. The two images appear to be drawn from
> different angles. Rather, I'd suggest that the woodcut follows and
> enhances a tradition of a catoblepas miniature, which tradition
> happened to be copied into the VMS.
> I'd appreciate criticism from anyone who knows their catoblepases. :)
> Regards,
> Andrew
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