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Re: VMs: MS408 Character Development

At 02:47 07-07-05, Dennis S. wrote:
I'd like to summarize a possible VMs scenario based on what Maurizio has said.

In our early Renaissance time frame, the "medieval Gothic" or *littera moderna* style had run its course and had faily recently had a theory articulated. The new "humanist" or *littera antiqua* style, with its thiner and more cursive strokes, had also made its appearance and had been adopted in the more innovative countries, including northern Italy. The VMs author thus combined the stroke decomposition of the older script and the stylistic features of the newer script when she invented the Voynich script.
Does this make sense, Maurizio? Anyone else?

As far as I can say (which is probably not that far...), it does makes sense. Probably, I would have put in a different way. The element of the VMs script that I would mostly correlate with the _littera antiqua_ is the 'separateness' (spelling? wording?) between characters; this characteristic is probably also at the origin of (or it has the same origin as) of the difficulty to recognize proper space between words (and, who knows, maybe also the difficulty to distinguish between whole characters and parts of characters).

This may be a voluntary stylistic choice of the creator, in which case a suggestion from the _littera antiqua_ would be tempting; or it may be a consequence of the scrip being an invention, whence the necessity for its own author to keep its elements easily recognizable; or perhaps both!

I would not particularly stress thinness and cursivity as peculiar of the _littera antiqua_. This is a rather slow writing with no sign of cursivity. It is in most cases thinner than the most 'blocky' exempla of _littera moderna_, but the world of _littera moderna_ contains many thin and cursive samples, particularly in more 'private' mss. It might be said that these two characteristics tend (tend!) to go in pair: quick writing is easier with thinner nibs and, to some extent, vice versa.

On a more general plan, it is difficult to transpose categories used in the study and the history of _traditae_ scripts onto the study of invented scripts: the former are by definition shared knowledge and leave very little margin to the writer; while the latter are private by nature (even more when they are intended as secret scripts!).


Maurizio M. Gavioli - VistaMare Software via San Bernardo 5, I-16030 Pieve Ligure, ITALY http://www.vistamaresoft.com/

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