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RE: VMs: Didn't We Just Hear This Somewhere?


This is a useful reminder, her book is in Reeds' list:


JD also expands a bit on cyphers, it seems:


"In her book The Alphabetic Labyrinth Johanna Drucker
has a brief overview, p.171 through 176, of the early
efforts and works in cyphers and crytography. One of
the earliest works of cyphers (or codes) was "process
of letter substitution attributed to Ceasar" (p. 171)
She also details works by Trithemius [Stenographia and
Polygraphia], John Wilkins [The Secret and Swift
Messenger] Giambattista della Porta [Five Books on
Secret Letter Signs] and Gustavus Selenus
[Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiae] all of who wrote
their works during the Renaissance. Her discussion of
cyphers, however, falls within a larger complex
picture of the alphabet and language. It is not a book
about cyphers."

Her views about Newbold are not surprizing, my
stronger interest would more be: why does she trust in


--- Dennis <tsalagi@xxxxxxxx> a écrit :

> 	"... one document which provides evidence of early
> readings 
> of the alphabet through Christian symbology is in a
> letter 
> written by St. Jerome to St. Paula.  Known as the
> XXXth 
> Epistle, this text is also much cited by later
> authors.
> 	"The passages in St. Jerome, written about 384
> A.D., focus 
> on the 118th Psalm which is composed according to
> the order 
> of the Hebrew alphabet, though using Greek letters. 
> The 
> first verses all begin with alpha and each
> succeeding set of 
> verses with the succeeding letter until ending with
> those 
> beginning with tau.  Jerome assigns a value to each
> letter 
> and then groups them into phrases, all the while
> keeping in 
> mind his ultimate aim, to explain to St. Paula that
> the 
> alphabet contains spiritual knowledge in symbolic
> form.
> 	"In the first group are the following letters are 
> equivalents [sic]:  Aleph = doctrine, Beth = house,
> Gimel = 
> plenitude, Daleth = the tablets, He = this here. 
> The 
> meaning of this string of elements is at first
> construed 
> literally by St. Jerome as 'doctrine house plenitude
> these 
> tablets here.'   But then he expands, filing in the
> gaps, 
> and arrives at the explanation that the first four
> [sic] 
> letters read together mean that 'the doctrine of the
> church, 
> which is the house of God, is to be found in the
> plenitude 
> of divine books.'"
> -------------
> 	- Johanna Drucker, *The Alphabetic Labyrinth*,
> (London, 
> Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1995; first paperback ed.
> 1999.) 
> ISBN 0-500-28068-1.   pp. 87-88.
> 	(She teaches art history at Yale!  The book
> mentions the 
> VMs  [pp. 121-3]; she dismisses Newbold, but thinks
> Feely 
> solved it!  "Subsequent scholarship decoding the
> manuscript 
> has laid to rest Newbold's obsessive scheme to rest
> when the 
> code in which the text was written was deciphered in
> the 
> 1940s by Joseph Martin Feely.  Feely was
> inconclusive in 
> determining the attribution and his interpretation
> was in 
> keeping with the alchemical mysteries of the
> manuscript's 
> imagery."  That was written in 1995.  Good grief!)
> Dennis
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