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RE: VMs: Link between Phaistos Disk & VMs...!?

	What Wayne appears to be looking for is a proof that doesn't exist. One
that confirms his approach. The ghibelline walls don't look anything like
any of the examples he gave and yes we can theorize that the style might
have existed pre 13th century, but he's asking us to prove something didn't
exist since there is no evidence of structures similar to them from earlier
times that remain if they had existed.

	The point I find most frustrusating is when people comment that a solution
won't be accepted even if it is right. That's just nuts. If someone could
produce a readable version of the VMS based on a logical set of rules that
works on all aspects of the VMS and provides clear contextual agreement with
the pictures, labels, etc... I have no doubt that everyone on this list
would be ecstatic - even though they would scour over the process with a
fine-toothed comb to be sure - they would accept it. NO solution to date
comes even close to making sense, some make more nonsense than others - but
they are all from arguments like Wayne's... If you can't prove a negative
how can you accept a positive.

	Wayne, if you wish to believe that the clothing and buildings don't appear
to be sufficient evidence to prove your theory out of time - by all means
continue to follow it, but do try to offer something a little more concrete
than the vague reliefs you've offered to date with 'similar' looking clothes
etc... The one wall example you sent had triangular battlements - hardly
even close to ghibelline, but sufficient for you to dismiss the difference


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx]On
Behalf Of Wayne Durden
Sent: Sunday, July 31, 2005 12:35 AM
To: vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: VMs: Link between Phaistos Disk & VMs...!?

Hi Nick:

>> Are you aware of how it was prepared or scraped that dates it, because if
>> so, I would like to close down an avenue of inquiry?
> AFAIK, the only commentator (Robert Babcock at the Beinecke, IIRC?) on
> suggests a likely 16th century preparation date for the vellum. But his
> opinion isn't yet "beyond reproach", to use your phrase.

Yes, I read somewhere a description attributed to Babcock that it was not
inconsistent with 15th century preparation without further elaboration.
Interestingly, where I read that description, I also found the single remark
so far that would instantly allow me to abandon the Dacian hypothesis if i
can verify it, and that was a remark attributed to Brumbaugh regarding a
clock with differing length arms that would place the item to the 15th
century.  However, I have yet been able to see or corroborate this "clock"
in the VMS.  If you know where it is in the MS please let me know as that
would certainly kill any hypothesis of a dicinian wisdom book in its
original form.  This is exactly the kind of item I was hoping to solicit in
the original request.  The problem I have is that many of the suggested
items that are offered to support a 15th century manuscript, do not also
rule out an earlier origen.  Yes, we can point to similar examples from the
15th century, but we can't say this supports 15th century and only 15th
century...  Of course knowledgable expert consensus not long ago centered
around 13th century rather than the 15th for what that is worth.
>> In all seriousness, MS experts and archivists can't conclusively agree on
>> the Vineland map whose C-14 datings were finally released in the new
>> millenium.
> FWIW, I think Professor Robin Clark's Raman spectroscopy analysis of the
> Vinland Map (which indicates a 20th century forgery) is by far the most
> credible and comprehensive of all the analyses done. True, I would have
> preferred a more comprehensive study of all the inks used there: but
> funding is funding, so you make do with what you can get. :-o

I am glad you accept Clark's analysis.  My point here was regarding Rene's
dismissive general assertion that experts could date a manuscript from 10m
away (at least as being within 1000 years) and we can safely conclude it is
near consensus date.  I remain not so certain.  Even, in more recent
manuscripts where we have modern ink signatures allegedly as in the Vineland
map, debate amongst credentialed experts still rages.  The issue of anastase
in the ink dating it from the 1920's versus medieval sources was merely an
example.  My point was intended to show that despite more technological
change in the last 500 years that should give clear strata of differences,
the issue is not so clear cut even amongst experts.  The carbon dating
results were held in that example for more than a decade and after the
release argument abounds!  Now as to a MS 1000 years earlier, one might at
first think the issue would certainly be easier.  That was my first thought.
But consider the fact that we are talking about skins where preparation
methods did not drastically change for long periods?  Perhaps Rene knows
something about the thickness, etc. that uniquely identifies it, and if so,
I was hoping he might say so instead of a general unsupported dismissal.  As
a practical test, look at the 5th Century A.D. Vienna Dioscorides herbal for
instance.  While the original dioscorides is lost, this version is 1000
years earlier than the consensus date for the VMS.  What is it about the
medium itself that says this was created 1000 years earlier than the VMS (if
the VMS was created at consensus period)?  Ignoring the lettering system on
the Vienna Discorides, would a manuscript specialist truly be able to
observe a folio there and say it is 1000 years earlier than the VMS?  Why
the stitch repeairs in the VMS actually appear cruder than the media
workmanship on the Vienna Dioscorides to my eye.  The artistic style of the
herbs looks more finished than the VMS herbal, altough some of them were
reportedly copied from the earlier (lost) crateus which Pliny described as
crudely drawn?  Can we really conclude much from the crudeness of the
drawings about the age of the manuscript anyway, versus the skill of the
particular artist?  If the lettering system is unknown or made up, how does
that give us a hint about the dating?  What is there really in the VMS that
COULD NOT have appeared the way they are depicted one thousand years
earlier?  What kind of clothing and hairstyles and walls existed on the
Danubian plain at 500 A.D. for instance and are the drawings in the VMS
clearly INCONSISTENT with them versus also consistent with 15th century?
My point was simply in frustration to Rene's general assertion that an
expert codicologist would tell the difference at 10m and that we could
safely assume it was correctly dated at the consensus date...  I urge folks
to look at images of the 5th century Vienna (Anice) Dioscorides or go and
visit it and draw their own conclusions about how truly similar a manuscript
might be despite enormous differences in age.

 Some background can be found here:

> In my last posting on this, I did include a list of evidential features
> which support the 1400-1500 dating claim, and there are plenty of others I
> could have appended (which I have posted on the list at various times).
> Which of the former were insufficient for your needs?
They were not clearly balance tipping on my scales.  I didn't respond
because i don't really want to get into a point by point dispute over these
types of items, but am hoping only to solicit one example which would be
clearly exclusionary like the aforementioned clock.  Since you have now
asked directly, I recall only generally that there were four cited items,
one of which I felt was very general like the hairstyles.  I also recall
your reference to the wolkenband, and I had in my notes a reference to this
sourced in 1945 by an Erla rodakiewicz where she had cited it in opposition
to Dr. Strong's theory as appearing in Italian manuscripts 15th century
without specific examples.  However, she did cite an earlier northern source
for them.  When I went looking I found them evident in much earlier German
woodcuts and did not necessarily see them as extraordinarily prevalent in
15th century to the exclusion of earlier examples.  If I am not mistaken I
believe I also saw them with regard to the golden legend works much earlier
(I believe this was 12th century going strictly from memory).  If you have
particular examples from 15th century italian works, I
would be glad to view them and perhaps that would yet tilt the scales.
Unfortunately, when I see reference to this claim of uniqueness in the
wolkenbands I didn't see pointers to the purported italian examples to fully
evaluate, and perhaps I simply didn't find the correct things.  I would be
happy to look at the particular ones that you might point out.  I also
recall your reference to the circular map.  While you may be absolutely
correct on this issue of city identification, subjectively to me,
stylistically the map cited appeared different (different level of
detail/dimensionality), and I also found this general mapping scheme not
unique to the century.   I regret that I don't recall the fourth item
offhand.  Again, I don't dispute that we could point at examples and say
these are consistent with 15th century, but can we not also say they are
consistent with 14th with similar examples?  What is the cutoff date that is
absolutely ruled out by anything in the VMS, that is what I am looking for?
I suspect that many will find this frustrating because they will say these
things look similar to me and feel I am rejecting items unreasonably.  That
was one reason I didn't respond initially.  But my purpose is flipped, I am
faced with a hypothesis that potentially covers the source of the VMS with a
star count similar, in an unknown lost natural language that potentially
satisfies the Zipf's laws issues, with a potential source all the way into
Rudolf II's court, and I looking for something that categorically kills the
hypothesis.  Again, some will say the method is bottom up instead of top
down, but I believe the puzzle pieces can be placed as one finds them.  I
stumbled to this while researching star charts which ended up in the
Jordanes history of the Getae.

I don't mean this as any attack on your examples in isolation as they
certainly present some interesting similarities, its just that in tipping
the balances i am working with, they are not exclusionary enough.  What I am
hoping to find is something like the clock, or some mechanism, numeral, name
or symbol that would be something that is uniquely out of place with an
earlier production.  Things like the hairstyles and castle walls haven't yet
reached that point considering what I place on the other side of the
balance.  Now I suspect that everyone's personal weighting scale is
influenced by the sum total of many disparate influences.  My personal
weighting scales are tipped by clues about what the document might be as has
been recently discussed at length, the zipf's laws analysis and early
analysis that was consistent with a natural unknown language and which would
be hard to square with a cipher system, and by the fact that things which
are normally replete in 15th century manuscripts are absent.  To wit, there
is a (to me) remarkable paucity of any christian symbology or anti-christian
symbology for a MS at the consensus date, and there is also great
dissimilarity with most 15th century zodiacal and alchemical texts.  In
contrast, the earliest herbals are not vastly dissimilar.  Furthermore,
approaching from the other side, if this is a 15th century cipher, there
aren't many known examples from that era that have the level of indirection
the VMS must possess in order to remain unsolved, i.e., where the author
went to the trouble of both an unknown alphabet and then some additional
layer(s) above and beyond a simple to moderate substitution scheme that
would yield to the analysis that has been applied.  Indeed, the VMS would
apparently be unique in its effort (the size of the manuscript and the
disguising artistry accompanying it aren't found in any solved ciphers from
that era that I have seen cited).  Of course, there is always the
possibility that other innocuous looking MS from the era in fact include
ciphers we have simply not discovered.  It strikes me as unusual that those
on the list favoring the cipher hypothesis never discuss how they weight
this issue of extraordinary disguising effort.  Recently in a response from
John Grove, he suggested that the list would be happy to return to the
discussion as a potential natural language if one could only suggest a
grammar.  While not replying at the time, my feeling was what has caused
folks to simply ignore the items cited by D'Imperio and others which support
a natural language?  Furthermore, what about the fact that many of the
earliest writings we have don't even have a recognizable grammar in the
sense we currently have (for instance look at Runic translations, Futhark,
Assyrian, even the translations of the earliest Greek.)  There may or may
not be a grammar in Getic writing from Dicinius (but if he is introducing
the writing to the people as Jordanes history states there is a scale of
probability related to this we might assume until more pieces turn up).  By
imposing a requirement that a grammar should be suggested first to move it
into the realm of consideration of a real language writing system, well that
immediately places a hurdle of impossibility up for early writings, does it

> My original post noted the symmetry linking two claimed decipherments of
> two different objects, where both claimed that an "Old" (implying
> simplified & stripped down) Eastern European language was in use. To my
> eyes, John Stojko's "Baby God" reading fails to explain the internal
> structural features of Voynichese, and also fails to explain the pictures
> and diagrams at all.
I do not agree with Stojko's ultimate interpretation, however I think his
claimed Armenian link is somewhat intriguing given the Dicinius hypothesis I
am chasing.  I mentioned his name recently merely for the point he raised in
frustration that even if correctly solved, if the language is a relatively
unknown one, such a correct solution will likely never be accepted.  I agree
with you in that I would expect a reading to relate to the diagrams.

> However, this same criticism would almost certainly be true of just about
> any other "Old <x>-ese" plaintext claims that could be made. Right now, I
> would say that the simplest and most compelling explanation we have for
> those same curious statistics and curious structures is that they arise
> from some kind of curious encipherment. This alone would almost certainly
> date it to late medieval (if not early modern) times.

The cipher background is far from my strongest subject knowing very little
about them until recently, and perhaps I am weighting with assumptions that
are out of date, but I have been partially influenced by early analytical
anamolies that suggested real language, which statistical results wouldn't
typically hold for a cipher as I understood the issue.... My feeling is that
folks on the list haven't disproven that analysis but many have simply
pushed it to the background because no suitable language candidate was
found.   With regard to a plaintext language, after reviewing the modern
arguments over whether the lost Dacian language was even Satem or not, and
the multiple disputes over the origen of the languages in the balkans, I am
hesitant to make ANY generalizations about how such a plaintext language
might have functioned in literature at this point.  Carolus Lundius goes to
great pains to tie in the getic linguistic origins, and although his is a
1600's work and there are some known mistakes, his linguistic work can't be
dismissed out of hand, as it was lauded by the Acadamy of Sciences at the
time, and his sourcing shows an enormous amount of work in the undertaking.
Our tendency is to reject old works too easily in my opinion.  While such
historians may not have the depth of materials nor the ability to cross
reference (especially since the inception of Google), they may have had
access to materials which we simply do not have anymore. The basic
intelligent quotient has changed little I suspect.  Folks with a background
in Greek can assess Lundius' linguistic proficiency and his conclusions.

All in all, I remain searching for that clock type item in the VMS that
closes down the Dicinius wisdom book hypothesis.


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