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Re: VMs: VMS symbols and early arabic numbers in Europe
At 21:30 06/08/2005 +0200, Heikki Qvist wrote:
Arabic numbers were introduced slowly from end of first millenium to year
1500, when the usage of arabic numbers started as we know them now.
In the latest phase of this developing period Arabic numbers appears very
similar to certain VMS symbols.
1) A symbol presented as an EVA symbol "l" (loop) was for 4.
2) A symbol presented as an EVA symbol "v" (cap) was for 7.
3) A symbol presented as an EVA symbol "q" (number four) was for 5.
(and these are more obvious:)
4) A symbol presented as an EVA symbol "r" was for 2.?
5) A symbol presented as an EVA symbol "s" was for 3.?
6) A symbol presented as an EVA symbol "y" was for 9.
7) A symbol presented as an EVA symbol "d" was for 8.
8) A symbol presented as an EVA symbol "o" was for 0.
Also there's similar property in VMS compared in early way of writing
Arabic numbers (already used in India): Adding symbols (dots or
circles) above the number to mark zeros.
Has anyone researches this ?
Where are symbols for 1 and 6?
Historically, a good number of people have, from examining the symbols
themselves out of context, concluded that the Voynichese alphabet contains
symbols much like the Arabic numerals circa 1400, but without 1 & 6 (and
arguably a few others, as you indeed flagged)
However, examine those same symbols in context - ie where they appear
within [what appears to be] words - and you might instead conclude (as I
do) that they owe far more to those ragged remnants of Latin notae that
were still in use circa 1400-1500. In particular, the VMs' word-final -9 is
a particularly obvious example of something that is not based on an Arabic
There's plenty on exactly this in the list archives, but I'd have to
recommend D'Imperio as a more easily accessible starting point for this. :-)
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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