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Re: VMs: Updates and summaries

Nick wrote:

> f100r has all kinds of slightly incongruous Voynichese letters & syntax if > you look closely: I'm currently working on finding a way of making these 
> more visible more consistently.

We are of course talking about one of the later folios produced, at least in my opinion.  This is the next-to-the-last section written in my view, the pharmaceutical section, and lastly the almanac.  Or to be correct, the pharmaceutical/antidotary was the last of the herbal section to be written.  My opinion, of course.

Granted I haven't transcribed this section as yet, but when you mentioned this particular folio, I looked at it and ran a check on some of the "syntax" you are looking at.  Nothing unique in my view, at least in my opinion.  A couple of things in the labels, but I think we know by now that they operate under different rules than the body of text.  I look forward to your further comments however.

> Ain't nothing much wrong with jumping to testable hypotheses, tho'. :-)

Absolutely, nothin' wrong with that, and you know how I hate to play the conservative from time to time.  I was actually very interested in the UFO/Alien/Voynich connection... just a minute, gotta get the door... I'm now having my National Inquirer delivered! :-)

> FWIW, bleedthrough and bleedacross are normally the first two things I look 
> for on a page: and AFAICT the effects I'm looking at don't appear to be 
> paint-related.

I know you do, and I credit you as the first person to focus on these artifacts in a serious manner.  

> AFAIAA, we don't know squat about the ink ATM. :-o

In all kindness, I freely admit that there have been times in the course of Voynich studies when I've had my brain so far up my arse that I could see the tobacco stains on the back of my teeth, but Nick, I think you're now able to look yourself squarely in the eye! :-) [no offense intended]

There is much we have in the form of physical evidence that touches on the quality and composition of the ink, and I think at one time we had links to several sites and books that covered the making of medieval inks, their composition, their problems, etc.

One of the first clues you have is that the ink varies drastically on different folios at times - compare the color and composition of the ink on 45r versus 45v as an example.  If we assume that the two folios weathered approximately the same over time in a bound form, there is no possible way these two versos are written from the same inkpot, or the same ink mixture.  In fact, it was the quality and color of the ink that led me to the conclusion that the folios were written while the bifolios were laying flat, not bound as suggested.  Not always, but sometimes, the ink on opposite flats of the bifolio are an identical match.  Given the amount of time involved in this process however, this is an important observation, and can also have a small role to play in proper placement of pages.  

> According to Sergio Toresella, at least one of the holes appears to have 
> been deliberately added, which is fairly strange. Like f112's apparent copy 
> of a page-tear, perhaps this added hole is a copy of a hole in the original 
> vellum? Something to think about, anyway! :-o

Okaaaayyy..... I had told myself that I would stay out of these types of discussions, but since I'm intrigued, I'll bite - I know I'll regret it though.  Which hole was intentionally created, and where is the proof that this is not a natural artifact of the vellum?

Also, if the "page tear" on f112 is artificial, what about the one on f114, and other artifacts that can be attributed to the tanning process and the quality of the vellum?  Did you happen to notice the several folios where poorly processed vellum is about to shrink and separate, and is this effect manufactured as well?

> >3.  Chemical reaction of components used in the ink and paints.  As I 
> >pointed out on on folio above, there does seem to be some correlation 
> >between much darker sections of text and the paints used on the opposite 
> >or verso of the folios in question.  I'm not qualified to speak to this, 
> >but only observe the general correlation.
> True - but I don't think this kind of effect explains all the apparent 
> variations in ink colour and density (for example, on f100r).

Fortunately I'm a Democrat, so when speaking to me you're entitled to your opinion, and I'm open to ideas whose facts prove my views unwise.  

> >4. The effects of time, or more to the point, the effects of the 
> >environment (or environments) on the folios and the chemicals involved in 
> >their construction.  Heat, moisture, cold, etc.  There are signs of damp 
> >on many of the folios internally, and on almost all of them on the 
> >external edges.  The "darker" text is found on many folios nearer the 
> >outside edges than in the center or right edges.  Your f100r could fall 
> >into this general category, or at least if you add up all the affected 
> >characters by location.
> ...or then again, it might not. I'd say not enough is yet known about the 
> effects of aging to form a proper opinion. Then again, we could test this 
> experimentally - if we had 500 years to spare... :-)

I don't think you need 500 years, though I notice by your statement that you are now accounting the Voynich as an early 16th century document? :-)  [fat chance, right?] What we need are examples that match the plausible criteria, and these documents are usually in poor condition and found only deep in the bowels of ancient library collections.  

I guess my question is - that when there is evidence of repairing flaws in the vellum prior to writing, when holes are routinely repaired, drawn around or incorporated into drawings, where does one get the idea that a specific hole is "manufactured", or that otherwise natural flaws in the vellum are "artificially reproduced"?  It's okay to have an hypothesis and seek data to prove or disprove that hypothesis, but to raise that hypothesis to the level that one seeks only the evidence in favor is politic, not scientific, and from what I know about you Nick, you'd never fall into this trap, so I desperately await further communication from you on this topic.

All my best,


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