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Re: astrological iconography

Many thanks, Rafal, for this valuable piece of 
expert opinion.

> The genre scenes, eg. Aries eating a bush, suggest that
> the signs were redrawn from a calendar. Garments: the jopulas [?]
> of men with a belt suggest the 14th/15th c. but headdresses of
> men (Gemini, Sagittarius) definitively indicate the 15th c.
> This was common fashion in Europe at that time. The Sagittarius'
> cap with fox tail points to Germany - but they were also worn
> in Poland.

Brumbaugh always made a point of stressing that this was a 
Florentine archer's hat. Guess in whose opinion I put more trust.

> In my opinion it is a notebook of a liberal arts student.
> Similar notebooks are Beinecke 225 and 226. The former
> belonged to Paul de Worczin who studied in Cracow in 1422
> (according to the Beinecke catalogue Cracow is in Bohemia!).
> The latter is also from Cracow.

The notebook suggestion has been made before. I was never
a strong believer in this, because it didn't seem sensible
to me that it were written on vellum, even, as sometimes
stated, good vellum. But I have no clue, so I'd like to
invite anyone who does, to comment on whether cheaper material
would have been available to a college student. Are the other
Beinecke MSs on vellum or paper?
The other reason why I'm skeptical is that it doesn't at
all help us in explaining the script and its relation to the
underlying language. To me the VMs looks like the result
of a deliberate effort. 

> In our Institute we have a database with descriptions of
> most of existing medieval zodiacal iconography. I am now
> preparing a similar database of the iconography of
> individual degrees of the Zodiac.

This is very interesting indeed, and I'd be very pleased to
know more about it. I've read various books which discuss
bits and pieces of such images, but nothing comprehensive.

As I have explained before, in this area I still see a good
chance for finding a lot of cribs (plus evidence that the
VMs is not meaningless), based on an unproven interpretation
of the zodiac nymphs. I wonder if you, Rafal, think that
she would be willing to answer a few specific questions,
which would tell me if my above-mentioned unproven inter-
pretation makes sense or should be committed to the dustbin.

> Thus she confirms the opinion of Panofsky (and my own
> amateurish feeling) that the VMS should be dated
> to mid-15th Germany/Poland/Bohemia.

Now here's a question: the famous zodiac month names are not
written in Latin but in some apparently Romance language.
Perhaps they are from a later owner, but in the above
scenario the VMs was never very far from Prague until
Marci sent it to Rome. Czech is notorious for having unique
names for the months. Was that already so in the mid 15th C?
I.e. can we exclude that the month names were written by
a Bohemian, who would have used Cerven, Iunius or Juni,
but not Yony (for June, obviously)?

Cheers, Rene