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Folio 66r marginalia - Printable Version

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Folio 66r marginalia - Anton - 01-01-2016

One of the advantages of the format of a "forum" is that if you have no time for development of an idea, you can just throw it in with a hope that it may be picked up by other participants. Blush

So do I with respect to You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. marginalia.

It is notable that at least two of the three plain text marginalia words have been emended.

Where there was "mel", now is "del".

Where there was "mul", now is "mus".

More than that, it looks like the first word was emended as well. It was either "en" (and then "d" was prepended, making it "den"), or it was *en (with the first letter hard to distinguish), later corrected to "den".

Three corrections in three words in a row give rise to a natural question: what for? These words appear as a label to the objects nearby depicted. So it looks like the guy depicted some objects, then labeled them, and then suddenly he decided that the labeling is not correct (!). OK, this is not so very probable.

What else, then? It occurs to me that the plain text of the label may have been associated in some way with the Voynichese text above. So after putting down all this text (Voynichese and plain text), the guy then got afraid that this association may lead to the readers' breaking the Voynichese code, so he emended the letters to change the words to other valid words (e.g. "mul" and "mus" are both valid words in some language, as well as "mel" and "del" are, etc.).

RE: Folio 66r marginalia - david - 02-01-2016

I once theorised that it read
y den mas DEP
And [they] give more RIP
In Spanish
Which could be something as simple as a Spanish speaker making an ironic comment about the woman having died from over / under feeding. Note the use of the subjunctive present mood (ellos den).
DEP is the traditional Spanish for RIP (descanse en paz / rest in peace or Requiescat in pace if you're old school).

The first mark (d) is necessarily an "amendement" but could simply be smudges caused by the ink not drying properly, especially as it's on the curve of the vellum.
The last glyph could likewise be a bad inking.
The amended letter on the last line has been amended. Could it be as simply as the writer mis-writing the letter d, and going back to make the upstroke more prominent? Maybe it was originally a lower case d and the writer realised it should have been an uppercase D?

RE: Folio 66r marginalia - Anton - 02-01-2016

Well possibly I could agree for the bad inking of the second word also... but miswriting of the third word is much less probable. It is clear that what's behind the "d" is a totally different letter, looking like "m".

A question is whether this plain text was added at the same time with the Voynichese above, or afterwards (maybe by another scribe).

In the latter case, it may be the result (direct or indirect) of attempted decryption of the Voynichese phrase. Amendments in such case would be natural.

In the former case we, in the first place, have much the same weird situation as in f116v, where Voynichese is combined with plain text, so the question is: what for?

And we must not forget the letter "p" (or whatever it is) above. Note that if we count this letter as a separate plain text element, the four elements are presented in a curious cross-like arrangement:


den   mus


Has this anything to do with the secret of encryption?!

RE: Folio 66r marginalia - davidjackson - 02-01-2016

The first letter doesn't look at all like a "p" to me - it's a stroke which goes down, twists over itself and comes up again. It looks like a y. A "p" would have the top closed, whereas this letter is leaving the top open.
I suppose it could also be a "u".
The same happens in reverse with your final "l" in "del". It's an upstroke which goes out to the right and straight down - it looks like a "P" to me.

Returning to the last word - yes it could be an "m" underneath a changed "d".  "miel" is honey in Spanish, which comes from Latin "mel" (also mel in Catalan) . (Actually, it's quite a common word according to You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.).

Mep is nothing that I can think of.

So your reading is still Spanish - and (they) give more honey.
But in this case we are missing the subject - to whom are we giving them honey?

I still like my original reading - as you point out, it's written in the shape of a cross, which gives additional impetus to the DEP theory.

*Why Spanish? Rudolph's maiden tongue was Spanish, and many in his court spoke the language, which was the lingua franca of the Habsburg during the XVI century.

RE: Folio 66r marginalia - Anton - 02-01-2016

Not necessarily would a "p" be closed - compare with "p"'s in f116v, like in "pox" and "portas".

"y" is an interesting option, insofar it could stand in itself for a single (one-letter) word; so if Spanish suits this, it is certainly an option to be investigated. But, 15c Spanish might have been different from what it is now. Was the "y" letter in use back then? For example, as for German, I consulted Lexer, and it has the whole "Y" letter grayed out in the alphabet - which means that no word begins with "y" in MHD.

I don't think that the final character in "de*" could be "p". A "p" would extend below the baseline, which it does not.

I think the crucial point is that, whatever readings we agree upon for both the original and emended phrases, they both should be valid. Better still if they both agree with the objects depicted. That could be the key to the underlying language of this phrase, because obviously not all languages would fulfil this requirement.

Two points about DEP (=RIP):

1) Is it not quite a modern acronym? Is it met with in contemporary documents?
2) We are not sure if the lady is dead or just feeling bad. There has been a good observation by somebody (was it Nick Pelling?) about the ochre blot on the lady's abdomen. Although it can mean different things - for example, the cause of death, as well as the cure to apply.

Middle High German might give some interesting options also, if we only set the letter "p" apart. To be clear, this is all constructed with the help of the Lexer dictionary with my close-to-zero actual knowledge of German, so it needs to be confirmed or disproved by language experts.

en mul would mean "into mouth", indicating the means of action
mel would mean "lime" (CaO or Ca(OH)2)

Lime is widely used in traditional medicine, although I don't think it's used perorally (as "into mouth" suggests).

Applying supposed corrections:

den would mean "then" or "therefore"
mus would mean "meal" or "meal-time"
del would mean "board"

Not very coincise... but German is the important option to consider insofar it is likely used in f116v.

RE: Folio 66r marginalia - david - 03-01-2016

DEP was in use in the medieval ages (and is in common use today), as "descanse en paz" coming from the translation of RIP. It was supported by the secondary Latin prayer "DIP" "Dormit In Pace" which was in use alongside RIP (Requiem in pace), which was more often used as an engraving on tombstones rather than in the common tongue. It is often written with an uppercase D and P, with a lowercase e (DeP), as is the case here.

Mus was a common 14th century + variant of "mas", modern day "more", according to Corpus del espanol.

Y and den are perfectly valid for the era.

I think my German is worse than yours, so I won't comment on that bit Cool

RE: Folio 66r marginalia - Anton - 03-01-2016

There might also be a complication due to these words being abbreviations. Imagine, for a brief example, that "del" stands not for "del", but for Latin "deleo".

RE: Folio 66r marginalia - EllieV - 31-01-2016

There is something yellow in the pot and there is yellow spot on the person's stomach. I think it is a recipe for plaster  with honey (mel =honey in Latin and other languages), wheatmeal  - I found example for such 'medical' practice in 15th century (do not try at home - this cure was worse than the disease)

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RE: Folio 66r marginalia - crezac - 31-01-2016

(01-01-2016, 04:45 PM)Anton Wrote: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.One of the advantages of the format of a "forum" is that if you have no time for development of an idea, you can just throw it in with a hope that it may be picked up by other participants. Blush

So do I with respect to You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. marginalia.

It is notable that at least two of the three plain text marginalia words have been emended.

Just throwing it out there myself, marginalia come in various formats.  Thoughtful commentary on the text. Notes to self. Disagreement with something the text says. And what I believe this to be, graffiti.  The drawing is there and has a label.  Someone writes the commentary in the margin and does such a poor job of it the need a few tries to get it right.  I think the label above the drawing is the authors comment on what the image represents, maybe preservation  or embalming, dunno.  The guy who added the marginalia probably didn't either.  But if he adds a comment in the margin and leaves it open to that page anyone who notices his handwriting there will assume he can read the text.  Graffiti for the sake of ego.

RE: Folio 66r marginalia - -JKP- - 31-01-2016

"y den mas DEP"

That last letter in "mel/del" is a Gothic cursive "l".

It was commonly written that way throughout Lombardy (from eastern Spain to western Austria and as far north as Bury St. Edmunds) and is also written that way in the marginalia at the top of 17r and 116v. If you take this together with the fact that the other letters are in Gothic cursive, it's difficult to describe it as anything other than an "l".

I've collected hundreds of samples of Gothic cursive from the 14th to 16th century and while the "l" will vary as to whether the loop crosses the bottom and how straight it is across the top from writer to writer and within a particular writer's handwriting, so far I've never seen a P written that way, with a pointed loop together with  no beginning tick.