From Russia, with Voynich

I’m finally getting around to process the mails which have arrived over the last few weeks regarding readers’ ideas about the VM. (I apologize again to the posters for the delay!)

First of all in the queue is “Y.M.” (Yurij? Yewgenij?), hailing from Russia. He’s a self-declared newcomer to the VM (as opposed to us “old hands” who have been so successful in making heads or tails of it over the last years, apparently ;-), and he has a suggested reading for the notorious marginalia of the VM’s last page, f116v. (Click on the image to get a full-res display.)

M.V.last page

I’m not so sure what to make of it, because to me it looks like just another possible reading of the letter sequences, and one which doesn’t make any more or less sense than the scores which have been presented previously.

One distinguishing feature “Y.M.” failed to address explicitly, though, is the idea that the last “word” on the second line might actually be the astrological symbol for Capricorn, rather than the letter “m” as is usually believed. While inserting Capricorn here doesn’t make the short paragraph much more readable, in general it might be a good idea to include astrological/alchemical symbols into the “character repertoire” against which we try to match the marginalia.

Your ideas? Comments welcome, as always.


3 thoughts on “From Russia, with Voynich

  1. Hello! I’m sorry for my anonymity. I will introduce myself later. Right now I want to clarify my deciphering. As far as I understand, this marginalia is a recipe of the healing wine. Certainly, I’m not sure of January-Capricorn, it’s my supposition. But I’m sure in other respects.
    It’s not a“character repertoire”, but the list of ingredients. If You know, sometimes, medieval doctors added the red ochra in the wine or water, they valued the red hematite as a very healing remedy. Also, sea water could be added into the wine for a long time.
    Moreover, we can understand it even from the title: “Require (posce), cup (lebes), the vine (vine or vimen) vinifer? veritifer?” etc – very cleared condition. That’s all. I’m ready to share my next thoughts later.

  2. Hello!
    Y.M. : The letter “8” in the second line is repeated three times. You read it twice as “t” and once as “?”
    In my opinion the word “vitifer” is well found.
    Good luck for the future!

  3. Hello, Ruby!
    You’re first responding me. So, thank You!
    Yes, I mean that the “8” = “t” = “d”. It’s simple. “ad” usually can be “et” or “de”, because the author used many cuts in the words, especially, it is concern of vowels, the fact that was a very peculiarity in those days (while nowadays – too, for example, medical notations in the patient history :) ) . The main of all is to keep safe the basic sence of this marginalia. And it doesn’t metter, that we won’t know exact directions of preparing of this healing wine. It is the least important part of the MV. But, it is possible, this inscription and other ones could save the manuscript from the flame of inquisition, looking like herbal and compendium of recipies of the medieval doctor and astrologer, especially, if he makes hint about the “Cup”.
    My best wishes, Y.M.

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