Monthly Archives: March, 2014

On factors distorting the plant images of the Voynich Manuscript

Contributed by Anonymous ‘Biologist, Finland’.  Many thanks to him for his insightful commentary and guidance.
Aims and limitations
This is an introductory text for people who aim to identify plant species illustrated in the Voynich Manuscript (VM, below).
The author of the present text is a Finnish Biologist who has spent some spare time with the VM illustrations. The present text is not meant to be a final scientific truth, nor is it exhaustive for all possible distortions. It merely aims to help the non-botanist student to avoid some basic misinterpretations. It is based on information availabe in March 2014. Our understanding on the contents of VM may change rapidly in case deciphering …

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Italian herbal – Veneto 15th century

See other interesting manuscripts here.
This  wonderful manuscript has 192 drawings of plants (Manuscript on paper. Veneto? Italy, S. XV). It is described as follows:
“This herbal was begun in the first half of the 15th century and continued for about half a century. It presents an interesting contrast between the early, conventional representation of plants and the naturalistic style, which was becoming common by the end of the century.
The roots are heavily emphasized and are often depicted as fantastic faces and creatures, e.g. the female mandragora (f. 36) and the woad plant (f. 42), which has a blue root with a human face.”
See page 33 r for an illustration of Folegar …

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Italian herbal manuscript – Vermont

I’ve started a new section on the website to list interesting mediaeval manuscripts.
This fascinating manuscript at the University of Vermont was brought to my attention by David Wiffler on this website, who said:
“There is a plant here:https://www.jasondavies.com/voynich/#f33r/0.966/0.479/1.70 that has two human heads attached to the root system. There is a similar thing in an old Italian herbal here: http://cdi.uvm.edu/collections/item/mrmc002&page=1&size= (you will have to go to the page and, using the box in the top right hand corner, jump to page 70).”

“This Italian herbal is the closest match I’ve seen for the Voynich m. If you put the two manuscripts side by side the similarity of the colours is quite remarkable, and the root systems …

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Voynich manuscript: the Mexican theory

A lot of people have recently asked me my opinion about the Voynich ‘New World’ theories, for example suggestions that it was written in Mexico in an Aztec language, because the plants look Mexican.
Such theories tend to date the production of the manuscript to the 1500’s, and explain the carbon dating (1400’s) by suggesting, for example, that the vellum was kept unused for decades.
Personally I prefer not to engage in speculation about authorship and dates until we have more evidence about the script and language, and in any case my linguistic analysis suggests a strong Near Eastern/Asian linguistic dimension. However, recently I came across a piece of information which might be of …

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Ricinus communis illustration

See a full discussion of this plant and picture here.
 Illumination, France, Robinet Testard (?), ca 1500. Illustration  of Palma Christ/Ricinus for Matthaeus Platearius, Le Livre des simples médecines. Fr. F. v. VI, 1. fol. 154 v, St. Petersburg, National Library

Voynich f6v: Ricinus communis, the Castor Oil plant?

In this full and detailed post I will discuss page f6v of the Voynich manuscript (VM), following the analytical approach and provisional findings which I set out in my Feb 2014 paper. In summary, I will propose here that the plant depicted on that page can be identified with some confidence as Ricinus communis, also known as the Castor Oil plant, on the basis of analysis by a number of biologists. I will then offer evidence that the first word of that page, transcribed in the EVA transcription system as KOAR, can be read as ‘K A W R’ or similar, and possibly represents the name of the plant, perhaps deriving ultimately from the …

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Voynich plant 6r

Can you help us to identify this plant and also decode the name?
Step 1: Look at the Voynich plant picture above. Look also at the possible name of that plant from the same page.
Step 2:  Look at some other expert suggestions, below, for what this plant might be. Some are borrowed from here.
Step 3: If you have any good suggestions for the plant, please post a comment below. Give the Latin genus and species name if you can.
Step 4: Can you suggest a name in any language which might resemble the Voynich word? If so, post a comment below.
In particular can you suggest a name from any language which might fit the Voynich text?
Thanks

Voynich plant 5v

Can you help us to identify this plant and also decode the name?
Step 1: Look at the Voynich plant picture above. Look also at the possible name of that plant from the same page.
Step 2:  Look at some other expert suggestions, below, for what this plant might be. Some are borrowed from here.
Step 3: If you have any good suggestions for the plant, please post a comment below. Give the Latin genus and species name if you can.
Step 4: Can you suggest a name in any language which might resemble the Voynich word? If so, post a comment below.
In particular can you suggest a name from any language which might fit the Voynich text?
NOTE: In my view this could be the …

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Voynich plant 5r

Can you help us to identify this plant and also decode the name?
Step 1: Look at the Voynich plant picture above. Look also at the possible name of that plant from the same page.
Step 2:  Look at some other expert suggestions, below, for what this plant might be. Some are borrowed from here.
Step 3: If you have any good suggestions for the plant, please post a comment below. Give the Latin genus and species name if you can.
Step 4: Can you suggest a name in any language which might resemble the Voynich word? If so, post a comment below.
In particular can you suggest a name from any language which might fit the Voynich text?
Thanks

Voynich plant 4v

Can you help us to identify this plant and also decode the name?
Step 1: Look at the Voynich plant picture above. Look also at the possible name of that plant from the same page.
Step 2:  Look at some other expert suggestions, below, for what this plant might be. Some are borrowed from here.
Step 3: If you have any good suggestions for the plant, please post a comment below. Give the Latin genus and species name if you can.
Step 4: Can you suggest a name in any language which might resemble the Voynich word? If so, post a comment below.
In particular can you suggest a name from any language which might fit the Voynich text?
Thanks