This post discusses Voynich page 68r, in the light of fascinating ideas provided by Marco Ponzi elsewhere on this website (with thanks). Please feel free to add your comments and observations about f68r below.
This is what Marco suggested, with his illustration:
“As you pointed out in your paper, the Label of the Pleiades in Voynich f68r3 (EVA “doary”) possibly reads “taurn”, and could refer to the constellation of Taurus. In footnote 8 you also point out that in Arabic the name of the Pleiades is also similar (“Al Thurayya”).
I want to underline again the similarity of that Voynich diagram with diagrams of the Mansions of the moon: not only is the general shape of the diagram similar (with stars radially ordered around a central circle likely), but the position of the Pleiades is also very similar (I marked it A in Voynich and 3 in the Getty ms 72, dated to 1405 ca) .
I originally found the manuscript mentioned here: http://www.bigbureaucracy.com/?p=3025”
[See comparison below]
“The Pleiades are the 3rd Mansion of the Moon . See also this table:http://books.google.it/books?id=rb46XHcOyDwC&pg=PA665#v=onepage&q&f=false
I think this is important, because it could provide a specific context for the study of this page.
Another similar (more ancient) example is ms BNF lat 17868 (pg.38):” [dated 0950-1050]
[Note the same position of the Mansions – SB]
“It is likely that this Voynich diagram is related with the mansions of the moon. But above all it is almost certain that this diagram has the typical orientation in which Aries appears at the top.
What follows is much more speculative, possibly just wishful thinking:
Applying a “decoding” consistent with what you proposed in your paper, one gets two other possible matches with names of the Mansions of the Moon:
Mansion 4, Al Debaran (“Aldebarai”, in Getty ms)
EVA “dcholday” could be decoded as “tebartun”
Mansion 10, Al-Gheba (“Alcebata”, in Getty ms)
EVA “okchoda” could be decoded as “akebatu”
So, I am adding to your decoding a few mappings, which are not supported by any serious research:
EVA “c” to “e”
EVA “h” to “b”
EVA “l” to “r”
The matches “tebartun”/”debaran” and “akebatu”/”acebata” are not very close. What could possibly make them interesting is the matching of the angular position between Voynich and Getty ms (as well as the similar BNF ms).”
I note that a decade ago Adam MacLean was looking at related areas, and linked it with f69v. René Zandbergen then responded as follows:
“….Even more striking is that the statistics of the word-initial letters of the 28 mansions of the moon (see fig. 30 in D’Imperio) match that of the labels of f69v rather well.
– this is a blow to the theory that Voynichese is straightforward transcribed arabic
– the labels dcholday and doary actually do not mean aldebaran or athurayya.
[I’ll add more discussion about these words soon – SB]
– the mansions of the moon are not the traditional ones. Particularly disheartening is the possibility that these could in fact be
‘invented’ names, not at all uncommon in legible MSs.”
Here is D’Imperio’s fig.30, to which René referred. Note the variations in the names of the stations in this table and in the one Marco cited, in the picture above. That could be important….:
Also, see this interesting discussion of different versions of Mansions of the Moon.
Mapping the mansions to other aspects of nature:
See below a chart I found in the British Library, taken from “Epitome totius astrologiæ … Nunc primum in lucemedita” by Joachim HELLER (Noribergae, 1548) which shows that Western astrology took up the link between the 28 mansions and the idea of particular climates/weather shown in the Comments below on Arabic charts. The mansion names are in Latin in the first column, while the ‘nature of each is in the second last column – dry, temperate, damp and so on.
18/4: I recently came across two more diagrams which are interesting in this regard. One is from the appendix of David Juste’s book on the “Alchandreana” which Marco Ponzi has mentioned. (This diagram comes from manuscript Paris BNF, lat. 17868, f. 2v) Note that the Moon is specifically placed in Taurus, which might be of relevance to the Voynich page:
The second comes from the Timbuktu papers, so the exact provenance and age is unclear (see below). This is in Arabic, and this time Aries is not at the top, but on the right starting at around 3 o’clock. Working anti-clockwise we then see Taurus (Thaur) and the name of two mansions are below it (ath-thurayya, Pleiades, then ad-debaran, Debaran) exactly as in the other images above.
Although the sequence starts at a different point in the circle, it still aims to do what the ones above do, namely it attempts to match different aspects of astrology and experience together (i.e. constellations, mansions, letters, seasons, climes). It is noteworthy that the third ring has the Arabic letters, as does the other Arabic one above, and the series starts with A in Aries just as the others above do.
Another interesting variant on the diagram:
Thanks – any other comments are welcome.