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”, I thought (thankfully silently) to myself, and so went off to try to find copies of any of the three to illustrate the post. Note that because I’d like to specifically compare these diagrams with the (slightly different) diagrams that appear in Nicole Oresme’s French translation (of which, oddly, I have a good number of illustrated copies), I’m focused on illustrations of the original Latin version that appear in the context of the text. And so the help I’d really like is – if anyone can find such a thing, which I have singularly failed to do – a link to an online illustrated copy of John of Sacrobosco’s ““.” (which is one of the books Nicole Oresme translated into French, adding his commentary). 9r-19r * Princeton University, Garrett MS 99, fols. No prizes for guessing the subheading reference: but all that I have so far isn’t a great deal.I was particularly interested in the diagrams that appear in many of the manuscripts, and so began with Lynn Thorndike’s account “The Sphere of Sacrobosco and Its Commentators”, which describes the drawings found in three specific “” manuscripts: * Oxford, Bodleian, Canon. 124ra-136vb [‘a’/’b’ means 1st/2nd column] [may have been sold to Garrett by Wilfrid Voynich! Firstly, there’s BNF MS Latin 7197 that Ellie Velinska kindly linked to a few days ago: this was (mostly) copied by 15th century Zurich physician Conrad Heingarter, and the De Sphaera is on ff.39-50, e.g. 39r: Unfortunately, Heingarter seems to have been copying from a largely unillustrated manuscript, because that was the only diagram there.doleina = therapeutic [Catalan] dolina/dolinar = bath/bathe [Romance languages] æor = ?domar = to tame/control [Catalan and Portuguese] om = hom (homine) = man [Latin] nar nar = foolish/crazy/up-tight [Romansch] or = ?This is all pretty much what Elizebeth Friedman was talking about in 1962 about people seeking such solutions being “doomed to utter frustration”: it’s a horrible shame that in 2017 people continue to fail to even begin to grasp what is such a basic message.In the case of Cheshire, a polyglot Vulgar Latin reading would aim to get around points 4) and 5), but would then collapse in a miserable heap at the hands of all the other points.
When I read nonsensical papers like this (and I can assure you that this is not an outlier, because there are plenty more of them out there), I feel a deep sadness for historical linguistics.Even though Cheshire puts forward his speculative translations (which he repeatedly calls “transliterations”, as if that somehow brackets out the mile-wide interpretational chasms he repeatedly has to swing across) of several sections of the Voynichese text, I’m going to give as my example here the top three lines of f82v that he discusses on pp.20-21.