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Herbal Match

These comparisons are between an old Italian Herbal kept at the University of Vermont dating from 1475, and folios in the Voynich Manuscript.

Categories: Features, Herbal Folios
  1. Chercheuse
    June 6, 2012 at 3:49 am

    Can you say, please, in which document I can see these pictures?

  2. June 9, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Could you tell us how the plants are identified in that herbal? Of course the dating means we have to assume that if they are directly related, the Vermont herbal could only be derived from the Vms, not the other way round. Great find.

    • JB
      June 12, 2012 at 10:01 am

      In some cases the names are written directly in Latin on the folio.

      The early date of 1475 for the Vermont herbal is an inferred date, and I suppose within a couple of standard deviations of the nominal C14 dating of the VMs. So they could easily have been contemporary.

  3. June 13, 2012 at 1:51 am

    An inferred date? Could you explain – I mean whether you infer the date because you see likeness to the Vms, or whether the holding library infers it for other reasons. I’d be glad if you could give the latin tags for the plants you’ve illustrated. Is that possible?

    • JB
      June 25, 2012 at 10:07 am

      I haven’t gone so far with the comparison: I just noted folios that looked similar to VMs plants. Some of the herb names in the Vermont manuscript are written next to the illustration. The words “inferred date” come directly from Vermont’s description of their holding.

  4. Chercheuse
    June 25, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Hello! Do you have a transcription of this manuscript, please? If yes, may be that transcription and translation of the Voynich manuscript will be facilitated.

    • JB
      June 25, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Hi Nina,

      I’m afraid I don’t have a transcription, and I don’t think the U. of Vermont does, either. But I haven’t looked hard. The main problem, even with a transcription, would be to find a correspondence between the “words” on the VMs folio and the Latin words on the corresponding Vermont herb folio. By no means trivial 🙂


  5. Chercheuse
    June 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I’m persuaded otherwise, at least for the pages of herbs. I think there must be some correspondence between these manuscripts.

  6. October 25, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Hi, Julian–

    My impression of the Voynich is that it is a private work of original and collected material the Author found important.

    The earliest date I’ve found in my Astro section work is 1483, so considering the near-identical look of the drawings, this herbal could certainly have been used as a source.

    It would be most interesting to know if the herbal had ever been in the stacks at Cambridge, but that information is not on the website.


  7. TuckerResearch
    July 18, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Don’t forget all the dragons in the Italian Herbal and the little dragon on VMs f25v

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