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VMs: Re: Spa architecture and inspirational sources

    > [Nick Pelling:] ... also because non-matches may make us more
    > aware of what the matching criteria actually are. Key questions
    > include:-

    > (a) Was X capable of making the VMS?
I haven't seen anything in the VMS that would require its author
to have specific knowledge or abilities.  *IF* Voynichese turns out to
be a known cipher method, then we may narrow our search to those 
who may have known about it. 

On the other hand, there are several abilities which the author
apparently did *not* have. He (or she) apparently had some writing
experience, but was not particularly skilled as an artist, and
probably did not know a iota of geometry. He did not know perspective
(not even intuitively, as a practiced illustrator would), nor how to
divide a circle into equal parts. He did not use ruler, right-angle,
or compass (he apparently drew all its circles by tracing around
templates). The "nymphs" are quite stereotyped. He apparently did not
have the habit of putting things in two-dimensional tables (something
that Dee, for instance, would often do).

Thus, another equally important question is "(a') If X set out to do 
something like the VMS, whould he have done a better job?"

    > (b) Why (or for whom) was the VMS made?
If the manuscript was done on comission by a scribe, then the "Why"
question is merely transferred to the client.

"For sale" is of course a popular answer, but there are of course many
other possibilities: out of professional duty, to impress patients,
for a successor/heir, to please/impress some big shot, for the love of
science, for the fun of it, as a practical joke, ...

    > (c) What function did the VMS perform?
This question is of course linked to (b). Still, I would risk guessing
that it was, at least in part, an honest attempt to transmit knowledge.

    > (e) Why was the VMS financially necessary for X?

I'd say that you are jumping to conclusions here... We must answer (b)

    > ... one key to cracking the VMS code may well be the "poem" page
    > in the VMS - if we can find the plaintext to that poem (which
    > almost certainly relates to the location of the three-section
    > spa), we should stand an excellent chance. :-)
I suppose you mean f81r.  Hmmm... perhaps... 

However, it is by no means certain that the text is indeed a poem. As
far as I know, the only evidence for that is the ragged right margin
and the fact that it seems to contain four paragraphs, respectively
with 7,8,8, and 8 lines. However, the paragraph breaks are not physically
visible, only inferred from the use of inital <p> gallows; and, by
that criterion, there is another break after line 25.

Does anyone see some other evidence (rhyme, meter, etc)?

Here is the text in EVA, as transcribed by John Grove, with the
conjectured "stanza" breaks. The `{.}' notation indicates his
`detachable gallows'.

   1      p{.}olchey.qokedy.shol.opchedy.olpchedy.ofshdy.oly-
   2      dchey.lshl.alched.qokol.chol.otar.chedy.oky-
   3      qotey.l.chees.olkal.ol.chedy.okar.shedy-
   4      dchedy.qokain.ol.ol.chcthy.ykeedy.al-
   5      qol.cheol.okeey.ol.ol.ol.aiin.ol.orain-
   6      s.ar.ol.eses.oteey.shor.qokeey.ol-
   7      dshees.okain.chcthy.otey.okain-
   8      p{.}chedy.qokeey.oty.qotey.oteey.oly-
   9      qoteesy.qotedy.qokeedy.chcphey-
  10      chol.dain.otedy.cheey.qotain.ly-
  11      ol.sheol.olkedy.sheckhedy.ol.tedy-
  12      y.chedy.tedy.ol.sheedy.qokeey.loly-
  13      dchol.shedy.qotedy.qol.chedy.chety.ry-
  14      qokechedy.qol.sheedy.or.ain.arol.oeeedy-
  15      s.ain.ol.cheedy.qokeedy.otedy=

  16      p{.}olchdy.qopchol.qokor.olpchedy.opol.oraisy-
  17      y.checthy.okeedy.shey.qokedy.ol.o.chedar-
  18      osheedy.shedy.ol.shedy.okeedy.orar-
  19      qokedy.sheedy.chedy.qoteedy.ol.am-
  20      qopchedy.qol.chedy.qokeey.o.daiin.rain.daly-
  21      dshedy.qokal.olkeey.oteey.olshey.otey.lol-
  22      qotal.chedy.qol.ol.daiin.ol.chedar.ol.oly-
  23      chey.okain.sheckhy.soiin.chey.lchey=

  24      p{.}ar.ody.shecphy.cheol.qotal.dar.otedy.oly-
  25      sar.shedy.qol.otain.okais.okal.chedy.dy-
  26      p{.}chedy.qokey.oteol.qol.sheor.shedy.qcthdys-
  27      sal.chedy.qokedy.olkedy.dol.qokchedy-
  28      qokesdy.chedy.qokar.chey.taiin.otey.lchl-
  29      y.sheedy.shy.chey.l.chcthy.ytar.olkaiin.ol-
  30      l.shedy.qokedy.sor.olkar.ol.kaiin.olkshdy-
  31      sol.shedy.ol.lchedy.shedy.shy.olkedy.ches.ar.or.oraiiin=

All the best, 

PS. Line 31 brought this limerick to mind:

  There once was a poet named Dan,
  Who's poetry had never one fan.
    When told this was so,
    He said, "Yes, I know.
  "It's because I try to put every possible syllable into the very last line that I can!!"
      -- Ogden Nash