fol 86v: from East to the South

PLEASE NOTE: The folio is referred to in this article by the foliation first published on Yale University’s bibliotecapleyades site.  The Beinecke Library site now gives the same diagram the foliation  “folio 85v and 86r” (Image scan 1006231) – note added 24/02/2016



The section of the map between east and south is almost featureless, so although I want to leave the rosettes for the moment, I’d like to mention the centre of this one, whose outer border is set with a small tower

This ‘rosette’ is especially faded, so (with apologies for the un-aesthetic result), here’s an enhanced detail, with the centre still concealed by the fold, as it is on the Beinecke website.

Note (Nov. 23rd., 2014). Since this post was first published, the Beinecke has published new, cleaner scans which appear online much paler.

Although the first item described below (‘the peg’) is still visible, its cap is lighter, and of the figure which appeared to be a Hellenistic one, there is no longer any sign. Whether it was as accidental as a cloud pattern, or would still be visible under the right sort of light, I don’t know.  I retain the original observation now purely for historical interest. And it does look, after all, as if there is only one ‘realistically drawn’ human pair in the entire manuscript.

It is clear that one or more objects lie in the centre, even if mostly obscured. What is visible appears to be a ring to which a pole or staff is attached, the pole(?) having a bulbous head. Left, at full enlargement.

I do have another scan where the fold is open, though in that the resolution is much lower. This is what it shows:

Under the fold.

The interesting thing about this is that the part below the fold seems to contain the image of one, and perhaps even two, human figures.  I’ve had to work on the scan to make the detail clearer. The details show –

(i) the shadowed section,

(ii) enhanced to reduce the difference between the staining and the ink

(iii) with the ?second? figure ringed

and (iv) starry background removed.

Seen this way, it evokes the style of Hellenistic Tyche figures. At right, below is the Tyche of Alexandria; at left a Tyche from Gandhara, showing the characteristic fusion of Greek and local style.

At present I can say nothing more definite.

Let us hope that the Beinecke’s hard-pressed librarians find time to add a complete scan of the page to their website in the (hopefully not too distant) future.


[November 23rd. 2014 – they did. No sign of the figure that I can see online now.  Just a cloud, it seems.. 😦  )


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