Cluster map

Chiefly to amuse myself, this autumn Sunday afternoon, I’ve overlaid on a map the geographic range for the manuscripts’ sections – at least to the point they were treated here. I should have liked to add separate points for each folio and make it a proper cluster map, but a blog-format has its limits.

I’ve omitted results about folios not discussed in this blog, though I will say they are not incompatible with what you see below, even if the botanical section’s range is greater than shown.

Needless to say, I’m mapping results from my own research and conclusions. I do not suggest this map  represents any greater consensus ~ one reason of a number for having the controversial de Virga map (c.1440?) as its base.

I’ve also added an indication of where scripts are found which include an ornate-“P” shape; phonetic value is usually   S T range.

The map reflects only what I have noted about the imagery’s content, and stylistics and what they indicate about the centuries prior to a return westwards and subsequent reflection in works produced around the Mediterranean, the  “encircled sea”. (click to enlarge).

Postscript (May 22nd., 2013) Anyone interested in what script are known derived from Aramaic, including ones now extinct such as Khwarezmian –  various among the Sino-Platonic Papers (Victor H. Mair, (ed.)… Dept of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Uni of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia) may be of interest. Many can be downloaded free of charge from

See esp. Doug Hitch, Aramaic Script Derivatives in Cental Eurasia, Sino-Platonic Papers No.198 (Feb.2010)

Vms cluster map

Afterword – 24th. April 2013

A writer to the current Voynich mailing list has quoted approving the words of an American who suggested taking one’s castles in the air and then providing them with solid bases.

Needless to say this is not an order of proceeding that appeals to me as a research method, and certainly not the order I’m accustomed to follow.

I daresay that for those who do, it would be easy to assume that my interpretation of folio 86v, the botanical section and so forth was done in order to justify a correspondence to the map I’m about to mention.

In fact I have seen it first this last half-hour, somewhat to my own embarrassment given the article’s relevance.

The map in question appears as Figure 1 on page 16  of :-

Paul Wheatley, ‘Geographical Notes on some Commodities involved in Sung Maritime Trade’, Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society , Vol. 32, No. 2 (186) (1959), pp. 3, 5-41, 43-139.

the caption reading:

The world as known to Chao Ju-kua. Based mainly on identifications by Hirth & Rockill, Fujita Toyohachi, Feng Ch’eng-chun and the present author.

The Sung (or:  Song) dynasty is dated 960AD – 1279AD



Victor H. Mair, (ed.), Sino-Platonic Papwrs, Dept of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Uni of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, vmair @

Doug Hich, Aramaic Script Derivatives in Cental Eurasia, Sino-Platonic Papers No.198 (Feb.21010),

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