Why the Voynich zodiac… isn’t, quite.

If you’re one of those TDL.DR sort of people, I expect  you missed the bit in my last post about orthography on the Picard astrolabe (as Don of Talahassee tells it), and D.A. King’s commentary on the same astrolabe – where he cautions against dating it to the early fourteenth century only by its placing the equinox at about March 10th  12th. (thanks).

Pisces has been the equinox constellation since about the year +1 AD or so.



When Julius Caesar established his calendar in 45 BC he set 25 March as the spring equinox.[citation needed] Because a Julian year (365.25 days) is slightly longer than the tropical year the calendar drifted with respect to the equinox, such that the equinox was occurring on about 21 March in AD 300 and by AD 1500 it had reached 11 March.


medit sailing season table McCormickwords:

Sailing season ancient and med Medit

picture.. from Opicinus (notice the pointy little nose)?

Sagittarius Opicinus

IMO – naturally.

(less than a 150 words)


  1. For newcomers: the inscriptions and their folio numbers are reproduced e.g. on Shaun Palmer’s page:

    (Pelling actually credits Stolfi for suggesting Occitan)

    Palmer’s page provides a link to Stolfi’s.

    Don Hoffmann’s letter, describing his findings can be read at:

    Many of the month-names occur in the same form in other manuscripts and objects but e.g.
    “Jong/Joing/Yong/Yoing (?) – (Jong) – shown on a ring of the Geared
    Astrolabe in the Science Museum, London, probably made in Picardy around
    1300; (alternately, Juing was a common French form in the Fifteenth Century.)

    I am not sure if Don has supposed the geared astrolabe (described by Gunther) identical to the (separate) Picard astrolabe (described by King). They were made in northern France about this time and are both in the Museum.


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