Roses – earth’s fabric in Byzantium Pt 2

Neither the Latin translation of Claudius Ptolemy’s Geography nor its effect on Latin Europe need  discussion here, save to remind readers that Ptolemy was more editor than author of that text – as he was first to acknowledge.  In the words of the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

Ptolemy did not attempt to collect and sift all the geographical data on which his maps were based. Instead, he based them on the maps and writings of Marinus of Tyre (c. 100 ce), only selectively introducing more current information, chiefly concerning the Asian and African coasts of the Indian Ocean.

How the date for the Tyrian work was reached, I don’t know.


The Greek text of Ptolemy’s Geography does not appear to have been known in Europe before 1406, when Jacopo (or: Giacomo) D’Angelo, known as Da Scarperia, began translating a copy.   In was in 1406 that his mentor died, or had died, and one might speculate that the manuscript was one of those which d’Angelo had sought out for him when in Constantinople.

By any standards Coluccio Salutati had been an important man in his own city and time. As Florence’s permanent secretary of state he  had brought Manual Chrysoloras from Constantinople.

.. which reminds me..

Many people have come to the view (which I share) that the Voynich manuscript’s written text is  heavily abbreviated in some way or another.

I therefore note –  without comment or speculation – that in a portrait of Chrysoloras made in 1408, Uccello shows  Chrysoloras’ name abbreviated using an ‘o’ where we’d use a full stop.

Just for fun, then –  a randomly-chosen bit of Voynichese with all ‘o’s removed save one.

And now, having written nearly three hundred words without addressing our chief subject,  I’ll end the post.

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