Irregular gallows

In this post I would just like to record occurences of gallows which seem bizarre. I will comment on those in later  posts.

f9r (second paragraph, first line): both look unusual, rest of the page is normal

f14r (second paragraph, first line):


f22r (second paragraph, first line):


f24v (first paragraph, first line):


f25v (third and sixth line of the paragraph)


f36r (first paragraph, first line):


f42v: the page starts with a higly decorated gallow, then on the second line there’s a funny one (reminiscent of a latin abbreviation, similar to something in the marginalia of f17r)


f43v (first paragraph, first line):


f47r (first paragraph, first line):


f47r still, now second paragraph, third line:


f48r, first line:


f58v, third paragraph, first line:


f76r: this is not bizarre, but another useful way to understand the intended shape, a capital gallow on line 1


f90v2: this too is not bizarre but a great clue: the (non-)interference between two gallows (unfortunately the vellum is folded on the scan so the beginning of the line is hidden):


f114r: first line of first paragraph: the appearance of only the ‘first half’ of a gallow, again should say a lot about its nature:


f115v: a final one, at about the last third of the page:


There may be another couple interesting ones that I’ve missed, but the bulk is there.  Ishall try to analyse them carefully in the coming days and weeks.



3 Responses to Irregular gallows

  1. Reed Johnson says:

    Thomas: as I’m sure you know, the key here is deciding whether and which of these gallows variants are meaningful or merely decorative. This will be quite hard to establish, although I think there’s some evidence against merely decorative (for instance, in the image from f36, why make the middle gallows decorative, but not the first?). I tend to agree with your implicit hypothesis here, that gallows consist of more than one element that may be, on some occasions, separated (as I mentioned before, they seem like ligatures of two components–I compared to double-digit numbers). I think this adds evidence to that idea. Though of course in the case of the gallows-halves that are widely separated, and linked across intervening text (there are more of these than you list here), there’s the argument that they are merely the same character twice, but drawn in this way perhaps to save space. But I think these investigations are original, empirical and subtle, and I’m learning much about the ms. that I had never noticed. Looking forward to hearing your ideas on these gallows!

    • Thomas Sauvaget says:

      Yes exactly, my aim is to carefully look into the ‘meaningful vs decorative’ divide. And also yes about widely separated gallows, they should also be properly analysed as part of the general framework.

      But this is very much work in progress, I don’t have a definite theory. All I want is to stick as much as possible to facts and explicit hypotheses, and see where deductive reasoning leads, if anywhere.

  2. Pingback: Irregular gallows part 2 « Some Voynich ideas

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