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The solution to the Voynich manuscript
To those who have studied medieval medicine, and possess a good knowledge of its origins, the classical physicians Galen (AD 129–210), Hippocrates (460–370 BC) and Soranus (AD 98–138) among them, the Voynich manuscript’s incorporation of an illustrated herbarium (collection of plant remedies), Zodiac charts, instructions on thermae (baths) and a diagram showing the influence of the Pleiades side by side will not be surprising. They are all in tune with contemporary medical treatises, part and parcel of the medieval world of health and healing. Bathing as a remedy is a time-honoured tradition: practised by the Greeks and the Romans, advocated by the classical physicians, and sustained during the Middle Ages. The central theme of the Voynich manuscript is just such an activity, and one of its chief characteristics is the presence of naked female figures immersed in some concoction or other. Classical and medieval medicine had separate divisions devoted to the complaints and diseases of women, mostly but not exclusively in the area of gynaecology, and covered other topics such as hygiene, food, purgatives, blood­letting, fumigations, tonics, tinctures and even cosmetics and perfumes: all involved “taking the waters”, by bathing or ingesting.
history  voynich-manuscript  codes  medieval-medicine  thermae  herbaria 
10 weeks ago by jm

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