Friday, 10 March 2017

Cadamosto and Wellcome MS 336

I propose a visual comparison between two manuscripts of the herbal of Giovanni Cadamosto da Lodi and a Wellcome Library manuscript in which some of the illustrations are clearly derived from Cadamosto's. I learned of this third herbal from Rene Zandbergen. The manuscript was also discussed on the Voynich.Ninja forum.

  • Vienna ONB Cod. 5264 Han. – possibly the earliest copy, but almost contemporary to the BNF ms.

  • Paris BNF Italien 1108 – a 1471 copy made as a gift to Borso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara

  • London Wellcome Library MS 336 – late XV Century. Not all the illustrations seem to derive from Cadamosto's but some certainly do. From the comparison, it is clear that the direct or indirect source is the BNF ms.

The three pants, top to bottom, are:

  1. "Afodili" , asphodelus 
  2. "Peonia" , paeonia / peony 
  3. "Dragontea" , dracunculus vulgaris
I find particularly relevant for the comparison the roots of Afodili and Dragontea. Peonia in the Vienna ms seems almost unrelated with the other two illustrations.

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