2010年12月20日

George of Trebizond

1998/7/17, posted by Rene Zandbergen

Let me further ruin my credentials with a silly theory based on a lot of circumstantial evidence. It's almost too good to be true. According to this theory, the writer of the Voynich Ms is one George of Trebizond. Here are a few reason why, mostly from the very learned book: George of Trebizond, a biography and a study of his rhetoric and logic, John Monfasani, Leiden, Brill, 1976.

Trebizond lived from 1395 to 1472-3. He was originally from Crete but came to N.Italy where he lived for some years (Venice, Padova), and then moved to Rome. He translated many classical Greek texts to Latin (notably Ptolemy's Almagest, which took him less than a year). George was a humanist, though at odds with most of his fellow humanists.

For many years he was secretary to the Pope, which presumably means that he would have been familiar with the diplomatic codes, of the type described by Tranchedino.

George was quite mad, especially when he got older. Here's a short quote from the introduction by Monfasani (whose thesis is that he may not have been all that mad after all):

"[Trebizond] has always been something of an enigma. [...] [he] was a Greek who preferred to write in Latin; a translator of Plato who launched the most vituperative attack on Plato in the Renaissance, and perhaps of all time; a famous humanist and authority on rhetoric who passionately defended medieval scholasticism; and, most paradoxically of all, a very pious Christian and familiar of popes who risked his life to tell Mehmed II, the Moslem conqueror of Constantinople, that he (Mehmed) was the King of Kings and Destined Ruler of the whole world."

Later he says that a psychoanalytical study of Trebizond would seem to be in order but he hasn't the necessary knowledge. Like Roger Bacon, Trebizond got himself thrown into gaol by the clergy, but he managed this feat three times. The second of these was because of his 'libido' and there are letters about a scandal involving the sexagenarian Trebizond and a Venetian girl. The third occasion was because of his suspected treason to Mehmed II.

Trebizond had a firm belief in astrology. He writes that his fated life was controlled by his birth in the sign of Pisces.

Still, Trebizond was an expert scribe and it should be suspected that he could draw better than what we see in the VMs. This is the main reason why he probably has nothing to do with it. Also, it is not clear why he should have done it, nor what is contained in it

Finally though, the mechanism how the VMs would have ended in Prague is clear. Trebizond wrote a highly contested commentary on the Almagest, which was only published after his death (by his son Andreas). There are letters between Tycho Brahe and Taddeus Hajek (one of Rudolph's trustees and host to Dee) that they need to acquire a copy of Trebizond's commentary, lest such an important product of the human mind be lost to posterity. The VMs would have come with it.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Trebizond was involved in many strange actions and activities, too numerous to describe here.
posted by ぶらたん at 21:14| Comment(0) | 制作者
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