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Page: f70v1
Title: "Aries dark"

This page is the innermost verso panel of a six-panel fold-out.


A circular diagram defined by three narrow concentric bands, each
delimited by two faint, mechanically drawn circles.

The innermost band is quite narrow, and empty. The middle and
outer bands contain each a ring of text, reading clockwise. The
text in the middle band (unit "R1") has a slightly wider word gap
at 06:00, and is interrupted at 08:30 by a black irregular spot.
(The same spot appears on the facing page f71r, quod videt.) The
text in the outer band (unit "R2") has a noticeably wider word gap
at 03:45. Both rings are penetrated at 10:30 by "stars"---see

Inside the innermost band is a four-legged, hoofed animal
resembling a beardless goat. The animal has short fur
(dark-colored), sharp horns that curve packwards, and a short and
chubby tail. It also seems to have a crest of short hairs running
along the spine, from head to tip of tail.

The animal is nibbling at a bush, standing on a scalloped (rocky?)
ground. Below the animal's belly is a non-Voynichese word.

In the broad space between the ouer and middle bands there are 10
human figures, or "nymphs"; and 5 more in the space between the
middle and inner bands---or 15 nymphs in total. Each nymph is
standing (radially, with the head outwards) in frontal view, or
slightly turned towards the corresponding "star" (see below). All
nymphs look female; most have prominent breasts, and the two
exceptions (in frontal view) are rather poorly drawn, so the lack
of breasts is not conclusive.

Some of the nymphs are dressed, but the nipples and body outline
often show threough the dress. Most nymphs, even naked ones, wear
some kind of headgear (hat, veil, diadem, etc.)

Every nymph is standing inside an upright cylindrical container or
"barrel". In proportion to the nymph, the barrel is about two feet
wide, and has a "lip" a couple of inches wide. It usually reaches
up to the nymph's pelvis---sometimes bit lower, sometimes up to
her chest. Most of the barrels are decorated with distinctive
patterns of bars, dots, hatchings, circles, scales, etc.; but two
barrels have only a ring of dots, near the top edge, and three are
undecorated. The base of the barrel is hidden by the text band.

Each nymph has a star or flower by her head; usually on the
clockwise side, with four exceptions (inner 00:00, 02:30, 05:00,
and outer 03:30). Some stars have wire-like tails or stems. The
star at 10:30 in the inner band has a thicker, distinctive tail,
like a banded snake. Moreover, the two stars at 10:30 (inner and
outer) intrude slightly into the surrounding text ring.

Some nymphs are holding their stars (by a ray or by the tail);
others are pointing at them; and some have both hands on the hips,
usually hidden by the barrel.

Between every two nymphs there is a one- or two-word label (units
"S1" and "S2"), reading clockwise. From the spacing, it would seem
that every label refers to the preceding nymph, going clockwise.

The following table summarizes the nymph and star attributes. The
"spos" column gives the position of the star relative to the
nymph: "cw" if clockwise, "ccw" if counterclockwise. The "deco"
column tells whether the barrel has "full" decoration, or just a
ring of "dots", or "no" decoration at all. The "dres" and "brst"
columns say whether the nymph is dressed and has visible female
breasts, respectively. The "hold" column says whether the nymph is
holding the star (by a ray, or by the tail if present).

band label place deco dres brst spos tail hold notes
------ ----- ----- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ------------------
inner S1.1 10:30 full no ? cw yes no? striped star tail
inner S1.2 00:00 full no yes ccw yes no
inner S1.3 02:30 dot yes ? ccw yes no
inner S1.4 04:00 no yes no ccw yes no
inner S1.5 08:00 dot yes yes cw yes no

outer S2.1 10:30 no no ? cw yes yes thicker star tail
outer S2.2 00:00 no no yes cw no yes
outer S2.3 01:30 full yes no cw yes no
outer S2.4 02:45 full yes no cw no yes
outer S2.5 03:45 full yes ? ccw yes no
outer S2.6 04:45 full yes yes cw yes no
outer S2.7 05:45 dot yes yes cw yes no
outer S2.8 07:00 full no yes cw yes no
outer S2.9 08:00 full yes yes cw no yes
outer S2.10 09:00 full no yes cw no yes

There is a mark "10^{mg}" at the lower right corner of the page.
It is certainly a gathering mark (quire number), "10th" in
abbreviated Latin.



The ram/goat is drawn very skillfully and looks quite realistic,
except that the way its front legs bend looks wrong. (But I am
a city boy, what do I know...)

The barrels are drawn rather poorly: better than those of f71r
(Aries light) but worse than those of f70v2 (Pisces). The width
and height are quite variable. The perspective is minimally
correct, but the top of the barrel is tilted at varying angles
relative to the observer, from near edge-on (outer 08:00) to
almost face-on (inner 02:30). In three cases (outer 02:45 and
03:45, inner 08:00) the top is rendered as an eye, not an ellipse.

The pattern on the inner barrel at 00:00 is rather peculiar.
Unlike the other patterns it is neither symmetric nor repeating;
it looks rather like a cubist painting. It looks as if the barrel
is made of glass, so that the nymph's legs and hands are showing
through. (Perhaps the pattern was drawn to hide a mistake, or
an artistic failure?)


The central figure is widely believed to be a symbol of the sign
Aries. The word below the animal could be "ab**il" in the Latin
alphabet. It is traditionally read as some variant of the month
name "April". Aries goes from ??? to ???.


There is no obvious starting place for the text rings. The wider
breaks at 04:00 (outer) and 06:00 (inner) are not aligned, and do
not seem to be natural choices for starting the text. The binding
gutter at 03:00 is not it either, as the text was visibly squeezed
to fit in that part of the ring.

The most likely starting places, IMHO, are the places at 10:45
where the stars intrude into the text bands. Note that the inner
star has the special striped "tail", and the outer star is being
held high up by the nymph. (However, the first star enters just
before a "daiin", and the second one under a word; so there is
reason to doubt.)


Either the dresses are meant to be transparent, or they were added
later, in an attempt to mask the naked bodies.


The outer label at 08:30 (<f70v1.S1.9;U>) reads "otshshdy" in standard EVA.
The two "sh" have quite different plumes---the first one is a closed
drop-like loop, the second is a open hook.

Paragraph: R2
Outer ring of text
Last edited on 1998-12-09 18:06:26 by stolfi

"U" transcription by J. Stolfi from scanned image.

transcribed clockwise starting from intruding star at 10:30

1: sheal dalalody oteoshey okoksheo shokey r!aiin otor ochy s!ais cheody cheey oteo!eey oamr! chcthy dlal oteo!daiin ykeody oteody sheo daiin oteedy chekalchs dar shoteeody okeeo dal cheody okchoteees oteeody cheokeo otaiin shes toa!r aly daly sheal daly

Paragraph: S2
Labels in outer band of nymphs
Last edited on 1998-10-31 03:15:48 by stolfi

Outer half-ring
Transcribed clockwise from nymph at 10:30

1: otalchy tar am dy

2: opchey sal

3: otokaiman

4: okalal

5: otyly

6: oalcheg

7: otchodals

8: okolshy

The two "sh" in this label have very different plumes.
9: otshshdy

10: otol ypsharal

Paragraph: R1
Inner ring of text
Last edited on 1998-12-09 18:03:40 by stolfi

"U" transcription by J. Stolfi from scanned image.

transcribed clockwise starting from the "fat tail" star at 10:45

2: dal daiin okey otodal cheokeeo okeodal shol olaiin s!aiin sheo qokeeol oteey!key chekeal oteo!s!aiin chekey okeolol chees oteey opotey dal al s otecheo

Paragraph: S1
Labels in inner band of nymphs
Last edited on 1998-12-09 18:06:50 by stolfi

Transcribed clockwise from 10:30 (the star with striped tail)

1: okoly

2: otolaiin

3: oteo alols asaly

4: oteoeey!! otal okeal ar

5: oteas araydy