Medieval Triangulation: Location, distance and range of city landmarks in the Rosette folio of the Voynich Manuscript

2016-06-12T11:32:10Z (GMT) by Juergen Wastl
This essay is the third in a series of geometric musings and analysis of the rosette folio following the description of the use of the golden ratio (link 1) and the analysis and geometric construction of the text spiral (link 2) in the scaffold of the rosette folio.
The focus here lies on the landmarks in the rosette folio (f86v) and their geometric relationship: After defining their respective ‘geo-spot’ I investigate the geometric relationship between these.
Furthermore, introducing Brigitte Englisch and her book Ordo orbis terrae in which she analyses the use of geometric analysis in the construction of mappae mundi  led to a new interpretation of mappae mundi of the medieval ages (8 -13th century). Brigitte Englisch argues that mappae mundi are geometric representations rather than geographic projections. Combination of ‘line, central circle, triangle, cross and radial circle(s)’ are the basics of the construction and fix-points in this abstract projections represent cities (e.g. Jerusalem, Alexandria, Carthago, Konstantinople).

After this ‘physical triangulation’ applied in this essay I discuss a ‘philosophical triangulation’ using Englisch’s method to close in on a definition of the rosette folio being a ‘map’ in a traditional view. The question on the rosette folio’s character as a map as defined by Harley and Woodward in its physical and historical roots is still/ remains  unresolved.

In summary, the medieval triangulation experiment shows, again, the extended use (or unintended consequence?) of basic geometry (circles, triangles) . Here it shows the positioning of landmarks in addition to the use of geometry in the construction of the scaffold of the map.

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