(10) The Story in the Pictures (pages 117 though 137)

59. page 117 Right – Five adults on the top of a mountain. Something small, like a baby, maybe, is held over a bowl with water. The baptism of a child?

It resembles to another CR drawing, which I think is the Circumcision of Christ.

page 25 R - see in (5) The Story in the Pictures

page 25 Right – see in (5) The Story in the Pictures

It could be the same scene. In the Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander, when the same episode is told by two or more evangelists, the same drawing is employed, again and again (like the Baptism of Jesus – four times). The only problem is that the Circumcision and Presentation in the Temple are only recounted by Luke, a second drawing on the same subject would not be justified, if these are the Gospels.

60. page 127 Left – Angel at the bedpost. Somebody is lying peacefully in his/her bed, while a bearded angel is flapping his wings at his/her head.

Who is the angel, who is the sleeper? For this to be known with certainty, hopefully the scribbles will be understood, otherwise, let’s face it, we are talking about a Christian book,  angels visiting humans in their sleep is the norm. It is their job.

It happens to Joseph in Matthew’s Gospel, three times: first time he is advised to accept the pregnant Mary, the second time he us urged to take his family to Egypt and avoid  Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents, and the third time he is announced about the death of Herod.

(I only found two out of three in this icon with the early life of Jesus.)

11th Century icon of The Nativity, with Scenes from the childhood of Christ, Monastery of St. Catherine, Sinai, Egypt, from PaperModelKiosk

11th Century icon of The Nativity, with Scenes from the childhood of Christ, Monastery of St. Catherine, Sinai, Egypt, from PaperModelKiosk

It repeatedly happened to Peter:

An angel appears to St. Peter in prison, summoning him to wake up, Missal (Dominican use), c. 1390-1400, fol. 204v, from Koninklijke Bibiliotheek

An angel appears to St. Peter in prison, summoning him to wake up, Missal (Dominican use), c. 1390-1400, fol. 204v, from Koninklijke Bibliotheek

And it reportedly happened to Paul (Acts 16:9-10). I just can’t find any image of it.

So far, the visitor was always Gabriel.

The Ethiopian Gondar Homiliary is dedicated to the miracles of Archangel Michael, among which, seven resemble our CR drawing. They are about healing people, except for one, where the Archangel is admonishing a lazy man.

The Archangel healing a sick man, p.247

The Archangel healing a sick man, p.247, The Gondar Homiliary, 17th century, from The Walters Art Museum

The Archangel admonishing the idle man, p. 286

The Archangel admonishing the idle man, p. 286, The Gondar Homiliary, 17th Century, from the Walters Art Museum

61. page 128 Left – The Kinship of Jesus and John the Baptist (?) – Two seated couples, each hold a shield, on each shield stands a radiant man. The two standing men are facing each other and saluting with one arm raised.

The only thing I could think about is a symbolic representation of some sort of relationship between the two men, and the family ties between Jesus and John the Baptist were the only ones to come to my mind. I could not find anything similar. The theme however exists (comes from the Gospel of Luke), and sometimes it is presented in a rather unusual way.

Visitation, Christ-child and St. John the Baptist shown 'in utero', Speculum Humanae Salvationis, fol. 51r, c. 1400-1500, from Koninlijke Bibliotheek

Visitation, Christ-child and St. John the Baptist shown ‘in utero’, Speculum Humanae Salvationis, fol. 51r, c. 1400-1500, from Koninklijke Bibliotheek

62. page 130 Left – Huh? Two guys dusting a carpet?

This?

The brass vessel in which the entrants to the temple are washed - A Medieval Mirror, Specullum Humanae Salvationis 1324 - 1500, by Adrian Wilson and Joyce Lancaster Wilson onUC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004

The brass vessel in which the entrants to the temple are washed – A Medieval Mirror, Specullum Humanae Salvationis 1324 – 1500, by Adrian Wilson and Joyce Lancaster Wilson on UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004

63. page 133 Right In Hoc Signo Vinces (?) – In this sign you will conquer. A crowned king is seated with a rattler in his hand and an angel hovers on a crescent object, wings wide open, spreading beyond the frame.

This is one of the pictures that captured my attention and made me speculate the most. None of the googling words combinations ( weren’t that many) gave any reasonable results and browsing through the on-line manuscript databases was not successful either (imagewise). I had to read!
There is an episode in the Acts of the Apostles, where Herod Agrippa I (King Herod) has a terminal encounter with an angel. The people of Tyre and Sidon come and ask for peace and food, which the king (!) gallantly grants, giving them reason for much joy and making them cheer and say conventional things like: “He speaks like a god not like a man!” Apparently, the king took this cheer too seriously  ” And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.” (Acts 12:23). Good story, not very popular though.
 
An on-line colouring book which I lost track of, gave me another hint. It showed Constantine the Great along with an angel. It is a story I actually knew since the fifth grade, I just did not know an angel was involved. Emperor Constantine the Great, before one of his battles (some say the one with Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge, others with the Huns) had a series of visions that lead him to victory and made him convert to Christianity. As I learned in school, the vision involved a huge bright cross in the sky with the words “In hoc signo vinces”. My history book made no mention of the Archangel Michael being involved, neither does Eusebius of Caesarea

Yet, it is a very popular angel story: 

he Archangel helping Emperor Constantine against his enemies, The Gondar Homiliary, 17th century,  from The Walters Art Musem

he Archangel helping Emperor Constantine against his enemies, The Gondar Homiliary, 17th century, from The Walters Art Musem

Oh, and where’s the sign? The one that leads to victory? The huge cross in the sky, all gold, all shining, resplendent with gems? Above the king’s head there is a small cross

I love this explanation and I see a small beard on the angels chin, but the wretched thing under his feet make him look too much like the first Mondsichel Madonna. It is only fair to mention it:

Woman of the Apocalypse, Hortus Deliciarum, 12th century Encyclopedia, from Wikipedia

Woman of the Apocalypse, Hortus Deliciarum, 12th century Encyclopedia, from Wikipedia

I still go with Constantine and Michael.

64. page 134 LeftKing David worshiping God YHWH . The king is kneeling in front of the sun with letters inscribed.

Pretty straightforward: here is the king with a Cyrillic lettering which says Tzarul  David, while in the sun are the Hebrew letters for YHWH, in exact this order, I mean from left to right.

David worshiping God, in Psaltire a sfântului Proroc David pre limbă rumânească, 17th century Psalter,  CRV 65, p.14 - from the Romanian Digital Library

David worshiping God, in Psaltire a sfântului Proroc David pre limbă rumânească, 17th century Psalter, CRV 65, p.14 – from the Romanian Digital Library

This is one of my best “catches” in the entire book.  As I see it, the implications of understanding this picture are reaching into understanding the script and the meaning of the entire book.  I talk about it both in Divine Designators and in !rorriM.

65. page 137 Left -neat ending line

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One Response to (10) The Story in the Pictures (pages 117 though 137)

  1. Pingback: Resisto, desisto, existo | Reading Voynich

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