Utopias Illustrated

This is the enigmatic f86v "rosettes" page from the Voynich manuscript. That it represents some sort of map, at least in part, is often assumed. Nick Pelling surmises the upper right rosette may represent Milan. I believe it may represent Renfusa, the walled city of Francis Bacon's fictional utopia New Atlantis. There are other interpretations of this page, assigning various real and imaginary geography to it.

The page contains towers, castles, houses, walls, terraces, walkways, columned buildings, courtyards, and what could be fountains. It appears to be surrounded by water, making it an island, or an island continent, as Bacon's Bensalem was. There is a T/O map in the upper right corner, which arguably implies the "map" is of a place outside the known world... as Bensalem was.

Click on the image for a larger version. And click here for a very speculative and tentative labeling of the individual rosettes.

As it turns out, it is not at all unusual to represent Utopias in literature, and in around the same time frame which my theory places the Voynich's creation: 1610 to 1626. Below are several of these.

Thomas Moore's Utopia from 1516, although I am not sure of the date of this illustration for it.

Here is the island of Utopia, surrounded by seas, with castles and buildings. Interestingly you have the unique written language of the island also shown here. Here is another, later, illustration of the work.

This engraving first appeared in 1609, to illustrate the earlier Civitas Veri, or City of Truth by Bartolomeo Del Bene. Click on the image for a large, detailed, version.

We have here a utopia with towers, walls, castles, walkways, courtyards, orchards, and so on. From the excellent blog, Giornale Nouvo, which has extensive information on this work, and many others.

To the left is Johannes Valentinus Andreae's Christianopolis. Published in 1619, but the date of composition is unknown. Click on the image for a large version.

I was first drawn to Andreae by a curious (seeming) coincidence. He admitted to being the author of The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkrantz in 1616. This is the third of the three fundimental and influential works of the Rosicrucian movement. The fact is that this work parallels an aspect of my New Atlantis theory in a way closer than any other: It is a book written in the early 17th century, but which was intended to look as though it had been composed much earlier... 1459 in this case.

The secondary fact that Andreae later wrote his own Utopia is very curious to me, and also that some believe The New Atlantis contains Rosicrucian themes, both keep me very interested in the RC "circle", for further study.

The City of the Sun, 1602, by Tommaso Campanella.

And here is a cropped portion of an illustration of Bacon's New Atlantis. Click on the image for the entire representation. The artist attempted to include as many of the fascinating inventions and discoveries found in Bacon's landmark utopia as possible: Telescopes, microscopes, automatic fountains, hybrid plants and animals, and much more.

For many comparisons between New Atlantis, and the Voynich Manuscript, see the NA/Voynich page.

And here is a complete copy of New Atlantis.