VMS Anachronisms


Some features of the VMS appear anachronistic.  I wouldn’t go as far to say it presents an anachronism in its entirety. In its construction, it sometimes seems either “outmoded”, or made to appear older than it is – or was, at the time of its creation.

In the first case, that’s perfectly well, considering that pace of change is never geographically uniform. Looking at some 17th century birth registers from the former Austrian Empire, in a rural area close to the Balkans, one will encounter catholic priest’s hands reminiscent of humanist cursive, using a lot of ecclæsial latin & scribal abbreviations and the occasional Tironian note. The inks are mostly of the “brownish” iron gallus type of local produce.

A simple explanation for the latter case could be that there were always renaissances of styles past, like humanist, or earlier, hermeneutic style. Any other explanations would be out of scope for the moment.

I’ll collect my impressions, some of which may be harder to substantiate than others.


According to the carbon dating the VMS could much more likely have been written on paper. We are rather sure it is sæcular writing we are looking at, no legal document and no luxury product dedicated to a noble (or rich) person either. Papermaking in Europe was a parallel, but not necessarily interconnected development with print, which it slightly predates. The price of parchment dropped for a while, and also it’s availability. Paper was on the rise.

It would require a meta study to substantiate this.