Hey folks, I know I haven't posted much in a while but it's because I went down a rabbit hole.
That Latin stuff I was transcribing two weeks ago comes from a book containing made up alphabets, which, you know, is occasionally relevant to our interests 😄
I've spent more time than I probably should have "researching" its author, but the upside was I had a reason to email the director of a rare books library in Germany, and we had a delightful correspondence.
So! Bullshit alphabet, anyone?
Trithemius died at age 54 under a barrage of accusations of forgery, which have persisted ever since. But he's also the inventor of the modern bibliography, the author of the first printed books on cryptography, and he personally amassed one of the greatest libraries of his time, before he was kicked out of his monastery.
I'm trying to say, empathize with him a little. His brief life was a jarring mix of highs and lows, and his legacy's got some good bits in it.
You might've noticed that the images I posted above are in some disagreement. That's because the red and black one was published in a Latin book, and is made to correspond to the Greek alphabet transliterated into Latin, while the other image is a reproduction in an English book almost 300 years later, and tries to keep the glyphs in the same order while mapping them to the English alphabet.
I don't know, does consistency even matter when reproducing fictitious alphabets? I think it's handsome.
I learned a lot while researching this, and I think the lesson that matters most to this community is, making up an alphabet from thin air is its own pastime with super old precedent. I don't mean a whole conlang (which is also neat), I mean just an alphabet to use instead of your regular one. As a creative enterprise, it has its own merits.
So that might be something I'll do soon. And if anything comes of it, I'll post it here. 😎 Probably won't be my next project, though.
@rezmason this was a fascinating thread to read thank you! Super interesting guy and the creative act of making your own alphabet is truly inspiring, esp if you consider the symbolic and pictorial meanings (much like Chinese characters/Japanese Kanji)
Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.