The image of the top margin of page 77r has given rise to several proposals for identification:
- the four (five) elements,
- the four (five) humours,
- the images of organs treated by the baths of “Balneis Puteolanis»,
- alchemical technology
- and maybe more .
I am interested in interpretations of images in the hope of finding inspiration for understanding the text. The labels contain the word EVA otol which I read on page 77v as egg, ovule. At the moment I see no reason to drop this possibility for page 77r.
I read the label on the left, next to the woman, olkchs EVA, like anks. This word first brings to mind the Egyptian ankh, which can represent the four elements in alchemy.
Is this why the female nymph has a weird shape, with her arms and head very shifted to the left, to remind us that she is more than a human body?
However in Greek also we can find words resembling anks, such as :
• Αγγος – vessel for liquids, funeral urn, baby-basket, womb
• αγκας – adverb, into the arms
• αγκος – valley
• αγχος – anxiety, anguish, from the verb αγχω, fut. αγξω – to tighten, to strangle.
Let’s not forget the Latin ancus, uncus – curved, which cannot extend its arm. Could this be the explanation for the nymph’s pose?
Of all these terms, αγγος is part of the same set with ova, ovules.
What about the label on the right, beside the man? The label soral has three occurrences in the manuscript, I find this word sufficiently similar to the single word on the next page, 77v sosoral.
The term soral can come from the Greek ζωρος – pure, sheer, speaking of wine, or from ζωρυα – pipe for running water, ζωρυξ = διωρυξ – trench, conduit, canal.
The term sosoral of 77v can be read as « so soral », where σω would be σως – safe and sound, alive and well, safe, whole, preserved, intact. In this case, sosoral would be the equivalent of σως ζωρυξ – the healthy duct, and the image expressly suggests the urinary duct or urinary system.
The term soral (ζωρυξ) of 77r would therefore form a good set of anatomical terms with womb and ovules. The term ζωρος might also be appropriate, if it refers, for example, to pure and not cloudy urine.