Reminder - this is about evaluating the claim that Leonardo da Vinci, ostensibly because of his studies of Euclid, Ptolemy, and Pythagoras, employed a "Y" in painting the name of "Mar- y" by “optical illusion” on the sleeve of The Mona Lisa, a name not occurring in his Italian, using a [color:#000099][b]“letter” not in his alphabet that had not even evolved into English usage at the time he painted The Mona Lisa !!
One of the earliest indicators that Leonardo did not know the languages of Euclid, Ptolemy, or Pythagoras (Greek, Egyptian, Arabic) or even the written Italian of his day very well, is one of his earliest works, The Codex Trivulzianus
. In it is found a list of 8,000 words (+/-) from common spoken Italian
, not from one or more of the languages of Euclid, Ptolemy, or Pythagoras.
Those who have studied Leonardo believe he compiled the list (which incidentally does not
contain a “Mary”
) in an effort to improve his ability to converse at a higher level as he moved into more cultured circles (e.g. the Milanese Court of the Sforzas).
Where was Leonardo “educated”? It was a Florentine workshop where he received his training as an artesian. Being taught either Latin or Greek was apparently not part of the curriculum. It is again believed by those who have studied him that Leonardo even had little grasp of formal, written
Italian (although over time as his writings evidence he improved). Still, his intent to improve himself is also evidenced by the collection of vocabulary words in The Codex Trivulzianus
Given this information, how much less likely is it that Leonardo created a word that was totally new for his time, “Mary
” ?? Not only would the word/name have been “new” in his language in this format but also the use of the letter
(not as a “symbol” ) “Y”
, that also did not exist in his native Italian. Neither did it exist in the Greek, neither in Latin, neither in Egyptian, and not in Arabic as proponents of their hypothesis that he gained from studying Euclid, Ptolemy, and Pythagoras.
The letters J, K, W, X and Y
are not considered part of the standard Italian alphabet but are modern-day loan words
as in “whisk-y
”. To emphasize again, only in modern
times does the “Y”
appear, referred to as the “ipsilon/i greca”
as a “borrowed” letter for “borrowed” words and is not considered part of the standard Italian alphabet
Returning to images” such as the “Pythagorean “Y”
” which represented neither a “word” nor an “alphabetic letter”, Pythagoras developed his “Y”
as a “symbol
” for the progressive stages of man’s maturity
The single line (base of the “Y”
) represented man from birth to an age of choice. Upon reaching the age of choice, the single line splits into two. One line thereafter proceeds upward to the left representing choices with less desirable outcomes made in life and one proceeding upward to the right representing the opposite, good outcomes resulting from good choices.
This is not a “letter
” – it is a “SYMBOL
” – so if and when it is seen in a Templar or Mason setting, it is not
a “letter” to be used in constructing a “word” !!
What about the Arabic of Euclid and Ptolemy ?? First, we presume that although they were Greek because they lived in Alexandria Egypt they spoke both Greek and Arabic. So in Arabic, is there a letter “Y”
Other than a linguistic accommodation in modern
times wherein the Arabic letter “Za” (" ﻅ ")
is transliterated (not translated) into a “Y”
to accommodate the (also modern but not earlier) English/Latin alphabet and sound, there is no “Y”
in Arabic. Leonardo could not have learned to use a “Y” from studying Euclid or Ptolemy writing in Arabic.
What about Greek ?? Is there a “Y”
in Greek ??
The Greek – “Ψ
" is the letter “Psi” (upper case) which is sometimes mistaken for a “Y”. It is not a not
in any sense of joining to an English word such as “Mar=y
What’s more, the Greek “Y”
is the letter Upsilon (upper case) – but neither is it a “Y” to be joined to form “Mar-y
” but a “Waw”, the sixth letter of Phoenician, Hebrew, Syriac, and…ARABIC. It is also used to represent the number 700.
Once again those who try to link the sleeve of The Mona Lisa to a highlighted spelling of “Mar-y
” from Leonardo’s study of Greeks Euclid, Ptolemy, or Pythagoras are thwarted. There is no “Y”
in Greek corresponding to the English construction of the word “Mary” which they claim Leonardo painted into the folds of the cloth on her forearm by creating an “optical illusion”.
More detail regarding the Arabic “Yodh” (“ya”) "ﻱ"
which has corresponding equivalents in Hebrew, Syriac, and Phoenician, all of which have some tie to the development of the modern “Y”
would result in the same outcome. The “Y”
supposedly appearing at the end of the “optical illusion” “Mary”
on the sleeve of The Mona Lisa simply did not exist in any language that Leonardo da Vinci would have encountered in his travels or studies in his day.