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Voynich manuscript has 'genuine message'

Posted on Saturday, 22 June, 2013 | Comment icon 38 comments | News tip by: seeder

Image credit: (PD)

The enigmatic 15th century manuscript may turn out to be genuine after all thanks to a new study.

The Voynich manuscript is a book containing strange undecipherable text and images that dates back to the 1400s. Regarded by many to be a hoax, the manuscript had disappeared for centuries until antique book dealer Wilfrid Voynich came across it in 1912. Despite numerous examinations of the text nobody has yet succeeded in deciphering what it says, even a WWII code breaker team were unable to make any sense of it.

But now a theoretical physicist believes he may have made progress on it. Marcelo Montemurro and a colleague from the University of Manchester have used a computerized statistical model to identify words and phrases within the text that appear to show some meaningful linguistic pattern.

"The text is unique, there are no similar works and all attempts to decode any possible message in the text have failed," said Montemurro. "It's not easy to dismiss the manuscript as simple nonsensical gibberish, as it shows a significant [linguistic] structure."

"The message inside "the world's most mysterious medieval manuscript" has eluded cryptographers, mathematicians and linguists for over a century."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (38)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #29 Posted by jaylemurph on 26 June, 2013, 2:58
The best example would be a text called Hypnerotomachia Polyphili, which is usually translated as The Struggle of Love in a Dream. It's partly an allegory for the voyage of the soul, but it's written in about a dozen languages and lavishly illustrated, and the author is not certainly known. It's from 1499, so it's even from the same general timeframe. --Jaylemurph
Comment icon #30 Posted by HawkLord on 27 June, 2013, 19:55
I read somewhere ( maybe here as I cant quite remember where) that it might be some form of alchemical codex. I look forward to more information.
Comment icon #31 Posted by questionmark on 27 June, 2013, 19:58
I read somewhere ( maybe here as I cant quite remember where) that it might be some form of alchemical codex. I look forward to more information. That was suspected for a long time, what is evident is that whoever wrote it was not very consequential, it was much more an exercise in "pretending to make gold", where a large amount of gold passed from one pocket to another.
Comment icon #32 Posted by brizink on 11 July, 2013, 12:02
Actually, I am -- not that I feel a particular need to defend that position to you here. If you want more information about the Tau maps and their position in the 15th Century particularly, I recommend David Summers' excellent book Vision, Relfection and Desire in West Painting (Univ of North Carolina Press, 2006). Unless, of course, you know more about the subject than an imminent Art Historian. If by "the 1400's [sic]", you mean "Early 16th Century", yes it is from the early 16th Century, but not any older. [] This is interesting. Do you mean to say it's ... [More]
Comment icon #33 Posted by Quaentum on 11 July, 2013, 15:18
I read, sometime in the past and can no longer remember precisely what it was, that one possibility was that the person suffered from a specific disorder (sorry been too long and don't remember) that included the creation of their own written languages.
Comment icon #34 Posted by JesseCuster on 11 July, 2013, 16:27
Hmm, well it must have been a rich man without any wife and kids doing it, cause he spent a hell of a long time and money just to prank. I wouldn't be so sure about that. Have you heard of the Codex Seriphianus? A similar book in that it's written in a seemingly unknown language and unknown with all sorts of oddball illustrations of strange lifeforms. At 360 pages, it took the artist (Luigi Serafini) two and a half years to complete it.Perhaps the author of the Voynich manu worked on it in his spare time for years and didn't need to sacrifice family or personal life to do so. http://en.wikipe... [More]
Comment icon #35 Posted by jaylemurph on 11 July, 2013, 20:41
The truth is that the manu contains information that would be otherwise impossibly dangerous in the late 16th century. Well, no, that's not the truth. For that to be the truth, you'd have to actually know what was /in/ the text, and the whole point about this manu is that no one does. Except, apparently, you. So since you know what all the text says, please enlighten us. As for individuals of the upper class that might have more to lose so to speak; they would be hard pressed if they did not cover something up. Well, no. They would have less need to cover up, not more. As when the Popes receiv... [More]
Comment icon #36 Posted by lilthor on 6 August, 2013, 18:25
Check out these drawings by Charles Steffen made in the 1950's while he was a patient at a mental hospital: To me, they are eerily similar to those found in the VM. Perhaps the origin of the VM can be partially explained by the mental state of its author.
Comment icon #37 Posted by Dark_Grey on 6 August, 2013, 18:53
Check out these drawings by Charles Steffen made in the 1950's while he was a patient at a mental hospital: Perhaps the origin of the VM can be partially explained by the mental state of its author. http://www.huffingto..._n_3713308.html Those are oddly similar (especially that first one). You may be on to something there...which would be bittersweet if it turned out to be true. Such a huge mystery turns out to be the work of a crazy person lol
Comment icon #38 Posted by I love the spookyness on 18 August, 2013, 20:04
Am i the only one who would die of laughter if this turned out to be a dirty book with instruction on how to make herbal viagra?

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