The Old Man

One for The Old Man's bookshelf - The Voynich Manuscript

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I find this fascinating, stumbled upon it online this morning. Amazing that historian's haven't managed to decipher it yet. I would expect The Old Man kept the original in his log cabin. What do you make of it?

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The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system. The vellum on which it is written has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438), and it may have been composed in Northern Italy during the Italian Renaissance. The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish book dealer who purchased it in 1912.

Some of the pages are missing, with around 240 still remaining. The text is written from left to right, and most of the pages have illustrations or diagrams.

The Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British codebreakersfrom both World War I and World War II. No one has yet succeeded in deciphering the text, and it has become a famous case in the history of cryptography. The mystery of the meaning and origin of the manuscript has excited the popular imagination, making the manuscript the subject of novels and speculation. None of the many hypotheses proposed over the last hundred years has yet been independently verified.

Read the full article at Wikipedia...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voynich_manuscript

 

 

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wow...how weird is that even in 2016 no one has succeeded to find out the code. So I guess the question what is that book about has no sense :P

Interesting article. Thanks Old Man!

 

 

 

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Maybe the author had his own language and why it's never been deciphered.  From the drawings, which look like plants and roots, he could have been hallucinating at the time he wrote it and why it doesn't make any sense.  :smoking:  My only other thought is the language is ancient and maybe hasn't been used in thousands of years.  :552:  Otherwise, it's alien.

:3d-alien-smiley-emoticon:

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I have heard of this before, but never paid it much attention. The illustrations of the plants don't look like the typical botanical drawings of that time. But, of course, that might not be the purpose of the manuscript.

Although the vellum has been carbon-dated, I'm not so sure about what dating tests were done on the paint. The kind of paint could well have been available in the early 1400s, but that doesn't mean that that's when those paints were produced. One of my lecture courses is The Physics of History, which in itself is a bit of strange course. I've typed up the relevant bit of the coursebook (so all typos are mine):

Quote

The Spanish Forger, a late 19th century artist who doctored medieval manuscripts, was exposed through neutron-activation analysis. One of the illustrated manuscript pages in question, from a 15th century book of hours, was purchased by JP Morgan in 1900 and now resides in the Morgan Library. The borders are thought to be original, while the illustration has been shown to be a modern forgery. When this page was irradiated with neutrons, gamma rays from 9 different radioactive species appeared; the isotope half-lives ranged from 2.6 hours to 244 days. The isotopes underwent beta decay, emitting an electron or positron. Medical x-ray film was placed in contact with the irradiated painting, and the electrons exposed the film when they struck it, producing an autoradiograph. Exposures lasted from one day to several days. Exposures were taken at various intervals following the irradiation to identify the locations in which the different isotopes were produced, since the electrons from the decay do not distinguish between isotopes and the different half-lives must be exploited to identify each species. A series of autoradiographs were taken at about 1, 5, 8, and 25 days after irradiation. Comparing the first two panels, the blue flowers were seen to contain copper-bearing blue pigment (available to medieval artists), while the blue sky contains a sodium-bearing pigment first synthesised in the 19th century. Comparing panels 3 and 4 shows that the green in the border flowers persists after the green fields of the inset have faded, suggesting the fields are painted with copper-arsenite (first made in 1814), while the border green is from an unknown pigment that apparently contains long-lived isotopes of chromium, antimony, or zinc. The unambiguous conclusion is that the illustrations is a modern forgery that was inserted into this old manuscript after the beginning of the 19th century.

No, I don't understand all of it. Yes, it makes my brain hurt when I read stuff like this. But the point is that science has got increasingly better at sussing out this kind of stuff.

I got to thinking about that well-known forger, Mark Hofmann, and remembered that David Duchovny had incorporated him into one of his X-Files scripts. Then I got to thinking about Dennis Hoffman in Force Majeure. Coincidence?

But, I'm inclined to go along with one of Earthnut's suggestions: Someone had plenty of time of their hands, and access to copious quantities of magic mushrooms. :wink:

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2 hours ago, Libby said:

I have heard of this before, but never paid it much attention. The illustrations of the plants don't look like the typical botanical drawings of that time. But, of course, that might not be the purpose of the manuscript.

Although the vellum has been carbon-dated, I'm not so sure about what dating tests were done on the paint. The kind of paint could well have been available in the early 1400s, but that doesn't mean that that's when those paints were produced. One of my lecture courses is The Physics of History, which in itself is a bit of strange course. I've typed up the relevant bit of the coursebook (so all typos are mine):

No, I don't understand all of it. Yes, it makes my brain hurt when I read stuff like this. But the point is that science has got increasingly better at sussing out this kind of stuff.

I got to thinking about that well-known forger, Mark Hofmann, and remembered that David Duchovny had incorporated him into one of his X-Files scripts. Then I got to thinking about Dennis Hoffman in Force Majeure. Coincidence?

But, I'm inclined to go along with one of Earthnut's suggestions: Someone had plenty of time of their hands, and access to copious quantities of magic mushrooms. :wink:

Wow, I absolutely love your post Libby, and not because you agree with me, but because it was so fascinating to read.  Then remembering the X-Files script and Force Majeure (a favorite), I got excited.  In a good way of course... :249:

Another thought of mine, that it is something spiritual, and not related to "magic mushrooms," etc., :smoking:  like the Navajo Indians during wartime, and their code being the only code that was unbreakable.  It's because their code is spiritual.  All the more reasons why the drawings of the plants don't look typical, because they are spiritual images.

Wow, have I gotten interested in this forum or what?  :tongue:

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