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Voynich Manuscript partially decoded

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posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 07:45 AM

The Voynich manuscript is a mysterious, undeciphered illustrated book. It is thought to have been written in the 15th or 16th century.[1] The author, script, and language of the manuscript remain unknown.

Over its recorded existence, the Voynich manuscript has been the object of intense study by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including some top American and British codebreakers of World War II fame (all of whom failed to decrypt any portion of the text). This string of failures has turned the Voynich manuscript into a famous subject of historical cryptology, but it has also given weight to the theory that the book is simply an elaborate hoax—a meaningless sequence of arbitrary symbols.

The book is named after the Polish-American book dealer Wilfrid M. Voynich, who acquired it in 1912. Currently the Voynich manuscript is stored in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University as item "MS 408". The first facsimile edition was published in 2005.

The author of this website is a talented indvidual who likes word puzzles and she has approached the Voynich manuscript from a new direction. She postulates that a young Leonardo da Vinci was playing with anagrams and a simple substitution code. Using medieval Italian words and her premise, she decoded the part of the manuscript related to botany. An interesting read with illustrations.
edit on 10 May 2011 by Hellmutt because: added ex-tags for external content

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 08:10 AM
S&F! I'm glad you posted this. I love when mysterious old writings get decoded, and Voynich is one of the biggies. Excellent find!

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 08:24 AM

Hopefully she's working on the other sections of the manuscript, very interesting. Question though...why does every cool mystery from that time period have to be associated with Divinci?

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 08:47 AM
Very nice job. I've been wondering about that for awhile and this approach seems viable.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 08:56 AM
Good luck trying to solve the naked ladies bathing in green fluid. Some of the images are quite bizarre.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:06 AM

Originally posted by Signals

Hopefully she's working on the other sections of the manuscript, very interesting. Question though...why does every cool mystery from that time period have to be associated with Divinci?

Because the scope of general knowledge, even among serious researchers, has been steadily diminishing for decades now.
And because Leonardo sells.

BTW, it's an interesting development, so, thank you, OP.

However, let's not overlook the question mark in the author's own title. :-)

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:08 AM
Appears to be an ancient shopping list of some kind. Interesting.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:14 AM
I thought alot of people agreed that roger bacon wrote it? In any case i always thought it was simply nonsense and was not encrypted at all. The NSA have a pdf/book on their site from 1978 that goes into detail about it. In any case good find!

[edit on 2-12-2009 by Solomons]

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:35 AM
If she has discovered the basis of it by using drawings of known objects [plants] and associated words to determine the substitution code and anagrams in medieval Italian, the entire manuscript should be readily decryptable by computer. One advantage is that the encrypter did not use a standard word length and break everything, including spaces, into evenly sized groups.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 11:49 AM
Not meaning to commit acts of Thread Necromancy/philia, but this website you had posted about hit the MSM news last night.

Oddly I hadn't seen this thread on ATS before, somehow overlooking it.

I've always been skeptical when someone offers a "solution" to the Voynich Manuscript. Not a single one has thus far been satisfactory in their explanation.

However, this particular author's success with the Botanical Section of the VMS is both simple and satisfactory.

I'm not sure if I am willing to accept that this was the work of Da Vinci, as the author presents nothing more than speculative pondering on the subject, but the dating of the text to the 15th century puts into question any attribution of authorship to Roger Bacon from the 13th century. I do agree with the author that neither Dr. John Dee or Edward Kelly had anything to do with the authorship of the Voynich Manuscript. Although Dee was the greatest mathematician of his age (and still the greatest mathematician England has ever had), and the two had penned more than one text that defies modern Cryptoanalysis, this possibility has been exhausted to no avail to the point that it would be safe to rule them out as a possible author.

I tried last night to apply this author's ideas for deciphering to the last section of the VMS which is the only section without any Illumination. It did not work. I also attempted to apply it to the Astrological Section to no avail as well. So, this is not a universal decoding of the Manuscript, just of part of the Botanical Section.

However, it is highly possible and probable that the author used various differing methods of encryption. The first two plates in the Astrological Section do not appear to be Celestial Charts, but if interpreted as Code Wheels along the manner in which were presented in the Steganographia of Johannes Trithemius (written in 1500ce) these could be the method by which that section could be successfully decoded.

Likewise in the final section of the VMS the only non-characters are rubricated stars that appear at the beginnings of some lines. At first they happen at regular intervals, but then the intervals become seemingly random. It has been suggested that these rubricated stars represent the algorithm used by the author to encrypt this final chapter.

Still, this is nothing less than a monumental and significant breakthrough. Of all the decoding attempts I have seen since 1992, this is by far the most viable.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 05:03 PM
reply to post by pteridine

Fascinating thread. Thank you for posting that.

There might be nothing earth shattering coming from the book once the code is completely broken but the journey in itself is very interesting.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 05:15 PM
Ive read about this before, very interesting!

Although Im slightly confused on one point... how was an 8-10 year old Leonardo Da Vinci getting hold of all this expensive paper in the first place, when he apparantly came from a poor family?

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 05:17 PM

Originally posted by Vanitas

Originally posted by Signals

Hopefully she's working on the other sections of the manuscript, very interesting. Question though...why does every cool mystery from that time period have to be associated with Divinci?

Because the scope of general knowledge, even among serious researchers, has been steadily diminishing for decades now.
And because Leonardo sells.

BTW, it's an interesting development, so, thank you, OP.

However, let's not overlook the question mark in the author's own title. :-)

not at all
Da Vinci has access to very ancient book...

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 05:30 PM
reply to post by Bluebelle

The "left-handed" query was likely tossed in because Leonardo was a lefty. Medieval Italian fits Leonardo better than Bacon, but as other posters have said, it's still anyone's guess.
If each section was encrypted dfferently, then that might explain the difficulties when looking for one key.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:05 PM
When I first learned of this manuscript years back right here on ATS I was intrigued myself.

When I looked at the pictures all I could think of at that time was could this in some way be connected to how to cure all known Viruses then I thought of the ten words I was given when little by Beings that told me to remember, "All Diseases can be Cured from the Roots of Plants."

I know information comes in mysterious ways when dealing with other life forms and I have been waiting and hoping someone would figure out this manuscript so at least I would know if this is a path they put forth or it wasn't.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 07:31 PM
reply to post by observe50

I just U2U'd you. I hope you got it. It's the first one I've ever sent.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:29 PM
S+F, what an insightful and well-articulated look at the Voynich Man. by Madam Sherwood. Her interpretation makes a lot of sense and just feels right, and the way she arrived at her finding - by thinking like the medieval writer, using the conventions of the day.
It'd be interesting to compare the VM to a medieval text on herbs/plants of that era, to see how such a text may have been the inspiration for a young Leonardo to try his hand at making his own copy, encoded in anagrams.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:41 PM
So...has anyone really partially decoded this wcollection? There are some facts that stand out...

The so-called VOYNICH MS (VMS) in Yale's Beinicke Collection has sure stumped people---- including the most talented would be nice if Yale would allow carbon dating on this MS so establish a Terminus AD Quem (the "date when the calf died" from the vellum).

Wilfred Wojnic (Voynich) a rare book collector, bought the MS from Jesuits at the (then-strapped-for-cash)-Villa Frascati near Rome in 1912 along with other rare MSS.

It seems like a Gynacological Herbal with an interest in Astrology (the plants that are ID'd are related to fertility or prophylactics to prevent pregnancy and/or morning sickness, swollen ankles, menstral pain &tc. - the women all have paunches (i.e. appear 6-8 months pregnant) and we see poisons e.g. Deadly Nightshade but also, Foxglove, Red Rasberry, Shepherd's Purse, Skyflower (32r), Dungwort (3v) Quysoum (4r), Gnaybara (18r), Semwu (21r) Bear Breeches (6r), Twinflower (10v), Wild Yam (17v), Crocus (40v), Woad-plant (25v), Aster (18r), a rare Nymphoides Lily (2v) &tc. -- all treat a woman's aches & pains & fevers.

Was this a survivor of the Inquisition? I have not seen a book using the same SIGIL language symbols, except the uncle of the so-called Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) who used the 4 and the 4o symbol in his diaries...which places it in northern Italy, like the archtitecture and the hairdos.

From all the curious "plants" (some seem copied from dried pressed examples or from wooducts, but not in any forensic sense at times) in the largest (first) section, it appears on the surface to be a mediaeval "Herbal" or some kind of private medical dictionary-pharamceutical "recipe" book of some kind which related the medicinal potency of plants and roots and herbs to certain key elements/chemicals/planets with a tie into a person's astrological birth sign. This suggests a belief in the mediaeval LAW OF CORRESPONDENCES outlined by Aristotle and Plato (and taken up by allAlchemists & doctors until Paracelsus)

I don'tsee a "classical" Alchemical symbols in the VMS--some look alchemical, but they appear in non-alchemical combinations. I do NOT think it is anAlbigensian Endura textbook [Cathar Death Rite of Isis (which was poor misguided prof. Levitov's stupid theory of 1987 !)

Dr Dee of England in 1587 sold the book for 600 dukaten to Rudlolf II of Bavaria (Praha) =about $120,000.00 US dollars today--quite a lot for a single book.

Dee told Rudolph it was the private notebook of Dr Francis Bacon of England (who died around 1394), but the book (with early15th century women's hairdos and overall style of drawings including the crossbow) seems to point to Brescia/Milan around AD 1390-1425.

Also the "style" of the drawings (notice the castles) is what is known as "humanist" (AD 1440 to AD 1500) & resembles Brescian Herbals (i.e. from Northern Italy near Milan) which were in vogue in those days (especially between 1400 to 1430). Also the hairdos are Brescian in style from around the same period.

Attempts have been made to make the text readable: I like Landini's EVA (european voynich alphabet) using typewritten letters to denote sigils of the VMS (e.g. daiin, sheoky, arar, cheoldy etc.)

The question is: what BASE LANGUAGE is this book written in (the language which is residing underneath the-sigils)? Is it a totally new made up language? Is it Greek or Latin or Italian or some combination?

Or is it 15th century MANCHU (NB: computer studies say YES !) a survivor from Marco Polo ? - which would place it in northern Italy by 1350 or earlier. There are chinese characters on page 1 ('spring' & 'heaven')

Is it phonetically broken up differently than language is commonly written ?

(e.g. in English we write: "Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow" whereas the VMS (voynich MS might have written it phonetically, "May reehaDd alitt elLamm whozFleez wazwHyt aznoe).

Also there might be NULL VALUES (letters or combinations which mean nothing (shaiin odaiin o: why all the secret coding? Possibly it contained scientific information that the Spanish Inquisition might not have particularly liked....

There is a repetitive phrase (annoying to keep having to look at all the time) which resembles the typewritten 8aiiv (EVA: daiin), which might be a PUNCTUATION MARK like a COLON or a COMMA or a FULL STOP (period).

Sometimes we see the "word" : [8aiiv 8aiiv] twice in succession which might be a "colon" (EVA: daiin daiin) or phrase/paragraph separator

Some "words" are fairly common throughout the book (i.e. they recur with some frequency like [EVA: shol] or [EVA: sheky etc) but there are many words that appear only once like [EVA: fachys] often set apart on the page or underneath a drawing, almost LIKE A LABEL .

This is why I think the book is a kind of medical herbal, or teaching manual giving names to different plants (in the Herbal sections) and planets (in the astrological section).

I've noticed that the separator (8aiiv) often occurs often right AFTER a rare word or series of rare words --as if to set these words apart....could daiin mean 'quotation marks'?

The VMS only measures about 6" x 9" only (smallish) with 235 sides of sigil-writing & herbal pictures (about 24 pages have been deliberately torn out and handed out to various people around 1660 including pages that Johannes Marci gave to the cryptologist friend Athanasius Kircher to decipher). These pages are still missing to this day.

The book is today organised into 5 discrete "sections" separated according to topic: two pages from each section have been neatly torn out (possibly as "samples" from each for Kircher to work on)...

The sections are: The large Herbal A/B section, The Astrological Section, The Balneological Section (featuring numbers of naked pregnant women in sitz baths), The PharmaSection and the 'Recipe Shorthand' section) with nearly 10 different copyists' hands & possibly in 2 dialects (Voynich A /B): the pages were numbered by Kircher.

On the last page, Kircher wrote a cipher in Latin Letters in Germano-Latin MICHITONOLADABASMULTOSCCCPORTAS

(removing the NULLS of ITONOLA & CCC reduces to: mihi dabas multas portas: "to me Thou hast bestowed many gates")

The undeciphered "letters" look like a combo of Latin shorthand and Norse Runes /Guild symbols (e.g. the 4 gallows letters) etc.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:43 PM
Many thanks for the heads up.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 10:20 PM

This is the website at Beinecke Rare Books that shows pictures of each page of the book.

Looking at this page it doesn't seem as though the writing is going from right to left due to the capital style letter at the top left hand corner indicating where the sentence begins. And the writing does seem different then Leonardo da Vinci as seen at this page or this page

[edit on 2-12-2009 by JBA2848]

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