a reply to: FreeMason
A few preliminary facts to consider about the Voynich MS (or, 'VMS) which is currently being housed safely in a vault at the Rare Books Division of
the Beinicke Library at Yale University--
I wish to clear-up some commonly-held misunderstandings of the history of this MS lest anybody should leap to premature conclusions about the
'solving' of this long-standing enigmatic puzzle.
Wilfred Vojnic (a private Lithuanian book-collector who was heavily involved in Lithuanian politics, including espionage) first came across this
'little ugly duckling' MS in 1912 at a Jesuit Monastery called La Villa Mondragone in the little town of Frascati just outside of Rome in a trunk full
of mediaeval MSS belonging to the estate of an old antiquarian Jesuit Abbe Petrus Beeckx, who had died c. 1888 - the Jesuits in 1912 needed to raise
some ready-cash to repair their roof and apparently had to resort to selling-off part of their extensive collection of old MSS...
The book measures c. 7 inches x 9 inches (the vellum used was recently dated to c. 1415 CE) and contains c. 240 or so surviving pages (at least 12
sheets have been deliberately torn out- probably by code-breaker & polyglot Athanasius Kircher c. 1650 and are now missing) of a mediaeval coded
(ostensibly) gynecological cipher-text Herbal Manual with drawings arranged loosely by subject falling into 6 definitive sections (e.g. 'Herbal',
'Cosmological', 'Astrological', 'Balneological', 'Pharmacological' & 'Recipe' sections respectively, although some recurring pages from the initial
'Herbal' section suddenly reappear in the Pharmacological section which shows that the book was incorrectly re-assembled and sewn together at some
later date) the majority of the drawings being of medicinal plants ('Herbal' Section, which include a number of poisonous ones, and many are still to
this day unidentified).
in the Balneological Section (from Lat. 'balneus' meaning 'bath-tub') there are depictions of (evidently) pregnant nude young caucasian (mainly
blonde) females often seen up to their pregnant knees in a soupy green liquid.
As at least one poster noted on this thread, the coded cipherbet is clearly oriented LEFT TO RIGHT and TOP TO BOTTOM the way most Semitic languages
are written out, so it is clearly NOT Arabic (or Hebrew/Nabatean &tc) but represents a western language, which recent computer studies have concluded
is a 'real language' and not mere 'gibberish', although it would indicate many of the words exist as abbreviations (e.g. de-vowelled) in many places
and the Herbal section may contain two distinct dialects of the same base-language, known as Herbal A and Herbal B). One thing is certain: the Voynich
MS has NOT been totally 'solved' yet at least as of 2018; if the VMS does indeed represent a known language, the 'base-language' represented by the
ciphers seems cognate with certain dialects spoken by what are known as Gypsies (the Romani language) with a decidedly Turkic grammatical
underpinning, although several 'labels' in the 'Astrological' section seem at times to employ Arabic & Persian names for some star groups (e.g. The
The author/compiler of the Voynich MS seems to have been somewhat eclectic in his choice of source material; the opening page of folio one for example
show two mediaeval Chinese ideograms in red ink (one stands for 'Spring' the other for 'Sky') which throws yet another wrench into the works terms of
nailing down the base-language(s) being used throughout the book. The drawings of mediaeval castles in the 'Cosmological' section resemble the turrets
found around Brescia/Milan in northern Italy, yet the women appear as Scandinavian blondes with only a few brunettes in the bunch. There also seems,
upon closer-inspection, to be at least SIX different copyist-hands involved, making the book a literary-collaboration of sorts. Moreover there are
serious doubts being raised that the more mature & experienced person who produced the fastidious inked-line-drawings of the (sometimes weird-looking,
sometimes symbolic) plants & pregnant females is the same individual who (somewhat childishly) coloured the images with a very limited palette of
Now in terms of the specific use if this gynocological medicine journal, linking the plants with known mediaeval concoctions for pregnancy-related
issues may be instructive especially when linked to the naked pregnant 'nymphs' soaking their swollen ankles in their bath-tubs full of green-goo;
there are some 'Herbal' plants that are known oxytoctics (birth-delivery easers), poisonous plants that induce spontaneous abortion, plants that were
used to reduce swollen ankles, plants used in antiquity as aphrodisiacs, fever reducers, tranquilizers, to reduce morning-sickness, to eliminate
skin-eruptions & blemishes, plants used as cosmetics, emetics and opium-based plants used to dull the pain of menstral cramps and childbirth.
Just my $.02 (for what it is worth) off the top of my head this afternoon...
edit on 17-4-2018 by Sigismundus because: (no reason