Ten words in mysterious Voynich Manuscript decoded

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 A researcher claims he’s decoded 10 possible words in the famously unreadable Voynich manuscript, which has eluded interpretation for a century.

Ten words in mysterious Voynich Manuscript decoded
Detail from page 78r of Voynich Manuscript depicting the
“biological” section [Credit: WikiCommons]

The book’s 250 vellum pages are filled with writings in an unknown alphabet and elaborate drawings depicting a range of subjects from female nudes to medicinal herbs to Zodiac symbols. The medieval text was discovered by an antique book dealer in 1912, and it has been rather stingy in giving up its secrets ever since.

Now Stephen Bax, a professor of applied linguistics at the University of Bedfordshire in England, says he’s deciphered 14 characters of the script and can read a handful of items in the Voynich text, such as the words for coriander, hellebore and juniper next to drawings of the plants. He says he’s also picked out the word for Taurus written beside an illustration of the Pleiades, a star cluster in the constellation Taurus.

 “I hit on the idea of identifying proper names in the text, following historic approaches which successfully deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs and other mystery scripts, and I then used those names to work out part of the script,” Bax said in a statement.

“The manuscript has a lot of illustrations of stars and plants,” Bax added. “I was able to identify some of these, with their names, by looking at mediaeval herbal manuscripts in Arabic and other languages, and I then made a start on a decoding, with some exciting results.”

The Voynich manuscipt now sits in a rare books library at Yale University. Carbon dating proved that it dates back to the 15th century, and researchers believe it was written in Central Europe. While some scholars have written it off as a Renaissance-era hoax full of nonsense text, others say the pattern of the letters and words suggest the book was written in a real language or at least an invented cipher. A recent statistical study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that “Voynichese” adheres to linguistic rules.

Bax notes that the manuscript is still a long way from being understood, and that he is coming forward with what he’s found thus far in the hopes that other linguists will work with him to crack the code. For now, he thinks the book is “probably a treatise on nature, perhaps in a Near Eastern or Asian language.”

Author: Megan Gannon | Source: LiveScience [February 20, 2014]

1 COMMENT

  1. My suggestion to decode the Voynich Manuscript is in the fact that each of its individual pages encodes some other information . Encryption is not just a written form . There's a whole spectrum of gnosis , which, because of the limited capabilities (eg letter runicze – oldest inscriptions are from the second and third century AD, before the Egyptian hieratic writing , etc.) were also encoded in a different form – for example, by means of signs and symbols : see semiotics – from the Greek : " semasticos " – significant , " semasia " – meaning "," semeion " – a sign of " sema " – a sign , the image signal . And in such a manner is encoded Voynich manuscript – it is not my task , classic cipher written , only symbolic rebus – ideogram . Below to better illustrate the time- historical continuum in brief , a summary of the earlier descriptions of each manuscript illustration . ( From 1R to 19R ) http://gloriaolivae.pl/

    1R – Big Bang and Kolaps – cyclical nature of the universe.

    1V – Approximately 4.5 – 5 billion years ago – the formation of the Earth's crust.

    2R – About 3.5 billion years ago – the first organisms .

    2V – About a billion years ago – the first single-celled organisms ( eukaryotes ) .

    3R – Approximately 900 – 700 million years ago – the first multi-cellular organisms .

    3V – approximately 700 – 600 million years ago – the first invertebrates .

    4R – 500 million years ago – the first vertebrates .

    4V – 400 million years ago – vertebrates came out of the water.

    5R – 220 million years ago – the beginning of the reign of the dinosaurs.

    5V – 65 million years ago – extinction of the dinosaurs , evolution of mammals .

    6R – About 65 – 30 million years ago – carnivores .

    6V – About 30 – 7 million years ago – the formation of plants and animals.

    7R – About 12 million years ago – the first hominids .

    7V – About 7 – 5 million years ago – the appearance of man .

    8R – About 100 thousand . years ago – the emergence of modern man .

    8V – Approximately 15-12 thousand . years ago – man hiking – "bridge" Bering .

    9R – Approximately 11.5 thousand . years ago – the end of the last ice age.

    9V – About 10 thousand . years ago – hunter -gatherers , the birth of agriculture.

    10R – Around 4000 , the BC – Development of urban community Mesopotamia.

    10V – Around 3000 , the BC – The beginnings of civilization of ancient Egypt.

    11R – The turn of the second and first millennium BC – Judaism , Jerusalem.

    11V – turn of the century – Christianity . Rome .

    12R – None. According to me – Ancient Greece .

    12 V – None. According to me – the Empire of Alexander the Great .

    13R – The Roman Empire .

    13V – Persian Empire .

    14R – Huns . Mongol Empire .

    14V – Byzantine Empire .

    15R – The State of the Franks.

    15V – The spread of Islam.

    16R – Vikings .

    16V – Slavs .

    17R – The Crusades .

    17V – The Hundred Years War .

    18R – Ottoman Empire .

    18V – War of the Roses .

    19R – The Order of the Teutonic Knights .

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