Category Archives: Voynich

The last page f116v revisited

I would like to revisit the last page of the Voynich manuscript, namely f116v. Here below I reproduce the proposed analysis offered by Johannes Albus at the Voynich 100 conference in Italy in May 2012. One reason for reproducing it here is that it seems to me relatively unknown. I have tried to find out more about Albus and his research, but with no success.
This is the link to the relevant Voynich page.
Albus’ transcription and gloss is as follows:
(Transcription with abbreviations and omissions in square brackets)
L1 poxleber umen[do] putriter.
L2 + an[te] chiton olei dabas + multas + t[un]c + t[an]ta[a](?) cer[a]e + portas + M[ixtura] +
L3 fix[a] + man[nipulis] IX + mor[sulis] …

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The Voynich: lost language theory

One possible explanation of the Voynich manuscript’s mysterious script and underlying language – a view which I find plausible – is that the script was devised for a particular community, possibly to write down an already existing language, and then that script was lost to us, with the exception of the Voynich manuscript.
Just such an example has just been uncovered, as can be seen in this report from the Smithsonian magazine:
In essence, researchers have been examining old manuscripts housed at St Catherine’s monastery in Egypt which were palimpsests – pages from which older writing had been erased and newer writing added in order to reuse the scarce parchment. They then …

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TED-ED video about the Voynich manuscript

I’m pleased to say that there is a new educational video about the Voynich manuscript which I was invited to script, published by the prestigious TED-ED group:

It was published only yesterday and already has 382,753 views, which is gratifying. (My nephew told me that it is number 8 in the list of Trending YouTube videos worldwide, but you can tell the level of competition in that race by the fact that it is being beaten by ‘I got stung by bees 3000 times’ and ‘How to cut and color your own hair’!)
I was asked to script it some months ago, and the process of working with the TED-ED editors and animators was …

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A proposed identification of a word found on f77v – by Darren Worley

This is a post sent in by Darren Worley – thanks Darren.
In this report I suggest a possible reading for a text label found on f77v. This follows on from a 2015 post on the same topic (here) that I now believe to be incomplete. I also speculate on what this might imply for the identity of Voynichese.
The text label under-disussion is shown bordered in red in the image below. It accompanies a diagram of the male genitals. Importantly, also depicted within the same image is a pregnant female figure. I believe that this pregnant female figure is critical to correctly interpreting the meaning of this text label.

There are slight …

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f68r – an eclipse in 1409?

In this post I would like to highlight some intriguing research carried out and sent to me by Andrés Eloy Martínez Rojas, president of la Sociedad Astronómica Urania (SAU) in Morelos, Mexico, relating to folio f68r.  This illustration shows what he is suggesting as an interpretation:

You can find a report in Spanish here from a Mexican newspaper and also a rather sketchy and dismissive blog report by Klaus Schmeh in English here.
In essence, Andrés offers the suggestion that the folio in question depicts an annular eclipse of the sun that occurred on April 15th 1409 –  in other words an event when the Moon covers the Sun’s centre, causing the Sun’s visible outer edge to create an apparent “ring …

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A proposed identification for the f57v symbol, by Darren Worley

This post was contributed by Darren Worley – many thanks!

On page f57v of the Voynich manuscript, in the bottom right hand corner, an unusual symbol can be found. In this short report I suggest a possible identification and its purpose. I also describe a mid-15th century manuscript containing many other examples of this symbol.
Several Voynich manuscript researchers in the past have noted and suggested possible meanings for this symbol, but no comparable examples have been identified. Hopefully, by identifying other examples of this symbol a better understanding of the early history of the Voynich manuscript can be established.
In the bottom-right hand corner on the final page of each quire an …

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New facsimile of the Voynich manuscript

I was just interviewed by a Spanish journalist about the Voynich manuscript and he alerted me to a recent article in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. This reports on a forthcoming facsimile of the Voynich manuscript, to be produced in Burgos in Spain, and to be sold at 8000 Euros a copy! If any kind benefactor wants to buy me one, I’d be grateful, but I am not optimistic.
The article itself is here. To be honest I am not very impressed, even though I suppose it is written in an engaging way.
To start with it does not even mention René Zandbergen’s work on his website . Any article on the Voynich must …

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Voynich conference speakers?

I have been approached with a suggestion to have a conference next year in London about the Voynich manuscript, where we could invite non-Voynich specialist to talk about their areas, for example an expert on mediaeval herbals, an expert on 15th century parchment, on art, or on astrology and astronomy.
I wonder if anyone has suggestions for strong academic experts in such areas whom it might be good to invite to such an event? The idea would be to sponsor them to look at the manuscript and apply their expertise, and pay them a fee for talking about it. I do not mean anyone who currently comments on Voynich matters!
Any suggestions?

How to crack the Voynich code, and how not to…..

Here is a pastiche of the type of message I get almost every week:
“Dear Mr Bax,
I am writing to tell you that I saw your website and I have deciphered the Voynich manuscript. You won’t believe me but it took me only two hours! I haven’t read anything much about the manuscript, but I am 100% sure that it is written in Icelandic/Hottentot/Mayan/Greek. Personally, I don’t know anything of that language but I put some words into Google Translate and it came out with this text:
……..  What do you think?”
Since I get these messages so regularly I thought it might be useful to sketch out why this approach to the script and language of the …

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Alain Touwaide on the Voynich – a review by René Zandbergen

I am grateful to René Zandbergen, whose authoritative site on the Voynich manuscript can be found here, for contributing the following review:

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the acquisition by the Society of Jesus of Villa Mondragone, the Second University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’ has published a new book about the Villa.
The book, written in Italian, was presented to the world one month ago, on 25 February 2016.
Such a volume had to include an article about the Voynich MS, and we find it on pp.141-158, written by the well-known historian of medicine Alain Touwaide, with a few small illustrations. While he is author of many scholarly articles about …

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