Category Archives: Voynich

Rosettes folio f86v – a discussion by Marco Ponzi

I am delighted to publish the following fascinating and insightful discussion sent to me by Marco Ponzi:
Marco Ponzi April 2015
The Rosettes page f86v lower left diagram The so-called Rosettes page is a large and complex diagram, composed of nine major circular elements disposed in a 3×3 grid and other minor elements of different shapes. Here I will only discuss the circle in the lower left corner of the diagram. It seems likely that this circle is a map of a specific geographic region. In my opinion, the identification of the region illustrated by the map and the phonetic reading of the labels that appear on it could confirm each other and …

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More patterns in the Voynich text

The website is a fascinating addition to our tools for analysing the manuscript. Here I will just point out one or two things it has helped me to notice which I think are interesting:
1.  Look at the word EVA:qokeedy  as analysed in
What is curious about this is how the word is relatively rare in the first 73 folios, but then suddenly explodes in the Balneological section from f75r onwards until f84v, the last page of the Balneological section, when it suddenly stops, to resume again at the first page of the Recipes section (f103r) and continue quite frequently to the end of the manuscript. In other words it is …

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Spelling variation and the Voynich manuscript

In the past I have argued that we must take account of spelling variation when we study the Voynich manuscript. Many people fail to realise how common it was for mediaeval scribes to use a variety of different spellings even for the same words on the same line. Standardised spelling conventions are a modern obsession which we mustn’t apply to the Voynich.
Here is a good example of the kind of spelling variation I’m talking about. Look at this image (below) from the wonderful 14th century Occitan manuscript I have discussed before.

Look especially at the words for ‘sun’. Remember that the Voynich manuscript has similar images of the sun (and moon) with words around them which might …

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Voynich ‘Bathing’ pages (f75r – 84v)

I am setting up this post to get discussion of the fascinating ‘Bathing’ or ‘Balneological’ pages of the Voynich manuscript (Quire 13, folios 75r – 84v).

I also want to raise awareness of an interpretation of these pages which I think is interesting and well-argued, namely the one by Lincoln Taiz and Saundra Lee Taiz which you can find on page 19 of the Chronica Horticulturae, Vol 51 , Number 2 , 2011 .
In that article they argue that in these pages “the author depicts a philosophical scene in which women represent vegetative souls located within the very marrow of the plant, driving the processes that make plants grow and reproduce” (p22)
Elsewhere on this site …

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T-O maps

There has been a  lot of interest recently in T-O maps on this site, so let me post some larger images here for people to discuss. I’ll number them for reference:
1. Marco Ponzi’s interesting comparison diagram:

2. An interesting illustration from Mu’aiyid al-Din al-Tughra’i. Masabih al-Hikma wa Mafatih al-Rahma (The Lanterns of Wisdom and the Keys of Mercy).
This shows a set of scales to weigh the elements – on the right we have Fire and Water written below the circle, and on the left we have Air and Earth. To be precise, the lower half of the first circle (left) has ‘alturab’ (earth) and ‘alhawa’ (air) together (written under the diagonal line), …

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Voynich phonetics – Derek Vogt

Derek Vogt has kindly provided an update of his scheme, so the one on this page is now outdated.
Please see his revised and updated June 2015 scheme here and add any comments or suggestions onto that page.
Here I am posting the Voynichese phonetic system which Derek Vogt has been working on, drawing on approaches used in my earlier paper which attempted to sketch out a few sound-symbol relationships in the Voynich script. Derek has been drawing on a few other resources:
For plant identifications from their pictures by other people:
And for names of the plants identified there & translations of some of the words in their names:
Any comments or suggestions welcome.

f67r1 – discussion of winds from Marco Ponzi

The following discussion about Voynich f67r1 is offered by Marco Ponzi. I have put it here in a separate post to facilitate discussion and comment – SB [The image below has been updated by Marco 6/12/2014]
By Marco Ponzi
“I have made some further research about wind diagrams and the page discussed by Pelling and Zandbergen, f67r1:
The proposed analysis makes extensive use of a diagram from a XII Century Latin “compendium” based on Bede, recently linked by Stephen (Walters Ms. W.73 f1v);
The Compendium diagram presents twelve winds, giving for each of them one or two names.
7 of the 12 sections of Voynich f68r1 can be connected to Bede’s diagram.
I have also considered …

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Voynich star names analysed (2)

In a previous post I proposed a set of 64 star labels in the Voynich manuscript which seem most probably to represent the names of actual stars (or planets or asterisms). These are essentially only those on three pages of the manuscript, known as f68r1, r2 and r3. I excluded  from consideration many more star shapes in the manuscript on the grounds that they might not in fact be meant to refer to stars, and that any analysis should be cautious in this respect.
Having established this core list, I assigned each item a number, and presented the numbered diagrams on three separate pages so that you can see them and so that …

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This website, future websites

Owing to massive worldwide interest in the Voynich manuscript (VM), and visits to this site, I am thinking of setting up a new and more comprehensive website devoted solely to the VM, and moving this blog and discussion pages onto it. That would also leave this website for my other research. But I thought I would get other people’s opinions first!
Since January, when I set it up, this website has had a total of 163,657 visits from a total of 82,530 unique visitors – a massive interest, I am sure you will agree. The biggest was in March, after I spoke on a US radio show with 3 million listeners, when it had 16196 …

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14th century Occitan Provencal manuscript

I’m sure I’m not the first Voynich fanatic to notice it, but I’ve come across a fascinating manuscript in the British Library which I thought I’d share. It is written in Occitan, a language of southern France, from the 14th century, and has a number of images which remind me of parts of the Voynich, including the illustration on this page, which comes from here.
The manuscript is called Royal 19 C.I and can be found in full here.
Some of the images which are most striking are these:

–f34v, the universe (Click on it to enlarge it). I love the angels turning the universe with a crank system.
–f37, Zodiac wheel, with interestingly different versions of names. “Taur” is there. …

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