Category Archives: Voynich script and language

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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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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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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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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Voynich phonetics (June 2015 version) by Derek Vogt

Addendum from Derek, April 2016:
New version of the list… no new plants or astrological items to add, but /y/ is now included as a secondary interpretation for the letter ^r^ in a few cases, and the definitions of phonetic symbols are now collected near the top instead of given individually with their first applications in the tables, and a few old entries have some bits of new information added, like folios 27r & 28r. The slight shift in its overall appearance/style is a side effect of a switch from one file format to another (HTML to word processor).
The most significant difference now is the new section after the herbal & …

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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 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.