About this site and my views
Below, to the right, and in the menu above, you can see links to other pages and to the views of a host of other contributors, whose insightful contributions I gratefully acknowledge. In response to requests, however, let me here set out in brief where I currently stand on the Voynich manuscript (VM).
Not a hoax, and probably not a cipher
Before my 2014 paper many people who had researched it for years believed the manuscript to be either a sort of code/cipher, or a hoax. I do not believe it is a hoax (see here). I don’t consider it alchemical, nor diabolical, and probably not a mysterious cipher designed to conceal knowledge. My work was attacked rather aggressively by some who hold particular views, such as Nick Pelling here, who believes it to be a cipher or code designed to conceal knowledge, and you can see my response here.
I accept the carbon dating evidence which suggests that the manuscript was produced in the early 15th century, and the ink analysis which found nothing to contradict a 15th century date.
With apologies to conspiracy theorists, I (boringly) consider the VM most probably to be an attempt at an encyclopedia or ‘summa’ aiming to encompass contemporary knowledge of plants, astrology/astronomy and related areas, exactly as the wonderful Occitan manuscript which I discuss here does.
It was probably intended for a specific linguistic community, for which the script was specially devised. In my view the script had probably been developed previously, not solely for this manuscript, but if so, evidence of that development is now lost. In short, the VM just happens to be in a script we cannot yet decipher, but is probably in a language which is known or can be reconstructed.
My approach is to work on it carefully and with an open mind, mainly on the linguistic elements of the script and language, but taking account of other research on the imagery, without any preconceived ideas about where it came from or its genre.
My current view is that the manuscript was possibly written by or for a community in eastern Europe, the Caucasus, or western Asia – sorry not to be more specific – and has the traces of Arabic, Persian. Mongol, Indian ideas and even language which would not be unexpected or surprising at the time in, say, the area of the Black Sea, the Caucasus or eastern Turkey.
However, this site is open to all approaches – including analysis of images – so feel free to post your views.
- Posted in: Voynich