Some people consider that the Vm is a hoax, created perhaps by a sort of grille. I think I’ve answered that comprehensively in my paper, by showing that it can’t possibly be a hoax, as it contains real semantic content. But in any case, why on earth would anyone waste their time on creating a hoax of this kind? It’s just not credible, is it?
Yesterday I found this nice account from David Kahn’s book “The Codebreakers”. Although it was written before the hoax mania set in, I still think it is eminently sensible – I can’t argue with any of it. The highlighting is mine:
“Is it [the Voynich manuscript], then, just a gigantic hoax, like the Cardiff giant or the Piltdown man or the fossils of Professor Beringer? Nobody involved with it seems to think so—and this includes those who have been rebuffed by it. The work is too well organized, too extensive, too homogeneous. Nothing repeats larger than a group of five words, whereas in actual hoaxes, such as the fake hieroglyphic papyri sometimes sold to tourists in Egypt, much longer phrases are repeated. Moreover, the words in the text recur, but in different combinations, just as in ordinary writing. Even if it were a hoax, there seems to be no point to having made it so long. Most critically, the medieval quasi-science that was seeking the philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life while the manuscript was being written was too credulous to entertain the concept of a hoax.”
David Kahn (The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet) 1996 p871.
Surely Kahn is right? In summary:
1. the VM is ‘too extensive and homogenous’ to be a hoax. Why would anyone add pages and pages of extra text at the end, completely unnecessarily, to create a hoax?
2. There is repetition, but not as much as a typical hoaxer would use.
3. The text shows other patterns which closely resemble real writing.
4. Again, why make a hoax so long?
5. No-one at the time would have believed it, so why bother to do it?
By the way, I’m ignorant of any 15th century manuscript hoaxes of any kind……. does anyone know of any?
- Posted in: Voynich - hoax?