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Breakthrough over 600-year-old mystery manuscript [Voynich]
BBC ^ | February 18, 2014 | Nic Rigby

Posted on 02/23/2014 6:43:08 AM PST by SunkenCiv

The Voynich Manuscript, carbon-dated to the 1400s, was rediscovered in 1912, but has defied codebreakers since.

Now, Bedfordshire University's Stephen Bax says he has deciphered 10 words, which could lead to more discoveries.

The manuscript, which some think is a hoax, is full of illustrations of plants and stars, as well as text...

It largely disappeared from public record until 1912 when Wilfrid Voynich, an antique book dealer, bought it amongst a number of second-hand publications in Italy.

Since then, scholars and cryptographers have studied the document but have failed to find meaning in the text.

It was investigated by a team of code breakers during WWII, but they also failed to find meaning in the words.

Academics across the world have been trying to decode the manuscript.

In June last year, Marcelo Montemurro, a theoretical physicist from the University of Manchester, UK, published a study which he believes shows that the manuscript was unlikely to be a hoax.

Dr Montemurro and a colleague, using a computerised statistical method to analyse the text, found that it followed the structure of "real languages".

In February this year, a paper published in the journal of the American Botanical Council said one of the plant drawings suggested a possible Mexican origin for the manuscript.

Prof Bax, an expert in applied linguistics, said he had been working on the Voynich Manuscript for about two years.

He said he had managed to find the word for Taurus, alongside a picture of seven stars (seen as part of the zodiac constellation of Taurus) and the word Kantairon alongside a picture of the herb Centaury.

Prof Bax said he had been trying to crack the manuscript using his knowledge of medieval texts and his familiarity with Semitic languages like Arabic.

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: bedfordshire; epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; marcelomontemurro; stephenbax; voynichmanuscript
The 15th Century Voynich Manuscript has been described as the world's most mysterious book written in a complex code, an unknown language or simply a hoax

The 15th Century Voynich Manuscript has been described as the world's most mysterious book written in a complex code, an unknown language or simply a hoax

1 posted on 02/23/2014 6:43:08 AM PST by SunkenCiv
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To: Greysard; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...
Thanks Greysard! An update. And here's an interesting caption from one of the photogs:
Inside the book there was a letter thought to be dated to 1666. It claimed the book once belonged to the Emperor Rudolf II, a member of the house of Habsburg, known to be a patron of artists and scientists

KEYWORDS: epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; voynichmanuscript

2 posted on 02/23/2014 6:46:11 AM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Not so much a hoax as a whimsical prank.


3 posted on 02/23/2014 6:50:40 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: BenLurkin

Worthia remusng dorplat igmungium. Dowtop soldera ya de manga

4 posted on 02/23/2014 7:00:57 AM PST by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: bert

What you said.


5 posted on 02/23/2014 7:02:54 AM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: bert

Ah yes.... the Doo-Wop soldiers of Manga.


6 posted on 02/23/2014 7:04:53 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Apparently Ovaltine was originally made from many exotic herbs.


7 posted on 02/23/2014 7:05:03 AM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: bert

Klingon?


8 posted on 02/23/2014 7:05:28 AM PST by Flick Lives ("I can't believe it's not Fascism!")
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To: bert

             

9 posted on 02/23/2014 7:09:20 AM PST by tomkat ( a million tiny cuts per day .. make one)
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To: BenLurkin

What I had read in a different article recently was that many of the plants depicted in the book were recognized as Mexican, and the language was found to be an obscure Aztec dialect. The speculation was that the manuscript was likely written by a native convert soon after the Conquest.


10 posted on 02/23/2014 7:14:55 AM PST by PUGACHEV
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To: BenLurkin

Not so much. During the time period that this was written in, seeking secret knowledge was often frowned upon and even persecuted. Those who still sought to seek the unknown would create secret codes that weren’t easily broken.

So while this particular book may not have been that important in the realm of the sciences, it may have been done to protect what the author discovered that was previously unknown.


11 posted on 02/23/2014 7:24:17 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: SunkenCiv

“scholars and cryptographers have studied the document but have failed to find meaning in the text.”

Then why bother


12 posted on 02/23/2014 7:24:45 AM PST by amnestynone (Lindsey Graham is feckless, duplicitous, treacherous, double dealing backstabbing Corksucker.)
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To: SunkenCiv
The 15th Century Voynich Manuscript has been described as the world's most mysterious book written in a complex code, an unknown language or simply a hoax

it's... it's a cookbook!

to serve man

Joking aside, an interesting mystery that I read about several years ago. Thanks for posting.

13 posted on 02/23/2014 7:25:42 AM PST by Jed Eckert (Wolverines!!)
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To: FReepers
Insure FR's Future!
Become A Monthly Donor


Click The Pic To Donate


14 posted on 02/23/2014 7:30:19 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: amnestynone

I had that reaction reading your post.


15 posted on 02/23/2014 7:33:40 AM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: PUGACHEV

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/3115696/posts
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2672785/posts


16 posted on 02/23/2014 7:35:15 AM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: Jed Eckert

:’)


17 posted on 02/23/2014 7:36:33 AM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: Jed Eckert

http://vimeo.com/37778819


18 posted on 02/23/2014 7:37:19 AM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Sorry, I wrote this while drunk in a small bar in France. I didn’t realize anyone would take it seriously.


19 posted on 02/23/2014 7:41:01 AM PST by Doc Savage ("I've shot people I like a lot more,...for a lot less!" Raylan Givins)
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To: Flick Lives
Klingon?

I don't know...looks like High Valyrian to me.

20 posted on 02/23/2014 7:48:22 AM PST by sima_yi ( Reporting live from the far North)
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To: SunkenCiv
Ya beat me to it.

Some extra.

PDF and a youtube video of his research.

Also, if anyone wants to see a digitalized copy of the actual thing, go here.

21 posted on 02/23/2014 8:21:05 AM PST by Theoria (End Socialism : No more GOP and Dem candidates)
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To: Jed Eckert

22 posted on 02/23/2014 9:02:07 AM PST by BushCountry (If you're wondering, "I got my screenname before GW was elected the first time.")
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To: SunkenCiv

Maybe it is simply a book of plants and their medicinal/culinary uses?

I have a number of books on the subject of herbs, their medicinal and culinary uses and the benefits thereof-they are written in English, but the illustrations in several of them look very similar, and have the Latin name of the plant below the picture.

Or, to quote a Star Trek TNG episode about breaking a code-it could just be someone’s recipe for biscuits...


23 posted on 02/23/2014 9:17:43 AM PST by Texan5 (" You've got to saddle up your boys, you've got to draw a hard line"...)
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To: BenLurkin
Not so much a hoax as a whimsical prank.

If so, then it is a very lengthy and elaborate prank.

I suggest that it may have been the work of autistic person. In the past they were called 'eccentric' but it seems their mental abilities were a step above most of humanity. I could easily envision someone like that creating this book, and their own language. A book written by someone who never planned to have anyone else read it. It may have been a personal diary, depicting his(her) view of life.

24 posted on 02/23/2014 9:20:42 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (I just messed up my tagline. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
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To: bert
Worthia remusng dorplat igmungium.

Well, that's just your opinion.

Dowtop soldera ya de manga

Of course. Who would argue with that?

25 posted on 02/23/2014 9:23:53 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (I just messed up my tagline. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Apparently Ovaltine was originally made from many exotic herbs.

Maybe the author ingested a few too many exotic herbs while writing the book.

26 posted on 02/23/2014 9:25:20 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (I just messed up my tagline. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
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To: amnestynone; SunkenCiv
Then why bother

Because 'bothering' is the only path to success?

27 posted on 02/23/2014 9:28:35 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (I just messed up my tagline. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
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To: Theoria
Also, if anyone wants to see a digitalized copy of the actual thing, go here.

Thanks. It's a long book with lots of pictures of vegetation. I can't imagine that the "code" is very interesting.

28 posted on 02/23/2014 9:31:14 AM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas ( Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
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To: amnestynone

Sorry to pick on you, but FR would be no fun if we couldn’t have these lighthearted hazings. So... back to the camaraderie.

Have you ever bought a lottery ticket ?


29 posted on 02/23/2014 9:31:39 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (I just messed up my tagline. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
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To: SunkenCiv
Interesting... if they could find what plants are in the book, maybe they can find the language.

Unless it from another planet...:-)

30 posted on 02/23/2014 9:48:12 AM PST by ExCTCitizen (2014: The Year of DEAD RINOS)
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To: SunkenCiv
I did a lot of reading on this a few years ago, it was recognized as a natural language years ago.

If I remember correctly they tried to match it up to every known language except Aztec.

31 posted on 02/23/2014 11:04:32 AM PST by Little Bill
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To: Little Bill

Its Aztec—writen using Spanish Alphabet—Aztec herbs and plants—with mystical astrological applications. Like a medicial uses manuscript—made in Mexico City. That’s my take.


32 posted on 02/23/2014 11:45:33 AM PST by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: Forward the Light Brigade

That argument made the most sense to me.


33 posted on 02/23/2014 1:10:15 PM PST by OldNewYork
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To: Texan5

That was the view taken a few months back, in the previous topic about it.


34 posted on 02/23/2014 7:33:34 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: ExCTCitizen

New World plants, so probably New World language.


35 posted on 02/23/2014 7:34:01 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: Theoria

Thanks Theoria!


36 posted on 02/23/2014 7:35:14 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: Little Bill

It’s been approached as if it were a natural language by most who’ve worked on it; there are also those who studied it and found it wasn’t a natural language. So, obviously, some degree programs are better than others. ;’)

The same has been claimed for the Phaistos Disk — that it was faked by the excavator; most who’ve worked on it don’t think so. Barry Fell published a translation in the ESOP 25-30 years ago, his at least made geographic sense.

A few years ago there was a flap about the Indus Valley Script — a couple of researchers (not linguists) fed the known inscriptions into a program and determined it isn’t a natural language; everyone else who has worked on it says it is, but it remains unknown. Some (probably most) accept that it conceals an agglutinative language, into which category many Asian languages fall, but there is at least one who claims it is Sanskrit. There’s a big stone with Indus Valley script carved into it that sets outside one of the old Harappan city sites, and it appears to be a “welcome to indusville” sign.


37 posted on 02/23/2014 7:43:13 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv

I believe this is written in Austrian. Perhaps President Obama can translate it for you.


38 posted on 02/23/2014 7:43:23 PM PST by Rocky (The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. George Orwell)
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To: Theoria

Thanks for the YouTube.


39 posted on 02/24/2014 6:07:03 AM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

That makes perfect sense-and it can’t be easy to translate into writing in the alphabet we use from say, the one Chinese or middle easterners use-the contractor I work for and I sometimes write bids in Spanish, which we were taught as children, being from S Texas-the vowel sounds don’t work right when written, and that is in the same alphabet...


40 posted on 02/24/2014 8:58:11 AM PST by Texan5 (" You've got to saddle up your boys, you've got to draw a hard line"...)
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To: SunkenCiv
The Indus Valley script is probably Proto Dravidian there are still Dravidian holdouts in Afghanistan.

If I were going after the Phaistos Disk I would look at SE Anatolian scripts there seems to be some similarity.

41 posted on 02/24/2014 12:11:38 PM PST by Little Bill
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To: Texan5

:’)


42 posted on 02/24/2014 6:54:59 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv

It is hard to explain-it is a matter of spelling phonetically in a different language because my first language-the one I speak at least 90% of the time-is English...


43 posted on 02/24/2014 7:19:21 PM PST by Texan5 (" You've got to saddle up your boys, you've got to draw a hard line"...)
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To: Texan5

There are other agglutinative languages, and many of them appear to be isolates; Sumerian, for one example, was spoken by a people who, by their own account, came into Mesopotamia by sea, then proceeded to invent a writing system (cuneiform) which was in use until sometime in late antiquity or the early Middle Ages (and then its secrets were lost for over a thousand years), in use longer than any writing system including the Chinese script. As a people they just vanished in a demographic tide, leaving behind some of their legends, and practically no geographic placenames (they used the existing names for their cities and the rivers etc). Sumerian has been suggested as the language of the Indus scripts, but I think that has been shown to be impossible. It’s possible that it hides an ancient version of Dravidian, but it’s at least as likely that it will prove to be an otherwise unknown language that is an isolate.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2238530/posts?page=3#3


44 posted on 02/25/2014 5:23:33 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: Little Bill

That’s what Barry Fell’s approach was.

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.equinox-project.com/v047902.htm


45 posted on 02/25/2014 5:44:36 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Thanks-fascinating subject, any way you look at it. A couple of nights ago I watched a rerun of a program about long-lost cities that have been found on H2, and the fact that nearly nothing is known about them-who the people were, where they came from/went, whether they spoke/wrote a language that is known, etc. I’d seen the program before, but it is still very interesting to me.

I’m always delighted when objects found among ruins prove to be from other areas, likely trade goods. It seems that no matter how far back you look, people always liked and wanted stuff from other places. And in order to trade, there must have been at least some common words in everyone’s language that was used in the marketplaces for such goods.


46 posted on 02/26/2014 9:09:40 AM PST by Texan5 (" You've got to saddle up your boys, you've got to draw a hard line"...)
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