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Secret of Voynich Manuscript, an Ancient Book Written in 'Alien' Code, Partly Revealed
FoxNews.com ^ | 2/11/11

Posted on 02/12/2011 2:01:35 PM PST by FTJM

Part of the mystery behind an 'alien' book no one can read has at last been unraveled.

Found in a chest of books outside Rome by a dealer in antique books, the Voynich manuscript is among literature's great mysteries. The book of aging parchment is written in alien characters, some resembling Latin letters, others unlike anything used in any known language, and arranged into what appear to be words and sentences -- except they don't resemble anything written or read by human beings.

And for decades, the manuscript has mystified scientists.

"Is it a code, a cipher of some kind?" asked Greg Hodgins, a physicist with the University of Arizona. "People are doing statistical analysis of letter use and word use -- the tools that have been used for code breaking. But they still haven't figured it out," Hodgins said.

The DaVinci Code was fiction. The Voynich manuscript is real -- and its code remains one of history's biggest mysteries. But at least Hodgins has solved part of the mystery behind the book: it's age.

Because the parchment pages of the Voynich manuscript were made from animal skin, they can be radiocarbon-dated. Hodgins, a chemist and archaeological scientist, used radiocarbon dating on tiny bits of the pages extracted with a scalpel to determine that the book dates back to the early 15th century, making it a century older than scholars had previously thought.

Carbon-14 dating places the book's creation to between 1404 and 1438, in the early Renaissance. It's not the oldest book in the world -- that would be The Diamond Sutra, a seven-page scroll printed with wood blocks on paper in China around 1,300 years ago. But it's older than the Gutenberg bible, the first book printed with modern presses, which rolled off the line in 1453.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cipher; code; epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; hoax; secretwriting; voynich; voynichmanuscript
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1 posted on 02/12/2011 2:01:39 PM PST by FTJM
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To: FTJM; SunkenCiv

Older than moveable type presses.

hhhmmmm


2 posted on 02/12/2011 2:04:14 PM PST by GeronL (http://www.stink-eye.net/forum/index.php for FR backup site!)
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To: FTJM

Klingon? Elvish?


3 posted on 02/12/2011 2:06:14 PM PST by Argus
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To: FTJM

Possible the thing might be in old Prussian or some other Baltic language??


4 posted on 02/12/2011 2:06:14 PM PST by wendy1946
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To: FTJM

5 posted on 02/12/2011 2:06:25 PM PST by bmwcyle (It is Satan's fault)
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To: FTJM
Just another cookbook.
6 posted on 02/12/2011 2:07:36 PM PST by traderrob6
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To: FTJM
The article's definition of "the oldest book" is a bit schizoid.

It says that the Voynich - which is a manuscript - is not the "oldest book" but that the Diamond Sutra - which is a printed work - is the oldest.

The Diamond Sutra is a very young book if we're talking both printed and manuscript works.

7 posted on 02/12/2011 2:07:43 PM PST by wideawake
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To: bmwcyle

IT’S A COOKBOOK!!


8 posted on 02/12/2011 2:08:13 PM PST by OKSooner (Obama confessed "his muslim faith" on the George Stephanopolous show on September 7th, 2008.)
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To: FTJM

You have to read it in a mirror. The code is decipherable then. It says Obama Sucks.


9 posted on 02/12/2011 2:08:39 PM PST by screaminsunshine (34 States)
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To: FTJM
Photobucket
10 posted on 02/12/2011 2:08:44 PM PST by mikrofon (We're Cooked)
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To: bmwcyle

Let Michelle have a look at it. It might be Wookiee.
( apologies to the Wookiee race, I couldn’t resist)


11 posted on 02/12/2011 2:09:09 PM PST by ClearBlueSky (Whenever someone says it's not about Islam-it's about Islam. Jesus loves you, Allah wants you dead!)
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To: GeronL

· GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach ·
· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
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 Excerpt, or Link only?
 


Thanks GeronL!

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution. To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
 

· History topic · history keyword · archaeology keyword · paleontology keyword ·
· Science topic · science keyword · Books/Literature topic · pages keyword ·


12 posted on 02/12/2011 2:18:14 PM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: wendy1946
How a single person on the face of the earth would know a written language that was, at one time or another, in wide use seems incredible in the truest sense of that word.

It seems a 500 year old PRACTICAL JOKE at worse, or a product of a delusional or otherwise unusual mind at best.

Someone did go through a lot of trouble and effort, though.

13 posted on 02/12/2011 2:20:11 PM PST by Huebolt (It's not over until there is not ONE DEMOCRAT HOLDING OFFICE ANYWHERE. Not even a dog catcher!)
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To: Argus

http://www.starbase-10.de/vld/

Vulcan Language Dictionary


14 posted on 02/12/2011 2:20:40 PM PST by machogirl (First they came for my tagline)
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To: FTJM

Also this dating only shows when the pages were made
not when the book was written/printed.


15 posted on 02/12/2011 2:21:07 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: FTJM

It’s Hamlet in the original Klingon, right?


16 posted on 02/12/2011 2:26:53 PM PST by GeronL (http://www.stink-eye.net/forum/index.php for FR backup site!)
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To: FTJM

There are some really strange drawings in this old book.

http://www.google.com/images?rls=ig&hl=en&source=imghp&biw=1680&bih=873&q=Voynich+Manuscript&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=


17 posted on 02/12/2011 2:27:16 PM PST by Bobalu ( "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother." ..Moshe Dayan:)
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To: FTJM
The overall impression given by a review of the Voynich Manuscripts is that someone was trying to 'document' the birth cycle, especially as to the relationship between human and plant life.

I think the 'author' was trying to impress young ladies with his knowledge and 'fancies' and had the means to procure the right drawing equipment to record it all on paper.

It was all made up. But then, that's how everything we know started.

18 posted on 02/12/2011 2:34:33 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post.)
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To: Bobalu

The reason we can’t ‘translate’ it is because the author was just writing gibberish around the pictures, to impress the ladies who listened to his fanciful tales about what he had drawn and written in the book. It is very likely none of them could read anyway.


19 posted on 02/12/2011 2:39:01 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post.)
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To: FTJM

The Book of Kells is much older than A.D. 1400. The earliest manuscripts of the Bible in “codex” form (in the form of a book rather than a scroll) date from the fourth and fifth centuries. There are papyrus scraps of ancient Greek authors that date back much earlier than that, and Egyptian papyrus texts that are much older. Some may date back to the second or third millennium B.C., I’m not sure.


20 posted on 02/12/2011 2:41:06 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: FTJM

There is more information here. http://www.isi.edu/natural-language/people/voynich.pdf This is one of those “search for the holy grail” type things. It’s a really cool mystery.


21 posted on 02/12/2011 2:42:38 PM PST by grapeape (Blitzshield.com - making football safer)
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To: FTJM
Voynich

Diatoms


22 posted on 02/12/2011 2:56:14 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post.)
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To: FTJM

23 posted on 02/12/2011 2:56:35 PM PST by JRios1968 (Laz would hit it!)
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To: tet68
Leonardo could have easily written this one. He was into coding, backward writing, use of symbols ~ and he was a great artist ~ plus, he lived in France ~ in between one of my ancestor's castles and the main royal chateaux on the Loire River.

Very good neighborhood at the time I assure you.

He had money to burn~

24 posted on 02/12/2011 2:59:23 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: FTJM

Ebonics?


25 posted on 02/12/2011 3:06:54 PM PST by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.....Eagle Scout since Sep 9, 1970)
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To: FTJM

Btt for later


26 posted on 02/12/2011 3:19:01 PM PST by MattinNJ (Will a hero rise in 2012?)
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To: Huebolt

Or just some merchant’s in house code and inventories.


27 posted on 02/12/2011 3:36:43 PM PST by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans - Don't read their lips. Watch their hands.)
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To: FTJM
'Alien' Code, Partly Revealed

28 posted on 02/12/2011 3:53:09 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: FTJM
It's a map of Atlantis


29 posted on 02/12/2011 4:18:47 PM PST by maine-iac7
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To: Bobalu
Relaxing at the Spa - getting hand treatment and a foot soak and fish pedicure ;o)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHj7bH4yHbg

It's just become the rage again...

30 posted on 02/12/2011 4:28:37 PM PST by maine-iac7
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To: UCANSEE2
The reason we can’t ‘translate’ it is because the author was just writing gibberish around the pictures

It's not that easy; first he'd need to invent a completely new alphabet; then he'd need to invent a language that is written in that alphabet, with grammar and other rules. Only then one can "write" something that convincingly resembles a text.

There is another catch. If he is caught with this book, the Inquisition would ask him, quite insistently, to reveal the language, so that they can translate it and see in what exactly words he is expressing his love for the Devil. The inquisitors wouldn't take "no" for an answer, and they wouldn't believe that the book is a prank. In their opinion (quite justified, IMO) very few people would go to such a great length to make a practical joke.

to impress the ladies who listened to his fanciful tales about what he had drawn and written in the book. It is very likely none of them could read anyway.

As I understand, ladies 500 years ago weren't too demanding. Besides, they'd be bored by the book in an instant - like if I give you a large crystal of salt and start blabbing for hours about its physical properties and X-ray crystallography (especially if we both know nothing about that.) A book would be of no interest to illiterate ladies, beyond a few pictures - and there aren't too many, and majority of them are [unknown] plants.

One theory is that the book was made as a con job, to be sold to a collector for good money. The text then is indeed meaningless, but some effort was put into making a language.

31 posted on 02/12/2011 4:33:00 PM PST by Greysard
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To: Bobalu
hmmm= so there are obvious herbal studies, and astrological, biology/medicine, health treatments, -

the notebooks of a doctor/scientist ? who would have had to keep a low profile on his studies in those days - or face the Inquisition? - if in a Catholic ruled country. Otherwise, the above without fear of the powers that be.

Just a research scientist of his day?

32 posted on 02/12/2011 4:39:47 PM PST by maine-iac7
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To: maine-iac7
the notebooks of a doctor/scientist?

The manuscript is too "clean" for it to be a lab journal. There are no corrections, but a scientist wouldn't discard a spoiled page just because of a typo. There are no notes on margins, and those would be very natural when the scientist reviews his notebooks and thinks of something. The manuscript is also split into several chapters, and there is no empty space between them. A scientist would be unlikely to do a study of plants and completely finish it, then switch to something else and be done with it, and so on. A scientist would keep several notebooks, one per study. This looks like a specially arranged material, written for other people to read.

33 posted on 02/12/2011 4:53:14 PM PST by Greysard
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To: Huebolt

It’s ancient astronaut theorists at it again. The History Channel puts all it’s academic authority on the line here. Star people stopped here to use the bathroom once during a long intergalacic trip. They left their travel documents behind at this church, which had a nice bathroom for public usage.


34 posted on 02/12/2011 4:54:10 PM PST by STD (Stock Up on Precious Metals While You Still Can)
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To: Huebolt

It’s ancient astronaut theorists at it again. The History Channel puts all it’s academic authority on the line here. Star people stopped here to use the bathroom once during a long intergalacic trip. They left their travel documents behind at this church, which had a nice bathroom for public usage.


35 posted on 02/12/2011 4:54:21 PM PST by STD (Stock Up on Precious Metals While You Still Can)
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To: Huebolt

It’s ancient astronaut theorists at it again. The History Channel puts all it’s academic authority on the line here. Star people stopped here to use the bathroom once during a long intergalacic trip. They left their travel documents behind at this church, which had a nice bathroom for public usage.


36 posted on 02/12/2011 4:54:33 PM PST by STD (Stock Up on Precious Metals While You Still Can)
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To: Argus

Something like that I think. Tolkein was a linguist who could and did invent new languages out of nothing. Not the first that could do it, I’m sure. Would be a nice way of keeping prying eyes from discovering what was in your papers.


37 posted on 02/12/2011 4:58:48 PM PST by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead.)
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To: muawiyah
carbon dating puts it between 1404-1438 -

that would've put Leonardo at minus 18 years to plus 14.

I know just about everything under the sun that can't be pinned down is credited to him, even the creation of THe Shroud - which is known to have existed several hundred years before Leonardo was born -

He WAS a genius. But he had limits, one being that he had to be alive to do ANYthing. I 'assure you" ;o)

So he was about 14 at the outside date of the creation of this book - but he was pretty busy apprenticing at the time. Probably not enough time and privacy to spend the time required for these extensive observations.

38 posted on 02/12/2011 5:01:19 PM PST by maine-iac7
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To: Greysard
The manuscript is too "clean" for it to be a lab journal. There are no corrections, but a scientist wouldn't discard a spoiled page just because of a typo. There are no notes on margins, and those would be very natural when the scientist reviews his notebooks and thinks of something

As an artist/writer, I wouldn't use my first drafts and sketches in my final work - I get them worked out, notes, scratch-outs, additions, etc and THEN put them to the final work.

Certainly, many ancient manuscripts exist as final, edited 'editions sans notes, corrections - n'est-ce pas?

39 posted on 02/12/2011 5:13:46 PM PST by maine-iac7
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To: FTJM; All

http://voynich.com/folios/

the pages - illustrations


40 posted on 02/12/2011 5:15:30 PM PST by maine-iac7
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To: maine-iac7

I know, put the thing on the internet and let the entire wired human race try to decipher it. I am willing to bet that someone in this world can read it.


41 posted on 02/12/2011 5:16:29 PM PST by runninglips (government debt = slavery of the masses)
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To: FTJM

http://voynich.com/folios/f26v.jpg

he certainly had a neat hand


42 posted on 02/12/2011 5:17:11 PM PST by maine-iac7
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To: Free Vulcan
Would be a nice way of keeping prying eyes from discovering what was in your papers.

This book has too many illustrations that are typical for alchemists. Anyone seeing the book would instantly report the fact to the nearest Inquisition office; besides, most people at that time couldn't read, so any common writing would be just as much Greek for them.

And as I mentioned earlier, it's a dangerous thing to have writings in an unknown language because the Inquisition would be quick to conclude that the language is of Devil, and it is its holy task to torture you until you reveal it. If there is nothing to reveal ... too bad for you.

The cipher, if real, is also too hard. Even Leonardo simply wrote with his left hand and read the writing in the mirror. It's fairly easy, I can write this way and I'm sure everyone can. But this manuscript is written in a nearly perfect cipher. It is not necessary to have such a complex code, since the book itself - the posession, the illustrations, the code, etc. - is a far more damning evidence than anything that the text could possibly contain except, perhaps, the working secret of eternal life and such.

As I said earlier, my personal belief is that the manuscript was written for one purpose only - to be sold as an exotic, secret book to someone (an alchemist?) who could pay big bucks and was willing to decipher it. An alchemist close to the throne could pay kingly sums of money, literally. Any reasonably educated monk could do it easily, with access to writing implements and vellum and with knowledge of several alphabets. The words could be made up, one by one, and written on a piece of paper for reuse, and changed slightly where suffixes would normally be.

43 posted on 02/12/2011 5:17:43 PM PST by Greysard
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To: maine-iac7
Certainly, many ancient manuscripts exist as final, edited 'editions sans notes, corrections - n'est-ce pas?

People do such a cleanup only when they expect other people to read the manuscript. Can it be said about an encrypted work, with no known key or even a hint of a key?

And if the manuscript was NOT meant for distribution then there is no reason to bother cleaning it up. A scientist would rather prefer the unedited version because it contains more information.

This means that the book is not a lab journal. If real, it can be an essay on some alchemical research - no problem with that. But there is no key anywhere; you can't distribute such a complex book if nobody can read it. And if you have readers you must have other materials from which they learned the writing. These are not prehistoric times, documents were well managed at that period and we have tons of them. We'd see a margin note in this language *somewhere*. Nobody would even bother studying such a complex language if there is no body of information in it.

This disconnect is exactly what pushes many researchers into belief that the manuscript is an ancient fake - it just doesn't fit into anything. We'd be better off if it was laser-engraved on sheets of 99.999999% pure Praseodymium - at least we'd know that it's not done by humans. But this book is certainly a product of a human hand.

44 posted on 02/12/2011 5:32:37 PM PST by Greysard
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To: FTJM
http://voynich.com/folios/f79v.jpg

ahaa - looks like a multilevel plumbing system - starts with rain water off the roof into shower/bath stations down to a hand basin and toilet and the final waters ending up in the sewer ‘for the fishes’ That's my story and I'm sticking with it

45 posted on 02/12/2011 5:43:57 PM PST by maine-iac7
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To: maine-iac7

The script itself is fluid and confident, with clean strokes. There doesn’t appear to be much evidence of pausing or indecisiveness there. It’s not particularly well ordered or linear upon the pages, however. The weight of the strokes varies from page to page, haven’t looked closely enough to really see anything that might be significant about that. Somebody appears to have been accustomed to writing it, whatever it is, but that someone was not too caught up in appearances, otherwise there would be some semblance of composition and the script would be much better planned and thought through for a more organized and polished appearance.

The illustrations are another matter. They’re irregular, somewhat disordered and fanciful in an inelegant manner that I would deem nearly unskilled, almost childish. Sort of like the naive painters that art buffs would recognize, a certain radiance and vision welling up with very limited talent or means to render it, but the radiance and vision wins out over the lack of technique and training, making it compelling to view despite the amateurishness. There is clearly some vague knowledge of the internal workings of the female reproductive system, not uncommon among artists but this isn’t really an artist, maybe an aspiring one. There are also circular graphics shown repeatedly, with segmentation of 8 or 12. Significant of the zodiac, I’d think. There are also a few characters in the script that might appear to be familiar along those lines.

I have no way of figuring out myself whether or not this writing might be a “language” or not, or what the specific point or points the creator of this might be attempting to record or communicate. That has to be left up to the “experts.” If it’s not an antique hoax, I’d suspect someone involved with alchemy perhaps. It was highly fashionable in some circles during the era in question. There are several so-called books of magic that originated along about then. Also, the Slavonic Book of Enoch and the Greater Key Of Solomon spring to mind. But these weren’t encoded in some unknown script, if that’s actually what this represents.

As a result, all I can say is, if this is something genuine, it really wasn’t intended for wide distribution. More care would have been taken with it if so.


46 posted on 02/12/2011 5:44:08 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Greysard

Excuse me, but you’re describing some elements of the worst of the Spanish Inqusition. The Italian versions (and there were several different orders and states in Italy then) was much milder. The inqusition was not monolithic in its goals, let alone its methods. In some places it never even existed.

I am a Catholic apologist and ametuer historian.

Bottom line—who knows? It exists until this day, but came from that part of the world and and timeline. Surely the inquistion would have burned it, and we’d never know about, right?


47 posted on 02/12/2011 5:44:30 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: FTJM

some more plumbing - the baths

http://voynich.com/folios/f84r.jpg


48 posted on 02/12/2011 5:50:09 PM PST by maine-iac7
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To: FTJM

some more plumbing - the baths

http://voynich.com/folios/f84r.jpg


49 posted on 02/12/2011 5:50:33 PM PST by maine-iac7
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To: FTJM
ahahah - a winery - grape stomping -


50 posted on 02/12/2011 5:55:53 PM PST by maine-iac7
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