Voynich manuscript discussion: 2005 January 22

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.


old mysterious book

Post by mreeeman » Sun Jan 23, 2005 4:33 am

even ancient people had a sense of humof[/b]


Post by Guest » Sun Jan 23, 2005 4:51 am

Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:Most curious.!? beats me.! I was though, servfing this morning, and came across some interesting historical sites,if your into that sort of thing!!
http://www.livius.org Babylonion jewish gezer cal
http://www.kidsites.com 1492
http://www.ibiblio.org mexician cal
codex 361 cassinensis frontin?


Something else to do AFTER I retire

Post by Harry » Sun Jan 23, 2005 6:08 am

I just spent a pleasent couple of hours reading about and looking at the manuscript. I think it was on page 72:v2 that there is a circle of naked women with a dressed male (?) figure in the center. Is that "Rudolf" written in the center. That word appears to be written in an ordinarly looking script, not the script of the manuscript.


Jack Rocketts


Post by Jack Rocketts » Sun Jan 23, 2005 6:08 am

It looks like Icelandic.

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Post by Erik » Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:42 am

I'm not a scientist either, but I see 12 columns around the "sun face"....I think they represent the 12 months of the year.

:arrow: I also notice that several of the words in those colums start or end with the same character/letter.

:arrow: If you do a little research into languages of the world, you will find that the words for numbers, days of the week, or months of the year have similarities (adjacent words/numbers). That is why some of those words start/end w/ the same letter(s). If my theory is true, this will definately help the code breakers that are trying to figure out this language.

:arrow: If this document was indeed written in the 15th century, I'd say it's pretty amazing.......It might just be me, but the way the picture and text is layed out, it strongly suggests that everything revolves around the sun (quite amazing considering that people like Copernicus thought that everything revolved around the Earth long after this picture was drawn).

:arrow: I would, however, somewhat agree with those saying that the picture doesn't mean much. I don't think it's trying to convey a message, I just think it might be a diagram of a calendar, or a diagram of the months in a year accented with text and a picture in the center. But....you never know. I don't think it's some kind of hoax meant to decieve or confuse people though.

It will be interesting to see what comes about regarding this drawing. :wink:

Note: I did not have the time to read all 12 pages of this thread, so someone else may have already suggested this.

Last edited by Erik on Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:49 am, edited 2 times in total.



Post by spaced659 » Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:44 am

I used photshop to invert the image. Seems a little more readable. Has anyone tried to translate an inverted image? Just a suggestion. :roll:


Post by Guest » Sun Jan 23, 2005 9:28 am

I think this should be a horoscope written in a national language close to
ancient German or Russian - Estonia perhaps?
For instance Virgo... is quite understandable.

Nice day John

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Post by Helen » Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:15 am

The majority of the posts here are written by people who have neither understood the manuscript is an entire BOOK >

(enter "voynich" in the search function)

> nor that the distribution of the "letters" forming "words" corresponds to no human language.

The poster who suggested that we can't read it because it's not English and the one who enters nonsensical links followed by emoticons are to be commended for managing to post on the internet in spite of their severe limitations.

The Wizard

Voynich Manuscript

Post by The Wizard » Sun Jan 23, 2005 2:29 pm

It's nice to see different issues at APOD, but this is one that can probably be dropped.
See: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com
and: http://www.forteantimes.com
for further about this document.

At present in the Fortean world (after Charles Fort, writer of strange events) the Voynich Manuscript is looked at as being a probable hoax perpetrated on a gullible monarch.
Sadly, I think that the document is a hoax - the so-called language has resisted translation by many highly regarded scholars and scientists.

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Post by Erik » Sun Jan 23, 2005 4:00 pm

Helen wrote:..... corresponds to no human language.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
I'd say you're the one that doesn't understand this thing. What do you suggest the symbols mean if they don't form words. And what creature do you suggest wrote this and drew the picture of the "sun" if humans didn't. :?

Enlighten us all please. If you're theory is right, we really have something on our hands. :roll:

This would change many theorys about evolution and point us to another animal/alien that can read, right and draw sensibly.

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Post by nitewalker » Sun Jan 23, 2005 4:02 pm

Being a student of the bible, glancing down thru the contents of the Voynich manuscript, I noticed several things, the 'calendar' looks lunar, not solar, the drawing with the 'man' in some kind of 'flying rig' is hovering over what looks like pregnant women, the book has come down thru a king that had a full regiment of giants in his army, the plants do not look like any earthly plants I've ever seen in life or in any book, there is a site on the web that has a list of giant skeltons found though out history the most recent one in April 2004 in saudie Arabia, hushed up of course, but, the photo was on long enough that I printed it out, point is, giants did exist and whose to say they didn't have their own language? This book may be a very important manuscript for several reasons, but, hoax? my sixth sense says no, it's not. because of the nephilim, there were giants in biblical times, offspring of them and earth women, make fun of my 'feelings' on this if you like, but, think about it first.

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Post by Erik » Sun Jan 23, 2005 4:07 pm

that's interesting! Does anyone know how big the book is? I also believe in the bible and know that their were giants. Thanks for pointing that out!


Voynich manuscript research

Post by archer » Sun Jan 23, 2005 4:42 pm


The manuscript was discovered at the beginning of XXth century; then many scholars studied it, including cryptanalysts and even NSA employees.

I don't know any convincing solution, even Rugg's "hoax theory" is not.

Since more than ten years, a new attempt is being done by independent

Here is the main Voynich MS mailing list:

And here is the most relevant web site:

Have fun!

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Post by Helen » Sun Jan 23, 2005 5:22 pm

Thanks for the links, Archer. In the second one>
> there are links to the entropy calculations showing conclusively there is no one-to-one correspondence to any known language so the text is either a hoax or a cipher:

" ....It can be shown mathematically that the conditional single-character entropy (the entropy of the probability distribution of a single character, given that the preceding one is known) equals the difference between the character pair (=digraph) entropy and the single character entropy. This conditional character entropy is less than the 'normal' character entropy."

Rugg's analysis confirms this by noting word length follows a binomial distribution>
http://www.sciam.com/print_version.cfm? ... 414B7F0000
>similarly never encountered in natural language, but his attempt at duplicating the "gibberish" doesn't seem to meet the entropy conditions, so the random generation hypothesis remains unproven.

a person

vyomich manuscript

Post by a person » Sun Jan 23, 2005 5:59 pm

k, there are 12 columns, and they seem to represent the months. The names of the months are rrelated to other languages. The very top is july, i know this because the one on the right is june and it begins the same, just like in english. going counter clockwise are the names of all months in order.. and you can see that from september to december, they all end the same. i.e in english >ember. on the manuscript they end in the same symbols. then, the months continue on, and the words january and february have a visual similarity also. If you agree or disagree with this, or have any comments email to i_float_in_space@yahoo.com



Post by archer » Sun Jan 23, 2005 6:20 pm

Hi Helen

"there are links to the entropy calculations showing conclusively there is no one-to-one correspondence to any known language so the text is either a hoax or a cipher"

there is no one-to-one correspondance to any known language: please consider the "known";

so: so?

the text is either a hoax or a cipher: please consider other possibilities:
for instance a code within gibberish;

then, the pictures, they are...?


Bob Peterson
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Post by Bob Peterson » Sun Jan 23, 2005 6:20 pm

A Hoax, No Doubt

The Means=Cardan Grille
The Motive=Money
The Perp=Edward Kelley
The Initial Victim=Rudolph ll, The Gullible
The Subsequent Victims=Anyone Spending Time or Money or Both on this Hoax(That Makes Me a Victim, I Know)
The Beneficiaries=Anyone Making Money on this Hoax or Applying New Approach to Solving Problems using this Hoax to Test New Approach. New Approach Explained on Site Below.

Please read all 4 pages of this article which has been posted in a couple of prior posts: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.09/rugg.html?pg=1
Last edited by Bob Peterson on Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Helen » Sun Jan 23, 2005 6:56 pm

Archer - the mathematical distributions of the "letters/words" in the MS aren't encountered in language but are quite common in card games, dice throws, casino slot machines and so on. If you view the whole thing as a medieval version of a video game you can account for the illustrations too, though I've no idea how it would be played unless every player got a Cardan grille of his own and whoever got to the last page first won. It would take just as much time to generate gibberish as it would to encode and enter the actual results of such a game, which would argue against the hoax theory.

Maybe a medievalist could advise if similar games or magic rituals were common at the time.

NASA is dumb

it's fake

Post by NASA is dumb » Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:00 pm

they spend so much money on stupid stuff. it's just art.

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Post by mechanika » Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:16 pm

Even the world's best sleuths also can't crack Kryptos, and it stands right outside CIA HQ, but it's definitely not a hoax. Whether this MS is genuine or not, simply "feeling certain" or failing to decipher something isn't really grounds enough to say that it is bunk.

[Kryptos: http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,128 ... _tophead_2 ]

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Messy English or Latin?

Post by ETX_90 » Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:51 pm

I am thinking that the manuscript may be written in a decipherable language such as English or Latin, but in a messy or varied form. You can make out a few English letters, like a, c, e, d, and g. Also, some words that look like "and", "God", and "sun" can be seen.

The language is definitely not scribbling, because many characters appear repeatedly and the author has fairly good handwriting.

Another thought - could the colors used on the sun (red and blue) have anything to do with it?
Last edited by ETX_90 on Fri Jan 28, 2005 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post by Jules » Sun Jan 23, 2005 8:05 pm

Possibly a natal chart??

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Post by nickpelling » Sun Jan 23, 2005 9:07 pm

Hi everyone,

Perhaps the single most difficult thing about the Voynich Manuscript (VMs) is you have to invest a great deal of time & effort just to be able to understand properly why most casual viewers just don't get it (in precisely the kind of superficial way many posts on this thread unfortunately exhibit).

Put simply, the evidence is there that the VMs was manufactured so as to appear simple, while actually being complex - more precisely, that its language ("Voynichese") is a tricky cipher system masquerading as a monoalphabetic cipher. And that's just the first hurdle of many which would-be code-breakers face here...

As far as the VMs diagram featured as the APOD, note that this has a twin diagram within the same quire (group of pages), but which has 8/16-fold symmetry, rather than 12/24-fold symmetry - and that these were almost certainly bound side-by-side originally. Further, there are a number of good reasons to infer that these (together with another nearby diagram) compare a 12-sign zodiacal (lunar) calendar with an 8-segment (solar) agricultural year (perhaps one based on the Ember Days, or one based on stregheria etc). But perhaps this margin is too small to contain all these good ideas...

Should you find this discussion interesting, there are many good VMs websites on the VMs (I'd particularly recommend http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voynich_Manuscript and Rene Zandbergen's http://www.voynich.nu/ as starting points), while Mary D'Imperio's "Elegant Enigma" remains the best book - all in all, there's plenty of meat to digest out there. But beware the scale: though this APOD thread is already long-ish (12 pages), it is dwarfed by the VMs-list mailing list archive (50+MB and rising), which has been running since 1992 and remains very active. See: http://www.voynich.net/subscribe.html - everyone welcome!

Talking of dwarves, there's the Tolkien connection to bring up: it now seems likely that JRR was at least partially inspired in his alphabet design by a VMs photocopy owned by Francis Romeril Maddison at Oxford. But that's another story entirely...

Finally, one key problem (IMHO) with Gordon Rugg's "Cardan hoax" hypothesis (as mentioned several times in this thread) is that the VMs contains plenty of art historical evidence that consistently points to a mid-15th century date of creation - for example, Erwin Panofsky dated it to about 1470 - which is is a long time before Cardan. And if you then try to salvage the idea by requiring a late 16th century hoaxer to have deliberately forged a nonsensical mid-15th century ms, you leave me far, far behind. Anyone can claim it's a hoax (essentially, it's the cop-out answer), but the tricky follow-up question is: never mind by whom or why, just how was it produced? Invoking some kind of "random-number-generating" genie is both unsatisfactory and (frankly) unscientific. Oh well...

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....


Re: voynich

Post by Guest » Sun Jan 23, 2005 9:53 pm

Guest wrote:I fully agree with the hoax theory. The chances of us finding a full manuscript sold to a medieval, european king written in a language that as of yet has been unable to be translated is extremely slim. If you look at the characters in the words (both mirror image and normally) they dont match any used charcter set of the time exactly. Not to mention there are VERY FEW different characters at all. Noblemen in those times paid eggregious amounts of money for lavish decorations and artwork, which an illuminated text fell more into the category of a work of art than something to be studied. It's conceveable that the book was glanced over, set on a table and shown to people for it's artistic qualities without anyone ever taking the time to read it until it was shelved and forgotten for centuries. Then of course when todays anthropologists discover it we immidately assume that it must mean something or must be some missing link in our history. It's not a missing link it's just a clever scam played on some very rich and very gullible people of the time. Much like the telemarketing and credit fraud scams we see happening today.
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