Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/24/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Voynich Book has baffled readers for centuries.

A mysterious book filled with writings and images that some have dismissed as nonsense, may be close to decipherment after more than a century of mystery. A scientist now claims to have found linguistic patterns in the Voynich Book, a critical step in deciphering mysterious languages.

The Voynich Book has baffled readers for centuries.

The Voynich Book has baffled readers for centuries.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/24/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Voynich Book, manuscript, book, mystery, scientists, writing, decipher, meaning, pictures


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The book is about 600 years old and is written in a strange script that is unlike any known alphabet. The bizarre glyphs and their accompanying pictures have eluded decipherment for over a century. Even the finest code-breakers from World War I and II have not been able to unravel its meaning, and modern computer analysis has come up fruitless, leading many to dismiss the work as gibberish.

However, new research appears to show linguistic patterns, which could result in the decipherment of individual words.

The Voynich Book came to modern light in 1912 when it was purchased by Wilfrid Voynich, a book collector. The book was subsequently passed to different individuals and into the hands of Yale University in 1969 where it could be studied in detail.

Unable to decipher its meanings, many originally alleged the book to be a forgery, possibly created by Voynich himself, since such a book could be of great value. However, Voynich never sold the manuscript and it passed to his widow, who passed it to a friend, and then to a dealer who donated it to the university.

Testing by scientists has dated the book to sometime between 1404 and 1438. The inks used and various other indicators suggest the book is a genuine renaissance manuscript. The book is also written in the same style of other contemporary herbal books that contained remedies for various ailments.

The manuscript does not appear to be a period hoax either. In fact, it is far too painstaking to likely be a simple hoax. Many written hoaxes of the time, which certainly did exist, were much less sophisticated.

Based on analysis of the illustrations, the book appears to be a science book of some sort, complete with herbal remedies, astronomical understandings, and vivid illustrations. The handwritten work existed about a century before the European invention of the printing press and today is about 240 pages in length. Several pages are missing and experts think it may have once contained as many as 272 pages.

The book is exceptionally bizarre. In addition to being composed in an entirely unknown and undecipherable script, the illustrations add to the mystery. Many plants appear fanciful or are hybrids of existing plants, for example, the root structures do not match the plants drawn above them.

Marcelo Montemurro, a theoretical physicist from the University of Manchester says he may have found a clue that could someday unlock the book's mysteries. Publishing in the journal Plos One, he said the linguistics have "significant structure."

Feeding statistics into a computer, and a technique used to decipher other languages, Montemurro says he has found semantic patterns in the text.

However, finding patterns is not the same as finding meaning, which remains elusive. The book could still be a hoax, or it could be an elaborate period piece filled with deliberately hidden knowledge.

Such writings have been discovered before. Leonardo da Vinci was known to write backwards. Nostradamus wrote in quatrains, although his work appears to be nothing more than period superstitious entertainment, much like today's horoscopes in the papers.

During the renaissance, many writers who dabbled in horoscopes, alchemy, astronomy, and science, would disguise their work, writing in ciphers or using cryptic drawings which only they could understand. It was a way to conceal knowledge without worrying about accusations of heresy or witchcraft. Composers could always claim their works were satirical, or even the product of crazed gibberish.

Yet, they often contained knowledge that was of value to the individual at the time.

Other illuminated manuscripts of the medieval period and renaissance contain curious drawings and even graffiti. Monks were commonly known to dabble in creative artistry as they worked long hours copying ancient texts. Surviving copies often show crude images and epithets in margins.

However, the Voynich Book is filled with over 200 pages of what appears to be meaningful text, except that it cannot yet be deciphered. It's a lot for work for a hoax.

Perhaps now, with new information, the cryptologists and professors will have better luck.

Time will tell - we hope.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Europe

Top German publication pressures Chancellor Merkel to act after NEW U.S. spying allegations Watch

Image of Chancellor Merkel has made no public comment on the incident, although Washington's ambassador to Berlin was summoned to the Chancellery. Merkel's displeasure was made known to him 'in no uncertain terms.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was understandably upset after she learned the national Security Agency had her under surveillance for several years. This is the type of action the U.S. reserves for unfriendly nations, and not our strongest ally in NATO. Merkel ... continue reading


HITTING WALL: Nation of Greece prepares for economic meltdown Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nation of Greece, after years of scolding by the European Union over its fiscal irresponsibility is headed to an inevitable meltdown. Cash reserves are dwindling by the minute, sure to disintegrate the ruling coalition. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


The new 'Iron Curtain': Hungary plans massive border fence to keep migrants out Watch

Image of Border fence between United States and Mexico.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Critics are not happy with the Hungarian government's plan to construct a 13-foot high border fence to narrow down the influx of illegal migrants coming to their country. The planned border is being compared to the historically terrifying Auschwitz and Iron Curtain ... continue reading


Horrific terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait unleashed simultaneously Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Three different terrorist attacks occurred in three different areas, leaving a bloody line of death across three continents. The recent and horrific attacks reawaken the fear that ISIS' influence knows no boundaries. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attacks took ... continue reading


Mystery surrounds disappearance of American woman on ancient Catholic pilgrimage in Spain Watch

Image of Denise Thiem mysteriously disappears during her Catholic Pilgrimage in Spain.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Denise Thiem, an American woman who quit her job to go around the world, disappeared while in a Catholic Pilgrimage in Astorga, Spain and has been missing for more than three months  Thiem's family is continuously searching for answers from the Spanish authorities ... continue reading


Riots and protests prompt the banning of the Uber taxi service in France Watch

Image of The taxi protests in Paris have shined yet another unflattering spotlight on the world's most popular tourist destination. Politicians on both sides of the spectrum condemned the violence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Denied their livelihood by the cyber-taxi service Uber, which pairs up paying passengers with unlicensed drivers, cab drivers overturned cars and blocked roads in Paris. The Uber service is already illegal in France, and the French government reiterated this ... continue reading


ZOMBIE PARANOIA: Gravesites suggest that fear of reanimated dead stretches back to ancient Greece Watch

Image of The head and feet of one skeleton were covered with a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Modern man enjoys movies and TV shows involving the recently reanimated dead - "zombies," but in antiquity, the fear of the deceased suddenly coming back to life to wreak havoc with the living was at one time a real one. Skeletons have been unearthed and found ... continue reading


Ukraine's fragile ceasefire nearing collapse as rebels pound government positions Watch

Image of Fighters in Russian military uniforms and equipped with Russian military gear, though lacking insignias, have been spotted in Ukraine since early last year, part of a destabilizing effort to overthrow the Kiev government.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The abundance of evidence that Russia is covertly and overtly assisting Ukrainian rebels in their fight against Kiev continues to grow, and now the commander of U.S. forces in Europe said that there is "clear and irrefutable evidence" that Russia is actively ... continue reading


Panicked Greeks withdraw $1 billion from banks in a single day Watch

Image of Expressing a mood of panic, and a resignation that no further help from Europe is forthcoming, Greeks withdrew over $1.1 billion dollars from their bank accounts last week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Expressing a mood of panic, and a resignation that no further help from Europe is forthcoming, Greeks withdrew over $1.1 billion dollars from their bank accounts last week. This pushes the beleaguered European nation closer towards a default. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Doctors found euthanizing patients without knowledge -- or consent in Belgium Watch

Image of Belgium became the first nation in the world in 2014 to eliminate age limits for euthanasia, allowing terminally-ill children to end their lives.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the "forward-thinking" European nation of Belgium, it has been discovered that many doctors there - pun intended. - have been "jumping the gun." Raphael Cohen-Almagor, a professor of philosophy and ethics at the United Kingdom's Hull University, has ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 28:10-22
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:18-26
18 While he was speaking to them, suddenly one of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 6th, 2015 Image

St. Maria Goretti
July 6: Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter