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back to article Mysterious crypto-book dated to 15th century

A mysterious book written in a language or code that no cryptographer has ever managed to crack has been verified as being written in the early 15th century, which has upset some of the theories on its origin. Text from the 'Voynich manuscript' People were making up garble-languages well before J R R Tolkien came along The " …

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Silver badge

You knew it was coming

And six people have probably posted it already:

http://xkcd.com/593/

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Welcome

Nah, that's not right.

It's a D'Ni linking book.

Clearly it goes to the Wobbly-Bits Age, and it looks like the first page has got stuck to the binding by some sort of...

eww...

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That was my first thought too.

Well it is, I think, the only theory that fully explains it!

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""this tome makes the Da Vinci Code look downright lacklustre"

Doesn't ANY book make the Da Vinci Code look lacklustre, even Mills and Boon or Barbara Cartland?

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Alien

An early extract of 4chan's /b/

Or maybe something to do with Chtulhu and Bob Howard.

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Pint

It Looks Like...

...pr0n.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: It Looks Like...

Bingo. Just like those caveman Venuses, Playboys under the mattress etc.

Scientists trying to justify their grants.

"My esteemed Pent-castle, thoust shall consider me a fabricator, but I swear by our Holy Father this is most true..."

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Yeah...

...but what is the entropy like?

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Entropy

That's a good question made more complex by the problem that no one can agree on the number of characters in the Voynich alphabet, whether some are distinct characters, whether they are accented or ligands. Using the most commonly agreed number of characters, then the entropy comes in lower than most languages and certainly lower than any European languages. The text is very repetitive. If it is plaintext of prose then the only known language that comes close is Polynesian.

So those naked women gambolling across the vellum might just be beautiful sun-kissed, long-limbed, raven-haired, bronzed...[going for a lie down now]

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Anonymous Coward

Aw, bless

"and at least it is now confirmed as being very old"

Earliest ideographic symbols: circa 6600BC;

Earliest proto-writing: 4000BC-3000BC;

Earliest known manuscript of phonetic writing: Kish tablet 3500BC.

Voynich manuscript: 1400-1450AD.

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Joke

To be fair....

He did say 'very old', not:

Ancient literature.

or

Very Ancient script.

or

Bruce Forsyth's signature.

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Coat

I misread...

.... the opening sentence as

"...Villa Mondragone, a one-time Paypal palace complex .."

On the other hand...

I'll get my vestments...

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Joke

I wonder...

...has anyone shown this to Erich von Daniken?

Next up: Leonardo's lost book of fish recipes - The da Vinci Cod

(Stop groaning at the back, it's Friday.)

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Those ladies are bathing in

Purest green!

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Happy

Really.

Really, Mom, Playboy and crypto-books have really good articles. I read them for that. Really.

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Black Helicopters

Unknown plants, ladies in green pools linked by organic structures

It Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

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Coat

Green Slimy Stuff

So that's where the script for "The Blob" came from!

Mines is the one with the fire extinguisher in the pocket.

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"all or mostly gibberish" and "naked ladies"?

Sounds like a 15th century version of the internet to me.

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Well played good sir.

Well played good sir.

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Happy

What's the record for Thumbs Ups?

This post may well be a contender

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"...a section which mainly shows naked women in pools or bathtubs"

Run that bit by me again.

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Run it by you again?

You can look at the picture for as long as you like!

If ladies with their arms attached backwards are your thing, you'll enjoy :)

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"Roger Bacon, a sort of early Leonardo da Vinci figure"

Has anyone ever established that Bacon could draw even as well as the creator of this manuscript, let alone Leonardo?

How about "Benedict Spinoza, a sort of early Eugene Delacroix figure"?

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Pint

Also worth reading...

"The Curse of the Voynich" by Nick Pelling is a pretty interesting take on the Voynich manuscript, albeit with the gruesome history of what is now Italy mixed into the historical treatment. And the guy wrote "Frak!" for the BBC Micro, too!

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Anonymous Coward

Spellbook

During the zealous religious periods of the medieval periods studying of occult (or 'pagan' religions in general) on that subject it is speculated many ancient manuscripts still existed could cost you your life. Most of the literate class of people were monks and religious types.

They often studied these forbidden subjects in secret and would write their observations or compilations in code so they could not be read by political enemies or zealots. After looking at just a few pictures this immediately strikes me as an ancient grimoire.

Without knowing what language it was encoded from it would seem to be impossible to crack, but some unlikely people solved the Mayan hieroglyphs with little to go on- after almost 2 centuries.

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It's a map

Of the med and northern Africa the names are of places not the BNL

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Anonymous Coward

Crypto

I wonder if it is a double cipher. Or something simpler like counting the number of times a symbol repeats to match a letter. The latter would account for the repetitiveness of the script.

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In other news

Codex Seraphinianus is still waiting for radiocarbon analysis.

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Hoax?

Couldn't it still be a modern (well century old) hoax written on older paper*? That might sound a little far fetched, but if *I* found a stack of 500-year-old blank paper I'd sure as hell be tempted.

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base matter into gold

base matter into gold ? Easy. Just need a particle accelerator. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Synthesis_of_precious_metals#Gold_synthesis_in_an_accelerator

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Welcome

Lovecraft was right!!!

So there WAS a Necronomicon after all! And it features...shoggoth porn??

I, for one, welcome our new eager-to-cavort-with-shoggoths overlords. Or ladies. Whichever.

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Damn...

You beat me to it.

Ah well, the only thing I can say is it's probably more appropriatly called a shaggoth in this context.

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Paris Hilton

Simple! It was...

...to stop them reading it just for the articles.

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IT Angle

tlhlngan Hol

Could be a version of klingon someone made up at that time.

Think about it, without any referrence, if someone in the future (eg 500 years) discovered a work in klingon written today. How would they know the meaning of it?

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Boffin

Because...

...everybody in the future will always know that Klingons killed James T. Kirk's son on Genesis.

Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam

:)

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For anyone who really does want to have a crack...

...some useful bits and bobs.

http://ixoloxi.com/voynich/tools.html

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This post has been deleted by its author

Megaphone

*screams*

Pod people from the planet Mars!!!!

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Joke

A title

It's an early version of a plan for a Big Society.

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Coat

Women? No they are just fat men with men boobs

Storm in teacup

Women? No they are just fat men with men boobs

We all know the middle ages produced Rubin-est females with the big boobies, did no-one see 'ello-ello?

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WTF?

Migraine Aura?

I have seen this manuscript many times in the past and read many theories about what, why, and who.

But having become aware of migraine aura, the abundance of stars and zigzag lines suggest a person suffering from aura or outright schizophrenia. A version of Hildegard of Bingen

In case you don't know old Hilda......

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q=Hildegard+of+Bingen&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=i0RXTf2rCcrQtwfezf3mDA&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=3&ved=0CD8QsAQwAg&biw=1280&bih=592

Religion and lunacy.

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Pint

"What the bloody hell's supposed to be going on here?"

either Berlusconi's or Hef's party

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WTF?

"or bogus sympathetic-medicine homeopathy cures"

There are non-bogus ones?

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Go

Just an idea..

I dont know about you but that looks like the sort of thing i used to doodle in the margins of my class books during Mr Pratt's abysmal English lessons. Is it just slightly possible that all this is in fact, is some school boys book where he was supposed to be practicing writing his letters but was in fact fantasising about Mrs Miggins, and her lovely daughters?

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Coat

On the serious side

I saw this on TV which offered possible explaination how it looks like fake and made up rubbish in old age.

But after some consideration, let's assume it has meaning. It is very possible that this is a double coded "language" with totally different grammar and coded spelling.

It could be using single replace "letter" for a number of normal letter, or a number of letters to replace single letter, and the same "letter" may mean completely different thing in different places. This will explain the lack of very short words.

Eg. If I encode English, I may replace A, E, I, O, U with VL, FI, ON, QI, NI. and some other single letter with a double or triple letters, plus some normal letter combo to single letter. So a simple I am fine, will become something like ON VLNNN TLLONIVFI. That's if I keep the same grammar. If I further change the grammar to FINE I AM, the simple English 7 letter sentence will become TLLONIVFI ON VLNNN. Not only this coded sentence will be longer, but also have seemingly repeated N, L, I.

If it is coded, without knowing the original language, the coded grammar and spelling, it will be next to impossible to decode it. We may never know if it was coded language, or just made up rubbish with no meaning at all.

I'm pretty sure without any reference, it will be impossible for further generation to understand anything we produced today in klingon.

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"this tome makes the Da Vinci Code look downright lacklustre"

Nah, the rubbish prose style and ridiculous plot are what makes the Da Vinci Code downright lacklustre.

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Happy

You call turning base metal into gold "mumbo-jumbo"?

That's fine by me. I'll keep the secret to myself then!

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