The Voynich Manuscript – The Book That Can’t Be Read

The Voynich Manuscript – The Book That Can’t Be Read

The mysterious and centuries-old Voynich Manuscript was written by an unknown author, illustrated with bizarre, puzzling pictures and composed in a language that even the best cryptographers can’t decode. Now, Naked Science follows new leads in the hunt for the author’s identity.

The Voynich manuscript, described as “the world’s most mysterious manuscript”, is a work which dates to the early 15th century, possibly from northern Italy. It is named after the book dealer Wilfrid Voynich, who purchased it in 1912.

Some pages are missing, but the current version comprises about 240 vellum pages, most with illustrations. Much of the manuscript resembles herbal manuscripts of the time period, seeming to present illustrations and information about plants and their possible uses for medical purposes. However, most of the plants do not match known species, and the manuscript’s script and language remain unknown and unreadable. Possibly some form of encrypted ciphertext, the Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II.

As yet, it has defied all decipherment attempts, becoming a cause célèbre of historical cryptology. The mystery surrounding it has excited the popular imagination, making the manuscript a subject of both fanciful theories and novels. None of the many speculative solutions proposed over the last hundred years has yet been independently verified.

The Voynich manuscript was donated to Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 1969, where it is catalogued under call number MS 408 and called a “Cipher Manuscript”.


Pictures from the the real and actual Voynich Manuscript:


The Voynich Manuscript – The Book That Can’t Be Read
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16 thoughts on “The Voynich Manuscript – The Book That Can’t Be Read

      1. umm excuse me but unlike your country I have the freedom to say whatever the FUCK i want to, thank you very much. Let me guess, your probably one of those sunday going church folk arent you? The ones with the self righteous attitudes that they can judge everyone for their sins yet not look upon their own? Judge not lest ye be judged! So you can go fuck yourself, Ill say whatever i want whilst i comment on the documentaries that i enjoy.

        1. Sure, no-one can stop you swearing. You have, however, made an assumption based entirely on your own prejudices that offends me, perhaps even more than the original commenter was offended by your swearing. There is nothing wrong with church going folk, for a start. You, yourself, have judged someone else (and likely wrongly) based on a stereotype of faith and religion which is much more vehement a crime than someone telling you to obey common courtesy. You also don’t take into account that the commenter could be a child. This is hardly appropriate language for an adult to be using in front of children. If you have children yourself, I imagine you wouldn’t use it in front of them. I suspect, however that you are a rather tormented adolescent who feels the need to rebel in some form of unaccountable anonymity on the internet. Bravo!

          All you have succeeded in doing is making yourself look like a petty, angry, selfish woman. I’d ask you to apologise but I know you will not.

          Still here’s a test for you. If you are so good at telling who people are from two words, have a go at describing me. I think you’d be surprised at who you offend with your childish reactions.

          And besides, if swearing wasn’t vulgar, you wouldn’t say it. The very thing you enjoy about it is the fact that it is offensive. If it wasn’t ‘fuck’ would be obsolete as the least effective way possible of describing something.

          So well done, you’ve annoyed a second person. Still, at least you are better than the person who liked your post, as they have even less of a vocabulary than you, and more of a bandwagon attitude.

          Silly fucking bitch.

      2. Some people lack the vocabularyand intelligence to express themselves with using gutter language. Pity

  1. Might just be a kids chapter book writern in old italian writing which has not been passed down!
    Now if that is true there would be no point of trying!

  2. The Voynich manuscript is not written with letters and characters denoting letters of the alphabet one of the ancient languages. Moreover, in the text there are 2 levels of encryption. I picked up the key, which in the first section I could read the following words: hemp, wearing hemp; food, food (sheet 20 at the numbering on the Internet); to clean (gut), knowledge, perhaps the desire, to drink, sweet beverage (nectar), maturation (maturity), to consider, to believe (sheet 107); to drink; six; flourishing; increasing; intense; peas; sweet drink, nectar, etc. Is just the short words, 2-3 sign. To translate words with more than 2-3 characters requires knowledge of this ancient language. The fact that some signs correspond to two letters. Thus, for example, a word consisting of three characters can fit up to six letters of which three. In the end, you need six characters to define the semantic word of three letters. Of course, without knowledge of this language make it very difficult even with a dictionary.
    If you are interested, I am ready to send more detailed information, including scans of pages showing the translated words.

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