At the end of the Second World War, American transcribers who managed to crack the code of the Japanese Imperial Navy, whiled away the leisure time in various attempts to decrypt the coded texts have come down since the days of antiquity. They were able to cope with almost all, except for one — the so-called «Voynich manuscript».
It is not about the author of «The Gadfly» novels, American Ethel Lilian Voynich, and of her husband. Wilfrid Voynich was a trader rare books. In 1912, studying the ancient books kept in the Villa Mondragone near Rome, he found the twisted manuscript written by unknown letters in an unknown language, profusely illustrated with drawings of strange plants, astrological diagrams and pictures of naked women. The book has been enclosed letter of the XVII century, according to which it was acquired in 1586 by Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II.
Since then, the book has repeatedly changed owners, and to date has found refuge in the collection of rare books Yeylskogo University.
Briefly about the book can be said that it is written in an unknown script in an unknown language. Its alphabet, according to various estimates, has from 19 to 28 letters. Dating is difficult, because the image of a woman deprived of clothing, but their hairstyles point to the end of the XV century. However, and this does not mean anything, because the illustration could be made in the old style or unconsciously, if the illustrator had before his mind’s eye some samples, or deliberately, if it was just a crook.
Attempts to decipher date back to ancient times, and Wilfrid Voynich sent mimeographed copies of the text known scholar and interpreter of his time. However, so far no one has presented a convincing version, and it is all the more surprising that modern cryptography has made significant progress in its field. There are three hypotheses about the nature of the manuscript: it can be really a book in an unknown language, it can be sophisticated cipher, and finally, it can be a sophisticated hoax. On this rally certainly left a lot of time and diligence, but when you consider that Rudolf II, who ruled in Prague, a big fan of magic and alchemy, paid for it 600 ducats, about 50 thousand dollars in today’s terms, game worth worth the candle. Known as a possible candidate for the role of a rogue — Englishman Edward Kelly, associate of the English alchemist and occult masters Affairs John Dee, who lived in Prague.
We can not say one hundred percent that the Voynich manuscript mystery now solved, but Gordon Rugg, published his findings in the pages of Scientific American magazine, quite convincingly writes that this book — most likely the work of a very sophisticated swindler.
«Critics of this hypothesis, noted that» voynichsky language «is too complicated for nonsense. How could a medieval fraudster produce a 200 pages of written text with so many subtle patterns in the structure and distribution of words? But you can play many of these remarkable characteristics «voynichskogo» using a simple encoder that existed in the XVI century. The text generated by this method, it looks like «voynichsky», but is a pure nonsense, without any hidden meaning. This finding does not prove that the Voynich manuscript — a hoax, but it reinforces the long-standing theory that the document could be concocted an English adventurer Edward Kelly to spend Rudolf II. »
To understand why the exposure of the manuscript took so much time and effort of qualified professionals, it is necessary to tell about it in more detail. If we take the manuscript of an unknown language, it will be different from the notorious forgery complex organization, visible to the eye, and even more so when a computer analysis. Without going into a detailed linguistic analysis, it may be noted that many of the letters in the actual language found only in certain places and in combination with certain other letters, and the same can be said about the words. These and other features of actual language really inherent in the Voynich manuscript. Speaking scientifically, it has low entropy, and forge a text from a low entropy by hand is almost impossible — and we are talking about the XVI century.
However, Gordon Rugg managed to find a tool that already existed in the XVI century — in fact, it is known that the main suspect, Edward Kelly, they used it. This so-called «Cardan grille,» cryptographic device invented by the Italian mathematician Girolamo Cardano. Its just kind of — square with slots according to a formula in which the letters fit. After filling all the slots, it is turned on and write only four times, and the result is a text that can be read only the owner of an identical array.
Gordon Ragga said that he was able to show that using the Cardan grille can not only encrypt the meaningful text, but also to generate pointless imposing it on an arbitrary combination of letters or syllables, as apparently was the case Voynich manuscript, and a text It will have a low entropy, as if it were written in real languages.
Although the Voynich manuscript text differs fine organization, some of its characteristics are inconsistent with any actually existing language. Like-minded Emperor Rudolph always free to give this occult explanation, but it is limited by the fact that so far no one — no half-mad enthusiasts for single or professional linguist and interpreter — failed to convincingly translate a single sentence from this book.
Gordon Rugg does not claim that his discovery completely proves the fraudulent origin of one of the most mysterious books in the history of mankind. Everything he did — is the first to show that fraud is possible and feasible in the time available means. And in combination with the credulity of Rudolf and very dark reputation Edward Kelly opening Ragga looks quite plausible.
Theories about the content and purpose:
With great certainty we can say that the first part of the book is devoted to herbs, but attempts to compare them with actual samples of grasses and herbs with stylized drawings of that time as a whole failed. Only a couple of plants, pansies and maidenhair fern can be determined accurately. Those pictures of «botanical» section, which correspond to the outline of the «pharmaceutical» section, impress their exact copies, but with missing parts, which are supplemented with implausible details. Indeed, many of the plants seem to be composite: the roots of some specimens linked with leaves and other flowers from a third.
Reservoirs and canals in the «biological» section may mean a connection to alchemy, which would be relevant if the book contained instructions on the preparation of medical potions and mixtures. However, alchemical books of the period is characterized by graphic language, where processes, materials, and components depicted in the form of specific images (eagle, a frog, a person in the tomb, couple in bed, and so on. D.) Or standard textual symbols (circle with cross, etc. . d.). None of them can not be convincingly identified in the Voynich manuscript.
3) microscopes and telescopes.
A circular drawing in the «astronomical» section depicts the irregularly shaped object with four curved sectors; Some interpret it as an image of the galaxy, which could be obtained only with a telescope. Another image was interpreted as the cell of a living organism, observed through a microscope. This suggests that the creation of the manuscript — not the Middle Ages, and later period. However, the similarity is quite doubtful, since on closer examination the central part of the «galaxy» looks more like a swimming pool.
4) Astrological Botany
Astrological studies often play a significant role in the collection of grass, blood-letting and other medical procedures that were carried out in good numbers, painted in astrological books (for example, the book by Nicholas Culpeper (Nicholas Culpeper)). However, except for the usual zodiac symbols, images of 24 hours a day year consisting of 12 months, seasons, and one diagram possibly depicting classical planets, no one is unable to interpret the illustrations within known astrological traditions (European or otherwise).
Even more of the «Voynich manuscript» you can find here —>Links<—