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The Voynich Manuscript
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PostPosted: 19-09-2001 19:06    Post subject: The Voynich Manuscript Reply with quote

Can you believe I'd never heard of this until a few weeks ago when I was doing some (proper, historical) research on John Dee, and found it mentioned in a footnote, dug up a lot of info about it on the web. One ot the most fascinating things I've ever heard of, anyway, so I thought I'd ask:
1) Is it "real"? i.e. is it an actual encrypted message, or just meaningless squiggles and pretty pictures?
2) Anybody got any pet theories on what it actually is/means? Or where/when it originates from?
3) Is it definitely linked to Dee, or is that just speculation?
4) Have any American student types linked it mischieviously to the (nonexistant) Necronomicon? Because the Dee angle just begs such a connection, doesn't it?
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JamesWhiteheadOnline
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PostPosted: 19-09-2001 20:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

The VM came up in a thread a few weeks back, PDM. I think
it was a query about the books of Cornelius Agrippa and went
on to other weird books including the Lovecraft thing I can't
spell.

The VM came from the library of Rudolph II of Prague and Dee
was a guest at his court but there is no more direct link I know of.

It would be a bit galling if it turned out to be by a madman with
a thing about chubby ladies in hot baths. Smile
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 20-09-2001 11:32    Post subject: Nothing wrong with chubby ladies in baths... Reply with quote

Well, according to something I read, apparently the page numbers on the VM are supposed to be "definitely" (ahem) in Dr Dee's handwriting, but that's a bit tenuous, to my mind. Very inconsiderate, by the way, to scribble on library books (even ones you don't understand), but they were like that in those days...
As for madmen, a linguist who analysed the recurrence of groups of symbols ("words") in the VM said that the syntax (and understand, I have no idea how he could be sure about this, not being a linguist or an encryption expert) resembled no known European language. In fact it most resembled certain Polynesian dialects or, alternatively, the half-lucid writings of chronic schizophrenics. So my money's on the madman theory.
Unless of course, it's the only surviving copy of the Secret History of the Templars!!! Or somesuch.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 20-09-2001 13:13    Post subject: nothing wrong with ladies, chubby or otherwise, in or out of Reply with quote

The manuscript does in some ways resemble certain examples of 'outsider' or schizophrenic art... Obsessive repetition of arcane words and symbols that only the creator can decipher.

There is a large history even in this century of mad/singular men and women creating vast oeuvres in book form, impenetrable to anyone but themselves. Although the invention of a completely new language is more unusual.

That isn't to say that the manuscript wouldn't contain interesting or valuable information once decoded.

bye

Martin
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 20-09-2001 18:38    Post subject: Re: nothing wrong with ladies, chubby or otherwise, in or ou Reply with quote

-M- wrote:

Although the invention of a completely new language is more unusual.

That isn't to say that the manuscript wouldn't contain interesting or valuable information once decoded.



Weren't there those twins who supposedly invented their own language, that nobody else understood? Can't remember their names or where I read about it.
As for deciphering it, I understand there's some sort of ongoing project to do so, isn't there? Does anybody know how much progress they've made?
And then there was that chap who said he'd translated it, and it was all about secret Cathar rituals, but I don't think anybody believed him.
To me, speaking purely as a layman, the VM illustrations I've seen look similar to some of the allegorical pictures in alchemical treatises from the medieval/renaissance period, but that's just a guess.
So we're looking for a schizophrenic alchemist with an eye for the ladies...
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JamesWhiteheadOnline
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PostPosted: 20-09-2001 19:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a natural tendency to try to relate the VM to alchemy
and there are some mighty weird treatises on that subject.

The Alchemy Virtual Library has an amazing range of material,
written and graphic:

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/home.html

But the VM just doesn't seem to relate to the Great Work in any
detail.

The underlying problem of the VM is the linguistic analysis which has
found a lower number of repeating patterns than in other human
languages. Fascinating but much of the online material is not
easy reading and some of it a bit mad in itself. Eek Eek


Last edited by JamesWhitehead on 20-09-2001 19:04; edited 1 time in total
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 20-09-2001 19:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, yes, quite. I think I tend towards the idea that -M- outlines, that it's some sort of strange, esoteric work of art, meaningful only to the person who created it, although I can't speculate on that person's frame of mind. It amuses me to think of John Dee, if he ever saw it, trying to unlock its "secret wisdom" and, of course, failing because there was no secret wisdom to unlock (although who knows? we'd need to decipher it - probably an impossible task - to be sure of that). I don't think anybody will ever prove anything either way about the VM, although it's fun to speculate.
I've had that alchemy site bookmarked for ages, and keep meaning to have a good trawl through it, but never seem to find time.
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TheOriginalCujoOffline
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PostPosted: 22-09-2001 03:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard of the VM but I no nothing about it. Anyone care to enlighten me? confused

Cujo
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BilderbergerOffline
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PostPosted: 24-09-2001 09:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seeing as you helped me with the Sigil stuff, check out this website. Not the easiest to read, but loads of information.

http://www.voynich.nu/

I'm off for a jacuzzi....................


Last edited by Bilderberger on 24-09-2001 09:11; edited 1 time in total
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 04-10-2001 13:22    Post subject: VOYNICH RADIO PROGRAMME Reply with quote

Psychout If anyone is interested there is a half-hour programme about the Voynich manuscript on Radio 4 at 8.00pm tonight. Might be worth a listen.....
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TheHoodedClaw2Offline
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PostPosted: 20-11-2001 19:26    Post subject: Voynich manuscript: concerted attempts by supercomputer-enab Reply with quote

The current (17th November) edition of New Scientist carries a fascinating article about the latest attempts to decipher the Voynich manuscript. You may have to buy the mag, 'cos I think the Archive on their site is only accessible to people who have a subscription to the mag.
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intaglioreallyOffline
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PostPosted: 21-11-2001 00:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

read that one and it seems intriguing that all they can show is that it probably is real text.

Mind you if it is Roger Bacon's lab notes it'll be great - expect rapid advances in AI Very Happy

I suspect it is a chinese text saying "Boy, these europeans are really backwards"
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 29-11-2001 17:25    Post subject: The voynich manuscript... Reply with quote

Was the subjest of an FT article (with colour photos) not too long ago. Last year possibly. I assume you could probably get it through this very website. (Unless you don't actually read the world's finest magazine, in which case Shame on you, Sir!)
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 29-11-2001 21:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a theory that the VM is indecipherable (much like my spelling) due to contraction of the pages over the years, which has altered the letters.
I only mention this for completeness, as I for one believe this to be a load of old huey. I'm pretty much convinced that the VM is a very personal manuscript - the meaning was probably largely only relevant to it's creator.

Now, I normally take a very open minded approach to such matters, so prepare for me to be proved wrong and shot down in flames as no-one ever has been.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 10-12-2001 18:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wrote a letter to the Fortean Times saying that I could see the word Zoe or Zo repeated throughout the text, i.e. my name. Zoe is a Greek word meaning "Life" which I have seen used on alchemical documents to mean the elixir of life.

However the *****ers did not publish my letter and I'm still bitter.
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