The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, Debtember 26, 2003

The Most Mysterious Manuscript in the World

The Voynich Manuscript is considered to be “The Most Mysterious Manuscript in the World”. To this day this medieval artifact resists all efforts at translation. It is either an ingenious hoax or an unbreakable cipher.

The manuscript is named after its discoverer, the American antique book dealer and collector, Wilfrid M. Voynich, who discovered it in 1912, amongst a collection of ancient manuscripts kept in villa Mondragone in Frascati, near Rome, which had been by then turned into a Jesuit College (closed in 1953).

Based on the evidence of the calligraphy, the drawings, the vellum, and the pigments, Wilfrid Voynich estimated that the Manuscript was created in the late 13th century. The manuscript is small, seven by ten inches, but thick, nearly 235 pages. It is written in an unknown script of which there is no known other instance in the world. It is abundantly illustrated with awkward coloured drawings of:

No one really knows the origins of the manuscript. The experts believe it is European They believe it was written between the 15th and 17th centuries.

World Mysteries—Voynich Manuscript

If it's a hoax, it's a very good hoax, as well as a very old hoax (possibly dating from the 15th to the 17th centuries). If not, then who knows what this manuscript is all about.

Update on Wednesday, Debtember 31st

Slashdot links to a Nature article claiming that the Voynich Manuscript is a hoax.

Talk about your synchronicity …

Obligatory Picture

[It's the most wonderful time of the year!]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

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