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Conference:
VOYNICH 100

Voynich poster
[click to enlarge]
Friday, 11 May 2012, Villa Mondragone, Sala degli Svizzeri, Monte Porzio Catone, Italy
[more info]

The Mysterious Voynich Manuscript

 
by Gianni Sarcone and Marie Waeber
 

 

voynich writings voynich writings 2 voynich writings 3

The Voynich MS
Imagine a "Guide" written in an unknown alphabet, in an unknown language, at an unknown date and place. Could such a book be read? Could one retrieve the information it contains, if any? This is not a trivial question and it has baffled historians and scientists alike for most part of this century, in the case of a particular medieval document, called "the Voynich Manuscript". The Voynich MS is named for one Wilfrid M. Voynich, an American rare-book collector who came across it in 1912 in the library of the Villa Mondragone, a Jesuit college in Frascati, near Rome (Italy). Recognizing the manuscript as an unusual and potentially valuable artifact, Voynich purchased it and brought it back with him to America. He circulated photographic copies of the pages to scholars he thought might have a shot at deciphering it: paleographers, cryptologists, historians, linguists, philologists, even astronomers and botanists. However, despite the efforts of many of them, the book remains unread.

The manuscript counted at least 116 folios, of which 104 remain. The folio size is 6 by 9 inches, but some folios are two or three times that size and are folded. There is one large composite of six times this size (18 by 18 inches). Both the illustrations and the script of the manuscript are unique. As long as the script cannot be read, the illustrations are the only clue about the nature of the book. According to these illustrations, the manuscript would appear to be a scientific book, mostly an illustrated herbal (containing unidentified and fantastic plants) with some additional sections:
1) an astronomical section (with most zodiac symbols),
2) a biological section (with some pseudo-anatomical drawings and human figures),
3) a cosmological section (with esoteric geometrical figures),
4) a pharmaceutical section (with vases and parts of "plants") and
5) a recipes section (mostly short paragraphs).

Maybe you'll find the solution to this most mysterious linguistic puzzle in the world?

|Browse sample pages from the Manuscript|
|The book about the Manuscript||Voynich MS website|
|Codex Seraphinianus||Mysterious places in Italy|

Un puzzle linguistique: le manuscrit de Voynich french flag
Chaque jour, le bibliothécaire des livres et manuscrits rares de l'Université de Yale (Connecticut, USA) voit arriver son lot de farfelus pour lui demander un petit manuscrit, dit "manuscrit de Voynich". Ce petit livre écrit en un alphabet mystérieux, avec autant d'images ésotériques, attire tous les cryptologues et égyptomanes du monde entier, parce qu'à ce jour, personne n'a réussi à percer les "secrets" qu'il recèle. C'est un collectionneur new-yorkais de livres rares, Wilfred M. Voynich, qui découvrit ce mystérieux bouquin à la bibliothèque des Jésuites de la Villa Mondragone, à Frascati (Italie). Seriez-vous capable de déchiffrer le code de ce manuscrit? (vous pouvez vous procurer des copies du livre en consultant le site ci-dessous). Si vous y parvenez, contactez-moi!

|Pages du Manuscrit de Voynich||Site du Manuscrit de Voynich|
|Le livre sur le Manuscrit||Codex Seraphinianus||Lieux mystérieux d'Italie|

Lo strano manoscritto di Voynich italian flag
Nel 1912, un collezionista di libri rari, Wilfrid M. Voynich, acquistò dal Collegio dei gesuiti di Villa Mondragone, a Frascati, un manoscritto medievale di 235 pagine, scritto in un alfabeto sconosciuto ed in quella che parrebbe essere una lingua sconosciuta o cifrata. Voynich desiderava far decrittare il manoscritto e ne fece avere delle copie fotografiche a una serie di esperti: crittologhi, linguisti, storici... Ma nonostante tutti gli sforzi, il libro a tutt'oggi non è ancora stato decifrato. Venne venduto ad un antiquario newyorkese nel 1961 per la "modica" somma di 24.500 dollari. Questi valutò il volume a 160.000 dollari, ma non fece un buon affare, perchè non riuscì a trovare un compratore. Alla fine lo donò all'università di Yale, dove è tuttora conservato alla Beinecke Rare Book Library con il numero di catalogo MS 408. Forse consultando una delle tantissime copie del manoscritto sareste in grado di decifrare questo puzzle storico... Sappiate, comunque, che non siete i soli a provarci!

|Pagine dal Manoscritto di Voynich||Il sito del Manoscritto di Voynich|
|Il libro sul Manoscritto||Codex Seraphinianus||Luoghi misteriosi in Italia|

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voynich page 3 voynich page 3
voynich page 5 voynich page 6

 

 
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