What is the Voynich Manuscript?
The Voynich Manuscript is considered to be 'The Most Mysterious Manuscript in the World'. To this day the artifact resists all efforts at translation.
Recently I came across this:
""The Voynich manuscript might be the most unreadable book in the world. The 500-year-old relic, which was found in 1912 at a library in Rome, consists of 240 pages of illustrations and writing in a language not known to anyone. Deciphering the text has eluded even the best cryptographers, leading some to dismiss the book as an entertaining but lengthy hoax. But a statistical analysis of the writing shows that the manuscript does seem to follow the basic structure and laws of a working language. ""
at Live Science and of course it intrigued me, so below is the efforts of further research on this manuscript as well as some various interesting pictures of it:
*Research Area In Progress...
The book seems to consist of six distinct sections, each section with a unique style and subject matter. Most each and every page contains illustrations with text minus the last section in which contains only text.
The sections, and their conventional names, are:
Herbal - The first section of the book is almost certainly an herbal, but attempts to identify the plants, either with actual specimens or with the stylized drawings of contemporary herbals, have largely failed. Only a couple of plants (including a wild pansy and the maidenhair fern) can be identified with some certainty. Those "herbal" pictures that match "pharmacological" sketches appear to be "clean copies" of these, except that missing parts were completed with improbable-looking details. In fact, many of the plants seem to be composite: the roots of one species have been fastened to the leaves of another, with flowers from a third.The "herbal" section of the manuscript contains illustrations of plants. Each page displays one plant (sometimes two), and a few paragraphs of text - a format typical of European herbals of the time. Some parts of these drawings are larger and cleaner copies of sketches seen in the pharmaceutical section.
Astronomical: contains circular diagrams, some of them with suns, moons, and stars, suggestive of astronomy or astrology. One series of 12 diagrams depicts conventional symbols for the zodiacal constellations (two fish for Pisces, a bull for Taurus, a soldier with crossbow for Sagittarius, etc.). Each symbol is surrounded by exactly 30 miniature women figures, most of them naked, each holding a labeled star. The last two pages of this section (Aquarius and Capricornus, roughly January and February) were lost, while Aries and Taurus are split into four paired diagrams with 15 stars each. Some of these diagrams are on fold-out pages.
Astrological herbal - Astrological considerations frequently played a prominent role in herb gathering, blood-letting and other medical procedures common during the likeliest dates of the manuscript (see, for instance, Nicholas Culpeper's books). However, apart from the obvious Zodiac symbols, and one diagram possibly showing the classical planets, no one has been able to interpret the illustrations within known astrological traditions (European or otherwise).
Microscopes and telescopes - A circular drawing in the "astronomical" section depicts an irregularly shaped object with four curved arms, which some have interpreted as a picture of a galaxy that could only be obtained with a telescope. Other drawings were interpreted as cells seen through a microscope. This would suggest an early modern, rather than a medieval, date for the manuscript's origin. However, the resemblance is rather questionable: on close inspection, the central part of the "galaxy" looks rather like a pool of water.
Biological: a dense continuous text interspersed with figures, mostly showing small nude women bathing in pools or tubs connected by an elaborate network of pipes, some of them clearly shaped like body organs. Some of the women wear crowns.
Alchemy - The basins and tubes in the "biological" section may seem to indicate a connection to alchemy, which would also be relevant if the book contained instructions on the preparation of medical compounds. However, alchemical books of the period share a common pictorial language, where processes and materials are represented by specific images (eagle, toad, man in tomb, couple in bed, etc.) or standard textual symbols (circle with cross, etc.); and none of these could be convincingly identified in the Voynich manuscript.
Cosmological: more circular diagrams, but of an obscure nature. This section also has fold-outs; one of them spans six pages and contains some sort of map or diagram, with nine "islands" connected by "causeways", castles, and possibly a volcano.
Pharmaceutical: many labeled drawings of isolated plant parts (roots, leaves, etc.); objects resembling apothecary jars drawn along the margins; and a few text paragraphs.Recipes: many short paragraphs, each marked with a flower-like (or star-like) "bullet".
The text was clearly written from left to right, with a slightly ragged right margin. Longer sections are broken into paragraphs, sometimes with "bullets" on the left margin. There is no obvious punctuation. The ductus (the speed, care, and cursiveness with which the letters are written) flows smoothly, as if the scribe understood what he was writing when it was written; the manuscript does not give the impression that each character had to be calculated before being put on the page.
The text consists of over 170,000 discrete glyphs, usually separated from each other by thin gaps. Most of the glyphs are written with one or two simple pen strokes. While there is some dispute as to whether certain glyphs are distinct or not, an alphabet with 20-30 glyphs would account for virtually all of the text; the exceptions are a few dozen "weird" characters that occur only once or twice each.
The contents of the Manuscript are divided up into 5 categories:
* The first and largest section contains 130 pages of plant drawings with accompanying text, and is called the Botanical division.
* The second contains 26 pages of drawings, obviously astrological and astronomical in nature.
* The third section contains 4 pages of text and 28 drawings, which would appear to be biological in nature.
* The fourth division contains 34 pages of drawings, which are pharmaceutical in nature.
* The last section of the Manuscript contains 23pages of text arranged in short paragraphs, each beginning with a star. The last page (the 24th of this division) contains the Key only.
214 photos here
Thus far My personal thoughts:
It seems that this is a book about personal medicinal application of varying sorts from herbs through astrology. It seems to be written to both address ones physical body as well as spiritual body. The more I delve the more intrigued I am...
A personal astrological medical almanac