The Voynich Manuscript

Posted: November 15, 2016
The Voynich Manuscript
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Maybe the only thing stranger than the Codex Seriphinianus is the codex that inspired the Codex Seriphinianus: The "Voynich Manuscript." Still a mystery 600 years after an unknown author penned it, the original codex is a one-of-a-kind puzzle in language, purpose, and even safekeeping. No one can decipher its text, its illustrations are a further head-scratcher, and tracking it across history produces a timeline of some appearances and disappearances, but mostly holes.

The Voynich Manuscript here is the first authorized copy of the codex. It contains new photographs of the entire original document, plus a series of essays from experts exploring it from alchemical, cryptographic, forensic, and historical perspectives, but still not really at all understanding WTF they're talking about. Kind of like every paper I wrote for this philosophy class I took in college.

The "Voynich Manuscript," so named for Wilfrid Voynich, a rare books dealer who rediscovered it in 1912, was written in the 15th century. Its pages are covered in "Voynichese" text and illustrations of bizarre plants, unrecognizable constellations, and naked women swimming through tubes and green baths. Which sounds to me a lot like history's first comic book. Mystery solved.

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