The mysterious Voynich manuscript: finally been decoded

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In summary: This sort of thing always turns out to be a scam.In summary, Nicholas Gibbs has claimed to have solved the Voynich Manuscript, which is a mystery because it is written in an unknown language or code and is heavily illustrated with pictures of aliens, naked women, and strange objects. However, experts are extremely dubious of his analysis and say that much of it is already known or can't be proven.
  • #1
ArsTechnica article on the Voynich manuscript, the mystery has been solved:

Since its discovery in 1969, the 15th century Voynich Manuscript has been a mystery and a cult phenomenon. Full of handwriting in an unknown language or code, the book is heavily illustrated with weird pictures of alien plants, naked women, strange objects, and zodiac symbols. Now, history researcher and television writer Nicholas Gibbs appears to have cracked the code, discovering that the book is actually a guide to women's health that's mostly plagiarized from other guides of the era.
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  • #2
I think it's very interesting and a great find!
  • #3
If it was that easy, why didn't anyone figure that out earlier? Common Latin abbreviations sound like one of the first things to check for a book from this period.
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  • #4
Interesting 'paper' for the leaves of the book. Must be lamb skin.
  • #5
This is outstanding.

Shorthand is very useful. Newton used it at times for concealment purposes, as in his famous "confession of sin" from his notebooks. But it's not just for concealment. If you want to write a lot by had, it saves a great deal of time, paper, and of course wear and tear on yourself.

There is some material online about Tyronian script, which dates back to the classical period. It was developed over many centuries for Latin. We still use it when we write "e.g." "etc." or "i.e.". You can still see some remnants in some Irish signs.
  • #6
An update on the Voynich once again it may have not been decoded definitively:

Last week, a history researcher and television writer named Nicholas Gibbs published a long article in the Times Literary Supplement about how he'd cracked the code on the mysterious Voynich Manuscript. Unfortunately, say experts, his analysis was a mix of stuff we already knew and stuff he couldn't possibly prove.

and some commentary on the researcher Gibbs:

Gibbs said in the TLS article that he did his research for an unnamed "television network." Given that Gibbs' main claim to fame before this article was a series of books about how to write and sell television screenplays, it seems that his goal in this research was probably to sell a television screenplay of his own. In 2015, where he said that in five years, "I would like to think I could have a returnable series up and running." Considering the dubious accuracyof many History Channel "documentaries," he might just get his wish.

so it looks like there was a motive behind the announcement to sell a screenplay or documentary.
  • #7
I'm not surprised.

Related to The mysterious Voynich manuscript: finally been decoded

1. What is the Voynich manuscript and why is it so mysterious?

The Voynich manuscript is a 15th-century illustrated codex written in an unknown and undecipherable language. It is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a book dealer who purchased it in 1912. It is considered mysterious because despite numerous attempts, no one has been able to decode its contents or determine its purpose.

2. Has the Voynich manuscript recently been decoded?

Yes, in September 2021, a team of researchers claimed to have decoded the Voynich manuscript using artificial intelligence. They believe that the manuscript is written in a form of ancient Hebrew and contains information about herbal remedies.

3. How did the researchers decode the Voynich manuscript?

The researchers used a machine learning algorithm to analyze the text and compare it to known languages. They also consulted with experts in ancient Hebrew and cryptography to decipher the code.

4. Is there any evidence to support the claim that the Voynich manuscript has been decoded?

The researchers have published their findings in a peer-reviewed journal, providing evidence for their claims. However, their findings have yet to be independently verified, so the mystery of the Voynich manuscript may still persist.

5. What could be the significance of the Voynich manuscript if it has indeed been decoded?

If the Voynich manuscript has been decoded, it could provide valuable insight into the history and culture of the time period in which it was written. It could also shed light on the purpose and meaning of the manuscript, which has been a subject of debate among scholars for years.

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