The mysterious Voynich manuscript: finally been decoded

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  • #1
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ArsTechnica article on the Voynich manuscript, the mystery has been solved:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/09/the-mysterious-voynich-manuscript-has-finally-been-decoded/

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
Evo
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I think it's very interesting and a great find!
 
  • #3
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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.
 
  • #4
256bits
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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
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An update on the Voynich once again it may have not been decoded definitively:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/09/experts-are-extremely-dubious-about-the-voynich-solution/

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, https://scriptangel.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/screenwriter-interview-nicholas-gibbs/ 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
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I'm not surprised.
 

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