One fascinating (if hard to pin down) cipher mystery that I’ve been meaning to get to grips with is the Rohonc Codex. This is a vaguely Bible-like book, written on Venetian paper with a watermark dating it to circa 1529-1540, but looks like it ought to have been written centuries earlier. And (you’ll be unsurprised to hear) nobody can read it.

Well, until such time as I find some credible source on the statistical properties of the text (which is where I’d personally want to start from), here’s a nice Passing Strangeness blog entry that describes the Rohonc Codex pretty darn well. Enjoy! 😉

7 thoughts on “Nice Rohonc Codex summary…

  1. Dennis on March 10, 2009 at 5:01 am said:

    Hi Nick! Thanks for the nice link on the Rohonc Codes. I have a small reference page on the Rohonc Codex:

    The main interest there is a text file of links to the JPGs of the Codex, which one can load into a download manager for a batch download of the whole Codex. I also have a script to then rename the files into more felicitous folio names, if so desired.


  2. Diane on March 29, 2010 at 7:10 am said:

    Looks like a very late, really corrupt manual on embalming.. Thamudic cursive?

    I’ll send an example of cursive Thamudic to anyone who likes that sort of thing. The couple I have on my hard-drive were probably got from a wiki, though.

  3. Diane on March 29, 2010 at 7:38 am said:

    No, on second thoughts I like the Indian theory. Pity the link doesn’t work.

  4. Diane on April 18, 2010 at 1:13 pm said:

    Guess my original Egyptian theory was closer to the mark, after all about the Rohonc.

    and any other description of the Artemidorus papyrus.


  5. Benedek Lang on August 11, 2010 at 7:07 pm said:

    Readers of this page might be interested that I just published a lengthy article on the Codex of Rohonc:
    Why Don’t We Decipher an Outdated Cipher System? The Codex of Rohonc
    Cryptologia, Volume 34, Issue 2 April 2010 , pages 115 – 144

    No, I have not solved it, still it might be relevant – and please, forgive me for advertising my own publication.
    I copy the abstract below:

    The Codex of Rohonc is a lengthy handwritten book filled with unknown sign-strings and more than 80 seemingly biblical illustrations. Nothing is known about the provenance of the manuscript; its Hungarian or even East-Central European origin is possible but not certain. The initial enthusiasm of nineteenth-century Hungarian scholars for the supposedly Early Hungarian script was soon followed by disappointment, and late nineteenth-century scholarship came to the conclusion that the codex was a forgery. This conclusion, however, seems fairly implausible today in light of historical evidence. If the text of the Rohonc codex is not a hoax, it must be a consciously encoded or enciphered text. In theory, it may be (1) a cipher, (2) a shorthand system, or (3) an artificial language, and these possibilities are systematically assessed in the article with the help of historical analogies.

    With the best wishes

    Benedek Lang, PhD

  6. I'm as dumb as a stone on March 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm said:

    What makes everyone think, that these and other un-decipherable writings are of human origin?

    We always measure things against human standards.
    That, is our Greatest mistake !

  7. Pingback: (2) A Book of Mistery and Imagination | The Codex from Rohonc Project

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