Having deconstructed the Beinecke’s own Voynich Manuscript page here the other day, I thought I ought to repeat the trick for my own Cipher Mysteries Voynich page, which was similarly in need of a bit of renovation (if not TLC). OK… so I actually rewrote it from scratch.

And now, here it is – Ladies & Gentlemen, for your delectation and delight I bring you… the most genuinely useful webpage on the Voynich Manuscript.

As normal, let me know what I’ve got wrong & I’ll fix it. 😉

3 thoughts on “Updated Cipher Mysteries Voynich page

  1. Marke Fincher on October 14, 2009 at 11:44 am said:

    Nice page Nick….and you’ve captured well the reasons people get sucked into the thing. The phrase “sheer intellectual romance” nicely depicts a vital quality of the power of fascination that it has over some….”romance”. People do harbour romantic notions about it, sometimes with great passion – usually in line with their own interests or field of study, and this undoubtedly skews judgement all over the place.

    So the ultimate question for us all then is “am I following the facts like a detective with an open mind? How much is my view of the Voynich Manuscript bent and obscured by my own imagination and fancies?”.

    Perhaps the VMs to some seems “languagey” and to others “ciphery” (as is their desire) but in both cases perhaps it is only superficially so? Just enough for the imagination to hook onto, but after even moderate analysis of the structure that does exist (and looking of course for the tell tale signs of either languagey or ciphery text) you just hit a very smooth and featureless surface, and people are funnelled down a rather masochistic path of making ever more incredible excuses to explain the findings and yet hold onto their world view of it. The “language” or “cipher” very rapidly becomes necessarily unlike other any that is known to exist.

    Perhaps it really is that unique …..but the other explanation is that it was purposefully made to look languagey and ciphery but it is through being neither in reality that the similarities to those things are just skin deep?


  2. As far as following the facts goes, I think you have to start from the (embarrassingly short) list of things we can say with reasonable certainty, and work out from there. What will be the next thing we can add to this list? That’s perhaps a more constructive question to be asking.

    As far as ciphery-vs-languagey goes, the message I’m trying to get across is that we’ve had decades of people seeing this as if it were an either-or choice, when the answer will very probably turn out to be far more slippery.

  3. Rene Zandbergen on October 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm said:

    Hi Nick,

    not bad. Just one detail: Barschius should really be called Bohemian
    rather than German. He was no more German than Tepenece or
    Marci. Another point is that we don’t know, indeed, how the MS
    got to Rudolf, but this is not for lack of options. He was buying books
    from scores of people, and even though Raphael Misspwsky _could_
    be mistaken, it is an entirely reasonable and credible assumption that it was
    once owned by Rudolf.

    The real problem I see, however, is that it is impossible to write a ‘true’
    summary about the Voynich MS. A description that is acceptable to all
    (or even just most) experts (usually self-proclamed) is likely to turn
    out to be short and uninteresting….

    Cheers, Rene

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