Strokes, Round 3: Fast forward

Unwilling to face defeat, I decided to give the Stroke Theory a new run. This time, as opposed to the previous attempts where I tried to analyse the ciphertext to recreate the original plaintext, I decided to go the other way around and synthesize something which might look like Voynichese.

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A tone (sorry: note) regarding anagramming

Every now and then it has been suggested that one of the VM’s enciphering steps included some kind of anagramming, and it has been surmised that “already at Galileo’s times, this method was used to hide information”. The latter is not quite true.

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No such thing as a free lunch

Lately, I checked out f66r in a different context, and these days the page also showed up on Nick Pelling’s blog.

You may recall the page; it’s outstanding features are a column of individual words and individual letters next to the body of the text, and, near the bottom of the page, a little bit of marginalia:

  • A string of Voynich words
  • A reclining woman*)
  • Some short words in what seems to be latin letters
  • A few obscure items
Bottom part of folio f66r with the marginalia
Bottom part of folio f66r with the marginalia

Now, the latin letters have at times been interpreted as “der mus del”, meaning “der Mussteil” in contemporary German — supposedly a kind of minimum dowry or heritage. (Googling the term comes up with nothing, BTW.)

But let’s take a closer look at this part of the page…

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Final Words on the Voynich Manuscript

I somehow had to catch your attention, didn’t I?

(Plenty of gut feeling and pointless ranting to follow.)

It has been a matter of debate for some time, whether the writings on the VM’s last page, f116v, is a part of the original manuscript or “extraneous” writing which has been added later — perhaps denoting an aborted solution attempt by a later would-be decipherer. This is supported by the mix of apparently latin and Voynichese characters.

I can’t really figure this. It wold be extremely unwieldy to work out a translation on the back of the very book one tries to decipher. I’d also expect more notes and scribbles on such a worksheet than there actually is.

What speaks for the “Michitonese” on f116v being written by the original author?

Continue reading “Final Words on the Voynich Manuscript”