Blog for the Illiterate?

Currently, there is some discussion on the Voynich mailing list*) about f116v (the last page of the VM — as shown on the header of this blog) and the other marginalia in the VM, which apparently were written in latin letters. (Here I published my own thoughts on one page of these marginalia, for what it’s worth.)

The funny thing is that not even the latin letters in the VM can be read — or, to be more accurate, they can be read, but they don’t seem to make sense. On f116v people haven’t come up with much better than “Anchiton oladabas” (whatever that’s supposed to mean…) or arcane references to an Eighties’ synth pop band

It has been suggested that, whoever wrote the marginalia might have been an illiterate, not knowing what he doodled — hence the confusion. I disagree because —

  • The marginalia seem (at least partly) to be written by the same person who wrote the VM, and that certainly wasn’t an illiterate,
  • While the letters are for a good part ambiguous, hardly one of them seems to be ‘wrong’, in the sense that it had been mirrored or otherwise mutilated, as one would expect to be the case if someone unfamiliar with the letters copied them.

The problem is not that the marginalia can’t be read, the problem is they can be read a number of different ways. (None of which makes sense.)

*) If you’re interested in VM research, why haven’t you subscribed yet…?