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…?
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the latest arrival in the community of Voynichese bloggers:
Rich SantaColoma, who has for some time developed his Drebbel-Microscope-New-Atlantis theory about the VM’s origin, has finally succumbed like the rest of us to the Web 2.0 paradigm and has opened his own blog, aptly named The Voynich-New Atlantis theory.
I recommend this blog to everyone who’s interested in the VM, not only because Rich has in general shown a positive attitude towards my blog ;-). But though I’m not really a subscriber to his theory, I still think he has a number of valid points, and I agree with many of his observations regarding the general research on the VM. The blog may seem a bit verbose at the beginning, but check it out anway: It takes some space to summarize a theory that’s been well developed over the past few years…
Welcome to the Blogosphere, Rich!
Since its invention in around 2000, I’ve been a devoted follower of the Pearls Before Swine cartoons designed by Stephan Pastis. While not every strip is a real hit (IMHO), a good number of them is outrageously funny. An original drawing by Stephan from his “early period” (nowadays he’s apparently too busy to give them away ;-) is one of my prized possessions.
Anyway, Stephan has started his Pearls Before Swine blog, and not only is it hosted by WordPress like mine, but he also uses the same graphics theme (“Neat!”). It’s a bit odd to see both blogs with their completely different intent, topic and attitude in the same layout… Check it out!
According to Yale’s New Journal (scroll down to the article “Shelf life”), the long awaited radiocarbon dating and ink and vellum analysis on the VM are finally underway!
Let’s just hope that this will be one instance in the VM’s history where one answer doesn’t open a whole box of new questions… Unfortunately, the article doesn’t give a date when the results are due, but, considering that the publication is from February and seems to go back to December 2008,… it might be coming anytime.
(Thanks to Jeff Haley for bringing this to the VM’s mailing list’s attention.)
Will der eminent hollandisch Voynitschist, Voynitschologe und Über-Voynitschosoph René Zandbergen maken eine Performanz in Deutschland an der Mai der 26te, and is in Darmstadt an 6 an Nacht, was ist 18.00 Uhr.
Hier, Herr Zandbergen wollen given eine spektakular Presentation umabout der most mysteriös Voynitsch-Manuskript, was ist ein ungelesen ungekomprechendete Buch von die mysteriös Renaissanz in eine most kopfzerbrecking Chiffre kodiert, welch nonemand zu konne gekrackt habe als jetzt. Will taken nur ein Stund, sein Herr Zandbergen just eine hour da, schnell schnell! Fur schneller speaken, Herr Zandbergen will speaken in Englisch.
Note: Ist nix Performanz für die Hanswursten von der Street, nix Publisch Performanz, but privat. For getten Entree, Sie inquirieren Herrn Zandbergen personlich under r_zandbergen at yahoo dot com fur einen Invitation, bitte.
Danken fur Attention. Weitergehen, weitergehen!
(This message was brought to you by the International Association of Translators in Training.)
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.
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.