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Journal of No. 118

December 3rd, 2010

The Voynich Manuscript crops up again @ 09:43 am

The Skeptical Inquirer also has an English translation of Klaus Schmeh's German article [with some nice full-color images] on the Voynich MS. As do I, Schmeh comes down on the side of old hoax as the most likely explanation, though other explanations are not ruled out. But I was a little surprised by the information that an (as yet unpublished) radiocarbon dating of the MS puts it at 1404-1438. I had been sort of pulling for Edward Kelly/John Dee as the hoaxers or hoax-instigators, but (barring the unlikely use of old vellum) that date makes that impossible. It also excludes Roger Bacon, the name probably most often associated with the MS, at least in the early years of its study. Plunking it down in the early 1400s makes the damn thing more mysterious still.
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Date:December 3rd, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
I love the Voynich Manuscript! I'm working on a song about it:
Those who would decipher it go slowly 'round the bend,
Those clever NSA men coming to a nasty end.
It's the manuscript of madness, it's the devil of cryptography,
The vortex into which codebreakers crookedly descend.
I am disappointed; I was in favor of Ed Kelly for this one as well.

Thank you for posting the link!
[User Picture Icon]
Date:December 3rd, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
Neat! Luckily I stopped my VM studies before I got to the round the bend part. I think.
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From:Nick Pelling
Date:December 4th, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC)

Voynich lyrics

Here are some links to Voynich-related limericks, most of which stretch the concept of 'rhyme' just beyond breaking point, vis-a-vis:-

The Voynich Manuscript
Is something someone ripped
Off guys who died
Then placed inside
A cryptographic crypt!


Even if you can survive all those, there's still my partly-enciphered sexy Jewish limerick to contend with:-
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Date:December 4th, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC)

Re: Voynich lyrics

Whoa! Thanks for dropping by. I almost mentioned your hypothesis that Antonio Averlino was the author, since it (at the very least) gets the century right.

Always neat to find a fellow limerick/Voynich enthusiast. My own peculiar obsession resulted in my (and dark_of_night's) booklet of limericks summarizing the fictional works of HP Lovecraft. And it was Lovecraft, more or less, that led me to the Voynich Manuscript -- in Colin Wilson's Lovecraftian short stories, the Voynich MS shows up as an encyphered Necronomicon.
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Date:December 6th, 2010 10:57 am (UTC)
Having read very little of the VS history (but yes, some of it, also due to the Mythos), I wonder, if that dating is correct, that it wasn't somehow related to the new Tarot decks being created?

Either way, this is great stuff.

Journal of No. 118