The Voynich Manuscript
Some quotes about the
"The Voynich Manuscript, which has been dubbed 'The Most Mysterious Manuscript in the World', is named after its discoverer, the American antique book dealer and collector, Wilfrid M. Voynich, who discovered it in 1912, amongst a collection of ancient manuscripts kept in villa Mondragone in Frascati, near Rome, which had been by then turned into a Jesuit College (closed in 1953). Wilfrid Voynich judged it to date from the late 13th century, on the evidence of the calligraphy, the drawings, the vellum, and the pigments. It is some 200 pages long, written in an unknown script of which there is no known other instance in the world. It is abundantly illustrated with awkward coloured drawings. Drawings of unidentified plants; of what seems to be herbal recipes; of tiny naked women frolicking in bathtubs connected by intricate plumbing looking more like anatomical parts than hydraulic contraptions; of mysterious charts in which some have seem astronomical objects seen through a telescope, some live cells seen through a microscope; of charts into which you may see a strange calendar of zodiacal signs, populated by tiny naked people in rubbish bins." - Jacques Guy, (firstname.lastname@example.org.OZ.AU)
"Dating at least to 1586, the manuscript is written in a language of which no other example is known to exist. It is an alphabetic script, but of an alphabet variously reckoned to have from nineteen to twenty-eight letters, none of which bear any relationship to any English or European letter system. The manuscript is small, seven by ten inches, but thick, nearly 170 pages. It is closely written in a free-running hand and copiously illustrated with bizarre line drawings that have been water-colored: drawings of plants, drawings of little naked ladies appearing to take showers in a strange system of plumbing (variously identified as organs of the body or a primitive set of fountains), and astrological drawings - or what have been interpreted as astrological drawings. Since the Voynich Manuscript is at the Beinecke Rare Book Room at Yale [catalogue number MS 408], it is accessible to any serious scholar." - Terence McKenna, The Archaic Revival
"Historically, it first appears in 1586 at the court of Rudolph II of Bohemia, who was one of the most eccentric European monarchs of that or any other period. Rudolph collected dwarfs and had a regiment of giants in his army. He was surrounded by astrologers, and he was fascinated by games and codes and music. He was typical of the occult-oriented, Protestant noblemen of this period and epitomized the liberated northern European prince. he was a patron of alchemy and supported the printing of alchemical literature. The Rosicrucian conspiracy was being quietly fomented during this same period." "To Rudolph's court came an unknown person who sold this manuscript to the king for three hundred gold ducats, which, translated into modern monetary units, is about fourteen thousand dollars. This is an astonishing amount of money to have paid for a manuscript at that time, which indicated that the Emperor must have been highly impressed by it. Accompanying the manuscript was a letter that stated that it was the work of the Englishman Roger Bacon, who flourished in the thirteenth century and who was a noted pre-Copernican astronomer." "Only two years before the appearance of the Voynich Manuscript, John Dee, the great English navigator, astrologer, magician, intelligence agent, and occultist had lectured in Prague on Bacon." - Terence McKenna, The Archaic Revival
"The manuscript somehow passed to Jacobus de Tepenecz, the director of Rudolph's botanical gardens (his signature is present in folio 1r) and it is speculated that this must have happened after 1608, when Jacobus Horcicki received his title 'de Tepenecz'. Thus 1608 is the earliest definite date for the Manuscript." - Dennis Stallings , "Voynich mini-FAQ"
"Codes from the
early sixteenth century onward in Europe were all derived from
The Stenographica of Johannes Trethemius, Bishop of Sponheim,
an alchemist who wrote on the encripherment of secret messages.
He had a limited number of methods, and no military, alchemical,
religious, or political code was composed by any other means
throughout a period that lasted well into the seventeenth century.
Yet the Voynich Manuscript does not appear to have any relationship
to the codes derivative of Johannes Trethemius, Bishop of Sponheim." - Terence McKenna, The Archaic Revival