A page from the mysterious Voynich manuscript, which is undeciphered to this day.

Publisher Wins Rights to Publish Mysterious Ancient Manuscript that Has Never Been Deciphered

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The enigmatic Voynich manuscript, an ancient text that has never been cracked despite more than a century of research, is set to be reproduced in its exact form. But if you want to get your hands on a copy, be prepared to by top dollar. 

The Guardian reports that Siloe, a small publishing house in northern Spain, has obtained the right to clone the document after a 10-year battle for permission. The publisher will make 898 exact replicas of the Voynich manuscript, so precise that even stains, holes and tears in the parchment will be reproduced.

Yale University’s Beinecke Library, where the precious manuscript is currently being held, decided to grant permission to Siloe to print the manuscript because so many people have been trying to get their hands on it.  In fact, more than 90% of all the access to their digital library is for the Voynich manuscript.

“We thought that the facsimile would provide the look and feel of the original for those who were interested,” said Raymond Clemens, curator at the Beinecke library [via The Guardian].  “It also enables libraries and museums to have a copy for instructional purposes and we will use the facsimile ourselves to show the manuscript outside of the library to students or others who might be interested.”

Pages from the Voynich manuscript showing various illustrations of plants

Pages from the Voynich manuscript showing various illustrations of plants ( public domain )

The Medieval manuscript, which has been dated to between 1404 and 1438 AD, is considered to be the most mysterious text ever uncovered as it has never been deciphered despite over a century of attempts to uncover its meaning and more than 25 different analyses from top minds around the world. An academic war has raged for years between those who think the manuscript contains a real language that could eventually be decoded, and those who think it was a clever forgery designed to dupe book collectors.

The 240-page book, which uses a cryptic language and numerous illustrations depicting astronomical, biological, cosmological, herbal and pharmaceutical themes, was discovered in 1912 by a Polish-American named Wilfrid M. Voynich.  While the manuscript appears to be written in an unknown language, latest finding supports the hypothesis that there are meaningful words and messages within the text.

As for what those messages are, that still remains elusive. Craig Bauer, author of ‘Secret History: The Story of Cryptology’, believes it could be hiding something significant. "It could solve a major crime, reveal buried treasure worth millions or in the case of the Voynich manuscript, rewrite the history of science," he said

Illustrations in the Voynich manuscript, which appear to be related to astronomical phenomena

Illustrations in the Voynich manuscript, which appear to be related to astronomical phenomena ( public domain )

The reproduction will be a painstaking process in order to replicate the original manuscript as closely as possible.  The paper will be given a special treatment to make it feel like parchment and the script and illustrations will be made to look authentic.

Siloe is planning to see the copies for £6,000 to £6,900 (US$ 7800 to $9000) apiece. Nearly 300 people have already put in pre-orders.

Hopefully with hundreds of copies in distribution, the secrets of the Voynich manuscript will one day be unravelled.

Top image: A page from the mysterious Voynich manuscript, which is undeciphered to this day. ( public domain )

By April Holloway

Comments

i don' think it's a good thing to make zillions of copies of this, especially to exact detail. When someone does eventually figure it out, I'm sure it'll be deemed that this person "copy" has something wrong or different about it. Maybe not even that, but something smells fishy about making all kinds of copies of the original.

Hasn't this been identified as a South American manuscript, with the flowers tagged as a type that no longer exists but did exist in the 1500s or something like that? I'm pretty sure I read that recently.

I'd like to see a copy up close and personal so I can check it out myself. Thank you very much.

I believe it to be a Fake in that it has no mistake's , a handwritten work of that magnitude would have evidence of correction's . . .

I also recall an expert linguist decoder showing how easy and quickly one could produce volumes of text using just a card with spaces cut into it , I wish I could recall where I saw this but it eludes me .

Do you mean using Hollerith punch cards?

This is human wisdom at its peak, granting rights to something the publisher has absolutely no right of nor did the author even give its consent, yet some copyright BS says this is ok.

Why can't the museum just create a book? A catalogue? Literally its not that hard. Now some Spanish dickheads are getting rich over work they have no claim over.

Its really no wonder with this kind of logic prevailing the human species as we know it is failing across the board.

Good day!
My name is Nikolai.
To a question about the key to the Voynich manuscript.
Today, I have to add on this matter following.
The Voynich manuscript is not written with letters and characters denoting letters of the alphabet one of the ancient languages. Moreover, in the text there are 2 levels of encryption. I picked up the key, which in the first section I could read the following words: hemp, wearing hemp; food, food (sheet 20 at the numbering on the Internet); to clean (gut), knowledge, perhaps the desire, to drink, sweet beverage (nectar), maturation (maturity), to consider, to believe (sheet 107); to drink; six; flourishing; increasing; intense; peas; sweet drink, nectar, etc. Is just the short words, 2-3 sign. To translate words with more than 2-3 characters requires knowledge of this ancient language. The fact that some signs correspond to two letters. Thus, for example, a word consisting of three characters can fit up to six letters of which three. In the end, you need six characters to define the semantic word of three letters. Of course, without knowledge of this language make it very difficult even with a dictionary.
Moreover, the analysis of the manuscripts showed that her place of birth is Russia.
If you are interested, I am ready to send more detailed information, including scans of pages showing the translated words.
Nicholas.

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