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Ancient Cryptography » Ancient Texts » Voynich Manuscript » Lets look at the Voynich

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Aaron

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #60 on: March 14, 2011, 06:17:25 PM »
Something clicked?? I can't wait. :D

tonybaloney

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #61 on: March 17, 2011, 07:50:51 AM »
More of a thunderclap than a click!

Whilst waiting you might like to amuse yourself with this video by Prof. Gordon Rugg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpzLhmH0UYs

Aaron

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #62 on: March 17, 2011, 10:12:42 AM »
Ah, he has the pessimistic approach I see. I'm sure yours is much better. ;) Are you getting your hands on the full manuscript?

tonybaloney

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #63 on: April 07, 2011, 07:37:18 AM »
The ‘Voychinese writing’ is actually an artist’s impression of writing –
Just as the VM  artist builds up some of his images from a series of pen strokes one after another, Voychinese
was created in a similar manner –
Perhaps it needs renaming -



 All the letters above are self explanatory – two common abbreviations – some hands looped the top of the X
so it’s only missing it’s shorter right hand leg.
The first dotted arrow shows where all the EVA cho, cheo, chedy etc. combinations come from, the second
where EVA daiin, oin, ar etc
The star is just me filling up a blank area!
Below is the first layer of his drawing of writing – a randomly drawn background to build upon –




What follows is a rough guide only to how he did it (that’s code for ‘my brains to addled to work out the finer details’)




 1 - Draw random groups of EVA’e’ across the page

before proceeding lets have an explanation of the so called “Neal keys” these are the EVA ‘p’ & ‘f’ characters
which appear predominately on the top line of pages and paragraphs where the preceding line teriminates
early - these were called ‘keys’ as it was thought they may have some special function in a code or cipher
system – the simple explanation is there is more space above the top line of a paragraph and more space above
the right half of a line where the preceding line terminates early – there just isn’t enough space between the
lines to use this variation (especially in quire 20 pages)but it sometimes appears in the middle of paragraphs
on the herbal pages where the line spacing is greater.
EVA p,f,t & k are all the same and represent a capital L

2 – Draw in the capital L (EVA k) to the left of any island of c’s (EVA e)

3 – Connect the first 2 c’s of all islands with crossbar & over about half of the EVA ch combinations thus formed,
 put a little arc

4 – at random change some of the final c’s to an ‘o’ – note this is the ‘o’ from codex and not the ‘o’ that appears
before lots of the k’s

5 – at random change some of the final c’s to a d – (codex d)

6 – at random change some of the final c’s to an x EVA y or add an x at the final position

7 – (Eva l) is actually an old abbreviation for ‘per’ – not belonging to either of the 2 main words (codex/Lionardo)
it is a floater and can be placed anywhere, but he seems to have a preference for attaching it after an ‘o’ or an ‘a’
which clearly shows I have got the order of insertion wrong already - 

Consider the above as a demonstration of the method – not the exact way/order of insertion – it’s probable that
after the initial background of c’s the first thing he adds are the iiiin types linking most of them to the c’s to form
the aiiin sets – it is also possible that with q being the last letter added to the left of a set and x (EVA y) being the
last added to the right, that he used some alphabetical order for insertion
 
I find it to much of a minefield with some of the same letters being changed from a c and some added & I may not
even have the title exactly right (for a while I considered it to say ‘codice’ not codex, still not 100% certain)

Is it DaVinci? Of course it is - Regarding the carbon dating – this fits rather well when you consider a young Lionardo
would have been given unused quires from an old ledger for his doodlings – this was probably 4 times the size of the
VM and he cut it down to make lots more pages to make his very own first MS

Conclusion – it is neither cipher, code, lost language or hoax (that implies deception) – it is just a young Lionardo
fascinated by the books in his father’s library making an excellent attempt at emulating them.   

Aaron

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #64 on: April 07, 2011, 09:19:23 AM »
Makes sense to me! :) Not the most satisfying conclusion, of course, but when you consider that he was an artist first and foremost...

In a sense, all those sketches in the manuscript were his actual early artwork with the writing being there to "fill the blank space", much like you drew a star to fill the blank space in your example.

Phil_The_Rodent

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #65 on: February 10, 2012, 12:41:22 AM »
I started having another look at this, but more in-depth.

Originally, I pretty much did a cursory glance at pages and noted down observations, but never got very in-depth. I also reviewed the Currier Papers and whatever I could find online. I am currently working towards a solid transcription of the 1st part, the Botanical section. As Currier indicates, some of the rules change between sections and between handwriting styles, so I figured it would be best to start with only a specific section with one style, in one hand.

I am working with materials available at:
http://www.voynich.nu

As well as the PDF book from Yale.

My basic method so far has been to review the available transcriptions, make a list of "words" in Voynich EVA, and use this list of "known" words to revise any words where there is cause for dispute. First part completed, I am now revising the transcription.

I don't think this is Western. The words available (from a list of 2878 "known" words) seem to follow a very specific phoneme-specific rules. As if, the words are made up of very specific parts, and while the parts may change, the blocks which form them are very rigid.

Currently, it feels to me like it may be some sort of localized non-Semetic Afroasiatic language which exhibits some Semetic tendencies. This could explain some of Currier's findings of the beginning and ends being unique and the repetition of words (which would necessarily indicate such words as nouns, which may help some when it comes time).

I might imagine a story of the work being produced out of Mali, and working its way north on the trade route and not finding the destination and so being sold at market. It would be at least as plausible, I think, as it being the scribbling of a young DaVinci. That said, even if a translation is someday worked out, I would hazard to say there is nothing of interest here for William Shatner that he couldn't find in any other manuscripts of the period.

dodonovan

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #66 on: April 30, 2013, 12:21:11 PM »
There's a constant issue with whether we're looking at an original form, or a copy of some earlier text.

Baresch did send a copy of pages to Kircher. In the relatively unlikely, but not impossible, event that he used
scrap parchment to save money on the effort - he hired at least two copyists - so we might be looking at a true copy,
but one made by people 'drawing the writing'.

That wouldn't provide much a clue to the nature of the written text as orignally formulated. If we could see that it might not
look at all like a drawing of writing, need it?

Sorry, this is probably such a basic observation that it has been made, and dealt with long ago.

D.

Aaron

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #67 on: April 30, 2013, 12:28:14 PM »
Good point,  if these are hand-made copies we're looking at then there might be a lot of variations on the originals.

Phil_The_Rodent

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #68 on: May 02, 2013, 07:36:43 PM »
Currently working through the lexicon.

"daiin" is by far the most common word, and, I'm guessing it is analogous to "is" or "to be". If so, "aiiin" and "ain" suffixes may represent tense (was, will be, or vise versa). It appears 194 times in the text and has a fairly even distribution. That's around 7.79% of words, or 9.24% of words if you include what appear to be variants, "daiiin" and "dain".

The suffixes "ol" and "or" have a strong correlation. Perhaps a gender or sum?

The character "y" is weird. It's extremely common as an ending, and occasionally used as a beginning. But as a character in the middle of a word, is extremely infrequent, happening just 6 times out of 2489 words (0.24% of words). By comparison, it starts 10.48% of words and is at the end of a staggering 46.48% of words! It may represent some sort of stop, where starting a word with it may represent the start of a new thought or "paragraph". As a check, "y" never starts a page or is the first letter after a visible break, though it occasionally precedes a footnote. You'll also notice that the "y" character has a very strong resemblance to an enclosing mark. If you follow the inkflow of the y, you would write it by making a circle motion and then moving it aside.

The thing that especially stopped me about the "y" was the appearance of the words "daiiny" and "kydainy" where I'd assume the suffixes (based on frequency) would be "aiin" and "ain", respectively, added on to "d" to make "daiin" and "kyd" to make "kydainy". Again, "daiin" is the most common word and "daiiny" happens just once, which seems to suggest a grammatical modification of the word "daiin" rather than a new word.

Just some cursory thoughts as I work on this.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 11:09:01 PM by Phil_The_Rodent »

Phil_The_Rodent

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #69 on: May 02, 2013, 11:34:25 PM »
In regards to copy versus original work, I have a few thoughts:

(a) if such works were copied directly by scribes, one would expect that this item would not be isolated; that there would be more books with a similar character set existing somewhere. None have been found, but, obviously not all are necessarily available. This is probably of some interest (I didn't pick Mali out of a vacuum):
http://www.tombouctoumanuscripts.org/
(b) One would expect, as a type of hand-wrought work, that the drawings would be made first, and the words made to fit around them. We have multiple instances of which the phrasing of the text seems exacting, while keeping alignment and general size. For example, Q1-F2R (p5) or Q2-F9V (p20). I believe this consistency would be difficult with a transcription.
(c) The main argument for copying is there seems to be no known evidence of the writer trying to correct errors. Following through the 3 transcriptions from http://www.voynich.nu/folios.html and finding the disputed words and comparing them against the manuscript reveals that there seems to be some hesitation, and possible errors within the text, but that these were left as-is. That is, the author left any errors alone.

I think those points would suggest original work.

Phil_The_Rodent

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #70 on: May 03, 2013, 02:55:03 PM »
Just plugging it in, I like the daiin as "IS", but not the "y" as a break.

Consider:
chol chol dar
qokchol dar
tchol dar
ykchol dar
chol daiin dar

Also consider the former problematic line:
chol chol chol cthaiin dain

If dain is "will be", we might equivalate the sentence to:
chol chol WILL BE chol cthaiin
thus neutralizing the triple word problem.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 02:55:30 PM by Phil_The_Rodent »

dodonovan

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #71 on: May 06, 2013, 04:08:30 AM »
I've no idea how the message about the Dead Sea scrolls attached itself to my name - a joke by the great attractor, I expect.

One scenario which occurred to me and almost simultaneously to an Italian chap (whose name escapes me for the second) is that the manuscript represents the results of efforts which are recorded being made by Poggio Bracciolini to accumulate information about eastern plants. He interviewed various pilgrims but ran into problems. His translators could manage the grammar but had no equivalent in their own language or in Latin for the plant's names. Then, a bit later than the parchment's date (but not much) de' Conti arrived back from years working in the east and had certainly learned the names and virtues of eastern plants during his decades there - at least that was all he talked about according to to the Spaniard he met.

Many eastern languages are tonal or would seem so to a European - like the three positions for 'k' in Arabic.

So it is conceivable that an oral account might be taken down, with spaces left for inserting a sign indicating whether the sound was high, median, low etc.  And the informant would fill those out in the fair copy.

From experience, I can assure you that it is possible for someone with a good ear to simply learn an alphabet and then be able to transcribe information dictated to them. They may not end up with perfect orthography, writing n for the formal ng or (to use an example from Japanese), writing 'mas' for the formal 'masu'.

In the imaginary scenario with de' Conti (and any number of other candidates) the script might be a simplified version of an eastern script, affected by their own native habit.  A person used to writing Hebrew might square off letters; a person used to writing a European script would omit the line from which Indian scripts hang.

That would explain the interlocking 'hands', the general appearance of a writing not natural but 'drawn', and the fact that we have no other example of similar script extant (at present).

But this is just a scenario, as contra- to the current emphasis on Rugg's theory.

Diane


Aaron

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #72 on: May 06, 2013, 10:13:28 AM »
Yeah, it's a joke from Neon Genesis Evangelion, heh. The default tag for all newbies.

Phonetic transcription sounds like a good theory too, partly since it's not exactly a prevalent written language or anything. The question is, which language does it most approach if you sound out the words?

dodonovan

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #73 on: May 07, 2013, 01:57:00 AM »
Aaron,
Interesting you should say that. I've come directly from Julian Bunn's site and it struck me that in all the effort to break the cipher, people seem to be thinking of the written text as a kind of monolithic entity - like that sculpture outside one of the sneaky-centres, forget which.
I mean, they seem to forget that if the text is real, is must permit enunciation. And that means vowels.  It's perfectly possible that vowels might be omitted, and if a person were used to a contemporary language omitting vowels (rather than this being a transcription from a very much earlier original) then you really don't have to worry about doing full stats, do you? The first stage would be to see whether vowel-frequencies in any particular language-group (such as Czech or Polish vs Italian) give you a comparable frequency and relative distribution?

Tell me if I'm talking nonsense; I'm not an expert in languages, I'm conceptualising this more as music, imagining vowels as grace-notes of different lengths.

But wouldn't that help reduce the possible number of languages, and help isolate which glyphs represented vowels - if vowels were separately represented.

So then the next stage... and so on.

because labels so rarely use the '4' glyph, I'd tend to omit them from the sample; I'd also tend to omit the glyphs appearing between what Nick Pelling describes as the split gallows, because I suspect it is either an invocation, or a key to the cipher or some other anomalous element.

(this, by the way, because even in the Christian tradition, the customary association between plant-harvesting and star is preserved - balsam when Sirius rises sort of ting; which means that the split glyph might contain the name of plant, star, angel-of-the-month (as per the Cairo geniza and Jerusalem 'astrology').

Sorry - tmi - but yes,I'd omit those glyphs. Also, I think spaces can probably be omitted, and each paragraph treated as a 'line-length'.  For reasons that would again be tmi, I think that the end-of-line glyphs are token representation of an item not required in this version.

i feel a little like a tourist in a holy place here - I'll try not to make too much noise in future.

(I see there is no 'modest downcast eyes' emoticon. :)

Aaron

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #74 on: May 07, 2013, 02:30:05 AM »
I'm just glad people are still coming here; make all the noise you want. :)

Some languages, like Mandarin, are certainly musical...

dodonovan

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #75 on: May 07, 2013, 02:54:16 AM »
so are some dialects of languages not recognised as musical - irish, welsh, australian english.  The last, heard from a distance, sounds very like Cantonese.  I've experimented, here in Australia, using a comparative monotone - invariably people simply don't recognise what you've said. They're not listening for the words, as such, at all. Compensation for flattened vowels perhaps.

All by the way.

I was going to wait a week before I said this but I simply can't.

Tony - if you see this, pleased be assured that like anyone else I am awe-struck by your unearthly ability with ciphers.

When it comes to art-analysis, though, there's no easy way to say it: you suck at it.  There is no way in Gd's green earth that those drawings were made by leonardo da Vinci or created by any Italian Christian. None.  No more chance than that the text was written by a person who'd never picked up a quill pen before. 

Leonardo  might have preferred men, but he could no more have drawn the split, two-toed feet and deformed faces on the female figures in the bathy-section than he could have instantly imagined and produced the art of aboriginal Australian tribes. 

Wrong mind-set, wrong culture, wrong approach to line.. you name it.  No way. None.

And that's without getting into the technical folios, which (as it happens) includes the bathy- section.

Would Leonardo really know the convention by which the central harbour in Alexandria and Sicily were denoted by a flat-topped 'stud' motif?  .... in the 3rdC BC?  Or in theTabula peutingeriana?

Nup.

Phil_The_Rodent

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #76 on: May 10, 2013, 09:34:12 PM »
I guess you haven't gotten the memo, dodonovan, but there were actually only two people alive in the middle ages: DaVinci, and Bacon.

So, if the Voynich wasn't DaVinci, then, by order of elimination, we know who to look at.

Sadly, although that's a joke, Bacon was proposed as early as 1666. :/

dodonovan

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #77 on: May 12, 2013, 08:08:33 AM »
Phil,
I trust you'll be sitting down when you see this ~ there's nothing intrinsically wrong with the idea that the manuscript came from England, or even that Bacon had owned  the copy [exemplar] from which ms Beinecke 408 was made in the early 15thC.

What made it seem impossible was a  mental glitch in Voynich researchers  - basically just a reflexive anachronism - which led to an automatic presumption that the parchment's date was the earliest possible date for composition of the content.

 Silly, really, the minute you formulate the idea, but most simply didn't.  As soon as you do, it's obvious how very few authorial manuscripts are found from that time, compared to copies of earlier works.. but there you go.
An 'author' had been assumed and a full virtual profile imagined for that hypothetical (probably imaginary) being and everyone began running around trying to find him in the medieval equivalent of Who's who.

For a precedent copy, though, there's nothing wrong with that 12thC date.  This was pretty clear to me some time ago, and I may have said so as much as four or even more years ago.  Basic content - going by the imagery - 3rdC BC-3rdC AD; revision during the twelfth century before the fifteenth century and the Vms itself.

More recently I've found a very close match -  in both  form and in style - for parts of the botanical section, in a manuscript of the same (12th-13th) century.

 Other details in the Vms accord with this work, and again with the circumstances for its composition. It happens to be a first-generation translation into Arabic from Syriac of Dioscorides, but I can only discuss styles in drawing and painting  ~ no presumptions about the Vms'  textual content or even whether the text was as it is now before 1438.

Details of the Vms script do, however, agree with that earlier manuscript's heritage, one which takes us back from upper Mesopotamia (where that Dioscorides translation was made) to the shores of the Indian Ocean and, equally, the eastern shores of the Black sea... where yet more motifs occur which are in the Vms.

So the filmy web of evidence about the Vms' antecedents may now bear somewhat greater weight and perhaps we can be rid of the fantasy 'auteur' ~ for the pictures at least. 

At the same time,  I'm not arguing that Bacon had the exemplar; as a wild guess I'd think.. maybe a Jewish traveller through, or resident in Sicily or England or something of that kind - from the east anyway. 

Bacon's ownership of an exemplar, though, still seems considerably better supported by tangible evidence than any about  Rudolf's supposed ownership. 

Sorry to run on, but it is less foggy now than five years ago.

Just wish I'd been in charge of McCrone's brief.  God - what I wouldn't give for pollen-samples, substitution of Indian or Chinese gums for mopa-mopa,  a few  slides of the parchment and a technical description of the gatherings, complete with distances between finished and uncompleted stations.  *sigh*
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 08:23:41 AM by dodonovan »

Phil_The_Rodent

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #78 on: May 12, 2013, 01:40:44 PM »
The silliness is the fact that if something isn't known, it is unkown because Bacon. It's like a snap reflex. Ya, could have been, but the odds are pretty stacked against it. There was like 400 million people on the earth at that time.  Besides which, ignoring the fact that it appears to bave four authors (who I bet are listed on page one), how much information is this who's who going to provide? Another manuscipt serving as a rosetta stone of sorts would onviously be immensely helpful, but the effort seems predominantly based on finding one, or poopooing the whole thing.

I think any real effort should probably be object based and categorizing/indexing just as Linear B was. The pictures here provide more context and so it doesn't seem insurmontable, just freakishly tedious.

dodonovan

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Re: Lets look at the Voynich
« Reply #79 on: May 13, 2013, 01:15:20 AM »
Phil
Freakishly tedious is a just description.

The research-road  feels like some sheep-track obliterated not only by time but the near-concrete accretions of speculations hardened into boundaries, defended by all means possible by those who respect and espouse venerable relics.

One find that even so simple a simple statement as that the manuscript may have no fifteenth-century 'author' or 'authors' at all is likely (as I was shocked to find) to result in personal offence being taken, and scarcely so much as a raised eyebrow as token of interest in what possibilities open up.

It is perfectly possible we do have comparative texts, but that at some stage they've all been bound into this one volume.

If  I were working on the written part of the text, which I'm not qualified to do, I think I'd suppose the 'B' hand served a purpose similar to  scholia, and that what is written in  hand/language 'A'  ~ especially in the botanical section ~ was largely thesauric. 

After working for some years on the  imagery (never thought I'd need more than six months), my view is that it shows the whole as we have it now a compilation which looks like an itinerant profession's bible. 

Really, I have often been reminded of the old   Pear's Cyclopedia - maps, description of routes, a handbook of plants which (from the selection I considered through last year) are ones that will both maintain and provision a ship and also provide medicines-and-dyes (presumably as trade items, or for the ship's doctor), and many also valued for perfumery in the broadest sense - i.e. including scented woods. 

The matter has been compiled of ancient works that - to judge from stylistic affects - had been maintained east of Europe.  These more superficial affects relate well to regional art along the maritime spice route, a parallel line being defined, in my opinion, by the range of plants in the botanical section. 

The 'bathy' section, though,  seems to me more concerned - pace Adam McLean - with higher levels of processing vegetable products, and I've recently revived the issue of pre-European alchemical processes.

This last item does seem to have created some enthusiasm;  having published my reasons and commentary on some of the relevant folios'  imagery,  I was treated just the other day to the sight of another person suddenly announcing the whole text alchemical.  I doubt it is.

However, everyone including Rene Z. seems busily revisiting the alchemical herbals, to which Neal first drew attention so many years ago, but about which after several years' investigation, Rene had not ago said that they were 'not very like' the Vms. 

But a rising tide lifts all ships, so I'm rather pleased by this latest sign of movement.

What this indicates for cryptographers, I can't say, but a polyglot dictionary of simpler alchemical processes and terms might be useful  - Hebrew, Arabic, Hindu, Persian, any regional Jewish dialects and possibly Arabic  included along with the usual European ones.

All a bit too early for the full-blown European style o falchemy, I think. McLean is perfectly right that the Vms imagery is not from that tradition or time.

But it may be helpful to have at hand technical terms from Mappae Clavicula and Theophilus (?Roger2). 

As I see it, this type of imagery begins only from about f.77 (imo),  associated both with semi-architectural features and 'nymphs'.  One folio seems to me to depict the chemistry of casting, very possibly glass-casting. If I happen to be correct, one might expect to see a term for natron there.

But this whole section may once have been a book entirely separate from the botanical and 'pharma' sections, and they separate again from the astronomical section.  When the anthology took its current form remains uncertain.

Cheers
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 01:31:04 AM by dodonovan »