Leo Levitov published his purported solution of the Voynich Manuscript in *Solution Of The Voynich Manuscript: A Liturgical Manual For The Endura Rite Of The Cathari Heresy, The Cult Of Isis* (Aegean Park Press, 1987). Levitov claims that Catharism was actually a survival of the Greco-Roman-Egyptian cult of Isis and that the Voynich Manuscript is a liturgical manual of this cult. He further claims that the Voynich nymphs in the tubs are undergoing a Cathar sacrament called *Endura* - group suicide by opening veins in warm water.

1996/12/29, posted by CLARY Olivier

Niel says the association between Catharism and suicide has been propagated by Catholic sources and novel writers. The main origin of this claim is that groups of Perfects prefered to throw themselves into the fire singing psalms than make the smallest act against the wishes of the consolamentum, like pronouncing an oath or eating meat, and this could be viewed as a suicide. Also, Inquisition registers do mention endura ordered to some people, mainly women, by the diacon of their community, in very late Catharism (14th century), when Cathar churches had already disappeared long ago.
posted by ぶらたん at 21:26| Comment(0) | 書かれた言語

Voynich mini-FAQ

December 8, 1996 by Dennis Stallings

In 1912, Wilfrid M. Voynich (a book collector) bought a medieval manuscript (235 pages) written in an unknown script and what appears to be an unknown language or a cipher from the Jesuit College at the Villa Mondragone, Frascati, in Italy (near Rome). However, despite the efforts of many well known cryptologists and scholars, the book remains unread. Since 1969, it is at Yale University, at the Beinecke Rare Book Library with catalogue number MS 408.

It is known (from a letter of J. M. Marci in 1665/6) that the manuscript was bought by Emperor Rudolph II of Bohemia (1552-1612) for 600 ducats (an exorbitant sum in those days). 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.

The Voynich Manuscript, as it has come to be known, contains many drawings of plants, but the plants have not been identified, nor have the drawings been identified with known fanciful or distorted drawings of plants from the Middle Ages. There are what look like astrological drawings. There are curious drawing of little nude women bathing in baths with convoluted plumbing; nothing else like these drawings is known. The persons and costumes look generally European. The script seems to have been developed from early Arabic numerals and medieval Latin abbreviations, but composed of these elements in a unique manner; no other examples of the script or any like it are known. Nothing else about the Manuscript is even this definite; it is a completely unique artifact.

Computer analysis of the Voynich Manuscript has only deepened the mystery. One finding has been that there are two "languages" or "dialects" of Voynichese, which are called Voynich A and Voynich B. The repetitiousness of the text is obvious to casual inspection. Entropy is a numerical measure of the randomness of text. The lower the entropy, the less random and the more repetitious it is. The entropy of samples of Voynich text is lower than that of most human languages; only some Polynesian languages are as low.
posted by ぶらたん at 20:46| Comment(0) | その他

EKT Hypothesis

1996/8/6, posted by Dennis Stallings

My hypothesis is that the concealment system for the VMs is a word game, like Pig Latin. I have devised a homophonic word game that would be less detectable than Pig Latin and would account for the presence of Voynich A and B, the low variety of digraphs (the low second-order entropy of the text), and the (relative) absence of long repeated phrases.

*King Tut*

The system that interests me the most is called King Tut. One makes the following substitutions:

A - a I - i R - rur
B - bub J - jug S - sus
C - cut K - kam T - tut
D - dud L - lul U - u
E - e M - mum V - vuv
F - fuf N - num W - wuv
G - gug O - o Y - yec
H - hush P - pup Z - zuz

"The sunflower is a marvellous plant with powerful virtues that must needs be concealed from the ignorant and uninitiated."


"Tuthushe susunumfuflulowuverur isus a mumarurvuvelullulousus puplulanumtut wuvituthush pupowuverurfufulul vuvirurtutuesus tuthushatut mumusustut numeedudsus bube cutonumcutealuledud fufruromum tuthushe igugnumoruranumtut anumdud unuminumitutiatutedud."

*Extended King Tut (EKT)*

With modifications, the King Tut system can account for other properties of the Voynich text. I shall call this modified system Extended King Tut (EKT).
posted by ぶらたん at 20:27| Comment(0) | 書かれた言語


1996/8/6, posted by Dennis Stallings

Here's a good crackpot idea: Old Gaelic! It was written in a Latin alphabet with 5 vowels and 13 consonants. Just about what we're looking for! An accent mark was placed over vowels to indicate a long vowel. A dot was placed over a consonant to indicate that it was "aspirated". "Aspirated" does not mean the modern linguistic term but rather that the consonant is changed, often that a stop is changed to the corresponding fricative (bh = v, ch = voiceless velar fricative). In modern Gaelic an "h" is placed after the consonant rather than a dot placed over it. Suppose that one Voynich character is the "h"? Then we get a lot of consonant phonemes with maybe half the characters!

I wrote the preceding paragraph with a very broad grin on my face, for I know very little about Gaelic. However, it illustrates my idea. Suppose that one Voynich character were used, like "h" in Gaelic, mostly to modify the preceding character to represent a different phoneme. Suppose that this one character were used widely in that role, so that 8-10 different characters were modified to a different phoneme. Would our tests show that this one character was a vowel? If so, that would explain a lot of things!
posted by ぶらたん at 11:32| Comment(0) | 書かれた言語


1996/7/26, posted by Rene Zandbergen

I've been talking about plant drawings several times now without quoting the folios they appear on. This should make up for that:

f2v: my 'Nymphoides Peltata' (German: Sumpfrose; English: not the banana plant mentioned on the Web but a close relative. Not a water lilly either *).
f8r: Hedera (Ivy).
f11v: the 'Pineapple' mentioned at the Birmingham meeting f39r and f95r2 are the same plant (flowers) IMHO. I might even be (mis)led to believe these are crocusses (crocei?? whatever).
f96v and the botttom plant on f99r are obviously the same plant, and f17v seems similar too. Jim: I gather your wife has seen more drawing of Dracontea/Serpentaria than most people. Could this be what these drawings are? How about one of the leaves on f42r?

1996/12/6, posted by Dennis Stallings

f21v - Petersen says salvia. That's common here and it doesn't resemble this.

f22v - Looks like milkweed.

f34v - Looks like lotus flowers.

f40v - Looks like calendula, roots like radishes. Petersen says Jerusalem artichoke (helianthus tuberosus). That is a sunflower that grows here. We have pictures, and it doesn't look like that. The center is not raised, and the petals are not like the sunflower. The roots should look more knotted, less bulb-like.

f50r - Looks like lotus pod or protea.

f50v - Also protea.

f85/86 - Newbold's ovum. We say it's the Colosseum in Rome, with sewer pipes out the southeast side. ;-)

f89v1 - Left center drawing, root looks like mermaid, person.

f90v - Root looks like cat body, plant head!

f93r - Brumbaugh's "sunflower". Petersen also says coxcomb, and we think it looks more like coxcomb, Celasia argentea 'Cristata'.

f100r - 3rd row, 1st on left, leaf on soapberry tree. Brumbaugh's "pepper" could be a pepper; there are many varieties of pepper.

f100v - 1st row, 2nd from left, looks like human lung!

f102r - (Jim's p. 229) - Drawing on bottom right looks like elephant ear. The one next to the left looks like white radish.

f102r - (Jim's p. 233) - The drawing on 3rd row, 4th left, Petersen's #231, looks like parsnip, pod like okra.
posted by ぶらたん at 11:08| Comment(0) | 植物


1996/7/9, posted by Robert Firth

A fascinating short article in the April 1995issue of 'Discover' (a popular science magazine)tells how a group of researches into human DNAdecided to see whether the codon sequencesfollowed Zipf's Law.

Somewhat to their surprise, they did, even in theso-called "junk" DNA (the 95%+ of human DNA thatdoesn't seem to do anything).

Their conclusion: "we don't know what it says, butit's language". Sound familiar?

1996/7/9, posted by Gabriel Landini

I 've been to a talk by of the authors of that research group (S Havlin)presenting the data in Marseille in the Fractal 95 Conference and I was not very impressed.The problem is that DNA does not have "words" and so they invented the "word" as n-base subsequences.This of course does not have anything to do with Zipf's law but to the relative probability of the bases. Yes, the DNA is different in coding and non-coding parts but this has been known for ages, so this "new finding" is not that new. The same results can be achieved with the n-base entropy, and it has a much more solid basis than "Zipf's law".

Also, you can get Zipf's distributions with absolutely random sequences.So the "language" of the junk DNA is a very far fetched hypothesis. I am not saying that it is not right, only that the evidence for having a "language" is very weak. The junk DNA is there for some reason and there are more interesting hypotheses on why we have accumulated DNA which is of no use.

The reason for the Zipf's law in random sequences is a different one from the one in the texts (well, as far as I understood W. Li's paper).Zipf's laws in texts may be important when you know that you have a "real" text and want to compare "distances" between the Zipf's plots. (I think that a reference for that is a short paper in Physical Review Letters E, by S. Havlin. If anyone is interested I can look for the reference).
posted by ぶらたん at 10:00| Comment(0) | その他