Code dictionaries...?

From: Nick Pelling
•Date: Wed, 09 Oct 2002 13:04:19 +0100

From my research, I believe that the VMS was written in Northern Italy (influenced by both Milanese and Florentine cultures) around 1460, and *without* the aid of complex cryptography.

Given this, here's my current hypothesis about the structure of its code/cipher. I predict:
(1) It's essentially a "dressed up" Florentine number code
(2) The numbers are expressed in Roman numerals
(3) Those numerals are hidden using a mixture of steganography and stenography
(4) Gallows characters are based loosely on the idea of the Cistercian number cipher
(5) Non-dictionary words are typically anagrammed
(6) words express simple quantities
(7) Any extra letters required are simply thrown into the mix, perhaps in a verbose way

It may well be that the dictionary itself is simply encoded (perhaps in some anagrammatic or every-other-letter form) in the final section at the back. This would seem to be the simplest explanation.

Plainly, number codes can't be decoded using cipher cryptology: nor can they be decoded if you can't even read the numbers. :-) I believe that this is the reason why this hasn't been cracked.

However: while the idea of a "dressed up" number code has often been proposed on-list, are there any Italian number code dictionaries from about 1400-1500 still in existence that we could compare it against?

I'd be interested to see if they share any structural elements... for example, common words having low index values (for quick writing, similar to Morse code), etc. Or if there was a perceived upper limit to the size of those dictionaries - 50 words? 100 words? 200 words?
posted by ぶらたん at 15:46| Comment(0) | 暗号


Michiton oladabas

From: Jorge Stolfi
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 14:27:00 -0300 (EST)

Indeed I doubt it myself... For one thing, there are those drawings on
the upper left corner, with "standard VMS" style and subject.

Also the Voynichese glyphs in look just like those
in the main text, written with same hand and same confidence.
On the other hand the Roman letters look rather clumsy.

Rene, I believe it was you who reported that the ink of f116v looks
similar to that of the main body. This detail may be significant
because there are hints that the VMS ink is not the standard
iron-gall formula.

It is also hard to imagine why the two words , and only
those, were left "undecoded" among the rest. If the decipherer was
trying out an incomplete correspondence table, we should see a more
uniform mixture of Roman and Voynichese letters, shouldn't we?

Finally, the large "M" at the end of line 2 looks similar to the "M"s
in the zodiacal diagrams ("May" and "March"), and there is a general
resemblance between other letters too. So it seems quite possible that
they were done by the same person. Now the spellings of the month
names are quite peculiar, and almost surely they were added before the
VMS got to Rome.

Thus I would rather believe that both the month names and f116v were
written by the same person, who could read and write Voynichese
fluently, but had very limited command of Roman script and of the
(apparently European) language in which he had to write those notes.
posted by ぶらたん at 17:18| Comment(0) | 暗号


Number encoding as central to the code...?

From: "GC"
•Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 23:49:21 -0500

Nick wrote:
> ATM, one of the things I'm trying to determine is: what
> would the simplest
> possible solution to the Voynich look like? (As Occam's
> Razor would point
> to that being the most likely.)
> Currently, my best candidate is: a number code (where
> the numbers are
> steganographically hidden) plus a stripped-down
> supporting alphabet. That's
> where I'm working my way up from. :-)
> Justification: if (like me) you suspect that both EVA
> and EVA
> code for Roman "III", why on earth would such a tiny
> core cipherbet include
> *two* different ways of coding numbers... unless one
> was for a number code
> and the other for actual numbers?
> Comments?

Nick, I would like to make comment on the two different ways of
encoding, without drawing any conclusions as to the underlying
meaning ;-)

A very abbreviated version of my theory of glyph construction is
posted, and as I re-transcribe the manuscript I'm building the
detailed version with imaged examples of my theory. Since my
theory involves groups of four glyphs, this (fortunately or
unfortunately, depending on your pet theory) falls right in with
the theory of numeric construction. A roman numeral 4 could be
written with IV or IIII, depending on your taste and the time
period, but every time you hit a multiple of 5, another numeral is
used besides 'I'.

(In this and future posts, I'll be using the convention of 'x' for
any other designated transcription than EVA, and Gabriel's
notation for EVA.) In the VMS, it is my opinion that the majority
of the character sets are built around two strokes, the 'c' stroke
and the EVA stroke. In the 'c' set, we have c, cc, ccc, and
cccc. In the set we have , , , and . One
other convention is in force, and that is the "tail" at the end of
words. The is in my estimation an 'm' with a tail at the
end of a word, as I would write it in English, and in the middle
of a word I would not add a tail to this glyph. This makes the
equivalent to an in the middle of a word. This glyph
as four distinct "tails".

The 'c', 'cc', 'ccc', and 'cccc' glyphs also have tails at ends of
words many times, and I have identified three tails in my current
transcription. I'm positive that by the time I reach 25% of the
manuscript, I'll encounter a page that relies heavily on a fourth
tail for this glyph as well. Meanwhile, the glyph has four
distinct forms, and interestingly enough, the few times this
glyph-set stands as a lone character, it most often has a "tail"
in the form of the end turned into an 'o' or a '9'. The same
applies to the "gallows/" combinations.

It occurs to me that these four units can form the basis of
several types of symbolic numbering systems, since their true
meaning is reliant on the less conspicuous "multiple of 5"
character. There is even the possibility that the two forms of
"notation" refer to numbers taken from two different pages of a
book, homophonic substitution incorporating more than one document
or page. The possibilities in this arena are endless.

We two are storing our pizza money in different jars, obviously,
but I do see the attraction of your approach. I'm putting my
pepperoni money in the "position sensitive homophonic
substitution" jar, but we're obviously seeing the same patterns
from different angles and calculating the same numbers. KUDO's!
posted by ぶらたん at 13:04| Comment(0) | 暗号

VMS numbering systems hypotheses

Subject: VMs: Re: VMS numbering systems hypotheses...
•From: "Philip Neal"

The table of numerals from 1 to 100 is a plausible suggestion. The
ordering across the table is intuitive: the downwards ordering less
so (the arguments for identifying one row as 20, another as 80 are
not tremendously strong). Why should 30 and 40 be the very rare
combinations pe- and fe- while 50 is the very common She- ?

The table explains many of the frequent combinations which make
the Voynich words so repetitious, but not all of them. The transcription
of 78r simply ignores 'ol' and 'dy' and this is not satisfactory.

I am not attracted by the idea of dain, daiin etc as ounces - these
words are extremely common and I defy you to produce a text in which
'ounce' or 'oz' has a similar frequency, however broad the meaning of
the word used to be.

You suggest that 'qo' might mark out numerals used in a code book, and
this would explain why the combination is so rare in the star labels
and the marginalia. Presumably, then, the other numerals are supposed
to be used like letters in a homophonic substitution or similar scheme.
These are the lines I am working on myself. I have found that there is
no shortage of ways of converting Voynich text into numerals, but that
any given scheme turns out to be impossible to convert into a plausible
language (you always find yourself with seven consecutive consonants or
a common word like 'and' repeated three times). It is at this stage of
testing a hypothesis that the lack of long repeated sequences and the
internal structure of the line become important problems.

All in all, this strikes me as good work. It is not the solution but it
is the kind of thing I would expect a solution to look like, and it may
be an important halfway stage. I will certainly give some further study
to it.
posted by ぶらたん at 10:38| Comment(0) | 暗号




1991/12/30, posted by Jim Reeds
1. Encipher a paragraph or so of any language normally written in Roman letters, with a simple substitution where vowels stand for vowels and consonants stand for consonants. The resulting cipher text looks vaguely
like plain text in an unknown (but pronounceable) language.

For example, using the following mapping



exstant et ad ciceronem, item ad familiares domesticis de rebus, in quibus, si qua occultius perterenda erant, per notas scripsit, id est sic structo litterarum ordine, ut nullam verbum effici posset; quae si qui investigare et persequi velit, quartem elementorum litteram, id est d pro a et perinde reliquas commutet.

there are also letters of his to cicero, as well as to his intimates on private affairs, and in the latter, if he had anything confidential to say, he wrote it in cipher, that is, by so changing the order of the letters of the alphabet, that not a word could be made out. if anyone wishes to decipher these, and get at their meaning, he must substitute the fourth letter of the alphabet, namely d, for a, and so with the others.


iqlmugm im uw vovikegif, omif uw xufodoukil wefilmovol wi kital, og jaotal, lo jau evvadmoal hikmikigwu ikugm, hik gemul lvkohlom, ow ilm lov lmkavme dommikukaf ekwogi, am gadduf niktaf ixxovo hellim; jaui lo jao ognilmoyuki im hiklijao nidom, jaukmif idifigmekaf dommikuf, ow ilm w hke u im hikogwi kidojaul veffamim.

mziki uki udle dimmikl ex zol me vovike, ul pidd ul me zol ogmofumil eg hkonumi uxxuokl, ugw og mzi dummik, ox zi zuw ugrmzogy vegxowigmoud me lur, zi pkemi om og vohzik, mzum ol, tr le vzugyogy mzi ekwik ex mzi dimmikl ex mzi udhzutim, mzum gem u pekw veadw ti fuwi eam. ox ugregi polzil me wivohzik mzili, ugw yim um mziok fiugogy, zi falm latlmomami mzi xeakmz dimmik ex mzi udhzutim, gufidr w, xek u, ugw le pomz mzi emzikl.
posted by ぶらたん at 16:13| Comment(0) | 暗号