Tag Archives: alphabet

The Voynich manuscript: a very mysterious book

Voynich’s manuscript: I have always been fascinated by this enigma. Being an unconditional fan of the fantastic and the mysterious, it could not be otherwise. This manuscript is a secret all by itself, pages after pages, jealously guarding the smallest piece of truth. Lara Croft and Sydney Fox would gladly pull it off, trying to uncover its true story – Indiana Jones, seeming to have already done it…

How can a simple block of leaves, connected together, arouse so much wonder and mystery at the same time?

After all, it’s just a book! Yes, but precisely:

What is this book? Its goal ? When was it written? Who is the author ?

Even today, all these questions remain in suspense, lost between mysticism and more down-to-earth theories. However, despite these many assumptions, all doubts remain allowed. That is what fascinates so much.

The discovery of the manuscript

The manuscript bears the name of the man who discovered it in 1912, near Rome, in a Roman religious congregation: Wilfrid M. Voynich. Composed of 234 pages, this book is made of vellum (dead-calf skin, worked in parchment). It would seem, according to pagination, that the work is missing 13 folios. Presumably, the latter were already missing when Voynich acquired the manuscript. Written in a totally unknown language, the book contains many illustrations, mainly plants, unidentifiable.

A carbon-14 analysis showed that it was manufactured between 1404 and 1438. Apart from what we know from our technologies, the manuscript only appeared in history in 1665. In fact, a letter dated from this time, Jan Marek Marci (scientist and philosopher) indicates that the book was bought by Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire (Prince of the House of Austria – great royal family). According to a correspondence study, the oldest owner of this book was Georg Baresch, an alchemist living in Prague in the 17th century. According to the hypothesis advanced, the manuscript will be held by the Roman College between 1648 and 1912.

The only signs reflecting the antiquity of the Voynich manuscript – the text remains incomprehensible – can be found in the illustrations, more specifically in the dresses and headdresses of the characters, as well as in the two castles that appear. These elements are characteristic of the European style, between 1450 and 1520. Although these illustrations remain mysterious, they were classified by researchers into six sections:

  • Herbarium;
  • Astronomy;
  • Biology;
  • Cosmology;
  • Chemotherapy;
  • Recipes.

Even the American cryptologist William Friedman, known for having successfully deciphered the code used by the Japanese army during the Second World War, failed in his attempt to understand Voynich’s manuscript.

The main theories

The Voynich manuscript would be an encyclopedic work listing therapeutic plants, as well as substances of animal and mineral origin.

Some hypotheses suggest that it would be a medieval recipe to create the philosopher’s stone.

In 1970, a cryptographer of the US Navy said that the book had been written by several authors. This conclusion has recently been challenged by a writing expert.

Many authors have been attributed to this book, some of which have been discarded recently thanks to carbon-14 dating, others by the results of research – and for some, the mystery remains: Roger Bacon (author dismissed but long evoked John Dee, Edward Kelley, Anthony Ascham, Jacobus Sinapius, Jan Marci, Raphael Mnishovsky, Wilfrid Voynich (also dismissed by correspondence dated 1639).

An undecodable manuscript

The manuscript would be written in a European language, intentionally hidden by letter-coding.

Words would be encoded so that they can be found using a dictionary or an encryption table.

Much of the text would make no sense, hiding information in unnoticed details.

The language used would be invented from scratch.

The linguist Jacques Guy suggested that the manuscript used an exotic natural language, written with an invented alphabet. This theory would be the most coherent, and historically plausible.

The manuscript would come from Mexico and not from Europe, some plants appearing to resemble Mesoamerican species.

Many people think that this manuscript is purely an imposture. However, this hypothesis has been ruled out by all the studies carried out on the book.

The very fragile Voynich manuscript aroused so much curiosity in the world that the Beinecke Library where it was preserved (Yale University, United States) decided to cede – to a secret amount – the reproduction rights to a house Of Spanish edition, specializing in the publication of ancient manuscript facsimiles. Thus, 898 replicas will be produced, for a price of 7000 to 8000 euros each. For the manufacture of the first facsimile, the process will take no less than eighteen months.
Skeptics and more convinced must all admit a fact: the Voynich manuscript contains many mysteries. For to the questions “who?”, “when?”, “where?”, “why?”, no one can answer with absolute certainty.

And you, are you subjugated by the secrets that hide this old work? What are your theories?

Article written by Maud Wlek (Author of Nayra).

A great mystery: where does writing come from?

Writing: the mysterious invention that allowed evolution!

Imagine a world without writing… Impossible, you would say! And for good reason: we need it every day! Let us now see how it was born and all its benefits over humanity…

The article on the Fantastic you very much liked, I am delighted. It was a question of evoking the origins of a universe that carries the Nayra saga. Starting from this momentum of origins, I would like to talk with you today about those we particularly love, readers and authors: writing.


What is writing?

Let’s start with the basics: what is writing? It is a means of communication, representing language, through the inscription of signs on various media. Each culture has its own graphic, but respects the same structure: vocabulary, speech, semantics, grammar. A writing system is an organized, language-based method for storing and transmitting messages. These systems can be classified into three categories: semmasiographies (although specialists do not agree to consider them as scriptures), logographic writings and syllabic scriptures.

Where does the writing come from?

According to some, Prehistory ends with the birth of writing. Historically, writing was born 6000 years ago, in Mesopotamia and Egypt, and almost simultaneously, but nevertheless differentiated. However, the recent development of literacy studies leads to a reassessment of the dates of writing. The development of writing has undoubtedly been influenced by pragmatic requirements such as the codification of laws, the exchange of information, the recording of history, and the keeping of financial accounts. Thus, writing allowed the preservation of history.

The alphabet is a system of writing, composed of a set of symbols. “The oldest traces of the ancestor of all the present alphabets are located in the Sinai desert around the fifteenth century BC. J.-C “(Wikipedia source).


Some authors of fantasy and science fiction have invented an imaginary alphabet to develop their universes: the tengwar (The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien), the Enochian (John Dee) …

Some religious systems saw writing as a threat to oral transmission and the existing order. Moreover, according to an ancient Egyptian myth taken up by Platon in the Phaedrus, writing and language were invented by the god Thot, nicknamed the “lord of time”; Considered as the one who holds knowledge and transmits it, as the incarnation of intelligence and speech, charged with transmitting his unlimited knowledge, he would have invented writing to do this! Writing would thus aim to restore order, notably by forming legal systems, to preserve history and to spread knowledge.


The impact of writing

Writing has had a strong cultural and social impact. These effects will be multiplied with the mechanization of writing by printing. It is only necessary to note all the works which are sold by millions in the world and which have a considerable influence on our culture and our way of thinking about life and the world.

The Bible, for example, has passed over 2500 million copies throughout history; The Little Red Book has sold more than 900 million copies and the Koran has more than 800 million copies! These three books have been the most sold in the world for centuries and have never been dethroned until now! These writings have a direct impact on our way of life, our way of thinking and acting.

According to linguists, out of about 3,000 languages listed in the world, hardly a hundred are written.


In conclusion, I find it exciting to say that despite the technologies we have, we are at the moment not sure about the appearance of writing. Each new discovery can challenge the history that we took for granted. Still today, writing remains a great mystery because no one really knows how it appeared … only certainty: without it, we would have a hard time explaining the universe, life and the world, to communicate , To immortalize our memories, to entertain us, to express our emotions, our feelings, to develop our imagination and to leave traces to help the future generations, because writing is what makes us human beings at the forefront of evolution.

“Writing is the painting of the voice,” Voltaire.

Article written by Maud Wlek, author of Nayra.