Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Mysterious Manuscript

A fifteenth century book written in a code that has yet to be broken. Although Dan Brown's books are foolishness, people in the past often hid messages in complicated codes and ciphers. Marie-Antoinette wrote in cipher a great deal. To quote:
The Voynich Manuscript, an enigmatic book that has frustrated codebreakers and linguists for a century, contains a genuine message, according to a new computer analysis. The study analyzed the unintelligible scripts that fill the about 250-page-long manuscript and extracted clusters of “keywords” which could serve as a good starting point in cryptographic attempts.

Described as “the world’s most mysterious manuscript,” the book takes its name from the rare-book dealer Wilfrid Voynich, who discovered it in 1912 in the Villa Mondragone near Rome. He claimed the book had belonged to the 16th-century Habsburg emperor Rudolf II.

Radio carbon dating established the manuscript was penned on 15th-century parchment pages.
The book’s estimated 250,000 characters are totally alien and make “The Da Vinci Code” pale by comparison: arranged in groups like words and sentences, some resemble Latin letters and Roman numerals; others are unlike any known language. (Read entire article.)

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