The Voynich Manuscript
Do you like mysteries? Do you like intricate word puzzles? Cryptography? Historical quandaries? Medieval texts? The Voynich MS is all these things and more. This fifteenth century codex is considered by some scholars to be the most mysterious manuscript in the world. The codex has changed hands over the years and dropped from sight for decades only to reappear in the hands of various historical figures like the Holy roman Emperor Rudolf II, or in a secret book sale by the Society of Jesus. The book has defied translation and decipherment, though most scholars insist that it is based on a language of some sort. The illustrations are simple two or three color drawings that only add to the mystery. Numerous scholars and amateur cipher enthusiasts have suggested reasons for the existence of the manuscript (with theories ranging from apothecary guide, to alien technology from the future, to an end of time description translated from Hebrew, to a guide to Juan Ponce de León’s fountain of youth, and much more). For the first time this mysterious book is available in facsimile from Yale University Press. (The original resides in Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library). This is a great conversation piece and it is fun to page through the odd text and beautiful drawings and come up with theories as to the purpose of this most mysterious of books.