1/14/2006

Voynich manuscript: Information From Answers.com

Voynich manuscript
The Voynich manuscript is written in an unknown script.
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The Voynich manuscript is written in an unknown script.

The Voynich manuscript is a mysterious illustrated book of unknown contents, written some 600 years ago by an anonymous author in an unidentified alphabet and unintelligible language.

Over its recorded existence, the Voynich manuscript has been the object of intense study by many professional and amateur cryptographers — including some top American and British codebreakers of World War II fame — who all failed to decipher a single word. This string of failures has turned the Voynich manuscript into the Holy Grail of historical cryptology, but it has also given weight to the theory that the book is simply an elaborate hoax — a meaningless sequence of arbitrary symbols.

The book is named after the Polish-American book dealer Wilfrid M. Voynich, who acquired it in 1912. His wife, Ethel Lilian Voynich (1864-1960), is famous for the novel The Gadfly. As of 2005, the Voynich manuscript is item MS 408 in the Beinecke Rare Book Library of Yale University. The whole manuscript was published for the first time by a French editor, Jean-Claude Gawsewitch, in the 2005 book Le Code Voynich.

Voynich manuscript: Information From Answers.com

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