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The Voynich Manuscript: Coded Secret or Nonsensical Hoax?

There are few documents in the world that are surrounded by as much mystery as the Voynich manuscript (see the documentary above). Named after the Polish-American antiquarian Wilfrid Voynich – who owned it from 1912 until his death in 1930 – the true origins of the manuscript remain hidden: both its author, and the language it is written in, are unknown. In recent years, there has been a growing suspicion that the manuscript was created as a hoax, or perhaps a fraud used by a con-man, and is created out of a nonsense arrangement of glyphs with no meaning. However, a recent analysis suggest that there is some order in the chaos, and therefore that the Voynich Manuscript may just hold meaning after all:

The Voynich manuscript has remained so far as a mystery for linguists and cryptologists. While the text written on medieval parchment -using an unknown script system- shows basic statistical patterns that bear resemblance to those from real languages, there are features that suggested to some researches that the manuscript was a forgery intended as a hoax. Here we analyse the long-range structure of the manuscript using methods from information theory. We show that the Voynich manuscript presents a complex organization in the distribution of words that is compatible with those found in real language sequences. We are also able to extract some of the most significant semantic word-networks in the text. These results together with some previously known statistical features of the Voynich manuscript, give support to the presence of a genuine message inside the book.

Source:Keywords and Co-Occurrence Patterns in the Voynich Manuscript: An Information-Theoretic Analysis

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