Voynich manuscript. This book is encrypted for several hundred years, is one of the unsolved mysteries of the past, over which fought the greatest minds of mankind …
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In 1912, the Jesuits decided to open a seminary in Mondragon old villa, located in the Italian town of Frascati. For the restoration required a lot of money, and representatives of the Order secretly put up for sale a part of ancient books lying in the Jesuit repositories, including at the villa itself Mondragon. Potential buyers are selected carefully and long and, in addition, books were sold on the condition that no one will know exactly where they were purchased.
One of the favorites was the famous American art dealer Wilfrid Voynich, the husband of the famous Ethel Lilian Voynich, author of the novel "The Gadfly". Italian Jesuits would be surprised if they knew that part of the biography of Wilfrid Voynich, which he carefully concealed. In fact, his name was Michael Voynich, and he was born in 1865 in the Russian Empire. After high school he studied at Moscow University Chemistry Department and later became a terrorist operatives, joining the movement "People's Will". He was involved in so many unpleasant and bloody operations, for which he was arrested and exiled to Siberia, but managed to escape and in 1890 was in London. Here he waited for Ethel Lilian Boole, daughter of a famous mathematician George Boole. We met young people in Russia, where Ethel worked as a governess, and had close ties with the Russian revolutionaries.
Ethel and Michael, changed his name to Wilfrid married and later emigrated to the United States, where a former militant turned in a respectable antique dealer and bookseller, and where no one knew of his bloody past …
A mysterious letter
And fate brought him to Italy, to the Jesuit store where purchased 30 CH old books, each of which was a rarity. Among other things, bought the Voynich manuscript is very strange, very interesting in it. It was a manuscript of 246 pages, size 17 by 24 cm, decorated with unusual designs. But the most striking thing was that the book was written in an unknown language! And read it until now no one has …
Experienced look Voynich dated book supposedly XIII century. But direct evidence was not available. The manuscript was a cover letter addressed to the Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher. The author of the letter was Jan Marcus Marci, who was rector of the University of Prague in the middle of the XVII century. In the letter he told me about the history of the manuscript. It was once bought in Prague by Emperor Rudolf II of the unknown merchant for 600 ducats — a huge sum in those days. Rudolph thought it was written by the famous scientist Roger Bacon.
The Emperor then gave the manuscript to his pharmacist and attorney Jacobus de Tepenetsu what left the inscription on the book. Voynich later found out that this happened in 1608.
After the death of de Tepenetsa manuscript came to Marci, who in 1666 sent it to Kircher, remarking that he was the only person who can read it.
It is not known whether read this manuscript a Jesuit scholar, but kept it together with the rest of Kircher's correspondence in a villa in Frascati Mondragon, which the Jesuits acquired in 1866.
Voynich was not able to decipher the manuscript and requested the assistance of the most outstanding scientists of the time, however, agreed with the Jesuits, hiding the true history of the book and how it came into his hands. But no one could read a mysterious book, although a few times it seemed that unraveled the mystery of the manuscript.
In 1919, for deciphering the manuscript took Professor William Newbold, a leading cryptographer of the United States. Two years later he published his version of the transcripts. He suggested that the line on the last page — this is the key to the text. Based on that line, he came up with the code and wrote a "translation" of the book. According to Newbold, the manuscript was written by Roger Bacon in the XIII century and tells about the structure of the internal organs, cells, sperm cells, and the eclipse of the Sun and the Andromeda galaxy — knowledge, unknown in the XIII century.
However, Newbold admitted that every time the explanation he obtained new results. After his death the British cryptographer John Manley published an article in which he proved that Newbold took for signs of strokes that appeared on the manuscript of his age.
Transcript be voided, but nevertheless still it is the only thoroughly-designed version. All other scientists have not been able to put forward anything resembling, though used a variety of methods.
In 1930, the Voynich died, and the manuscript had inherited his wife. It has taken a number of attempts to decipher the manuscript, especially as cryptography that time has progressed, but they all ended without result, however, is still expanding with the knowledge of the manuscript.
For example, in 1944 the botanist Hugh O'Neill saw on the pages of the manuscript American sunflowers and red peppers — which proved that the manuscript still could not have been written before Columbus' voyage. However, in the Voynich manuscript red pepper is depicted in green, and sunflower has a strange shape.
Shortly before the death of the writer hung with the manuscript of his girlfriend, leaving her a letter, which was opened only after the death of Voynich. In it she described a detailed history of the manuscript.
In 1961, the manuscript purchased for 25 thousand dollars antique dealer from New York, Hans Kraus. A few years later he gave it to Yale University, where it is stored, and now — in the library of rare books M5 at number 408.
Many modern researchers are trying to decipher the mysterious Voynich manuscript, but without any results — despite the presence of super computers and sophisticated software for encryption.
The only thing that with the help of modern technology was able to prove that the manuscript is not exactly a fake and a set of meaningless signs, as claimed by many researchers …