Voynich Manuscript

Voynich

The Voynich manuscript is a handwritten book thought to have been written between 1404 and 1438, composed of 240 vellum (mammal skin) pages, most with illustrations. Despite centuries of research, the author, script, and language remain unknown. Some think the manuscript is an elaborate hoax, others believe it was meant to serve as a pharmacopoeia or to address topics in medieval or early modern medicine.

Generally presumed to be some kind of ciphertext (an encrypted document), the Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II. Yet it has defied all decipherment attempts, becoming a historical cryptology cause célèbre. The book is named after the Polish-Lithuanian-American book dealer Wilfrid M. Voynich, who acquired it in 1912. Currently the Voynich manuscript is owned by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University.

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