Cracking The Cod(ex)

The Voynich Manuscript has been called the world’s most mysterious medieval manuscript. It is an illustrated codex made of vellum, carbon-dated to the early 15th century. The manuscript is written in an unknown script and almost every page has a colorful drawing or diagram. Countless cryptographers, linguists, botanists, astronomers and historians have studied its text for years. Some are convinced the entire manuscript is a hoax, its text meaningless. There is no universally accepted explanation of its provenance and no one has come up with a full cipher for the text.

The Codex Seraphinianus is an encyclopedia for an imaginary world, written in an imaginary language by an Italian graphic artist named Luigi Serafini. The work seems to be influenced by Hieronymus Bosch and the Voynich manuscript. The Codex Seraphinianus was written between 1976 and 1978. The codex was studied by linguists, until Serafini informed them that there was nothing linguistic about the writing.

Codex Gigas, also known as the Devil’s Bible, dates back to the early 13th century. This codex is the largest medieval manuscript in the world. It is renowned for its full-page depiction of the devil, as well as for the overall size. The Codex is three feet tall, three feet wide and weighs 165 pounds. The Codex Gigas consists of many different parts, including (among other things): the New Testament, the Old Testament, a calendar, a text on exorcism, and the standard textbook for teaching medicine. According to legend, the codex was written by a monk during a single night’s work … with the devil’s help.

There are many ancient writing systems that haven’t been deciphered including: Linear A, Cretan hieroglyphics, the Wadi el-Hol script, Olmec writing, the Singapore stone, and Rongorongo.

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