Thursday, March 1, 2012

Voynich Manuscript

Alchemy gets a bad rap today, but when it first came about it wasn't much different from modern day chemistry.

The goal of alchemy was to achieve the perfect and to do this the alchemist searched for ways to better the mind, body, and spirit.

Alchemists often wrote in code to elude prying eyes.

The Voynich Manuscript located at Yale University Library was (and this is straight from the website here) written in Central Europe at the end of the 15th century or during the 16th ce. The manuscript is written in code and still has not been deciphered.

The Voynich Manuscript is described as a magical or scientific text, nearly every page containing botanical, figurative, and scientific drawings. Rendered in ink with vibrant washes in various shades of green, brown, yellow, blue, and red.

The subject matter of the book falls into six categories:
1. Botanicals containing drawings of 113 unidentified okant species.
2. Astronomical and Astrological drawings including astral charts and Zodiac symbols.
3. Biological section containing a myriad of drawings of miniature female nudes, most with swelled abdomens.
4. Nine cosmological medallions.
5. Pharmaceutical Drawings of over 100 different species of medicinal herbs.
6. Continuous pages of text, possibly recipes, with star-like flowers marking each entry in the margins.

Enjoy the following images from the manuscript. All images courtesy of Yale University Library.

- Grace

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