Things To Think About - Wisdom From Homer

The Mystery of the Unreadable Book - Secrets About the Voynich Manuscript

Dear Henry,

I have just heard of the most mysterious book ever made, and now, I want to read it.

The trouble is, I can't. No one can.

The book is an illuminated codex called the Voynich Manuscript, which has been a mystery throughout the ages.

Carbon dating places the creation of the document somewhere between 1404-1438, but that is all anyone knows about its early life.

Although it was rumored that Emperor Rudolph II and then Jacobus Horcicky de Tepenez, the royal gardener, owned the book. The first documented owner didn't appear until 1639 when the alchemist Georg Baresch sent script samples to Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher hoping for a translation.

After Baresch's death, the book made its way to his friend Jan Marek Marci and finally to Kircher. After that, the book disappeared into the Jesuit archives until 1912, when the book was sold, along with many others, to raise funds for the order.

The book was purchased by Wilfred Voynich, a rare book dealer, in 1912, and that is how the book came upon its name.

Now the book lives at Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and, despite all internet claims to the contrary, is still unreadable.

It is also unknown whether this is a strange language, a cipher, or a vast hoax. Scholars are still regularly examining it, and many theories are being discussed, even a half-century later.

If you want to look it over, Amazon has copies. I think it would make a great conversational piece.

The original book is currently housed at the Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale University. I would really love to see it.

xoxo a.d.