New Theories About a Mysterious Manuscript

As I wrote here, I believe the Voynich Manuscript is an authentic, encrypted esoteric text.

Much of the art–including flora and fauna–is fanciful, but some botanists believe some of the plants may resemble examples of New World vegetation depicted in other old manuscripts.

Dr. Arthur Tucker from Delaware University … discovered similarities between specific plants in the manuscript and illustrations of plants he had spotted in his collection of 16th century Mexican records.

For example, Dr. Tucker and fellow researcher Rexford Talbert said one plant in the book bears a resemblance to the picture of a soap plant (xiuhamolli) seen in a Mexican codex from 1552.

While another example includes the illustration of the Ipomoea murucoides, taken from the Mexican Codex Cruz-Badianus, which has an identical style to the Ipomoea arborescens in the manuscript.

In total, the researchers linked 37 of the 303 plants in the manuscript to illustrations in ancient Mexican books covering botany across Texas, California and Nicaragua.

If the text is written in the language of Nahuatl, the botanists claim they can find the name of the plants in the manuscript and may be able to use these to form a basic code from which to crack the rest of the text.

For example, a Voynich illustration of a cactus pad or fruit is shown near the name ‘nashtli’, which Tucker and Talbert claim is a variant of the word ‘nochtil’ – the Nahuatl name for the fruit of the prickly pear.

Nahuatl originated in Central Mexico during the 7th century. It was the spoken predominantly by the Aztecs.

Following the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century, the alphabet was replaced with Latin.

I have my doubts that this will yield a solution, but it’s a fascinating line of inquiry.

About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.


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