The Voynich Manuscript
15th century. According to the well-known carbon-14 test to which its parchments were subjected, it can be dated between 1404 and 1438.
Author unknown. Yale University (USA). Beinecke Library (MS 408).
The impossible book. The book that no one has been able to read. The most enigmatic codex of all time. Probably of Italian origin.
A completely unknown Language. A humanist cursive script.
Its mysterious text is illustrated by multiple scenes of naked women, unknown or non-existent plants that botanists have not been able to catalogue and constellations that astronomers have not been able to identify.
An unabridged facsimile edition that perfectly recreates the state of the Yale University original. 162 x 235 mm and 252 pages, which, surprisingly for a work on vellum, includes several fold-out folios.
The binding is in fine handmade parchment, an exact replica of the original, and a preservation slipcase with the distinctive touch of its special cloth covering, inmutuba cloth, which is not only the oldest cloth in the world, but also one of the most coveted and sought-after in the world.
2018 National Prize. Best books published in 2017. Ministry of Culture. Modality: facsimile books.
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The Voynich: detailed information
Written in a strange language and completely unknown to everyone, the Voynich is the only medieval manuscript left to be deciphered on the planet. It appears that the Voynich Manuscript consists of:
- A herbalist of plants that to date have not been identified
- A treatise on astronomy
- Another cosmology
- A biology section
- And a section of pharmacy and alchemical-esoteric recipes
What meaning does this codex really contain, if any? What language, writing system or cryptographic code is it written in? What reasons led its mysterious author to write a treatise apparently destined not to be read by anyone? These and many others are the questions that surround this impenetrable and captivating book.
The Voynich Manuscript could be the recipe for a contraceptive potion or a secret alchemical formula for obtaining gold, or perhaps it was an elven will, and there are even those who postulate that we would be looking at the diary of an extraterrestrial.
The name of the treatise comes from its last discoverer: Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish antiquarian bookseller, who acquired it in 1912. Since the Renaissance and until then, its trace had been lost.
This rare book is written in unknown script, apparently encrypted, to date it has not been able to be decoded even by the military cryptographers who discovered the German and Japanese codes of World War II. Such a succession of failures has only further enlarged the legend of the Voynich.
The mysterious text has illustrations of multiple scenes of naked women, apparently pregnant, bathing in a type of cisterns in what could well be an initiation rite. There are also many unknown or non-existent plants, and constellations that astronomers cannot identify. The topic is so exciting and inexhaustible and the efforts to clarify this stubborn hieroglyph are so vast and considerable that they have given rise to a new science: voynichology.
The Voynich manuscript has been successively attributed to several historical figures, each more famous and well-known: from the great Franciscan philosopher, scientist and theologian Roger Bacon, who lived between 1214 and 1294, to the excellent mathematician, as well as astronomer, astrologer and consultant of the Queen of England Elizabeth I, John Dee (1527-1609), or Edward Talbot, alias Kelley (1555-1597), English alchemist and occultist, Dee’s assistant, or Simon Bakalar of Prague – whose real name was Simon Hajeck – father of Doctor Hajeck, physician to the emperor. And even, of course, Leonardo Da Vinci himself.
In the 21st century and although the efforts to solve it are still much more numerous, the majestic challenge still stands. For this reason, it continues to be affirmed that we are faced with the most cryptic and unfathomable text in human history, or the greatest
literary challenge and enigma of all time.
At Editorial Siloé we have made this facsimile edition with the objective, among others, of disseminating its knowledge a little more and inciting, as far as possible, to lift the veil and assault the apparently impregnable fortress of its masked text.
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