The Voynich Manuscript as a MesoAmerican Herbal Jules
The Voynich Manuscript as a MesoAmerican Herbal Jules Janick and Arthur O. Tucker Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA Emeritus Professor and Co-Director Claude E. Phillips Herbarium, Delaware State University, Dover, Delaware, USA
The Manuscript Most famous and bizarre manuscript in the world Undecipherable alphabet and language Herbal: 129 folios (130 Plants) Ipomoea
Recipes? Poems? (24 folios) Provenance 16071622. Signature of Jakub de Tepenec (d. 1622), Chemist for Rudolf II 1639. Owned by George Baresch, alchemist, (letter to Jesuit Athanasius Kircher)
1665. Jans Marek Marci, Rector of Prague University claims that Rudolf II purchased ms for 600 ducats 1912. Wilfrid Voynich (18651930) purchases ms from Villa Mondragone, a Jesuit college 1961. Sold to Hans Kraus 1960. Acquired by Yale University. 2011. Vellum carbon dated to early 15th
century, but probably a palimpsest Cryptographic analyses unsuccessful Linguistic analysis suggests real language not a hoax Languages suggested include Arabic, Chinese, classical Nahuatl, gibberish, Hebrew Italian, Medieval Latin, Old Dutch, Old English, Old
Spanish, polyglot Sanskirt, PreWelsh or Scottish Many books, films, works of fiction, musical chamber work World wide web presence Evidence that Voynich is MesoAmerican All plants are MesoAmerican; no Old World plants identified
All animals either indigenous or Spanish introductions Boleite (mineral) identified, quality & quantity unique to MesoAmerica Language symbols similar to those of New Spain Codices Mexican cities identified Aztec symbolism (ritual bathing, cosmology)
Folio 1v of Voynich Codex vs. folio 9r of the Codex CruzBadianus: Ipomoea arborescens vs. I. murucoides Folio 9v of the Voynich Codex: Viola bicolor, not V. tricolor Folio 23v of the Voynich Codex: Passiflora subgenus Decaloba (P. morifolia?)
Folio 93r of the Voynich Codex: Helianthus annuus #757b chimalacatl from the Florentine Codex of Fray Bernardino de Sahagn, 15451590 Decipherment of Ancient Languages Based on proper names coupled with surviving related
languages Thomas Young (17731829) and Jean-Francois Champollian (17901832) decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics based on names of pharaohs coupled with study of Coptic (Rosetta Stone) Eugene Burnouf (1836) deciphers Sumerian cuneiform alphabet by names of kings and links to ancient Persian Michel Ventris (19221956) and John Chadwick (19201998) deciphers Linear B with identification of Crete cities with links
to ancient Greek Heinrich Berlin (19151988) deciphered Mayan logograms with identification of cities and dynasties coupled with Mayan dialects Arthur Tucker (2013) deciphers Voynich alphabet based on plant pictures and names in Nahuatl Folio 100r #8 of Voynich Codex: Opuntia sp.,
cf. O. ficus-indica nshtli nochtli (Nahuatl)=fruit or plant of the prickly pear cactus Folio 100r #4 of Voynich Codex: Agave sp., cf. A. atrovirens (or A. tequilana)
mguoey maguey (Spanish from mid-16th century Taino) Alphabet Decipherment Nochtli, prickly pear cactus
Dermophis Mexican tree frog Alligator gar Retinta bull
Desert big horn ewe Desert big horn ram Andalusian Red cow Mexican dwarf crayfish Ocelot Jaguarundi
Alligator gar Jellyfish Earless lizard Armadillo
Iguana Crested caracara Paca Coatimundi?
Desert big horn sheep Mineral Folio 102r #20 of Voynich Codex: boleite (220 mm on side, KPb26Ag9Cu24Cl62(OH)48)
tlan atlan (Nahuatl)=in or under water (probably referring to the blue color) from Boleos Mine, Baja California Sur, Mxico Kabbala Tecamachalco
Tlaxcala Vera Cruz Puebla de Los Angeles
Huejozingo Map Toribio of Benavente Motolina (14821568) College of Santa Cruz
Folio 86v Sphere #2=Huejotzingo Popocatpetl smoking mountain ridge Folio 86v Sphere 2 of the Voynich Ms.: Monastery of
San Miguel Megun ca. 1543, Huejotzingo [where willows grow], Puebla, Mxico huoxetlocpi huoxeatl (Nahuatl)= willow + capi= Spanish for Latin American capital city Popocatpetl
Folio 86v Sphere #4=Tlaxcala La Malinche Folio 86v Sphere #6=Tecamachalco/Tepeaca Asuncion De Nuestra Senora
with illustrations of the Apocalypse of John on amatl paper by native ladino mestizo painter Juan Gerson, 1562 Pico de orizaba (citlaltepetl) Folio 86v Sphere #8=Vera Cruz/ Zempoala light house/convento
Temple of The Chimneys at Zempoala place of the 20 waters Laguna Catemaco tlmchonon (water seller, putative
nickname of Vera Cruz) Folio 86v Sphere A=Angelopolis Puebla de Los Angeles, Celestial City of Jerusalem founded by Motolinia 1530 6 qubba around central complex in Sphere A
Crusader map of Jerusalem (12th century) 5 qubba inside, 7 outside Balneological Ancient Netzahualcoyotl baths in Chapultepec Park, Mexico City
Baths at Texcotzingo, ancient palace of Netzahualcoyotl near Texcoco Cosmology Symbols Folio 68r-3
Florentine Codex Florentine Codex Badianus Codex Conclusions The Voynich Codex is predominantly
a New Word Herbal Date is probably between 1530 and 1570; best guess ca. 1565 Author/Artist was a trilingual ladino mestizo trained in the Colegio de Santa Cruz in Tlatelolco, a College established by Franciscan friars for sons of Aztec nobility Text probably an extinct dialect of Nahuatl
Complete translation will make this one of the most valuable historical New World manuscripts since it is by a native and not filtered by the Spanish
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