The Voynich Manuscript is the most mysterious manuscript in the world. Its cryptic content has been studied for centuries but neither scientists, historians, palaeontologists and calligraphers have ever accomplished any result.
On the 14 October 2019, in occasion of the donation of the Manuscript’s copy by Yale University to Villa Mondragone, the Rector Magnificent of the University of Roma Tor Vergata has organised a Lectio taught by Alain Touwaide, historian of medicine and sciences and currently professor at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles).240 pages of mystery, bound in kid leather, written in an unknown alphabet and ornamented with illustrations of plants, astronomy, female and esoteric icons.
But even though a kaleidoscope of twenty-five studies has been conducted over this manuscript, and a lot of scientists thought to be close to the solution, no one really understood what is written inside it or even who wrote it.
Until recently, even the periodization of the book was considered a great mystery. Some currents of thoughts believed that it was written by the Easter Island population, a Coven of three Italian witches, or even the Martians.
But a great success has been accomplished. In fact, thanks to the analysis done by using Carbon 14, scientists dated it in the period between 1408 and 1436.
Firstly, it is important to know the origin of its name. Indeed, it has been so called after the name of the polish antiquarian, revolutionary and bibliophile Wilfrid Voynich, who bought the Manuscript at the Jesuit Villa Mondragone (Monte Porzio Catone) in 1912.
Alain Touwaide, starting from this date, continued his inverted periodization.
Inside the Manuscript, in fact, Voynich found a letter of the 16th century written by the Rector of the University of Prague, Jan Marek Marci, to the Jesuit Athanasius Kircher to help him in deciphering it.
Afterwards, it has been discovered that it is supposed to be a Herbarium book bought from Rudolf II of Habsburg, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire from 1576 to 1612.
Some currents of thought believe that the manuscript was a fake book created by the English alchemist John Dee to defraud the Emperor, who bought it believing it was a work of the philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon.
Even the idea that the same Sir Voynich did it, it is still an option to consider; and so, another mystery starts. The book, in fact, seems to be written and painted by two or three different hands, because of the substantial difference between the perfect calligraphy and the very imprecise drawings.
There is also the belief that the same Voynich’s wife, has been a helper in creating it, and just like the famous writer Virginia Woolf cited: “behind every great man there is a great woman”.
But why the theory of the manuscript of Voynich being a fraud is still very high?
As Professor A. Touwaide showed us during the Lectio, the precision in the writing and, at the same time, the imprecise drawings seem just to be the result of a great deal of effort in making the manuscript a credible work.
Regardless of what the manuscript of Voynich is, as the Professor of modern history Marina Formica of the University of Rome Tor Vergata said, it will always be a great work which has been able for centuries to create dismay and mystery .
“When the wind of change blows, some build walls, while others build windmills.” – Chinese Proverb