The Cannabis page of the Voynich Manuscript
J. Michael Herrmann
January 2018

The late medieval Voynich Manuscript (VM) has so far resisted decryption and has been even considered a meaningless hoax or an unsolvable cipher. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that the VM is written in a natural language by establishing a relation between the Voynichese text and classical Persian. In the VM not the standard Arabic-derived Persian alphabet is used, but a different alphabet that has similarities to Pahlavi and Mandaic script. Based on a transcription table, we can directly translate text from the VM which is shown for a page (f16r) that displays a cannabis plant. We obtain clear evidence for our hypothesis by the fact that a meaningful translation can be obtained for a continuous passage of VM text in a relatively easy and fully documented procedure. Although we do not attempt at a critical translation of the VM text here, we gain a first insight into the content of the VM, which may provide a basis for discussions of the provenance of the VM. The present attempt builds on earlier work of the author on the Pahlavi hypothesis, but revises some of the claims made in the previous paper [7].
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003822
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: cannabis, voynich manuscript, persian, semantics
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