Photo credit: 9 Gag

The Voynich manuscript is basically an illustrated codex that was hand-written in an unknown writing system. It’s been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404-1438), and may have been composed in Northern Italy during the Italian Renaissance. The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish book dealer who purchased it in 1912. No one has yet succeeded in deciphering the text, and it has become a famous case in the history of cryptography. The mystery of the meaning and origin of the manuscript has excited the popular imagination, making the manuscript the subject of novels and speculation. Continue reading for a video and more information.

Much of the early history of the book is unknown, though the text and illustrations are all characteristically European. It was brought to modern attention in 1912 when it was purchased at the Villa Mondragone, near Rome, by antique book dealer Wilfrid Voynich. When Voynich first discovered the manuscript, his first impression was that it dated from the 13th century.