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The Rohonc Codex

March 7, 2009
Pages 44 and 44a from the Rohonc Codex

Pages 44 and 44a from the Rohonc Codex

The Voynich manuscript is deservedly the world’s most famous undeciphered book (pace the Codex Seraphinianus). With its handsome script and illustrations, and the seemingly fractal nature of the clues uncovered (it follows Zipf’s Law, it’s been connected to Rudolf II, there are rules about which characters can be positioned where in words, and so on) it has had a magnetic attraction on mystery lovers over the last one hundred years. It has also, unfortunately, overshadowed other interesting documents of a similar nature. One of these is the Rohonc Codex.

The Codex can be placed firmly into history in 1838, when Count Gusztáv Batthyány donated it (along with the rest of his library) to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The Count had lived in England for years, and continued to do so until the end of his life, but he was an avowed Hungarian nationalist and proud of his heritage. The Codex itself appeared to be of, perhaps, medieval origin, with undecipherable hand-written glyphs of some sort and crude black-and-white illustrations. As a piece of Hungarian history apparently pre-dating the Battle of Mohács, it was a worthy addition to the Academy’s collection.

At first glance, the glyphs bear a resemblance to Old Hungarian script. For example, both are written right to left, and both have a similar mixture of straight-lined runelike characters and rounded characters. The number of different characters (graphemes, to use the technical term) suggested a relationship too—as the Rohonc Codex has too many.

The argument is subtle, but runs like this: the number of graphemes in an undeciphered script is often the first clue as to how to decipher it. Most alphabets have in the range of twenty to forty characters; syllabaries have eighty to a hundred or so (logosyllabic writing systems, like Chinese writing, have thousands). The Codex has over two hundred symbols, but this odd number matched well with a known feature of the alphabetic Old Hungarian script: besides its forty-two letters it has capita dictorum, non-alphabetic signs of uncertain use but that might represent names or very common words. In the case of the Rohonc Codex a number of characters are used only rarely, suggesting they may be sigils too and so reducing the number of actual graphemes to something more manageable.

On the other hand, there is one other thing definitely known about the codex. The paper on which it is written is watermarked: an anchor in a circle in a star with six rays. This watermark is known to be Venetian, and from the period of 1529-1540. For a document that looks like it might pre-date 1000 AD, this is surprisingly late. While there’s always the possibility that the codex is actually a 16th century copy of an older document, the discrepancy does raise a warning flag. It’s also worrying that the book has no provenance at all prior to it being donated in 1838. For all the historical record has to say, it might as well have been made the day before it was given to the Academy of Sciences.

The elephant in the room with the Rohonc Codex is a man named Sámuel Literáti Nemes. A Hungarian antiquarian active at the time the Codex was donated, Nemes was responsible for a number of forgeries that he concealed amongst his legitimate discoveries. During his lifetime the discoverer of the Massman Tablets (which at the time would have been the only complete Roman writing tablets in the world) and the wooden book of Túróc was a celebrity within his circle, but over the course of several decades after he died it became clear that he’d been cheating. His motivation seems to have been two-fold: the Massman Tablets, for example, were made for money, while the wooden book was for more personal reasons. Nemes was a Székely, a historically proud subset of Hungarians—they commonly believed themselves to have descended from Attila the Hun and his army, for example—that was embedded in an area primarily populated by Romanians: Transylvania. Friction between the two ethnic groups was more noticeable in the 20th century, as the Treaty of Trianon, the Second Vienna Award, and the Timişoara Protest were all rooted in it, but the 19th century was similar. From the standpoint of Hungarian partisans, the wooden book of Túróc was providential, as it was an old piece of work written in Old Hungarian script and so emphasised Székely roots in the area. That seems to have been the point of the forgery for Nemes.

And so back to the Rohonc Codex. It’s only fair to point out that no-one has established a direct connection between it and Nemes. Modern Hungarian historiographers generally consider it one of his forgeries on the strength of circumstantial evidence: it’s a highly unusual document with no known history prior to the time when Sámuel Literáti Nemes was committing his crimes, and furthermore it comes from a place with similar features to Transylvania. The man who donated it, Count Batthyány, was one of the minority of Hungarians living in Burgenland—one of the other ethnically thorny places the Treaty of Trianon tried to address.

Ironically, despite potentially being made by a Hungarian for nationalist propaganda purposes, the codex was seized upon by a diametrically opposed group in the late 20th century. The “Dacian” historical school developed during the 1970s in Nicolae Ceauşescu’s Romania, and asserts that modern Romanians can trace their roots to a strong Classical era civilization that the Roman Empire managed to wipe from written records—leaving it for the scholars of the Socialist Republic of Romania to rediscover it. While a long way from their salad days under Ceauşescu, the Dacianists seized on the Rohonc Codex as a lost Dacian text, and use it to browbeat arriviste ethnic groups (like, for example, Székely Hungarians in what was by now Romanian territory) with the obvious superiority of ancient Romanian culture. Needless to say, this is not a widely held theory.

(On that note, the curious can examine all pages of the Codex at this Dacian “fan site”.)

47 Comments leave one →
  1. Diane permalink
    April 18, 2010 11:46 AM

    Has anyone looked at Meroitic? The style of drawing looks ‘Abyssinian’ to me; there’s a fair bit about this illustration that seems genuinely to have roots in Egypt,and others speak pretty clearly to the earliest style of eastern Christianity, which fused religious with medical ministry.

    There were some curious aspects to early Christianity as practiced in Nubia, although it seems to have vanished by the 6thC, and left little behind.

    I have seen these gnome-like hats, too, on a cylinder seal of (I think) the Achmaenid period, when Egypt was ruled by Persia.

    Anyway, it’s a thought.

    • Paul Drye permalink*
      April 18, 2010 12:06 PM

      Attacking the problem from a cultural standpoint is an interesting thought. At first blush I would say that your impression conflicts with the number of distinct characters in the codex, which is quite high; regular Meroitic script only has 24-25 characters (23 letters and either one or two characters depending on how you interpret its one punctuation mark). That’s not to say it can’t be Meroitic, just that the mapping of the language on the characters is not simple if the connection is there.

      I would hazard a guess that the hoax theory still holds up to any similarity between Egyptian/Ethiopian writing and the codex. Egyptian writing — Egyptian *everything* — was popular at Nemes’ time, and he was an antiquarian so he certainly knew the style. There’s a distinct possibility that he borrowed the early Christian and Ethiopian “look” if he is the author of the document.

    • Dr. jur. Eugen Scherer permalink
      February 11, 2017 2:40 AM

      Diane, this is a clever assumption! It should be considered a breathtaking fascination, how well our world on this side of the Atlantic still is worthwhile to study! By the way: In Rohonc (Rechnitz) my Hungarian grandfather (Michael of Miklos) had lived….

  2. June 30, 2010 3:38 AM

    what the language is saying is their is an undone test or quiz

    • Paul Drye permalink*
      June 30, 2010 11:55 AM

      No-one knows. Figure out what it says and you could be famous!

  3. Benedek Lang permalink
    August 11, 2010 2:08 PM

    Readers of this page might be interested that I just published a lengthy article on the Codex of Rohonc:
    Why Don’t We Decipher an Outdated Cipher System? The Codex of Rohonc
    Cryptologia, Volume 34, Issue 2 April 2010 , pages 115 – 144

    No, I have not solved it, still it might be relevant – and please, forgive me for advertising my own publication.
    I copy the abstract below:

    The Codex of Rohonc is a lengthy handwritten book filled with unknown sign-strings and more than 80 seemingly biblical illustrations. Nothing is known about the provenance of the manuscript; its Hungarian or even East-Central European origin is possible but not certain. The initial enthusiasm of nineteenth-century Hungarian scholars for the supposedly Early Hungarian script was soon followed by disappointment, and late nineteenth-century scholarship came to the conclusion that the codex was a forgery. This conclusion, however, seems fairly implausible today in light of historical evidence. If the text of the Rohonc codex is not a hoax, it must be a consciously encoded or enciphered text. In theory, it may be (1) a cipher, (2) a shorthand system, or (3) an artificial language, and these possibilities are systematically assessed in the article with the help of historical analogies.

    With the best wishes

    Benedek Lang, PhD

  4. Jack Lynn permalink
    January 22, 2011 1:04 AM

    I’ve not really studied this specific manuscript, so nothing I add here is likely to give any real insight. I am curious, however, whether anyone has approached it as a work that might assume the reader/decoder knew more than one language. I have read quite a few works that assumed that the reader knew that the reader knew Latin, Greek, and at least one other language. I thank God for footnotes (as my Greek was never very good, my Latin is worse and my Hebrew is non-existent), but, considering the number of characters this manuscript displays, it seems possible that it is written in a cypher meant to encompass multiple languages. Please shoot me down if this idea is silly or has already been through the mill.

    • Paul Drye permalink*
      January 22, 2011 7:07 PM

      A mixture of languages is as much a possibility as anything else, though it would raise the question of why the manuscript writer would invent different characters for different languages — after all, I can write, say, English and Greek using the same characters. We only use different alphabets for them by tradition, and if you’re inventing a new alphabet those traditions go out the window.

      If true, though, multiple languages would make decipherment even more difficult, as many new questions would be piled on top of the old. Which two languages? What if it’s more than two? Which character corresponds to such-and-such a sound in Language A and which different character to the same sound in Language B? Deciphering any manuscript in an unknown script without a known text is already very difficult, but it being in one language alone at least allows for frequency analysis. Two or more languages would, I’d suggest, make it impossible.

      Which is not to say that you’re wrong, just that it would be immensely depressing if it’s so — as it means we’ll likely never know what the Codex says.

  5. dr_b permalink
    October 26, 2011 6:11 PM

    If I may be permitted a comment on the Samuel-Literati-Nemes-as-RC-forger issue: what would be the point of forging the RC with an unknown and indecipherable script when the obvious option of using Old Hungarian (Szekely) Runes was available? These had been were used for several of Literati Nemes’s so-called forgeries and were surely more suitable for “nationalist” or similar propaganda purposes, if that was the purpose of the RC (which I doubt). It’s also rather a lengthy book for a one-off propaganda forgery – a fraction of the size would have sufficed.

    Some Hungarians to this day claim Literati Nemes’s reputation was deliberately destroyed by his academic enemies – for example the Director of the Szechenyi Library G. Matray who nevertheless took pains to buy up as many of Literati Nemes’s discoveries as he could, labelling them forgeries and stashing them in some deep basement of the Szechenyi Library thus effectively taking them out of circulation (would he have bothered if they were all just fakes?), In fact, almost any relic which contradicts the dominant Finno-Ugric model for Hungarian origins has been summarily dismissed as a forgery – this has been the fate of the Csik Szekely Chronicle, the Wooden Book of Turoc and more recently of two Scythian-Hun chronicles preserved in an Armenian monastery in Iran. If it doesn’t fit the paradigm…. bury it!

  6. bernhard grube permalink
    April 30, 2012 2:58 PM

    To my opinion the book is a copy of an earlier codex. I also believe that the copier was not aware
    of the meaning of the text.
    1) The way of writing the signs is not realy consistent. Assuming a read direction RLUD
    some marks appear on the almost right side of page so they seem to be added later (52a,126a,31a,63a).
    May be the writer forgot to write them down during the copy process.
    This is only believable in assumption one is not aware of the meaning of the writing he does.
    If he was the author he would never forget to write down a sign at the beginning of a line.
    This findings can be considered as a strong hint for the text to be a copy.

    2) The illustrations are of very poor quality. But sometimes they have sophisticated frames.
    Many well known medieval book illuminations have such frames around them.
    May be the paintings in the original book are much more elaborated.

    3) The illustrations seem to me as crude simplifications of medieval high quality
    (romanistic?) paintings. For me it meets that, an inherent (romanistic) style exists !!!

    If all this is true the original codex might be much older then the one we know.
    It must be a need to find the origin.

  7. bernhard grube permalink
    May 1, 2012 5:13 PM

    Hello friends,
    I like to suggest a workinggroup on transliteration of the codex. If everybody works on a few pages and we put it all together it should be a very easy work to be done. The only thing we need is a well-designed transliteration code. If anybody is interested in this work or has some good ideas, please let me know.

  8. May 10, 2012 1:00 AM

    If the Rohonc Codex – as seems highly probable – was written somewhere in Romania, Hungary or the Balkans at some point in the mid- or late-sixteenth century, then it was written in the Ottoman Empire.
    The language of the Ottoman Empire was Ottoman Turkish – other languages were spoken, but this was the written language and script.
    It is written right-to-left, unlike the vast majority of European languages, then and now. It consisted of 119 individual letter-forms, most of which differed (sometimes dramatically) according to whether they were isolated, final, medial or initial; it made frequent use of ligatures; it also possessed separate signs for the numerals 1 – 10, giving a base total of 129 regularly-occurring signs, along with very numerous ligatures and ordinal number constructions. This gives it a signary reasonably consistent with that generally identified in Rohonc.
    Now, any reason for ‘disguising’ such a language and script in an invented sign-system must, prior to a translation, remain obscure – but, assuming the document really does encode a language, I’d say the obvious candidate is perfectly clear.

    • bernhard grube permalink
      May 13, 2012 5:09 PM

      Hello Mr. Horne,
      I agree, its a good idea to look for matches with ottoman turkish language. If we would have a reasonable transcription of the codex we could compare the lingustic statistics. This could be a very strong first hint. Are there any ideas about such a transliteration. Because of the ligatures it could not be done the easy way .

      • bernhard grube permalink
        May 13, 2012 5:37 PM

        Dear colleagues,
        A first suggestion about the content of the codex : Its a Bogomilian or Manichean text. The syncretistic content of the illustrations (buildings with cross,crescent,swastica or may be manichean-cross) and the pictures of a crucified man could be hints. May be its the life of Mani.
        What s your opinion about such a theory

        • May 14, 2012 12:39 PM

          Professor Grube –
          Salutations. Now, So far as I can learn, the Bogomils were inactive by the 13th century, whilst the numerous variants of dualistic/eschatological doxologies subsumed under ‘Manicheanism’ are of such a random variation as to have nothing much in common beyond binomialism and a belief in the imminent eschaton. I know you believe the Rohonc Codex was an uncomprehending copy of a misunderstood original (though I have yet to study your reasoning in detail) but I don’t see the systematic correspondences you see in the illustrations. The closest I’ve seen, from admittedly a fairly desultory scan, are from medieval Kiev and the Ukraine (have a look at the absolutely characteristic forms of the haloes). Your programme of finding some agreed system of transliteration/transcription seems to me to be of absolute importance, I’ll be getting back to you soon to discuss possibilities. Anyway, good luck (and may I add, I’m still a skeptic as to whether this script really does encode any language!)

        • bernhard grube permalink
          May 15, 2012 3:30 AM

          Dear colleague, Professor Horne, as far as I know, the Bogomils were in the 13th Century bosnia very active and influential in the region. Their faith was treated as a state religion. It was not until the Battle of Kosovo and the victory of the Turks disappeared this religion. I also believe there is a misunderstanding regarding my argumentation on the text beeing on uncomprehending copy of an older one. my arguments do not refer to the illustrations, instead the fact-edge of graphic characters to the regular occurrence outside of the writing rate on the extreme right, (assuming RLUD) So at the beginning of a line. This is explained only makes sense if it is assumed that characters were added later. If anyone understands what he copies, he forgets not that often characters at the beginning of a line (52a, 126a, 31a, 63a, only a selection). It is nice to read that you also keep a transliteration of sense. I look forward to working together. Perhaps still more interested to come.
          Yours sincerely
          Bernhard pit

          • bernhard grube permalink
            May 15, 2012 8:25 AM

            sorry, some words mixed around by the program. Hopefully you understand what i mean. If not , please let me know

            • Rob Horne permalink
              May 16, 2012 1:09 PM

              Professor Grube, sorry, my comment about the Bogomil faith was open to misinterpretation – I meant ‘not after’ the 13th Century. I also seem to have conflated your analysis of the script itself with a ‘culturotropic’ analysis of the illustrations. I apologise for any misinterpretation. The added letters on the RHM – possibly the result of miscomprehension – are interesting, but to my mind actually pose a possible query regarding the ‘right to left’ direction of the script, since both margins are somewhat ragged (and in the copy of the MS I’m able to study, many of the right-hand margins on the verso pages are worn away and unavailable). All holographic manuscripts of little-known or unknown scripts, I may add, have the same problem – are minor variants just handwriting idiographs or actually distinct characters? – Linear B, to take a fairly well-understood script, has some six characters based on a cross within a circle which have minor deviations; are they just handwriting idiosyncrasies, or discrete signs? How much more difficult to decide such distinctions in a script with no analogues and no agreed reading of a single character!

              • bernhard grube permalink
                May 16, 2012 7:20 PM

                Hello Professor Horne,
                there is to my mind another hint to bogomilic origin of the Codex. The image of the deer in connection to the cross on folio 148v could be the same symbol as the deers often found on bogomilic stone in bosnia. The deer here is a symbol for the self-portrayal of the bogomils as a hunted deer. Futhermore we find the symbol of the snake on folios(18r,24v,45r,145r,193r,206r) and on several stones(ex.The snake-stone from Bistrina ).
                best regards
                Bernhard Grube

                • oyakoba permalink
                  July 6, 2012 9:32 PM

                  Since the scribe is assumed not to have understood what he was copying, Turkish or Hungarian seem unlikely because a scribe familiar with either language would not be hard to find and much preferable.
                  A language relevant to Hungary but then little known might be Avar. The provenance of this language is unknown but the codex is so unlike known languages that it might be worth examining the old written forms of a language like Caucasian Avar.

                  • robert horne permalink
                    July 7, 2012 12:51 PM

                    ‘Oyakoba’ – I’m not sure where you get the idea that the writer of the Rohonc Codex didn’t understand his original, it’s a possibility but not (in my estimation) a very strong possibility. As for ‘Avar’ – which, in any case is a north Caucasian language very far removed from the supposed source of the Rohonc Codex – there are, so far as I can ascertain, no records of this language before the 15th century, at which time it was written in the Cyrillic script. You really should have a more serious look at what more serious researchers interested in this odd script have been doing.

                    • robert horne permalink
                      July 9, 2012 11:59 AM

                      IF – and it is a big ‘if – Rohonc does really encrypt any natural language, it did so for a reason – i.e., many people would have been able to read it otherwise. It could make no sense at all for it to encrypt an already obscure and virtually unreadable language.
                      The paper is Renaissance Venetian, the provenance seems clearly to be in the Romania/Hungary or conceivably Makedonia area. Various languages were spoken here in the given time-frame, but the written script was Ottoman Turkish.
                      At a very conservative estimate there are close to 300 individual glyphs in Rohonc (some estimates are as high as 700+); even allowing for various additional signs acting as markers, numerals, diacritics and so on, this is by several factors too great a number for any usable alpabet.
                      Sorry, Avar is not a starter, and even ‘old Avar’ is only fragmentarily evidenced in the Nuskhuri script of Georgian (now long-obsolete); it looks nothing at all like ‘Rohonc’.

                    • July 14, 2012 12:48 PM

                      I’m beginning a statistical analysis of the glyphs found in Rohonc; it isn’t straightforward – as with all manuscripts, scribal variation must be expected and it isn’t always easy to say if ‘similar’ signs are actually the same, or just similar but with a different signification. Let me say as a preliminary progress report that a) every page seems connected but quite different in its use of signs, frequency etc; b) I can find nothing corresponding to Zipf’s ‘law’ of diminishing frequency; c) while I can’t agree that it is simply a ‘hoax’, I become less sure by the minute that it encodes any natural language. A brief example : optm4 (Dacia website), left page, first 5 lines – at least 5 glyphs are not decypherable, and still in these sixty-something characters, we have a minimum of 35 quite different signs. Certainly, I defy any alphabet to come near this, so I fancy there must be rules of combination we simply don’t know. How and where to make the divisions, then, becomes the paramount question.

                    • July 14, 2012 2:23 PM

                      Even English – which is a fairly complex alphabetic script, with 52 letter-forms, a dozen frequent ‘punctuation marks’ and ten numerals, doesn’t come within orders of magnitude of this script for diversity of form. It also, like all natural languages, follows other rules of frequency and decay which so far I’ve seen no evidence of in Rohonc. This is certainly – I repeat, certainly – not a simple one-for-one transliteration of either an alphabetic or a syllabic script into simple, discrete signs. What it is, a small number of us are trying to look into. But the answer (if there is one) will never be simple, and will never be solved by some left-field guess at some daft ‘little-known language/script’.

              • bernhard grube permalink
                July 16, 2012 7:53 AM

                Hello dear colleagues,
                it is very good that a first attempt was made ​​to the statistics. Thank you Mr. Horne. I’ve also looked into this matter and tried out something about the nature of the “language” to find out. I have studied for this purpose, the page OPTM 4 recto according Zipf. There are about 200 characters, depending on interpretation, and I come to this page to a value for the exponent (a) of 1.3 -1.6. Depending on the character-mapping. This is in the large variance of characters but not outside the scope of a language. The variance perhaps is due to the relative shorteness of the text . As the zipf law is just a pattern recognition also plays a role, perhaps the viewing scale results in a different “words” if, after forming and will not look for signs. Of course, the “words” only to be seen.

                • bernhard grube permalink
                  July 16, 2012 2:35 PM

                  The text got mixed up again, I am sorry! Terrible website!!
                  What I want to say is: It depends on how the text is analysed. The scale of the patterns (signs or “syllabies” or “words”) is very important and may meet in very different results, when calculating statistics..

  9. bernhard grube permalink
    July 16, 2012 8:57 AM

    Hello colleagues,
    a correction on the result on optm 4 recto. If we put h*r=c then the exponent ( a) is between 0.94 and 0.98. This is according to zipfs law h=(C/r**a) for a spoken language.

    • bernhard grube permalink
      July 16, 2012 4:12 PM

      even a very crude examination of the text with random every 10 pages show: there are significant recurring character groups which, to my opinion may be interpreted as “words”. This character groups can be found on almost every page. They are in average 3-4 characters long.

      • July 16, 2012 10:25 PM

        Professor Grube – you’re exactly right about this, and this is exactly what I meant when I indicated my scepticism about the applicabilty of the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution to Rohonc. As applied to texts, Zipf’s ‘law’ (I use the inverted commas deliberately) is really an empirical descriptive tool of the frequency of recurrence of textual elements within a closed system; its particular prescriptiv/predictive power lies in the near-truism that over a large span of instances, previously unattested forms will exhibit an exponential decay of appearance until they are very close to zero. Since the glyphs of Rohonc cannot feasibly be any usable alphabet or syllabary (the current IPA, which attempts to cover every individual sound articulated in every existing language, uses less than 200 characters including diacritics and prosodic signs), I have as a preliminary measure a) identified a number of recurrent grouups of characters (2 – 5) which occur with some frequency, and b) randomly sampled stretches of text across the whole book to try to identify patterns of occurrence. Pages and stretches of text seem to differ quite significantly between themselves, and I can see little evidence of a systematic decay in the frequency of novel combinations as a function of increased text-length. Much more work is needed, of course, but this is my preliminary ball-park feeling. Regards.

        • bernhard grube permalink
          July 17, 2012 7:40 AM

          Hello Colleagues,
          to make it easier to correspondent with each user, here is an e-mail-adress .

          If anybody likes to send me images or other contributions could not be shown on this website please be free to use it. Maybe you have an e-mail too?
          Sometimes its much easier to explain what you mean with image.
          I propose to send it to anyone of the community who has written an e-mail-adress. So everybody can contribute to the work.
          regards B.G

  10. bernhard grube permalink
    July 17, 2012 8:07 AM

    Hello Professor Horne,
    Youre criticism to Zipf’s Law is justified as long as very small samples are considered, eg individual characters or syllables. These can be distributed substantially equally, and obey the law without information content. The number of new patterns decreases. In the case of larger patterns that occur repeatedly, it is very likely that there exists an information content in the text. I think even very rarely used “words” in far-away places in the text have been found again

    • bernhard grube permalink
      July 21, 2012 4:50 PM

      Dear Colleagues,
      I have performed a preliminary statistical evaluation of suspected “words” over the first five pages of the codex . For the calculation I have given numbers to the character groups . in works out clearly that the groups are not randomly distributed and occur in clear regularities . Samples throughout the entire text clearly confirm this. It also make frequent connections to groups of characters. So I think the entire text could however make sense.

      • July 22, 2012 7:09 PM

        There are indeed many groups of characters that look like they might be words – what I find difficult is the random static they are surrounded by. New research follows soon (and, certainly, this document does not exhibit Zipf’s ‘law’)

  11. July 22, 2012 7:22 PM

    If you only look for patterns, all you’ll find are the patterns you look for.

    • bernhard grube permalink
      July 27, 2012 2:07 PM

      Your statement is very amusing, but unfortunately a bit simplistic.
      If certain patterns recur on a regular basis, this is a non-trivial knowledge.

      • bernhard grube permalink
        July 27, 2012 2:17 PM

        What Zipf’s law applies if it not corresponds to this law this is no reason. Perhaps random parts are blender.

  12. August 1, 2014 6:11 PM

    I have a lot of experience with ancient writng systems and asemic writing and my initial opinion, without analyzing the signs and text in depth, is that it’s a hoax from about 1837. For similar texts which I think are both asemic writing hoaxes, see the Voynich Manuscript and BS MS 73525.

    I think the false script is based on Old Tagalog Baybayin (as in the Christina Doctrina) and Ethiopic. As for the Voynich, the bizaare illustrations give it away as a hoax or joke, though less obviously so than for the Voynich.

    I’ve studied a lot of ancient writing systems and the glyphs look quite stupidly made. It reminds me of the even worse “refomed Egyptian” of Joseph Smith.

    As with Voynich, there’s just a ton of non-linguist, non-Medievalist scholars and non-scholars who have all sorts of ideas about what it could be. All very misguided and ignorant.

    Codex Rohonc seems to have a large following in Eastern Europe because Eastern Europeans seems to have a liking for forgeries and pseudo-linguistics, as evidenced by the recent “Rosetta Stone as containing Old Macedonian” hoax and the “Venetic as Slovenian” guffaw of a Yale rocket scientist (or such). They’re really easy fooled and just super-duper gung-ho. What do they teach in school over there, Atta Turk-like brainwash chants? Eastern Europe and Hungary also produces some top-notch linguists, if a bit slavish (no pun intended), like Andrew Rajki and Gabor Takacs. Same thing for Russia.

  13. Sami permalink
    February 1, 2016 3:28 PM

    Just found this interesting piece. It’s tricky, but i got some interesting news. I did translate the text of codex 7. First i used mirror tool, after that some marks looked like runes, some, hebrew and some like symbols (horse,hands,teeth) . And the langague behind the markings old finnish-english mix. I Think that this is an medieval book of jokes.

    Transalation, translated back to english sound like this:
    I did th he Horse did 🙂 I did pie, riding the horse do i wash my hands or teeth.

    (hmmm. picture supports the translation, It looks like the joker did pie, out of horse droppings, and ride the horse at the same time)

    Conclusion, Not a hoax, I can read it 🙂 Author might been somekind of apprantice, moved from Northern europe(Probably from Finland, and studied some english and hebrew and moved to Hungary? Professional jester, medieval comedian for royalty? ) Langague might be unique, just for personal use, so no one can’t steal those valuable jokes…..

    Have to try another page…. I’m not anykind of expert, except for finnish langague. But This time it was the key to codex… Mayby….


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