A Mexican astronomer claims to have found the representation of a solar eclipse in the Voynich manuscript. Is this a serious theory or yet another nonsense?
The Voynich manuscipt not only is “the book noone can read”, but also “the book with the illustrations noone can make sense of”. In fact, it is quite remarkable that hundreds of pictures can transmit so little meaning.
A book full of nothing
Among other things, …
- the Voynich manuscript contains about 130 pictures of plants, none of which can be identified,
- most of the persons shown are naked, which makes it impossible to identify clothing,
- the clothed persons are so small that it is difficult to identify any details,
- the rosettes don’t say anything,
- the castle shown on one of the fold-outs has never been identified,
- the stars shown in the Voynich manuscript do not represent any real stars.
One of the few motives in the Voynich manuscript that has a meaning at all are the Zodiac signs, which stem from astrology (the following picture shows Sagittarius and Libra).
However, this doesn’t help much, as astrology has been praciticed just about everywhere at any time in Europe in the last 1000 years. Two other pictures in the Voynich manuscript that have a meaning show TO maps.
However, this doesn’t lead to any conclusions, either.
All in all, the Voynich manuscript pictures don’t contain anything that refers to a certain region, place, religion, person, time, ideology or science. The missing of any substantial information in the illustrations is one of the things that makes the Voynich manuscript so mysterious.
A solar eclipse in the Voynich manuscript?
Andrés Eloy Martínez Rojas, president of the Mexican Astronomical Society Urania, has now claimed to have found another meaningful detail the Voynich illustrations. This claim is covered in an article published by the Mexican news portal La Jornada. As it seems, this new theory hasn’t received much media attention so far. The only publication in English or German about this issue so far seems to be an article on Grenzwissenschaft Aktuell, a German parascience blog written by crop-circle enthusiast Andreas Müller. Many thanks to Jan Schlotterbek and Thorsten Voß for bringing this article to my attention.
According to Martínez Rojas, two Voynich manuscript illustrations contain references the solar eclipse of 1409. Here’s reference number one:
Martínez Rojas’ claim has one thing in common with many other Voynich theories: it is poorly explained by its founder. In this case, I simply don’t understand what “B” and “C” mean. The explanation given on the original diagram is unreadable. “A” seems to refer to the alleged Voynich solution of Stephen Bax (which has never been accepted by the Voynich community). According to Bax, the word below the “A” means “Taurus”, while the stars left of it represent the Pleiades. As a whole, the star constellation shown here allegedly resembles the one during the solar eclipse of 1409.
Here’s the second reference:
This illustration shows the star sign Aries (March 21 – April 20) surrounded by 15 women. According to Martínez Rojas, this motive stands for April 15, the day of the solar eclipse in 1409.
A new break-through in Voynich research?
If Martínez Rojas is right, the two pictures discussed above render by far the most concrete clue that has ever been found in the Voynich manuscript illustrations. This would certainly be a break-through in Voynich research.
But is Martínez Rojas right? I don’t think so. The astronomical interpretation of the rosette on the first picture doesn’t look very conclusive to me. Of course, this might be due to the fact that I simply don’t understand what he means, but I’m still not very impressed. If a reader can say more about Martínez Rojas’ interpretation, I would be interested to learn.