The Rohonc Codex, one of the world’s most famous crypto mysteries, appears to have been solved. And yes, I believe this solution is correct.
The Rohonc Codex is a handwritten and hand-illustrated book with about 450 pages. It’s a unique piece. The special thing about it: The Rohonc Codex is written in a mysterious script. All attempts to decipher the text in the codex or to make any other sense of it have failed for at least 150 years. The Rohonc Codex is therefore considered the second most important unsolved book cryptogram after the Voynich Manuscript.
The Rohonc Codex is, of course, contained in my (now outdated) top 25 list of unsolved cryptograms. In addition, it is number 00002 on my Encrypted Book List. The Rohonc Codex could undoubtedly be a world-famous, much-discussed crypto mystery – if the world-famous, much discussed Voynich Manuscript did not exist.
Earlier this week, I received a mail that informed me about a new article in Cryptologia (published on May 28, 2018).
According to this article, the Rohonc Codex has now been solved. And this solution doesn’t look like nonsense.
Today, I am going to present an FAQ about the Rohonc Codex and the recently published solution. In a later post, I will address the solution in detail.
Who wrote the Rohonc Codex?
The author of the Rohonc Codex is unknown. In contrast to the Voynich manuscript, there is not even much speculation on this subject.
Where was the Rohonc Codex created?
The Rohonc Codex most likely originates from Central or Eastern Europe. The place of origin cannot be narrowed down much more precisely.
What do the pictures of the Rohonc Codex show?
While the illustrations of the Voynich manuscript leave much room for interpretation, to say the least, the motives of most of the images in the Rohonc Codex can be identified. Almost all of them show scenes from the Bible – for example, Jesus on the cross or Moses on Mount Sinai.
What was the purpose of the Rohonc Codex?
It is completely unclear what the intended purpose of the Rohonc Codex was. The Christian images suggest a religious use. Perhaps a religious dissenter wanted to hide his heretical doctrine from the church by encryption. On the other hand, the pictures could just be a cover to distract from the actual content of the book. It is also conceivable that the author chose a religious text to demonstrate a writing system he had invented (like Johannes Gutenberg, who demonstrated the printing technology he had invented using a religious text, namely the Bible). After all, it is also possible that someone created the Rohonc Codex just to sell it to a collector for a lot of money.
What are the most important theories about the text in the Rohonc Codex?
The text of Rohonc Codex could be …
- … ordinary text written in a script that is no longer known today
- … encrypted text
- … a hoax
The same is true for the Voynich Manuscript.
Are the pages of the Rohonc Codex available as scans on the Internet?
Yes, here they are: https://www.dacia.org/codex/original/original.html
Where can I find more information about the Rohonc Codex?
While there are stacks of literature on the Voynich manuscript, much less has been published about the Rohonc Codex. To get started, I recommend an article I wrote for the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (German/English). There is also a chapter about the Rohonc Codex in my book Nicht zu Knacken. The most detailed source is the article Why don’t we decipher an outdated cipher system? The Codex of Rohonc, which was published in 2010 in Cryptologia. The author of this excellent work is Benedek Láng from Hungary.