Many thanks to J.K. Petersen for mentioning an article which it seems that someone told him had been published in Cryptologia in June 2010. He was misinformed. The article in question is evidently,
Robert L. Williams, ‘A note on the Voynich manuscript’, Cryptologia, Volume 23, Issue 4 (1999) pp. 304-309.
What was later published online (Jn 2004) did include an abstract..
A comparison of the initial letter frequency in a Voynich lexicon and of those in a lexicon of old Greek suggests that the manuscript’s author may have been thinking in Greek. This may aid in the manuscript’s decipherment.
I can only suppose Williams’ hopes were not realised. The years 1999-2017 saw no universal cheers or acceptance of a Greek-text idea.
JKP’s comment also mentions some article published in Scientific American, though J.K. himself had no more exact information. Scientific American‘s online Index shows Voynich matter published in 1921 and then nothing for more than eighty years, until Rugg’s article of 2004. Rugg does not argue any Hellenistic origin for the text, which he considers meaningless, and he has no informed opinion about the imagery.
You know, if this supposed “ebb and flow” thing is imagined operating any time between 1912 and 2004, there’s no evidence so far.
The Scientific American listings.
- J. Malcolm Bird, ‘The Roger Bacon Manuscript’, Scientific American 3[sic], (1 June, 1921) pp. 492-496.
[no author] ‘The Roger Bacon Manuscript’, Scientific American 124, (28 May 1921) pp. 432-432.
- John Anson Ford, ‘Tilting Grain Cars in All Directions to Empty Them, The Roger Bacon Manuscript, and more’, Scientific American 124, (7 May 1921) pp.361-363.
- Correspondence, Scientific American 124, (25th June 1921) pp. 509-509
- Gordon Rugg, ‘The Mystery of the Voynich Manuscript’, Scientific American 291, (July 2004) pp. 104-109.
Letters , Scientific American 291, (November 2004) 12-14.
JKP’s comment to my previous post offered one potentially exciting item: “M. & A. Israél used Greek as the underlying language in their proposed translation”.
True? Sort of. But true as evidence for implying that my identifying the imagery’s Hellenistic foundation is nothing new – just part of a recurring ‘theory-cycle”?
By the time those authors published their book in 2013, I’d been publishing detailed studies online, and constantly referring to the view which I’d formed during the first eighteenth months of my research (prior to 2010 and Findings).
Before 2013, I’d even published a rare bit of pure speculation that the script might be a sort of “wobbly Greek”. Correspondents were kind enough to tell me – openly and clearly – that the language of the Voynich text was most certainly not Greek, ‘wobbly’ or otherwise. 😀
In connection with this bit of newly created myth about the “ebb and flow of a longstanding Greek theory”, I must say that I don’t for a minute suppose it something which JKP created. What I suspect is that being an honest and fair-minded sort of chap he didn’t pause to ask whether the person who passed this stuff his way was being entirely accurate, or creating a story.
The whole cause-and-effect thing has now been fairly well obfuscated at voynich.nu too. From 2010/11 until c.2014 that site included my name and a summary of my work and my opinion. I noticed in c.2014 that the entry had been deleted, but we can’t discard the possibility that the authors of that “Greek translation” saw it before 2013.
Whatever the case, I can’t see how their late effort justifies the ‘ebb and flow’ story. Stephen Bax reviewed that “translation” of 2013, saying:
… I’m very sorry to say that the results are unintelligible, and the authors admit that they have no knowledge of Greek at all..
Stephen Bax, ‘How to Crack the Voynich Code and How Not To’, March 28th., 2016, stephenbax.net
Not really holding up, this sensible-sounding meme about some “longstanding ebb and flow of Greek theories” is it?
What have we got? A claim that Newbold mentioned a possibility that the written part of the text was Greek (Did he?).
His view was always that line taken by Wilfrid Voynich – that the manuscript was an authorial creation by Roger Bacon.
So as we gaze out, seeking some sign of a tide, we get 1912… 1921… nothing… 1921-2008… nothing (so far).
Not ‘low tide’ nor any ‘high tide’ nor any cyclical pattern in opinions… no tide at all.
Then we get to 2009, and 2o1o when I began publishing the results of my research, and my opinion, at Findings. (see the previous post)
“An idea of long-standing’ ? That idea about a longstanding ‘idea’ doesn’t seem to be supported by evidence. So one has to ask how, and why, such fantasies are formed and then disseminated? Surely not just as a way to pretend that my own work isn’t original? Surely not. Voynich studies might attract a bit of a lunatic fringe, but that would be madness on quite a different scale. Still, it did sound like something that could have been true – if no-one checked.
Looks like JKP was sold a few little fireworks strapped to a couple of pups. Not his fault; it’s an old technique to take some innocent third party and make them responsible for the silly things.
Do you have some better information about a Voynich ‘Greek theory’? I don’t mind whether it emerged before, or after I began publishing my own work.
Main thing is to get it straight. Honestly. Matter of ethics, you see.
So in sum:
I’ve neither found nor been shown anything which indicates any longstanding ‘Greek’ theory, nor any “ebb and flow” of such theory.