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Page information on f116v

f116v preview
Parsable information
Illustration type: Stars
Quire: T
Page in quire: X
Currier language: unknown
Currier hand: unknown
Has non-Voynich text: no
Has key-like sequence: no
Has extraneous writing: no

Descriptive comments

Last edited on 1998-12-04 02:40:59 by stolfi


Title: "Last page"
Page: f116v = TX (Rene) = p234 (Stolfi)
Folio: f116
Panels: f116v
Bifolio: bT1 = f103+f116
Quire: T (Rene) = XVIII (Beinecke)

Shown in Plate 15 of Tiltman's article [item 10 in Jim Reeds's bibliography].


Language: ? (Currier)
Hand: ? (Currier)
Subsets: S (Rene), xxx (Stolfi)
Colors: ??? (Reeds)


This page is blank except for four lines of text at the top (numbered "0" to "3") and some drawings at the top left corner.

The text is rougly justified against the left margin, and ragged on the right. Line 0 is flush against the top edge of the vellum, lines 1-3 lie about 1/2 inch below it, with normal interline spacing. Except for two Voynichese words at the beginning of line 3, the text is written in a peculiar script ("Michitonese") that seems to be intermediate between ordinary (Latin) alphabet and the VMs script. The handwriting is irregular and not very readable. The letters in line 0 is somewhat smaller but apparently in the same handwriting as the rest.

The area next to the upper left corner is hevily stained and wrinkled. There is a large hole in the vellum, 2-3mm wide, near the upper left corner, about 2cm from the edges. Lines 1 and 2 of the text start right next to the hole.

In the dark region between the hole and the left edge, roughly aligned with text line #2, there is the drawing of a four-legged animal, resembling a dog with round ears, short hais, and a fat but pointed tail. The animal is facing left, with the snout right against the vellum's edge.

Below the animal is a female nymph (with breasts), naked except for some simple hat. She is facing seems to be seated on a sloping surface, right at the edge of the dark area, with arms stretched sideways and down.

Above the anumal there is a drawing of an unidentified bulbous object.

There is a large question mark at the right margin, aligned with line 3 but well beyound its end. It shows up in Newbold's reproduction.

In one reproduction of this page there is a very faint line of modern-style digits below part of the first line. Each letter (but not the "+" signs) has a single digit below it; except that one can see also the numerals "10" and "13", each squeezed under a single letter. (Part of the line is unreadable, so "11" and "12" could be there too.) However these digits were probably scribbled on the copy, since they do not show up in Newbold's reproduction.



Jacques Guy [] mentions the Michitonese script resembles that of a 1460 German manuscript in Latin reproduced in [1, p.78]. In that sample, there are letters that look like Voynich 8, but they stand for "d" not "s". Final "s" is written like the modern "es-zet".

Jacques [29 Mar 1996] also suggest that "ct" coudl be a "t" as found in Benaventan and Visigothic manuscripts, and "9" could be "us".

Rene Zandbergen [27 Mar 1996] confirms similarity of Michitonese with another German manuscript from 1440, in German [2]. In that sample too `d' was written as `8', `so' was written "just like in the VMS(?)", and `Venus' was written `Ven9'. He adds later [28 Oct 98] that the f116v text "looks more like a German hand than anything else. Not Kircher's, not Marci's but earlier."

Some of the "Michitonese" letters seem purposefully distorted to resemble Voynichese letters.

Denis Mardle [19 Apr 97] notes that the Michitonese writing is "not unlike" the small extraneous writing on f17r.

Stolfi [01 Nov 98] notes that the Michitonese script resembles that of the "month names" in the center of the "zodiac" diagrams. For example, the last character of line 1 is similar to the first character of the Pisces label (f70v2). If the two sets are indeed by the same hand, then the month names give valuable clues on the Michitonese alphabet.


Before seeing what the text actually looks like, Stolfi [5 Feb 1998] conjectured that the text could be an anagram, given that it resembles a "Scrabble end-game". Unfortunately anagrams of that size are practically unsolvable without a clue.

Common opinion is that the f116v text is scribblings by a would-be decipherer. However this theory does not seem compatible with the "ordinary" appearance of the text, and does not explain the normal-looking Voynichese words ("oror sheey" in EVA) inserted in the text.

Rene [5 Feb 1998] conjectures that the "would-be decipherer" is the same person who wrote the character tables on f1r. Rene also remarks that one can exclude Dee, Kelley, Askham, Ricci, and Bacon, since the third line is very likely German.

Andras Kornai [25 Nov 1998] says that says that "-d" is the 2nd person posessive ending in Hungarian, but the text does not seem to be Hungarian.

Newbold [1921] reads the first line, rather arbitrarily, as "michiton oladabas multos te tccr cerc portas" (and ignores the other three). After many arbitrary manipulations he gets a "cipher key" out of it.

Brumbaugh reads the text as "(...)con olada ba", interprets "" as an anagram of "bacon", and turns "olada" into 'rodgd' by adding 3 to each letter. Brumbaugh then says "rodgd" means "roger"; but he concludes that this evidence was planted by Dee/Kelly. (Reported by Rene [2 Feb 1998].)

Jim Reeds [15 Apr 94] quotes Erwin Panofsky [4] who reads the second line as "so nim geismi[l]ch o", meaning, "... take goats milk, or..."

Jacques Guy [] remarks that the the word that Newbold and others read "valst" or "valsch" is actually "valde" ("strongly, very") in the 1460 german manuscript [1, p.78].

Rene, tongue in cheek [15 Apr 1998], notes that the mapping {ol->d, m->p, ch->e, d->b, b->n} turns "michiton oladabas" into "pieiton d abanas", i.e. "Pietro d'Abano" modulo transcriber errors.

Rene [07 Feb 96], looking at D'Imperio's photocopy, thinks that there might be at least one (unreadable) letter before "michiton".

Rene [13 Mar 1996] noted that the text begins with "mich" and ends with "nich", suggesting it was written by "MICHael voyNICH".

Rene [5 Feb 1998] notes that some Voynichese words are similar to "oladabas", e.g. the label on the NE corner of f67v2 ("otararain"). Dennis [28 Oct 1998] suggests "otardar" from f67r1 (outer circle, at 11:00).

Rene [28 Oct 1998] also suggests f76v.P.19 ("orar.sheey") as a possible source for line 3. Stolfi observes that there is also an "aror.sheey" on f104r.P.28.

Stolfi [] remarks that "Olazabal" or "Olazábal" is a common mame in Spanish-speaking areas, probably of Basque origin.


Rene [18 Sep 1997] thinks the animal looks like a horse. Stolfi [] thought it could be a dog.

Rene also observes [] that the nymph on f116v looks very much like the "dead" nymph on page ???—which also has extraneous writing, possibly by the same hand.


[1] Joyce Whalley "The Art of Calligraphy – Western Europe and America" Bloomsbury Books, London 1980

[2] Manuscript Palat. Lat. 1369. Cited in [3].

[3] Fritz Saxl, book about astronomical and astrological images in medieval manuscripts.

[4] Erwin Panofsky, in a letter to W. F. Friedman, 19 March 1954, now in Marshall Library.


All transcriptions are given in basic (lowercase) EVA. Use the extractor to get transcriptions in another format.

Unit: "The "michiton" paragraph"

Last edited on 1998-12-19 23:09:32 by stolfi

"U" transcription by J.Stolfi from a scanned image.
Only the first two words of line 3 look like Voynichese.

Transcription uses the "best matches" from Rene's German alphabet (RGA),
with the following additions/deviations:

8    similar to RGA "d" (mainline variant), but the upper loop is smaller
than the lower loop, and almost straight above it.
à    An "a" with a faint dot over it (probably noise).
ç    A "c" with a vertical serif at the top end.
h    very much like RGA "h", but with open bottom
í    A straight, short, thick descending stroke with a
straight, long, thin "acute accent"; like
an EVA "r" but with straight plume
j    a partially obscured glyph; what can be seen looks
like a printed lowercase "j", lower on
the baseline and slanting to the left.
L    Similar to RGA "l" but more angular---a thin and tall triangle,
closed at the bottom and not connected to the neighbors.
M    like a large Greek "epsilon" or a "3" on its side, with
first stroke turned inwards, the last slightly outwards.
m    with inclined strokes, like "\/\/\".
n    with inclined strokes, like "\/\".
ø    like an "o" with a circumflex *under* it; or an EVA "l"
with very short "legs".
)    like a small close parenthesis, extending slightly below
the baseline; very much like the variant RGA "o"
(bottom line of Rene's scan)
p    has an exaggerated "barb" on the left side of the
r    like a Greek lowercase "nu".
û    an "u" or "n" with a macron or overline (which may be noise).
X    Like RGA "x", but with the two strokes ligated on the right.
y    similar to RGA "y", but more like a Greek "eta".
+    like a math "+", raised so as to stand on the baseline.
^    partially obscured; the bottom part has two "feet"
on the baseline, very close together.

In the "digits" line, "a" trough "d" mean "10" through "13",
each numeral being squeezed into single letter slot.

Line 0 Roman:    p**labo*.pinèn.pati*er=

Line 1 Roman:    nuchiton.ola6àba8.+.mûLcø8.+.te.+,tar.cevç,+.porta8.+M++-
Line 1.5 Digits: .1234567.489a9bc*.*4**854d*.!**..,***.5545-

Line 2 Roman:    siX+*jûariX+moriX+,víX+abta+ma+ria+-
The "jû" is an "m" rather out of shape.
The "+" in "ma+ria" is raised and takes no space between the "a" and "r".

Jorge Stolfi:

<f116v.P.3;U> oror. sheey=