Mysterious book from an unknown author containing unknown script and pictures we do not know much about. Basically nobody has a clue what it is and it has been haunting us for almost 200 years.
The interesting and amusing fact about the history is that in many cases we have to work with assumptions, theories and analogies, since the people form the certain period aren’t very talkative. If we are lucky, we have evidence of the situations, we can read the scriptures, or can add the finds to certain events. But from time to time we stumble upon something that is far beyond everything we have discovered till now, and even after a long period of time we aren’t further with our search, than we were at the beginning. Almost everyone knows about the Voynich Manuscript (if not, you will soon, you just wait it up). But there are more books that are mysterious and to this day they couldn’t be deciphered. No one is even sure if authentic, or just some deliberate hoax. One of them is the so called Rohonc Codex (named after the city Rohonc, currently Rechnitz, Austria..previously Hungary), currently residing in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest.
This 450 pages long book was first mentioned 1743 as an item of the Rohonc Library, and despite it unreadable script it was archived as a prayer book. To present the whole picture, we can’t be even sure if it was the Codex, or some other book written in a similar non-latin alphabet. The first time we are really sure the historical documents talk specifically about the Codex was in 1838, when Count Gusztáv Batthyány donated his personal library, also containing the Codex, to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The book seem to come from medieval times, but the scripture was reminiscent to the Old Hungarian Alphabet, but was completely undecipherable.
The Codex is 448 pages long, containing also multiple (87) religious (Christianity, Islam and Hinduism) and military depictions and landscapes, drawn in crude, sometimes almost symbolic style. Multiple well known Biblical themes can be identified, but the combination of the characters and places is unusual to say the least.
Many scholars had tried to decipher the mysterious book. As I already mentioned, the script reminds of the Old Hungarian Alphabet, which was also written from right to left, but the number of the unique characters is much higher – actual almost ten time the number of characters of any known alphabet of today. According to the multiple researches, the script can come from almost anything, from Hindu to the Hungarian script. Currently, 3 main language theories were presented – the Old Hungarian script, a variation of Brahman script (India), the Dacian dialect of Vulgar Latin and the Sumerian alphabet. On this place we have to add, that every one of the theories has its flaws, and all of them were criticized for lacking consistency. Other theories come with the idea, that the text is a combination of multiple languages. Also the flow of text is uncertain – left to right, right to left, from the bottom to the top, or in multiple directions.
One of the new scans of the Codex published by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences - the depiction of Moses and the Pharaoh
If you would ask about the age of the book, that is another mystery yet to be solved. Each page contains a watermark – an anchor within a circle, that is within a six-rayed star dated to approximately 1529-1540 AD, but the book seems to be much older. The difference between those two parts could point at the fact, that the texts could be a transcript.
Let us not forget modern methods, that were used to decipher the Codex – methodical and computer-based language analysis, working with multiple variables…and all of them were in vain, since the Codex remains to this day undeciphered.
If you would like to know more about the Codex, be sure not to miss this Blog, you can find an awesomely complex analysis of the illustrations and some of the texts.
If you would like to try out your luck and do a little bit of deciphering and mystery solving, you can download the full scanned version of the Codex HERE.