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The Voynich Manuscript by Gerry Kennedy

The Voynich Manuscript by Gerry Kennedy

Author:Gerry Kennedy
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Ancient Mysteries
ISBN: 9781594778544
Publisher: Inner Traditions / Bear & Company
Published: 2010-12-17T05:00:00+00:00


The prone figure, folio 66r

which Levitov transliterated into his ‘Cathari’ polyglot language to give:

AILIVIA TEM VILETH THEDEESVISETH

giving us the modern English translation (according to Levitov):

When one is as sick as he is, he wants to know death.15

Dr Levitov also provided an explanation for the naked nymphs of the balneological or bathing section of the manuscript, who were, according to his theory, engaged in suicidal vein-opening whilst in their green baths. Furthermore, and possibly most startling of all, dotted throughout the manuscript Dr Levitov found numerous references to the Egyptian goddess Isis, thereby placing the mysterious beginnings of the Cathar heresy not with the Bogomils of Byzantium, but as a mystical cult descended from the religions of Ancient Egypt. Levitov claimed to have identified symbols representing this cult of Isis on almost every page of the botanical section (though he gave no explanation as to what these symbols were), and also identified allusions to the Egyptian deity in the cosmological diagrams. And how had this unique document survived the purging of the Inquisition? According to Dr Levitov, it had been carried to England by fleeing Cathars, where it was confiscated ‘and given to some monastic order’,16 whence it progressed to the Duke of Northumberland after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and then on to John Dee.

Unfortunately for Dr Levitov, his theory and translation have been attacked, very convincingly, on almost every level by modern Voynich scholars. Linguist and Voynich expert Jacques Guy has expressed grave doubts regarding Levitov’s ‘polyglot oral tongue’, citing the extremely low number of consonant sounds in the language (a mere twelve as compared to twenty in Dutch), the ungrammatical construction and usage of compound words, and even the ‘meaningless babble’ of the phrase ‘polyglot oral tongue’ itself.

Far more damaging, however, are the criticisms of Dennis Stallings and Michael Barlow, this time focusing on the inaccuracies in Dr Levitov’s portrayal of the Cathars themselves, and his seemingly scant knowledge of the historical facts of the ‘Great Heresy’. He hypothesises that the manuscript might have been brought to England around the year 1163, four years before the peaceful ‘Cathar International’ at St Felix, over forty years before the start of the Albigensian Crusade, and more than sixty years before the trials of the Inquisition. At such a time the Endura rite was unheard of and unneeded. Indeed, the Cathars of this period were known for their attempts to preserve life by ministering to the sick and the foundation of hospices. When the Endura rite did become necessary towards the end of the thirteenth century, it was used only as a way to hurry the inevitable end, thus ensuring the dying of their unsullied Perfect status, rather than a form of euthanasia to relieve pain as Dr Levitov’s translations seem to suggest. His interpretation of the naked nymphs quietly cutting their veins as part of a suicide pact also fails to square with the known facts of the Endura, which was simply an abstinence from food, a final fast designed to bring about a quicker death, carried out alone without need of liturgy or ritual.



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