Magical codes
Mysterious secret letters
Some are believed to have been written by Satan, and some by nations that no longer exist…
5.26.2020 9:06:29 AM
Source: e-mail
Author: Tea M
Selden Codex / public domain /

Even powerful computers and the Internet are not powerful enough to reveal the secrets kept by ancient writings.

For some, experts have managed to at least scratch the surface and see if they are curses, magic formulas or something else, but for most nobody knows the purpose or language, and there is no hope that they will be deciphered soon.

Selden codex
The Selden Codex, a collection of pictograms on the skin, is one of only six writings of the Mixtek Indians who survived the conquistadors. It depicts the genealogy of the ruling Yaltapek dynasty from the 10th to the 16th century, and is believed to have been part of a much larger account. But a scratch caused by accident in the 1950s showed that the codex hid an even older file, covered with a layer of plaster and chalk, but no scan could reveal what without destroying a valuable display. It wasn’t until 2016 with new scanning methods that scientists began to speculate on what the code was hiding. For now, they don't know much, except that the letter uses some hitherto unknown characters and that it extends from left to right (instead of from top to bottom, as the text is visible).

The devil's letter

The devil letter
public domain

Sister Maria Crocifissa della Concezione of the convent of Palma di Montechiaru wrote an encrypted letter in 1676 which she claimed was authored by Satan himself who used her hands. Sister Maria Crocifissa della Concezione was born Isabella Tomasi in 1645, but was baptized when she entered the Benedictine convent in Palma di Montechiaru at the age of 15. One morning in 1676, she awoke covered in ink and with a mysterious letter in front of her. She told the other sisters that she was possessed by Satan and made her write a message.

The nuns trusted her, despite the fact that they could not, like the generations after them, understand the code by which the letter they displayed in the convent was written. Sister Maria became a true linguist during her stay at the convent, and scholars believe the letter was actually written in a language she invented herself, a mixture of languages and letters she met. For centuries, scholars have tried unsuccessfully to decipher a set of runes, the Greek alphabet, Arabic letters, and unknown symbols. It was only a year ago that they managed to figure out the part. To begin with, they were able to translate 15 lines of text and found that it discussed the relationship between humans, God, and Satan.

They say the letter is like nonsense, not entirely consistent and understandable. This supports the theory of some modern scientists that Sister Mary was not possessed by the devil but that she suffered from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Scripture describes God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as "an unnecessary burden," and says that "God thinks he can deliver mortals." He also says that man invented God, adding that "this system does not benefit anyone."

Papyrus 90
The leaf, written on papyrus, in Greek, was discovered in 1897 in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, along with a number of other leaves. At first, it did not seem special to archaeologists, given that it was an ordinary administrative certificate issued after a certain Clarus laid the grain in the city granary in 180. But after a closer look, the researchers were stuck around the last two rows, which they initially thought were just additional notes. Although, like the rest of the text, they are written in the Greek alphabet, they cannot be in Greek or even in the Greek demotic (Egyptian language is younger than ancient Egyptian, and older than Coptic). To date, experts are only speculating on what the two lines might mean, and the assumptions range from the most painful (as are the notes Clarus wrote down) to how it was an encrypted message from either Clarus or the granary officials, all the way to how it was mystical curses (which some, rather tensely, attribute even to the Hermeticism that arose in Egypt between the 1st and 4th centuries).

Curses from the silver scrolls
During excavations at the site near Jerash in Jordan, archaeologists in 2014 found small silver scrolls. Five centimeters long, the silver plates were only 1 millimeter thick and quite corroded. After cleaning them of rust, they realized that the letters were engraved on them. But they did not dare to level them so as not to completely destroy them. Only with the help of a CT scan could they see all the letters. But then the problems only began. Of the 17 lines, each with five letters, they deciphered only the first one, which is in the Greek alphabet. For others, linguists are not sure what language they should be at all, let alone what it says. Some claim that it is an imaginary language, others that it is written in pseudo-Arabic, given that the site was inhabited by Greeks, Romans and Arabs until the earthquake destroyed it in 749. But they agree on one thing - curses and magic formulas are written on a silver plate.

Voynich's manuscript

Voynich manuscript
public domain

Wilfrid Voynich, an American with Polish roots, bought a rather unusual book in 1912. It is painted with plant illustrations and zodiac signs, and written in an unknown script. The text consists of more than 170,000 characters written in language-like patterns. Twenty or thirty characters appear throughout the text, with the exception of a few unusual characters that are repeated only once. Sequences of paragraphs of approximately 240 pages with illustrations and diagrams, and the text is divided into, it seems, six parts. Each section seemingly describes a specific topic, herbalism, astronomy, biology, cosmology, and pharmacy. The text is smoothly written, without errors or corrections and without signs of pauses in writing, which you would expect in sentences when it comes to coded text.

For lack of a better name, the book is named after the librarian who discovered it, Voynich's manuscript. It has long been believed to have originated between 1450 and 1520. However, samples of the parchment on which the document was written were tested in early 2011 in the laboratory of the University of Arizona. It has been established that all the pages were created in a relatively short period of time, from the beginning or from the first half of the 15th century.

Given the many failed attempts to decode Voynich’s manuscript, many suggest that it is an elaborate fraud and cannot actually be deciphered. But until that is confirmed, this strange text will remain one of the most fascinating unsolved riddles.

Devil's handwriting
In 1539, Teseo Ambrogio Albonesi published, in principle, the linguistic book "Introduction to the Chaldean, Aramaic and Syriac languages and other languages of other letters", in which he also published the message of the devil himself. It was reportedly written down by a certain Ludovico Spoletano who screwed up with Satan who took his hand and started writing. The text, which Albonesi cites as "the only example of Satan's calligraphy," was written in a script similar to Ethiopian ge'ez, and apparently in Amharic, which was then believed to be the language spoken in paradise, thus supporting Albonesi's satanic origins. in which letters decorated with horns, a tail, and a trident often appear. Today's linguists, of course, suspect that it is the work of Satan, but believe that it is a code that Albonesi adorned with a mystical story, but even after almost five centuries, they failed to decipher it.


public domain

Giant heads are not the only enigma of Easter Islands. In the 19th century, European researchers became interested in about twenty wooden tablets bearing mysterious writings, called Rongorongo, which in the language of the Rapa Nui people means “to recite, to speak”. The texts are written in different directions, and the signs themselves are the outlines of human, animal, plant and geometric shapes. To this day, no one has been able to decipher them, and even the indigenous inhabitants did not know what they meant.

Some of the symbols and lines seem to be genealogies and calendars, but the rest is a complete mystery. Some anthropologists and ethnologists claim that Rapa Nui had a different writing system for ordinary things like genealogy or chronicles, and another writing system was kept strictly secret by the clergy. This is supported by the oral tradition of the people of Rapa Nui, according to which If it is ever deciphered, rongorongo would be one of only a few letters that developed completely independently of others, ie developed by a civilization that has never encountered the concept of writing and others letter.