International Conference On Cryptologic History

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ICCH awarded a Golden Alice for Best Cryptographic History Event of 2020.
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Archived Presentations

Here is a list of past presentations at ICCH. The most recent presentation is at the top. Click on each listing to reveal more information below, including the speaker, presentation description and to access recordings.

Note: Effort has been made to ensure that the information on each presentation is accurate and up-to-date. To suggest a correction please contact the ICCH webmaster Patrick Hayes at info@cryptologichistory.org.

Presentation:

The ‘Discovery’ of the Voynich Manuscript by Wilfrid Voynich

Speaker(s):
Date & time (UTC/GMT):
October 17, 2021 5:00 PM
Description:

The Voynich Manuscript is a 15th century illustrated manuscript with more than 200 pages of text in an unknown script. It has resisted 100 years of cryptographic attacks. Every year, several new tentative solutions are presented, only to be rejected very quickly. The present talk will not follow this doomed path, but look at a remarkable, and largely unknown part of the history of this manuscript, namely its supposed discovery by Wilfrid Voynich in the Villa Mondragone near Frascati, Italy. Voynich was very secretive about this, and essentially all we know from him was his statement in 1921 that he discovered it in some forgotten chest in a castle in Southern Europe. The later owner of the manuscript, Hans P. Kraus, proclaimed in the 1960’s that this was Villa Mondragone. What really happened has only been unraveled in recent years, based on independent sources about these events. It involves confiscations of major monastic libraries, books hidden in cellars, fights between the Italian State, the Vatican and the society of Jesus, and Hungarian attempts to recover the treasures of the lost library of Matthias Corvinus. We will see that Voynich did not discover anything, but got involved in a very good deal due to his personal character. In this deal, the Voynich Manuscript was just one of approximately 30 books, and not even one of the most important ones. We will also see that there are several compelling reasons why Voynich could not talk about any of this. A few mysteries still remain, but there are still important resources that have hardly been explored. The presentation of these events will be illustrated profusely with pictures of the people, the places and the documents involved.

Page last updated:

November 12, 2021

Register for ICCH

Thank you. You are now registered and will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again.

Welcome to the home page of the International Conference on Cryptologic History (ICCH).

Welcome to the home page of the International Conference on Cryptologic History (ICCH).

Register for ICCH

Thank you. You are now registered and will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again.

Speakers
Presentations
Useful Links
ICCH File Drive
Contact

Archived Presentations

Here is a list of past presentations at ICCH. The most recent presentation is at the top. Click on each listing to reveal more information below, including the speaker, as well as the presentation date and description. Presentation recordings are available separately, in the ICCH File Drive.

To view upcoming ICCH presentations, click here.

Note: Effort has been made to ensure that the information on each presentation is accurate and up-to-date. To suggest a correction please contact the ICCH webmaster Patrick Hayes at info@cryptologichistory.org.

Presentation:

The ‘Discovery’ of the Voynich Manuscript by Wilfrid Voynich

Speaker(s):
Date & time (UTC/GMT):
October 17, 2021 5:00 PM
Description:

The Voynich Manuscript is a 15th century illustrated manuscript with more than 200 pages of text in an unknown script. It has resisted 100 years of cryptographic attacks. Every year, several new tentative solutions are presented, only to be rejected very quickly. The present talk will not follow this doomed path, but look at a remarkable, and largely unknown part of the history of this manuscript, namely its supposed discovery by Wilfrid Voynich in the Villa Mondragone near Frascati, Italy. Voynich was very secretive about this, and essentially all we know from him was his statement in 1921 that he discovered it in some forgotten chest in a castle in Southern Europe. The later owner of the manuscript, Hans P. Kraus, proclaimed in the 1960’s that this was Villa Mondragone. What really happened has only been unraveled in recent years, based on independent sources about these events. It involves confiscations of major monastic libraries, books hidden in cellars, fights between the Italian State, the Vatican and the society of Jesus, and Hungarian attempts to recover the treasures of the lost library of Matthias Corvinus. We will see that Voynich did not discover anything, but got involved in a very good deal due to his personal character. In this deal, the Voynich Manuscript was just one of approximately 30 books, and not even one of the most important ones. We will also see that there are several compelling reasons why Voynich could not talk about any of this. A few mysteries still remain, but there are still important resources that have hardly been explored. The presentation of these events will be illustrated profusely with pictures of the people, the places and the documents involved.

Page last updated:

November 12, 2021

Register for ICCH

Thank you. You are now registered and will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again.

Welcome to the home page of the International Conference on Cryptologic History (ICCH).