10 of the Most Mysterious Books that Ever Existed

by Rishika Jain2 years ago
Picture 10 of the Most Mysterious Books that Ever Existed

Many cryptic books and works have baffled curious minds throughout history. Many such books are written in a language that no one knows and many contain such knowledge that is beyond human imagination. These books are written in a certain cryptic code that left historians scratching their heads. The majority of these writings disappeared over time, but some of them are still kept well-preserved and they continue to intrigue historians, cryptologists, and followers of the occult. Let’s go through 10 of the most mysterious books that have ever existed.

1 Voynich Manuscript

Voynich Manuscript is the most mysterious manuscript ever written in an unknown language. Scholars and scientists are still trying to decipher it.

Voynich Manuscript
A page from the mysterious Voynich manuscript, which is undeciphered to this day (Image to the left), Detail from page 78r of Voynich Manuscript depicting the “biological” section. Image credits: beinecke.library.yale.edu via wikimedia.org, Tamhannen via wikimedia.org

The Voynich Manuscript was firstly discovered in 1912 when it was purchased by a Polish antique books dealer named Wilfrid Voynich. The manuscript contains 250 pages written in a strange language or with weird indecipherable codes. Scholars and scientists are trying to decipher the texts of the manuscript and have come up with several theories, but all these theories so far have been discarded.

The book was thought to have been written in the 15th or 16th century and has illustrations of various animals, people, astrology, zodiac symbols, herbs, and maps. However, German Egyptologist, Rainer Hannig, claimed to have figured out the code. He believed that the manuscript had not been written in an Indo-European language, rather it was written in a Semitic language such as Aramaic, Arabic, or Hebrew. The Voynich Manuscript is still a mystery whose origins and meaning have been eroded by the sands of time. (source)


2 The Book of Soyga

The Book of Soyga is a 16th century Latin book with detailed instructions for magical rituals, incantations, astrology, and demonology.

Book of Soyga
Book cover (Image to the left), Inner page. Image credits: goodreads.com, amreading.com

The Book of Soyga, also known as “Aldaraia,” is a 16th-century book that is all about magic, astrology, incantations, and demonology. The author of the book is unknown, but it was first acquired by a scholar, John Dee, in the early 1580s while he worked as an advisor to Queen Elizabeth I. Dee spent his entire life trying to decipher the book’s secrets. The majority of the book was written in regular Latin, which was easy to read. It contained several paragraphs describing conjurations, confusing magical formulas, protection spells, and hierarchies of angels and demons.

In the end, Dee was never able to decipher the last 36 pages of the Book of Soyga, which contained 36 tables. The book was lost after his death in 1609. The book was rediscovered in 1994 in two different locations, one in the British Library and another in the Bodleian Library. However, the mystery of the Book of Soyga persists. Who wrote it? What do those 36 tables and their magical words mean? No one knows. (source)


3 The Rohonc Codex

This codex was discovered in 1838 written in an indecipherable language. It’s still not clear whether the text should be read from left to right or right to left.

The Rohonc Codex
The Rohonc Codex. Image credit: the-demonic-paradise.fandom.com

A 450-page long manuscript, the Rohonc Codex, was first discovered at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1838. Since its discovery, scholars, linguists, and code-breakers have been trying to decipher the unknown language of the manuscript, but, up to today, not a single word has been decoded. The manuscript contains about 90 cartoon-like illustrations of battles and various religious themes. It’s still not clear whether the texts in Rohonc Codex should be read from left to right or right to left.

The Rohonc Codex first appeared in 1743 in one of the catalogs of the Rohonc library. It is believed that it’s not an ancient work of a culture that is lost in time, but that this is a work that was intentionally written in a high-end code language that even the greatest minds can’t figure out. Scholars and scientists are still scratching their heads trying to decipher the weird characters in the Codex. The only thing that is certain about the Rohonc Codex is that the paper used to write this manuscript dates back to 16th century Italy. (source)


4 Popol Vuh

Popol Vuh is a text dating back to the mid-1500s that was written in the Mayan language K’iche’, which sheds light on the creation of humans and animals.

Popol Vuh
Popol Vuh cover (Image to the left), a inner page. Image credits: Center for Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts, Brigham Young University via amazon.com, Francisco Ximénez via wikimedia.org

Popol Vuh also referred to as the “Book of the People’‘ is the Maya document that describes the ancient Mayan culture and mythology. The text was written back in the mid-1500s in the Mayan language K’iche’. Popol Vuh recounts the creation of the world, the actions of god, the migration and settlement of the K’iche’ people up to the time of the Spanish conquest in the 16th century CE.

The book mentions the Hero Twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, who will eventually transform into the Sun and the Moon. The book further discusses its creation myth that there was only sky and sea at first, then the creators of Earth created the animals, men, and women. The book was first found in the 1700s by a priest, Francisco Ximenez, in Guatemala. (source)


5 Les Propheties

This is a book full of prophecies written by a Frenchman, Michael de Nostradamus, in the 16th century.

Les Propheties
Copy of Garencières’ 1672 English translation of the Prophecies (printed in London by Thomas Ratcliffe and Nathaniel Thompson; 1st English ed.). Image credit: Zereshk/briscoe.uthscsa.edu via wikimedia.org

Les Propheties is a famous book full of prophecies written by Michael de Nostradamus in the 16th century. He was a Frenchman and a self-declared seer who could predict future events and mentions them in his book. One of his best works was Les Propheties, which was first published in 1555 and has never been out of print since his death.

Nostradamus has attracted a huge crowd that credit him for predicting major historical events like the rise of Adolf Hitler, Napoleon’s conquests, the French Revolution, the death of Henry II, the great fire of London, the 9/11 attacks, the slaying of JFK, and other major disasters. All the prophecies in Les Propheties are written in four lines of rhyming verse. Many scholars claim that his predictions are merely a material of misinterpretations or mistranslations. (source)

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