Famous Mysterious Texts of the Ages

Famous Mysterious Texts of the Ages

Scientists and explorers have been fascinated with ancient and mysterious texts found throughout history.

These texts detail and conceal forgotten secrets of the ages and the history of mankind.

Here is a list of 10 Mysterious Texts in existence today:

1. Voynich Manuscript

Voynich Manuscript
Voynich Manuscript

This text has been described as ‘the world’s most mysterious manuscript.’ It is suspected to have come from northern Italy, and it dates from the early 15th century.

The unknown writings appear on high-quality animal skin paper and accompany beautifully drawn illustrations of plants. These plants have not yet  been identified as ever having lived in the wilds of Earth.

The work resembles herbal manuscripts created during this era, and this fact leads many to speculate that the manuscript must be a manual on herbal medicine or alchemy. However, to date, no conclusions about this text have been reached despite extensive analysis of the work by cryptographers, linguists, and other investigators.

2. Kryptos

Kryptos
Kryptos

Jim Sanborn is the American artist who created the encrypted copper, granite and wood sculpture ‘Kryptos’ located on the grounds of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) in Langley, Virginia, USA.

The sculpture resembles a large, S-shaped, curved scroll and displays four, separate, coded messages, three of which have been solved to date leaving a fourth unsolved code which has so far eluded even the most highly praised cryptanalysts.

There has been much speculation about the true meanings of these encrypted messages, and this has led to the creation of some conspiracy theories with one popular theory linking the sculpture to the writer Dan Brown citing that there are hidden messages on the dust jacket of his novel The Da Vinci Code.

3. Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta stone dates back to 196 BC when it was inscribed with a decree issued in Memphis, Egypt on behalf of King Ptolemy V. It was found at Rosetta, a port city on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt by a French expedition.

The official writings on the stone appear in three scripts; Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script, and Ancient Greek.

This stone provided the knowledge and translation which led to the modern understanding of the Egyptian hieroglyphs. It is a fragment of an original, larger-sized stone slab.

This text details some Egyptian history, and it talks about the repealing of some tax privileges which the temple priests had in past times.

Unfortunately, due to its damaged state, none of the three texts is complete, and this means that the full details of this ancient stele will probably never be known.

4. The Gnostic Gospels

The Gnostic Gospels
The Gnostic Gospels

The Gnostic Gospels are a collection of religious writings found through the ages. Many of these scripts were found by accident in the Nag Hammadi Library in Egypt in 1945.

At one stage, some of these texts were sold on the black market. Thankfully, they have now been rescued and collected for preservation. The contents of these scriptures are controversial for a few reasons, with the main reason being that they attribute certain sayings to Jesus which don’t appear in the Bible.

This collection of approximately 52 texts is thought to be based upon the ancient wisdom and teachings of prophets and spiritual leaders including Jesus. They date from the early 2nd to the 4th century AD.

The word ‘gnostic’ comes from the Greek word ‘gnosis’ and means ‘knowledge.’

Gnosticism is a movement which dates back to the 2nd century and is thought to have derived from Christianity. The Gnostics essentially believed that matter is evil and that emancipation stems from gnosis.

5. The Codex Seraphinianus

The Codex Seraphinianus
The Codex Seraphinianus

The Codex Seraphinianus is an unusual book which is best described as an illustrated encyclopedia of an imaginary world. It was started by the artist Luigi Serafini in 1976 and took 2 and one-half years to complete.

It is written in a strange and mostly unintelligible script with the accompanying pencil drawings detailing mystical and extraordinary creatures, plants, foods,et cetera.

The numbering system of the book has been deciphered by linguists and investigators, but the alphabet and language of this work continues to defy the experts.

In talking about his book in 2009, Serafini said that there is no hidden meaning behind the text of the Codex, and that he wanted the reader to experience the sensation that children encounter when they look at books that they cannot understand, although they appreciate that the writing makes sense for grown-ups.

6. The Rohonc Codex

The Rohonc Codex
The Rohonc Codex

The Rohonc Codex is a 448-page document written in an unknown language and illustrated with many black-and-white illustrations. These depict iconography from Christian, Muslim, and Hindu religions as well as scenes of battle and landscapes.

The origin of the Codex is unknown, although there has been some speculation that it was listed in the 1743 catalog of the Batthyánys’ Rohonc library as a collection of Hungarian prayers.

The book was named after the city of Rohonc,in Western Hungary (now Rechnitz, Austria), where it was kept until 1838.

Many Hungarian scholars consider this work to be a hoax created by Sámuel Literáti Nemes who lived in the 1800s. Sámuel was a Transylvanian-Hungarian antiquarian, who committed many historical forgeries during his lifetime, deceiving many including a few renowned Hungarian scholars of the era.

Other investigators have linked the writings to encoded Romanian and Hindi languages.

Recently, the media has reported that the initial findings of two investigators who have examined the Codex have been printed in Hungarian.

7. The Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls

Discovered between 1946 and 1956 by the Bedouin people and archaeologists, the Dead Sea Scrolls are made up of 972 manuscripts. The Biblical writings of these scripts comprise the Hebrew Bible.

They are written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Nabataean and have been dated to ranges between 408 BCE and 318 CE.

The scrolls are believed to have belonged to a Jewish sect called the Essenes although this is debated.

Some of these scrolls were hidden in clay jars during the time when the Roman army was trying to destroy Jewish culture and Christian teachings.

The site of Qumran which the Romans destroyed in 67 AD later provided samples of ash which indicated that other books and scrolls were probably destroyed at this time of devastation.

8. The Rongorongo

The Rongorongo
The Rongorongo

The Rongorongo glyphs were discovered in the 19th century on Easter Island. They have not been properly deciphered to date but are believed to be examples of proto-writing, devoid of any direct, linguistic content.

If the Rongorogo carvings were proved to be writings, they would be one of a few independent inventions of writing in human history

The glyphs depict the outlines of humans, animals, and other forms

In the late 19th century, around 2 dozen wooden objects displaying the shallow Rongorongo carvings were collected and distributed in museums and private collections.

Unfortunately, due to the enslavement of many of the native populations of the island and epidemics in the region, translations of the carvings have never been provided.

9. The Ripley Scroll

The Ripley Scroll
The Ripley Scroll

A body of manuscripts make up the Ripley Scroll with pictures detailing fabled processes for alchemy and how to create the philosophers’ stone, the main ingredient of the elixir of life.

There are 21 copies of the scroll which are known to exist, and the works consist of several, intricately engraved illustrative prints accompanied by long, poetically written verses

The records were named after George Ripley, an Augustinian monk in the 15th century, who worked secretly as an alchemist and was said to have been able to turn base metals into gold. He is also said to have discovered the secrets to immortality and transmutation.

10. The Liber Linteus

The Liber Linteus
The Liber Linteus

The Liber Linteus is an Etruscan text written on linen cloth. It was donated to the State Institute of Croatia, Slovenia, and Dalmatia in Zagreb (now the Archaeological Museum) in 1867. The book has a long history having been well preserved when it was used as mummy wrappings in Ptolemaic Egypt.

The mummy and its Liber Linteus wrappings were bought in 1848 by Mihajlo BariÄ’¡, a Croatian minor official in the Hungarian Royal Chancellor’s office.

It was displayed in his home in Vienna until his death in 1859 when it was passed on to his brother who subsequently donated it to the institute in Zagreb.

The importance of the writings was recognised at this time, and historians soon realised that it was the only surviving book of its kind and the longest Etruscan script ever found. It remains untranslated to this day due to the fact that little is known about the Etruscan language.

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