Sunday, December 15, 2013

A few bits from the Rohonc Codex

Here, without any particular system of organization, are some suggested decipherments from the Rohonc Codex. (Note--I have updated this post with better images and added more discussion. As usual, the original was written late at night and I was very tired.)

I feel like the Rohonc Codex is a more "honest" text than the Voynich. For one thing, the scribe made mistakes in the RC, and struck through them or drew pictures over them. In the VM it seems there are no mistakes like this. The existence of a mistake implies a difference between correct and incorrect text, which lends weight to the idea that the text is not a hoax (since in a hoax there is no difference between correct and incorrect text).

In addition, the RC has apparent cultural features. It seems that all major figures depicted in the text can be identified based on their headgear, suggesting a tradition of stylized iconography. Christ can always be identified by his beard and striped turban, for example.

In some images, the figures are given names, which is where my suggested decipherments begin. Here is Jesus:


This name is frequently followed, in the text, by another formula, which I think is probably Christ. For example, in the caption above an image of the Magi bearing gifts:

Jesus Christ

(Note 2/25/2014: Delia Huegel reads these characters the same way. See her post on Divine Designators.)

In one image, Jesus meets a seated figure wearing a crown who is mentioned frequently in the surrounding text. I think he may be Pontius Pilate:

Jesus and Pilate?

Pontius Pilate?

The reason I think this is Pilate is that they are surrounded by Roman soldiers (with pointed caps, as I mentioned in my first post), and the Pilate figure is seated on a throne with a crown. This individual is mentioned very frequently in some sections of the text, which makes me wonder if those portions aren't drawn from the apocryphal Acts of Pilate.

There are several depictions of the crucifixion, some of which show a board above Christ's head. In the images that I have, the board is difficult to read, but not impossible. Here are the best two:


Though the images here are not great, something bearing a strong resemblance to this formula can be found on a page where Pilate's name also appears frequently:

INRI in context with Pilate's name

What is interesting about the passage above is that it contains nearly the same text repeated twice, with apparent numbers before each repetition.

Is there a dialogue between Jesus and Pilate in the Acts of Pilate or Gospel of Nicodemus (or somewhere else) where Pilate asks Jesus more than once whether he is the King of the Jews? If so, that could be the underlying text here.

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