A lot of medieval texts They are encrypted. Some of them have been deciphered, but others remain a mystery to researchers. This is the case of the famous Voynich manuscript. It contains a series of seemingly unrelated illustrations, starting with stars and planets before naked women, passing through plants, animals and strangely colored liquids. One of the latest studies that attempted to decipher it was carried out by two researchers from Macquarie University, in Australia. At the moment they have not been able to fully clarify its content, but at least they have a fairly clear idea of ​​what its topic might be: sex and gynecology.

It’s actually not something strange. In the Middle Ages, there lived a doctor who recommended encrypting any text containing prescriptions for contraception or abortion. Advice on seeking pleasure, libido-enhancing foods, sexual positions, and postpartum ointments also had to be hidden.

These medieval texts existed, but thanks to the use of encrypted alphabets, only a few could read them. people meant for this. Interestingly, this included everyone from sex workers to children. Perhaps they believed that childhood innocence would not cause them to distort the message. Since encryption of this type of information was so common, it is likely that this is the subject of the Voynich manuscript. Now we just have to find out what exactly it says.

Hidden information in medieval texts

Johannes Hartlieb He was a Bavarian physician who lived between 1410 (the year according to his works) and 1464. During his years as a doctor, he worked in the service of the dukes. Louis VII of Bavaria, Albert VI of Austria and Albert III of Bavaria. But he was also well known for his writings.

He used to practice double standards. He defended heterosexual marriage and feminine modesty, while condemning lust and prostitution. However, he was in favor of women developing themselves intellectually and being able to make decisions about their bodies. This is what prompted him to recommend encrypting texts on the above topics so as not to fall into the wrong hands. He feared that if this happened it would encourage acts as unclean as adultery. Not only would it condemn those who did it to eternal fire. And also to himself for giving them the knowledge they needed to get there.

On the other hand, he was a great expert witch herbs. In fact, in one of her books there is an ancient recipe for the famous flying ointment that these women were supposed to anoint the handles of their brooms with.

Hartlieb was also an expert in witch recipes. Credit: Mallory Johndrow (Unsplash)

But he didn’t just devote himself to writing his own lyrics. He also translated medieval texts and works of much older classical authors, usually related to gynecology. One of the authors she translated was Ruggero Trotula, She is known precisely for being one of the few female scientists of her time and for her participation in improving women’s health.

After all, Hartlieb was a man of contradictions. A doctor who loves his profession, is very interested in spreading knowledge, but also fears God. Of course it was a strange combination.

The Case of the Voynich Manuscript

This medieval text is currently in Yale University Library. It was here that these two researchers turned to it, increasingly convinced that the text dealt with what were at that time called women’s texts.

Many of the illustrations depict naked women with objects placed next to them. genitals or pointing at them. This is not what you would expect from a text on astronomy or botany.

Rather, it is typical of what was known at the time “women’s secrets”. Additionally, this medieval text features huge designs of rosettes consisting of 9 overlapping circles. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the uterus consisted of seven chambers, and the vagina had two openings: one internal and one external. Therefore, these 9 circles may represent the female reproductive system.

medieval texts
Despite the illustrations of plants, this does not look like a botany essay.

At this time, little is known about either the authors or the content. It seems to have passed through my hands 5 different scribes and which was published towards the end of the Middle Ages. According to radiocarbon dating, the skins from which it is made come from animals that died in the 15th century.

Mysteries remain, but it’s becoming clearer that this may be the problem sexology and gynecology. In the end, it turns out that medieval doctors were advanced in these matters. They just didn’t like to brag about it.

Source: Hiper Textual

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