One of the world’s most con­found­ing lit­er­ary mys­ter­ies may final­ly be, in part, solved: the author of the mys­te­ri­ous and as-yet untrans­lat­able Voyn­ich man­u­script has been iden­ti­fied as a Jew­ish physi­cian based in north­ern Italy, an expert in medieval man­u­scripts has claimed. The Voyn­ich man­u­script is an illus­trat­ed book print­ed on vel­lum writ­ten entire­ly in an inde­ci­pher­able script, leav­ing schol­ars and code-break­ers scratch­ing their heads since it re-emerged a cen­tu­ry ago. Writ­ing in the fore­word of a new fac­sim­i­le of the 15th-cen­tu­ry codex, Stephen Skin­ner claims visu­al clues in each sec­tion pro­vide evi­dence of the manuscript’s author. If proved true, Skin­ner believes his the­o­ry will help unlock more secrets of the cod­ed man­u­script. The schol­ar draws evi­dence for his the­o­ry of the author’s iden­ti­ty from a range of illus­tra­tions in the man­u­script, par­tic­u­lar­ly a sec­tion in which naked women are depict­ed bathing in green pools sup­plied by intesti­nal-like pipes. The doc­tor, whose work includes edit­ing the spir­i­tu­al diaries of the Tudor mys­tic John Dee, believes the illus­tra­tions show com­mu­nal Jew­ish baths called mik­vah , which are still used in Ortho­dox Judaism to clean women after child­birth or men­stru­a­tion. Point­ing to the fact that the pic­tures show only nude women […]