Tag: ancient text

Aristotle’s Masterpiece Completed In Two Parts, The First Containing the Secrets of Generation

Spice up Your Sex Life with This 300-Year-Old Sex Manual

Have you ever wondered what’s the secret to sex? Wonder no more, because a 300-year-old book detailing the “secrets of sex” during the Georgian era has been found, and it’s in shockingly good condition. Spice up your sex life this Valentine’s Day with tips, tricks, and insights into lovemaking like the 17th century Georgians did with Aristotle’s Masterpiece Completed In Two Parts, The First Containing the Secrets of Generation.



According to Jim Spencer, a book and manuscript valuer at Hansons Auctioneers, the sex manual’s first edition was released in 1684, though due to the content of the book, it was banned for about 250 years. 


Alongside the sex tips there’s information on human biology, witchcraft, astrology and “monstrous births”. So everything you’ve ever wanted to know, basically. The manuscript will be put up for auction on March 27th, and for the low low price of somewhere between £80 and £120, a copy could be yours! Mark your calendars.


Featured Image Via The Times. 


10 Times Aesop Dished out Some Old-School Wisdom

Some facts about Aesop: he was around for Ancient Greece, so about 2,500 years ago; he may or may not have been a slave; he was a diplomat; being a diplomat got him tossed off a cliff, which is how he died.


The other thing you need to know about Aesop is that he spoke some stone cold truths. As with the truth, it’s not always easy to hear. That’s why sometimes we dress up the truth in fantastic tales, also known as fables. That’s what Aesop did. But I’ve boiled down these fables into ten concentrated doses of T-R-U-T-H.


1. It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.


2. If you choose bad companions, no one will believe that you are anything but bad yourself.


3. A doubtful friend is worse than a certain enemy. Let a man be one thing or the other, and we then know how to meet him.


4. Adversity tests the sincerity of friends.


5. Betray a friend, and you’ll often find you have ruined yourself.


6. Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth.


7. Those who suffer most cry out the least.


8. Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten.


9. After all is said and done, more is said than done.


10. It is easy to despise what you cannot get.




Feature Image by Nick Abrams on Unsplash

Voynich Manuscript

600-Year-Old Text Finally Deciphered Thanks to…Google Translate?

The Voynich manuscript is a 600-year-old document that for centuries has been undeciphered. Scholars have been trying to find the meaning within the manuscript and now a computer scientist has claimed to have cracked it using artificial intelligence. 


“The world’s most mysterious medieval text” is strewn with illustrations of exotic plants, stars, and mysterious human figures, including naked women. The 240-page text’s actual text is elegant and unreadable, as any attempts to uncover what language it’s been written in have been unsuccessful. Even the cryptographers from Bletchley Park, the team that deciphered the Nazi enigma code, couldn’t break through the Voynich manuscript.


Greg Kondrak, a computer scientist from the University of Alberta, claims to have worked out the language. Scholars initially thought the manuscript to be Arabic, but Kondrak and his team used statistical algorithms which they believe to be 97 percent accurate when translating the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights into 380 languages. Kondrak and his team came to the conclusion that the manuscript is written in ancient Hebrew, but once they made that discovery, they still had to find a means to unscramble the text. Unraveling the code required shuffling the order of letters in each word and dropping the vowels.


The team sought out Hebrew scholars, but they were no help. Instead, they turned to Google Translate, because Google is the real MVP. “It came up with a sentence that is grammatical, and you can interpret it,” said Dr. Kondrak. “She made recommendations to the priest, man of the house and me and people.”


“It’s a kind of strange sentence to start a manuscript but it definitely makes sense,” said the scientist.


Kondrak and his team and their powerful AI have deciphered a variety of words, but the software isn’t as helpful as it could be; Dr. Kondrak says there is more to deciphering the document than feeding the manuscript into a computer as it also requires a human to make sense of the syntax. “We use human language to communicate with other humans, but computers don’t understand this language, because it’s designed for people. There are so many ambiguous meanings that we don’t even realize.” 


From here, Dr. Kondrak is infuriatingly stagnant—without historians of ancient Hebrew, the full meaning of the Voynich manuscript will remain a mystery.


The success of the way they have gone about it, however, is endlessly useful. The team believes the program could be used to translate scripts from other ancient, potentially dead languages and cultures, including ancient Crete. “There are still ancient scripts that remain undeciphered to this day.”


Exciting, right?


Featured Image Via Getty Images