Off topic: Unknown Language: Need help identifying it
Thread poster: Andreae
Mar 11, 2013

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I bought this used book (an edition of Virgil's works, first published 1743, this edition seems to be from the mid-19th century, but as some of the front matter has been ripped out I can't be sure) and there is this writing on the inside cover. (There are also some names of previous owners of the book, both from the Toronto, Canada, area which is roughly where I got the book).

Does anyone know what this is/says?




http://www.flickr.com/photos/93923583@N05/


 

Libor Zajicek  Identity Verified

Local time: 02:45
English to Czech
+ ...
Greenlandic Mar 11, 2013

To me it looks similar to the Greenlandic Eskimo characters, but don´t know.

 

S P Willcock (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:45
German to English
+ ...
it's cypher Mar 11, 2013

that's not a script in it's own right, it's a substitution cypher that was quite popular in the C18-19.

the 26 letters of the Roman alphabet are placed into the nine squares of a tic-tac-toe and the four quarters of a slanted cross, twice over, and then we read/write these letters by drawing out the shape of the space they occupy - the dot tells us whether to use the first or second sequence.

I don't have a pencil and scratch paper within reach or I would doodle about and try to find what it says, but it is almost certainly an owner's name.


 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:45
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It is indeed cypher Mar 11, 2013

and I think it uses this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ac2_cipher_key.png

If so, the text in question says: JAMES LYMCHS. The surname doesn't make much sense but the first name being James makes it quite likely that this is the cypher used...

The other version of this cypher which simply places the letters in alphabetical order on the pigpen would make it NAGCS OVGBMS which makes less sense


 

Andreae
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Mar 11, 2013

Thanks everyone!

"and I think it uses this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ac2_cipher_key.png

If so, the text in question says: JAMES LYMCHS. The surname doesn't make much sense but the first name being James makes it quite likely that this is the cypher used..."

I agree, and think the last name is actually LYNCH (since LYMCH, much less LYMCHS seems nonexistent). Since the character for N is the same as for M, but with a dot added, it would be an easy enough mistake to make. The S at the end is possessive, so I think the whole thing should read: "JAMES LYNCH'S Book, December 4th, 1831".


 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:45
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes I think you're right Andrae Mar 12, 2013

it seems difficult to imagine that someone would make a spelling mistake in cypher but perhaps the dot was somehow rubbed off. It was after all written a VERY long time ago!icon_smile.gif

 


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Unknown Language: Need help identifying it

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