THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Medieval manuscripts blog

03 August 2015

Help Us Decipher This Inscription

Last week (3 August) we blogged about the medieval sword on display in the British Library’s Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy exhibition. We have been thrilled by the number of enthusiastic comments and suggestions we have received about this sword. Due to the phenomenal range of suggestions, it’s unlikely that we will be able to decipher the mysterious inscription before Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy closes on 1 September — indeed, it could be a mystery that may never be solved! — but we would like to offer huge thanks for all your thoughts and ideas, which have come from all corners of the globe.

The message board on this blog post has now closed, but we encourage you to continue sharing ideas about what the code might mean on Twitter. Please follow our Medieval Manuscripts Blog and @BLMedieval Twitter feed for more news and views from the team.

*         *         *

Visitors to Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy may have noticed that we have one or two objects on display, in addition to the many manuscripts and documents telling Magna Carta's 800-year-old story. One of those objects is a double-edged sword, found in the first section of the exhibition, on loan to the British Library from our friends at the British Museum. The item in question was found in the River Witham, Lincolnshire, in July 1825, and was presented to the Royal Archaeological Institute by the registrar to the Bishop of Lincoln. It weighs 1.2 kg (2 lb 10 oz) and measures 964 mm (38 in.) in length and 165 mm (6½ in.) across the hilt; if struck with sufficient force, it could easily have sliced a man’s head in two. 

BM-Sword

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A double-edged sword, 13th century, possibly of German manufacture but discovered in England in the 19th century (British Museum 1858,1116.5): image courtesy of the British Museum

An intriguing feature of this sword is an as yet indecipherable inscription, found along one of its edges and inlaid in gold wire. It has been speculated that this is a religious invocation, since the language is unknown. Here's what the inscription seems to read:

+NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI+

 

BM-Sword detail

Detail of the inscription of the sword

At our exhibition this sword is displayed alongside a 14th-century manuscript of the Grandes chroniques de France, open at a page showing the French invasion of Normandy in 1203. The men-at-arms in that manuscript are wielding swords very similar to the one with the strange inscription.

Royal_ms_16_g_vi_f365v

The French invasion of Normandy in a manuscript of the Grandes chroniques de France (British Library Royal MS 16 G VI, f. 365v, detail)

Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy, is on display at the British Library until 1 September 2015, see our exhibition website for ticketing details. All the items can also be seen on our Learning site, and in the catalogue, edited by Claire Breay and Julian Harrison, that accompanies the exhibition (now on special offer at £15).

 

Postscript (7 August, updated 10 August)

Thank you to everyone who has read and shared this blogpost, and for those who have left their enthusiastic comments and suggestions. We're very grateful for your assistance in helping us to decipher this mysterious inscription. We have received several pages of comments -- to view them all, please use the forward/backward button at the foot of this post. Please note that comments on this post have now closed. 

The following note has been kindly added by Marc van Hasselt (Utrecht University, Hastatus Heritage Consultancy).

 

The River Witham Sword in its European Context

Inscribed swords were all the rage in Europe around the year 1200. Dozens of them have been found, from England to Poland, from Sweden to France. While researching a specific sword-blade found in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, I found around a dozen other swords which had striking similarities. One of those swords was the River Witham sword, making it part of a large international family. Using the excellent research by Thomas Wagner and John Worley, an image of a hugely successful medieval workshop was created, making ‘magical’ swords for the elite. The swords themselves are of a high quality, but what most catches the eye are the inscriptions. Both their mysterious contents and the similarities in the lettering are striking. A sword from Sweden might use the same slightly curved X as the River Witham sword. A sword currently in Berlin has an I-S contraction also used on a sword found in the Netherlands. These similarities go so far as to suggest the same hand in making the inscriptions. However, their contents are still a mystery, regardless of their origins.

There is some debate on the language used in the inscriptions. But looking at the other European finds, it seems most likely that this language is Latin. This makes sense in the context of 13th-century Europe, as Latin was the international language of choice (like English is today). To elaborate, let's compare the River Witham sword to the sword from Alphen: both start with some sort of invocation. On the River Witham sword, it is NDXOX, possibly standing for Nostrum Dominus (our Lord) or Nomine Domini (name of the Lord) followed by XOX. On the sword from Alphen, the starting letters read BENEDOXO. Quite likely, this reads as Benedicat (A blessing), followed by OXO. Perhaps these letter combinations – XOX and OXO – refer to the Holy Trinity. On the sword from Alphen, one letter combination is then repeated three times: MTINIUSCS, which I interpret as Martinius Sanctus – Saint Martin. Perhaps a saint is being invoked on the River Witham sword as well?

By putting together pieces of the puzzle from all over Europe, we might come a little bit closer to solving the mystery. And even if we cannot decipher the inscriptions completely, they might bring us a little closer to understanding our ancestors.

Further reading:

http://www.gustavianum.uu.se/digitalAssets/203/203037_3medieval-christian-invocation-inscriptions-on-sword-blades.pdf

http://www.gustavianum.uu.se/digitalAssets/196/196842_how-to-make-swords-talk---an-interdisciplinary-approach-to-understanding-medieval-swords-and-their-inscriptions.pdf

Inscription on the Sword from Alphen:

+BENEDOXOFTISSCSDRRISCDICECMTINIUSCSDNI+

+DIOXMTINIUSESDIOMTINIUSCSDICCCMTDICIIZISI+

 

Visit our Medieval England and France website to discover how to make a medieval manuscript, to read beastly tales from the medieval bestiary, and to learn about medieval science, medicine and monastic libraries.

Comments

Not sure if this has been brought up or not but Hebrew is very consonant heavy and uses very little vowels if at all. Could it be a combination of Hebrew and Latin? I suggest this because in some places that have two different languages in the same area over time create a portmanteau language.

I'm going to go with abbreviations, and possibly roman or Roman Christians, as this reminds me of the inscription on Aggrippa's Pantheon. So I'm guessing Van Hasselt up there is headed in the right direction.

Hi, is a guide?

Path
610 northeastern
turn 100
right 510
west 6

In Gaelic.

It's a training tool that belonged to a school. The letters represent the motions of the combatant. Straight lines indicate elevated vertical attack and arches indicate horizontal attack. The letters also indicate foot placement.

Alpine inscription is easy to read: BENE-DOXO-FTIS-SCS-DIC-EC-MTINIUSCS-DNI
BENEDictemus DOmine (X)Christe Omnipotens
FTIS - Fraternitis?
SanCtuS
Domine Iesu Christe
EC-ECCE
MarTINIUS
SanCtuS
DNI-DomiNI

First of all, we need to understand, that several medieval manuscripts uses for the name of Christ first greek letters, like XPUS = Christus (XPUM=Christum).

N-DXO-X-GH-WDR(A?)-GH-DXO-RVI

N - "Nomine" or "nostrum"
DXO - Domine Xpe Omnipotens = Domine Christe omnipotens (from medieval Oration: "Domine Christe, deus omnipotens")
X - I do not know native latine words strating from X. But it is possible, that this is "first sounds letter" from word like "exoratio" or "exalto".
GH - Gloria et Honor (honos) = Gloria and Honour
WDR(A?N?) - maybe this is "mihi" and first letters of knight's name
R - possible "Redemptor" or "Rex"
V - "vivit" or "vivorum", but better: "vincit".
I - possible "inimicus" - enemies (or Immortalis)

So, this inscription is means something like: "(in the) Name of Lord Crist almighty (I) ask glory and honour for me (NN), Lord Christ almighty Redeemer (who) alive..."

The end is possible to be: "... Domine Christe Omnipotens Rex vincit inimicus" (Lord Christ Almighty win(s) enemies).
Or better: DXO-RVI is the paraphrase from "Christus vinsit Christus regnat Christus imperat" - Regnat-Vinsit-Imperat = RVI
Nostrum Domine Christe Omnipotens eXaltavit Gloria et Honori WD(?)
Glorios et Honos Dominus Christus Omnipotens Regnat Vincit Imperat

Forgive my naivety, for I am not a historian. Rather than offering an answer I would like to offer some questions.

Were blacksmiths commonly literate?
If not, why are we assuming the sword inscriptions mean anything at all?
If it was trendy to have inscriptions for the time, couldn't it be possible that an illiterate blacksmith sold this sword with a non-sense inscription to illiterate soldiers?
Since the wisest historians haven't a solid idea what this puzzling inscription says, shouldn't we start to take the possibility of a nonsense inscription more seriously (Occam's razor thought process)?

It's perhaps not as magical to be told the ancient sword has gibberish on it, but it certainly is a lot easier to swallow than a multilingual blacksmith with a knack for cryptography!

Could the message be in a prayer pattern:
NDXO XCHWDRGH DXO RVI
where:
NDXO = in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
XCHWDRGH = core message/prayer to Christ (first word)
DXO = Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
RVI = amen equivalent or other concluding sentiment.

An alternative configuration is for the "H" to be part of the third grouping and not the second.

Here, of course, "X" refers to Christ, the Chi, the saltire cross.

I noticed that the Breton language is based upon Latin script, and contains the letter W. It also has a sound (c'hw) that is present within the inscription as simply CHW.

Has this possibility been examined?

One other thought - if "DXO" is the end of the prayer, then "RVI" could be a reference to the sword's owner.

If the final three letters are RVI it could be a contraction of the Latin Revici for Conquer... which would seem appropriate for a sword and a good ending for a phrase of dedication that begins in the name of the Lord, then reference to perhaps a Saint or Saints, then conquer.

Good day.
Please, very sorry. I decided to write the new letter, because I found in my first mistakes.
My result is based a bit on the other way of researching this inscription. You can see that both crosses are simmilar to view in axial symmetry in mathematics, also thanks commas by the crosses. I used this in my the second step. In the first and the third step I readed the letters from the last to the first. (It can be also like the view in axial symetry, but with points instead the letters, no letters due to change the shape by the view.)

In the first step I split the whole text into 3 sections, there are borders from our two crosses and 2 symbols H in the text. H only represents change positions of the letters and their reading in this section.
1. NDXOXG (G, no C)
2. WD_C
3. DXORVI

The second step
1. When I read the letters from the 1. step n. 1, I read from the last to the first: GXOXDN
2. Like in axial symetry I work with letters in 1. step n. 2. I give this section with letters into other quadrant for the other rewriting and reading. ( 2. q. 1. q.
+
3. q. 4. q .)
the 4. quadrant: MD_C Simply, the letters are flipped down.
3. When I read the letters from the 1. step n. 3, I read from the last to the first: IVROXD

The third step. I explain this sections with letters in the second step so:
1. God, Nazareth. Two crosses are here like the symbol of 1. life and the supposed second life here of the God.
2. It means the era roman numerals- 1800.
3. It is written same (3 letters DXO) like in the beginning of the main text and like in the part 1. But here probably with initials of owner this sword (IVR) and- in the name of the GOD ((IVR)OXD). Here with only one cross, consciousness of owner´s only one life.

The Cartesian coordinate system is from Mr. René Descartes, he lived 200 years before this inscription. So I think, it is very possible that somebody decorated so interestingly his sword.

I haven't seen anything new on this, are there any?
Trying multi alphabetic cipher produces some cool results, but too many for a non-historian to filter out.

If the 10th lowercase letter is ignored, one result is pretty freaky.
NDXOXCHWD GHDXORVI
ADLAVATUS SUBTURPE

Adlavatus: flow up to (water)| wash
Subturpe: somewhat mean/repulsive;
Considering that the sword was found in a river, it might make sense. Incidentally, "n" applied to the first letter "N" produces "A"
Posted all possibilities with my current Latin dictionary at http://goo.gl/CgM1Xz


De: fabio gustavo condenanza marrapodi
Enviado: jueves, 11 de agosto de 2016 10:02 p.m.
Para: information@britishmuseum.org
Asunto: RV: decipher the phrase of the medieval sword

decipher the phrase of the medieval sword OK


De: fabio gustavo condenanza marrapodi
Enviado: jueves, 11 de agosto de 2016 01:07 p.m.
Para: Customer-Services@bl.uk
Asunto: decipher the phrase of the medieval sword

by this way they sent this material solely for the purpose of research work of this man is recognized as is deserved

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NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI - Decryption for me the hidden message
Posted by jeromedina On September 16, 2015 Filed under Curiosities 1 Comment

You desvelo all keys to the mystery that led to the British Library for help

Sword

A medieval sword (XIII century), located in the 1,825, has a cryptic message of 18 letters that has baffled historians and researchers (anthropologists, archaeologists, etc.), the mysterious inscription consists of 18 capital letters , worked in gold thread: + NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI + that are engraved in its original size, as distinguished by the central sulcus of the weapon.

The dagger has recently exhibited at the British Library, had been ceded by the British Museum as part of the exhibition for the 800th anniversary of its Constitution, was the great attraction for visitors to be in the first section between manuscripts, files and commemorative documents on the law, the historical heritage, freedom ... a great expectation that served the institution itself as a speaker, reaching for help visitors so they can give the keys to unveil the hidden content after that sequence of letters. At the close of the same (on 1 September) thanked the many suggestions received from all over the world and filled several pages of comments, adding that, probably, the mystery remains unsolved.
The sword is displayed next to a manuscript of the Great Chronicles of France fourteenth century, opened a section showing engravings and documents relating to the French invasion of Normandy in the year 1203. Fighters and warriors mentioned in this manuscript, brandish swords very similar to the protagonist of this strange inscription.

The truth is that, so far, several theories have been suggested to justify the meaning and the reason for such registration and even doubt the language used; it is noted that it may be a battle cry in medieval Welsh, the first letters of an English poem, some religious invocation, the name of its owner or even a simple gibberish invented and meaninglessness carved by a craftsman for his illiterate customers, something used to happen with some Saxon swords were forged with symbols lacking their buyers, illiterate, of discerning enough to read, but these acquirers require that their swords would show some kind of brand that uniquely represent them. Many doubts and uncertainties that try to clarify today.

The weapon, double-edged, has a weight of 1.2 kg and 96'4 cm long and was found in the bottom of the River Witham in July 1825. It is known that was presented to the Royal Archaeological Institute for registration by bishop of Lincoln, but it is believed that the sword would be much more ancient, datándose its German production about in the thirteenth century and originally about its existence historians consider that belonged to a medieval knight. River Witham, which housed in the residence margin of genius Isaac Newton, is known to be a coastal river that cuts through the slope of the North Sea in the UK, with 132 km in length. Most of his wealth is found mainly in the county of Lincolnshire, in eastern England.



Several pages of comments received

As part of the comments received, the British Library said one of Marc van Hasselt (graduate student in medieval studies at the University of Utrecht), which tells how research carried out in different parts of Europe (Poland, France, Netherlands ...) by the Department of Archaeology at the University have yielded data to support as in dozens of swords of the time, there are similarities in the materials, curvature, dimensions, and with the inscription of this sword, which seems to be a fad of the time. The debate on the language used, also would settle on the basis of these similarities and chronological coincidence with the main language that was used in the Middle Ages and pointing, with great force, to Latin, which was then the international language. And finally, he concludes, that after the initial hides a religious message, which is also recurring in other sizes of swords preserved medieval times in various museums in Europe and that would form "a great international family."

The mysterious sword, writes the British Library in his blog: "It is typical of the kind of swords medieval knights and barons have used in the time of King John and the Magna Carta" and quoted the commissioner Julian Harrison told the tabloid MailOnline.

It has been speculated the sense of the message, as I said before, coming to pass by a misspelling or even a name or an international combination of interrelated by different swords that have carved the same craftsman with intent to conceal some treasure messages or it could be the motto of the owner to indicate that he was always ready for battle, something Mr. Julian Harrison curator of the exhibition #MagnaCarta ruled since has not been able to corroborate. Also they doubt and controversy had to do with the language, from its Germanic origins, the medieval Welsh and pointing to a Sicilian Italian.

The result of my research, I think I can give light to solve this riddle and explain, then, the foundations of my findings. I hope it remains clear the mystery of the sword.

Reasonings to understand

The first is to meet the most sensible reasoning: the language is definitely the Latin and also makes sense to know which is the official liturgical language of the Church (discover here: Why Latin is the official language of the Church?) And this gives us new keys to be responding to parts of this crossroads. We must understand that the message of the inscription is religious court, framed in the literature of the time: Perceval, the Story of the Grail Chretien de Troyes fascinating work remained inacaba by the death of the writer, considered the first novelist of France and father Western novel, in the year 1185. Also, because of its importance, I will highlight a French poet of the twelfth century, Robert de Boron, which survive only 2 poems written in eight-syllable verses Joseph of Arimathea and Merlin, the latter only a few fragments remain, and subsequent interpretations prose. I want to emphasize the importance of Robert de Boron as the first author to give the Grail myth an explicitly Christian dimension. As extracted from its publications, Joseph of Arimathea, who according to the Bible was the owner of the tomb in which was deposited the body of Jesus after the crucifixion, used the cup from the Last Supper to collect the drops of blood that Jesus Nazareth shed on the cross, and took the cup to Ávalon where the Grail was hidden until the arrival of king Arthur and his knight Percival. This literature, as I said, confers unearthly courage and magical powers that mingles with the feast in the Christian tradition of the Holy Grail (the cup that the Christian community of Jerusalem in the eleventh century believed that it was the chalice of Christ is located currently the Basilica of San Isidoro) that has been preserved throughout the history of mankind. And he surrounds the legend of King Arthur to Morgana, Lady Lake, Excalibur and tradition of throwing swords as a religious ritual and protection.

Centering the argument and historical context, both coincide in many historical sequences, we can direct our search to find out the content of the inscription we know it was an inscription in Latin and religious significance. Nor should it be forgotten that medieval sword in the XII - XIV, was the chivalrous weapon par excellence and was loaded with symbolism, as pointed out by the medieval Castilian writer, Don Juan Manuel, in his Book of weapons, later known as "Book of the three reasons", which states: >. a ceremony of arming a brave knight before leaving the sword had a starring role was also followed: first the sword was blessed, then it was played with her three times on the shoulder of the future knight and finally, once was appointed knight, his godfather is the cinched at the waist and was ready for battle. But we are left with that attribution of almost magical virtues that led to establish rituals, as can be derived from the inclusion of relics in the hollows of the knobs or religious invocations in the leaves and the grips with the intention of obtaining divine protection.

Hence comes the inscription of this sword, whose owner must have been a Knight Templar (it was the most important Christian Military Order of the Middle Ages, 1118-1307) and whose meaning will thresh.
Registration Detail NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI

By observation, I personally reject the idea of gematria (method to decipher and interpret the Torah and the New Testament based on assigning numbers to letters Hebrew and Greek. It is said that are the languages in which the Bible was written) and cabala (mystical and allegorical interpretation of the Old own Testament of the Jewish tradition that claims to reveal a hidden know about God and the world) as valid languages that some have wanted to be identified by symbols crosshair foregoing and precede the 18 initial the message with the sword in the central sulcus. I may not talk about numerology when perfectly resemble the shapes with letters and numbers and does not understand the meaning resembles the object in question. Therefore, I reject this kind of idea to solve the riddle.
Stone slab with Latin inscription Alpha and Omega, letters X and P Monogram of Christ ☧, inscription carved on stone preserved in the Catacombs of Domitilla in Rome.
Stone slab with Latin inscription Alpha and Omega.

In the picture above, the Crismón seen with the letters X and P Monogram of Christ ☧, inscription carved on stone preserved in the Catacombs of Domitilla in Rome.
Cruz registration

The crosses have been placed on both sides, would not be heraldic (in my suggestion resolution), although some have debated whether it was the kick cross or pâté cross (symbol of the Templar Order) and others have corrected indicating that it would be the cross potent because it widens at the ends and also the Templar cross used to go on the pommels of swords and not on your resume. Examples of both and other types, you can see them HERE. For me it would be the monogram of Christ or Crismón (the abbreviation of the name of Christ formed by the combination of the first two letters of the Greek form, go over here its history and meaning) which is a type of medieval cross (very important in the Romanesque iconography, ie between the IX-XII centuries), an extension of Constantine. The ligation ΧΡ ιστός of the first two letters of the word Χρ ( "Christos") are connected, so it is an abbreviation of the title "Christ". This part I think would be the most contentious.

So we have the first answers to the riddle. Now I will continue with the text: + NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI + and I will be divided into 3 parts to explain better ...

Note: Before anything, and with permission from the Braquigrafía, I must anticipate that I would be treated as valid that acronyms and, therefore, try to point out what would be the same in Latin. After the I translate into our language.



XCHWDRGH NDXO DXORVI



By analogy, because it is used in similar inscriptions of other swords found at the time, I consign these transcripts as valid. The X in Old Castilian sounded like a soft Ch and serve as an abbreviation for Christ or Christi in Latin.

NDXO = NOSTRUM DOMINUS CHRISTI Omnipotentis

That translated into Spanish, it would be: Our Lord, Christ Almighty ...

N Ostrum

D Ominus

X Hristi

Or MNIPOTENTIS



Although in the division below and if you look, it seems that the second R is graphically very different from the first, looking much more like a "N" that would make plausible a different invocation. But, out of respect for all the official versions, I will keep the 18 letters in its official format so intact and although I suggest here, I will continue Sticking to what we all know ...

As a suggestion, I say what could be (put in bold the N and its transcription in Latin):

XCHWDNGH = CHRISTUS CUSTODIAT HONOREM WILLELMI DOMINO OUR GRATIAS HABENTIS



But what follows is what counts:

It should be clarified that in medieval times the Germanic names or Anglo Saxons were "Latinized" and declined, using manuscripts, inscriptions and braquigrafía of that time the W did not exist in classical Latin. For example: the German Wilhelm, which translated into Spanish would Guillermo (which is in English: William) was transcribed with Willelmus; so the whole registration could completely translated into Latin.

So we would in the central part of the inscription "XCHWDRGH" what could be an acronym for an invocation for the protection of the knight in battle. For clarification on the amendment posed earlier, the gentleman would thank the Lord, who also could well refer to his king (not just God or Jesus Christ). Continue with the transcription of abbreviations, as we know all and are public officially ...

XCHWDRGH = CHRISTUS CUSTODIAT HONOREM WILLELMI DOMINO REGI GRATIAS HABENTIS

In Spanish: Christ protects the honor of Guillermo, our King by the grace of ...

X HRISTUS

C USTODIAT

H ONOREM

W ILLELMI

D OMINO

R EGI

G RATIAS

H ABENTIS



And the third and last block ...

CHRISTUS DOMINUS DXORVI = OMNIPOTENS REDEMPTOR VINCIT IMPERAT

Which would be translated Lord. Christ Almighty, redeemer and conqueror of the Empire.

D Ominus

X HRISTUS

Or MNIPOTENS

R EDEMPTOR

V INCIT

I MPERAT



Then the Latin text, I added him punctuation marks to facilitate reading order, then I will translate:

DOMINUS NOSTRUM Omnipotentis CHRISTI, CHRISTUS CUSTODIAT HONOREM WILLELMI, DOMINO REGI GRATIAS HABENTIS CHRISTUS DOMINUS OMNIPOTENS REDEMPTOR VINCIT (et) IMPERAT

And finally, what I would say in Spanish:

Our Lord, Christ Almighty. Christ protects the honor of Guillermo, our King by the grace of the Lord. Christ Almighty, redeemer and conqueror of the Empire.



FINAL NOTE: To perform this work, besides all pointed out, they have been helpful to consultations Abbreviations Dictionary Latin Adriano Cappelli

So much for my interpretation, which can be successful or not, that specialists can tell me something would be ideal, if anything can take it as a mental "divertimento" and think that only the old gentleman could confirm or laugh in my face by the arrogance of wanting to discover its encrypted code.









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De: fabio gustavo condenanza marrapodi
Enviado: jueves, 11 de agosto de 2016 10:02 p.m.
Para: information@britishmuseum.org
Asunto: RV: decipher the phrase of the medieval sword

decipher the phrase of the medieval sword OK


De: fabio gustavo condenanza marrapodi
Enviado: jueves, 11 de agosto de 2016 01:07 p.m.
Para: Customer-Services@bl.uk
Asunto: decipher the phrase of the medieval sword

by this way they sent this material solely for the purpose of research work of this man is recognized as is deserved

http://www.jeromedina.es/
MATERIAL DIGITAL - Lo que sucede, desde mi punto de vista.
www.jeromedina.es
Página personal de @jeromedina que incluye contenidos de Marketing Online, SEO y actualidad tecnológica. Con aportaciones de gran valor sobre el #SocialMedia
@jeromedina

NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI - Decryption for me the hidden message
Posted by jeromedina On September 16, 2015 Filed under Curiosities 1 Comment

You desvelo all keys to the mystery that led to the British Library for help

Sword

A medieval sword (XIII century), located in the 1,825, has a cryptic message of 18 letters that has baffled historians and researchers (anthropologists, archaeologists, etc.), the mysterious inscription consists of 18 capital letters , worked in gold thread: + NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI + that are engraved in its original size, as distinguished by the central sulcus of the weapon.

The dagger has recently exhibited at the British Library, had been ceded by the British Museum as part of the exhibition for the 800th anniversary of its Constitution, was the great attraction for visitors to be in the first section between manuscripts, files and commemorative documents on the law, the historical heritage, freedom ... a great expectation that served the institution itself as a speaker, reaching for help visitors so they can give the keys to unveil the hidden content after that sequence of letters. At the close of the same (on 1 September) thanked the many suggestions received from all over the world and filled several pages of comments, adding that, probably, the mystery remains unsolved.
The sword is displayed next to a manuscript of the Great Chronicles of France fourteenth century, opened a section showing engravings and documents relating to the French invasion of Normandy in the year 1203. Fighters and warriors mentioned in this manuscript, brandish swords very similar to the protagonist of this strange inscription.

The truth is that, so far, several theories have been suggested to justify the meaning and the reason for such registration and even doubt the language used; it is noted that it may be a battle cry in medieval Welsh, the first letters of an English poem, some religious invocation, the name of its owner or even a simple gibberish invented and meaninglessness carved by a craftsman for his illiterate customers, something used to happen with some Saxon swords were forged with symbols lacking their buyers, illiterate, of discerning enough to read, but these acquirers require that their swords would show some kind of brand that uniquely represent them. Many doubts and uncertainties that try to clarify today.

The weapon, double-edged, has a weight of 1.2 kg and 96'4 cm long and was found in the bottom of the River Witham in July 1825. It is known that was presented to the Royal Archaeological Institute for registration by bishop of Lincoln, but it is believed that the sword would be much more ancient, datándose its German production about in the thirteenth century and originally about its existence historians consider that belonged to a medieval knight. River Witham, which housed in the residence margin of genius Isaac Newton, is known to be a coastal river that cuts through the slope of the North Sea in the UK, with 132 km in length. Most of his wealth is found mainly in the county of Lincolnshire, in eastern England.



Several pages of comments received

As part of the comments received, the British Library said one of Marc van Hasselt (graduate student in medieval studies at the University of Utrecht), which tells how research carried out in different parts of Europe (Poland, France, Netherlands ...) by the Department of Archaeology at the University have yielded data to support as in dozens of swords of the time, there are similarities in the materials, curvature, dimensions, and with the inscription of this sword, which seems to be a fad of the time. The debate on the language used, also would settle on the basis of these similarities and chronological coincidence with the main language that was used in the Middle Ages and pointing, with great force, to Latin, which was then the international language. And finally, he concludes, that after the initial hides a religious message, which is also recurring in other sizes of swords preserved medieval times in various museums in Europe and that would form "a great international family."

The mysterious sword, writes the British Library in his blog: "It is typical of the kind of swords medieval knights and barons have used in the time of King John and the Magna Carta" and quoted the commissioner Julian Harrison told the tabloid MailOnline.

It has been speculated the sense of the message, as I said before, coming to pass by a misspelling or even a name or an international combination of interrelated by different swords that have carved the same craftsman with intent to conceal some treasure messages or it could be the motto of the owner to indicate that he was always ready for battle, something Mr. Julian Harrison curator of the exhibition #MagnaCarta ruled since has not been able to corroborate. Also they doubt and controversy had to do with the language, from its Germanic origins, the medieval Welsh and pointing to a Sicilian Italian.

The result of my research, I think I can give light to solve this riddle and explain, then, the foundations of my findings. I hope it remains clear the mystery of the sword.

Reasonings to understand

The first is to meet the most sensible reasoning: the language is definitely the Latin and also makes sense to know which is the official liturgical language of the Church (discover here: Why Latin is the official language of the Church?) And this gives us new keys to be responding to parts of this crossroads. We must understand that the message of the inscription is religious court, framed in the literature of the time: Perceval, the Story of the Grail Chretien de Troyes fascinating work remained inacaba by the death of the writer, considered the first novelist of France and father Western novel, in the year 1185. Also, because of its importance, I will highlight a French poet of the twelfth century, Robert de Boron, which survive only 2 poems written in eight-syllable verses Joseph of Arimathea and Merlin, the latter only a few fragments remain, and subsequent interpretations prose. I want to emphasize the importance of Robert de Boron as the first author to give the Grail myth an explicitly Christian dimension. As extracted from its publications, Joseph of Arimathea, who according to the Bible was the owner of the tomb in which was deposited the body of Jesus after the crucifixion, used the cup from the Last Supper to collect the drops of blood that Jesus Nazareth shed on the cross, and took the cup to Ávalon where the Grail was hidden until the arrival of king Arthur and his knight Percival. This literature, as I said, confers unearthly courage and magical powers that mingles with the feast in the Christian tradition of the Holy Grail (the cup that the Christian community of Jerusalem in the eleventh century believed that it was the chalice of Christ is located currently the Basilica of San Isidoro) that has been preserved throughout the history of mankind. And he surrounds the legend of King Arthur to Morgana, Lady Lake, Excalibur and tradition of throwing swords as a religious ritual and protection.

Centering the argument and historical context, both coincide in many historical sequences, we can direct our search to find out the content of the inscription we know it was an inscription in Latin and religious significance. Nor should it be forgotten that medieval sword in the XII - XIV, was the chivalrous weapon par excellence and was loaded with symbolism, as pointed out by the medieval Castilian writer, Don Juan Manuel, in his Book of weapons, later known as "Book of the three reasons", which states: >. a ceremony of arming a brave knight before leaving the sword had a starring role was also followed: first the sword was blessed, then it was played with her three times on the shoulder of the future knight and finally, once was appointed knight, his godfather is the cinched at the waist and was ready for battle. But we are left with that attribution of almost magical virtues that led to establish rituals, as can be derived from the inclusion of relics in the hollows of the knobs or religious invocations in the leaves and the grips with the intention of obtaining divine protection.

Hence comes the inscription of this sword, whose owner must have been a Knight Templar (it was the most important Christian Military Order of the Middle Ages, 1118-1307) and whose meaning will thresh.
Registration Detail NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI

By observation, I personally reject the idea of gematria (method to decipher and interpret the Torah and the New Testament based on assigning numbers to letters Hebrew and Greek. It is said that are the languages in which the Bible was written) and cabala (mystical and allegorical interpretation of the Old own Testament of the Jewish tradition that claims to reveal a hidden know about God and the world) as valid languages that some have wanted to be identified by symbols crosshair foregoing and precede the 18 initial the message with the sword in the central sulcus. I may not talk about numerology when perfectly resemble the shapes with letters and numbers and does not understand the meaning resembles the object in question. Therefore, I reject this kind of idea to solve the riddle.
Stone slab with Latin inscription Alpha and Omega, letters X and P Monogram of Christ ☧, inscription carved on stone preserved in the Catacombs of Domitilla in Rome.
Stone slab with Latin inscription Alpha and Omega.

In the picture above, the Crismón seen with the letters X and P Monogram of Christ ☧, inscription carved on stone preserved in the Catacombs of Domitilla in Rome.
Cruz registration

The crosses have been placed on both sides, would not be heraldic (in my suggestion resolution), although some have debated whether it was the kick cross or pâté cross (symbol of the Templar Order) and others have corrected indicating that it would be the cross potent because it widens at the ends and also the Templar cross used to go on the pommels of swords and not on your resume. Examples of both and other types, you can see them HERE. For me it would be the monogram of Christ or Crismón (the abbreviation of the name of Christ formed by the combination of the first two letters of the Greek form, go over here its history and meaning) which is a type of medieval cross (very important in the Romanesque iconography, ie between the IX-XII centuries), an extension of Constantine. The ligation ΧΡ ιστός of the first two letters of the word Χρ ( "Christos") are connected, so it is an abbreviation of the title "Christ". This part I think would be the most contentious.

So we have the first answers to the riddle. Now I will continue with the text: + NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI + and I will be divided into 3 parts to explain better ...

Note: Before anything, and with permission from the Braquigrafía, I must anticipate that I would be treated as valid that acronyms and, therefore, try to point out what would be the same in Latin. After the I translate into our language.



XCHWDRGH NDXO DXORVI



By analogy, because it is used in similar inscriptions of other swords found at the time, I consign these transcripts as valid. The X in Old Castilian sounded like a soft Ch and serve as an abbreviation for Christ or Christi in Latin.

NDXO = NOSTRUM DOMINUS CHRISTI Omnipotentis

That translated into Spanish, it would be: Our Lord, Christ Almighty ...

N Ostrum

D Ominus

X Hristi

Or MNIPOTENTIS



Although in the division below and if you look, it seems that the second R is graphically very different from the first, looking much more like a "N" that would make plausible a different invocation. But, out of respect for all the official versions, I will keep the 18 letters in its official format so intact and although I suggest here, I will continue Sticking to what we all know ...

As a suggestion, I say what could be (put in bold the N and its transcription in Latin):

XCHWDNGH = CHRISTUS CUSTODIAT HONOREM WILLELMI DOMINO OUR GRATIAS HABENTIS



But what follows is what counts:

It should be clarified that in medieval times the Germanic names or Anglo Saxons were "Latinized" and declined, using manuscripts, inscriptions and braquigrafía of that time the W did not exist in classical Latin. For example: the German Wilhelm, which translated into Spanish would Guillermo (which is in English: William) was transcribed with Willelmus; so the whole registration could completely translated into Latin.

So we would in the central part of the inscription "XCHWDRGH" what could be an acronym for an invocation for the protection of the knight in battle. For clarification on the amendment posed earlier, the gentleman would thank the Lord, who also could well refer to his king (not just God or Jesus Christ). Continue with the transcription of abbreviations, as we know all and are public officially ...

XCHWDRGH = CHRISTUS CUSTODIAT HONOREM WILLELMI DOMINO REGI GRATIAS HABENTIS

In Spanish: Christ protects the honor of Guillermo, our King by the grace of ...

X HRISTUS

C USTODIAT

H ONOREM

W ILLELMI

D OMINO

R EGI

G RATIAS

H ABENTIS



And the third and last block ...

CHRISTUS DOMINUS DXORVI = OMNIPOTENS REDEMPTOR VINCIT IMPERAT

Which would be translated Lord. Christ Almighty, redeemer and conqueror of the Empire.

D Ominus

X HRISTUS

Or MNIPOTENS

R EDEMPTOR

V INCIT

I MPERAT



Then the Latin text, I added him punctuation marks to facilitate reading order, then I will translate:

DOMINUS NOSTRUM Omnipotentis CHRISTI, CHRISTUS CUSTODIAT HONOREM WILLELMI, DOMINO REGI GRATIAS HABENTIS CHRISTUS DOMINUS OMNIPOTENS REDEMPTOR VINCIT (et) IMPERAT

And finally, what I would say in Spanish:

Our Lord, Christ Almighty. Christ protects the honor of Guillermo, our King by the grace of the Lord. Christ Almighty, redeemer and conqueror of the Empire.



FINAL NOTE: To perform this work, besides all pointed out, they have been helpful to consultations Abbreviations Dictionary Latin Adriano Cappelli

So much for my interpretation, which can be successful or not, that specialists can tell me something would be ideal, if anything can take it as a mental "divertimento" and think that only the old gentleman could confirm or laugh in my face by the arrogance of wanting to discover its encrypted code.









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