I’ve looked at the Rohonc Codex numerous times in the past, though my conclusions so far haven’t exactly amounted to what I’d consider headline news:-
* its drawings are plainly Judeo-Christian, though often viewed through a distorting lens;
* the presence in its text of both pictograms and ridiculously repetitive sequences points to some kind of hacky nomenclator cipher;
* frankly, it’s a bit of a mess, with many folios stitched together out of order.
Being brutally honest, I’ve been waiting for Benedek Lang’s book on it to get translated into English (and I’d be delighted to publish such a splendid thing myself) before throwing myself off the Rohonc Codex’s cliff-top with only my cipher mystery experience to bungee back to the top. For if you were planning on exploring a bear cave, wouldn’t you want a torch to help steer you past previous adventurers’ rotting bones, hmmm?
All the same, I was recently delighted to find a genuinely sane Rohonc Codex website courtesy of Delia Huegel from Arad in Western Romania. She has – much to her own surprise, it would seem – spent several years trying to find and understand the religious dimension of the Rohonc Codex’s drawings. I’ve gone through (and enjoyed) every webpage: she writes with wit and verve, and – unlike much of the Rohoncology out there – she is happy to fess up to the issues her approach faces. It’s a tricky old thing, fer sher, and such honesty helps a great deal.
For me, the two highlights of her site were (a) her comparison of Albrecht Dürer’s hellmouth with the Rohonc Codex’s hellmouth, which I agree is a solid indication that North-Western European religious iconography was a specific influence on the Rohonc Codex’s author: and (b) her identification of King David praying to God and the back-to-front rendering of YHWH in Hebrew. Both are pretty much historical slam-dunks, but both raise more questions than they set out answer. Which is what the best answers nearly always do, IMO.
But most magnificently of all, her site is brought to life by the direct inclusion of a significant amount of imagery she has collected along the way while developing her ideas: I can imagine that the site sits very much as a kind of visual / iconic complement to Lang’s more obviously textual approach. Recommended!
As an afterthought, a question struck me: what if the pages were written in a back-to-front order, but a later owner then tried to rebind them so that the drawings instead appeared in a more conventional-looking front-to-back order? Just a thought!