Monday, 23 April 2018

Code Embedded in Chapter 55 of Bessler's Apologia Poetica

I note the current interest in the Mascinen Tractate codes and I am interested in the discussion as but also slightly puzzled as the they were bnever published. I published my own thoughts on the code in Chapter 55 of Apologia Poetica on my web site at, but my explanation was very long and detailed and it had a few transcription errors which appeared after publication, so here is a much abbreviated explanation.

Chapter 55 was designed to be the last chapter in Apologia Poetica originally, but Bessler added part two to provide space to argue against the accusations of his enemies.  Every one must be familiar with the ubiquity of the number 55 in Bessler's works so we can assume it was important in Bessler's eyes, so chapter 55 had a purpose beyond its declaration of faith.

The whole book is written according to the AABB rhyming scheme, the first line rhyming with the second line - rhyming couplets. However part of the way into chapter 55, the rhyming changes to ABAB, the first and third lines rhyming, and the second and fourth, producing a four line stanza instead of the two line ones. The text reverts to rhyming couplets before the end of chapter 55, so this implies that the text within the four-line stanzas section is of significance and because it is the only part with this rhyming scheme it I suggest that this section which is encoded.

There are actually only 54 four line stanzas, but Bessler tricks the unwary decoder by inserting four blank lines which when included, total the 55 we've come to expect.  I numbered each of the 220 lines..  

The Bible references don’t relate to Bessler’s adjacent comments. There are many different versions of the bible and the text and verse-numbers vary from one to another which make it impossible to make sense of the references.  In my opinion the Bible used is not important, therefore the text indicated by the references is also to be ignored.

Therefore the Bible references themselves point to letters and spaces, which are more likely than words because the appearance of a whole word in the comments, such as ‘weight', would be too obvious.

Using the numbered lines I found the first and only quote on the first page appeared on line 19, along with the Judae 19 Bible reference, but no verse number.  But there were spaces in the adjacent comment, which suggested that this clue included blank lines and spaces. And the actual quote used did in this case seem highly relevant saying “These are they who separate themselves, sensual men, having not the Spirit.” I think the important point here is that these refers to the spaces and blank lines which are they who separate themselves. No verse number here meant that the quoted text here mattered.

I believe the name of the book chosen indicated by the alphanumeric position of the initial letter, the position along the lines  for the desired letter.  I discovered that counting backwards from the end of the comment, I arrived at a space, 9 from the end, J is the 9th letter of the 24 letter alphabet. This supports the conclusion that spaces were to be included.

But there about 30 places for letters, spaces and brackets in each line so a 24 letter alphabet was not sufficient and Bessler was not able to use every letter of the alphabet because he had only the first letter of each book from the Bible to choose from.  He uses just 13 letters which are all he had available. In order to provide himself with more options he chose to alter the spelling of some books.

The very next two Bible references demonstrate this. Math short for Matthew in the first example; Matth in the next one.  So in this case M is the 12th letter of the alphabet, add 3 for the first example and 4 for the second one.  One addition for each letter.

So we have a section of clearly defined text; a means of selecting specific line; a way to indicate a letter, bracket or space and possibly a punctuation mark.  So why haven't I deciphered the whole text?

There is another Bessler fail-safe, just in case it all seemed too simple.  The text for decoding is shown in fraktur font, a kind of Gothic font; the bible references themselves are in Latin font, not unlike font you see today, but there are a few places where the Bible fonts are in fraktur font, and the first one is not even a Bible reference but the one immediately below appears to be a Bible reference.  One might dismiss these aberrations as typos except that Bessler did not make mistakes.

If there is interest in this subject I'll add some more on a future blog post.



  1. WOW... This stuff just shows how dedicated you have been in your research over these many years. Drop us a morsel that we can go to the shop and think about as you can. Good Luck..... everyone is counting on your wisdom and guidance

  2. John, I like to keep your blog open at work and your color scheme makes the page stand out too much. I work in a rather conservative environment. Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Too vivid? I'm working on it.


    2. Well that's a bit over the top, but I do like the books.


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