The Odyssey Shorthand

On April 24, 2014 the University of Chicago Library announced a contest for the decipherment of shorthand marginalia found on two pages of a copy Homer's Odyssey printed by Aldus Manutius in 1504.

Together with Angel Accetta, I was able to identify the code as a French tachygraphic system invented in 1776 by Jean Coulon de Thévenot. The mysterious annotator employed it in 1854 to take notes while translating the Greek text.

I would like to thank Michael C. Lang, the collector who donated the book to the University of Chicago Library and sponsored the contest, and Alice Schreyer and Judith Dartt for their incredible support.

The following PDF file contains my report for the contest. For any corrections, suggestions, or inquiries, please send me an email.