A Complete System of Cryptography

Cryptomenytices Cryptographia


Gustavus Selenus

of Luneburg,Germany

"Let No one read unwillingly, for such I've written not;
For him my page is written, to whom it gives delight."

(published in 1624)


translated from the Latin by Dr. John William Henry Walden

Instructor of Latin at Harvard


in Nine Books

Wherein is also contained a most clear Elucidation of the Steganographia, a Book at one time composed,


Magic and Enigmatic form


Johannes Trithemius

Abbot of Spanheim and Wurzburg

a man of Wonderful Parts.

There being throughout introduced Devices of the Author and of Others, which merit your Attention



The Title Page


Table of Contents

by book and Chapter Headings


Book I. Nature of Cryptography

1. Origin and Value of the Art

2. Definition of Cryptography

3. Place among cognate subjects

4. Distribution of this Treatise

Book II.Mediums or Modes of Secret -Making

1. By Speech and Signs

2. By Writing

3. Order, Power and Form of Letters

4. Disarrangment of the Order

5. By Inversion of Letters' Order

6. Transposition of the Letters

7.Direct and Oblique Scattering

8. Use of Key, Arbitrary Scattering

9. Use of a Table in Scattering

10. Use of Nulls or Non- significants

Book III. Steganongraphy in Detail

1. Introduction to Trithemius' Book

2. Steganography's Principal Modes

3. Trithemius's "Pamerisiel"

4. Trithemius' " Camuel" and Padiel"

5. Trithemius's "Aseliel"

6.Tritemius' "Gediel", "Maseriel". "Dorothiel" and "Cabariel"

7. Trithemius' "Barmiel", "Asiriel", "Malgaras", "Usiel",
"Raysiel", & "Symiel"

8. Trithemius' "Carnesiel", "Capsiel", "Amenadiel", and "Demoriel"

9. Trithemius' "Buriel", Hydriel", "Emoniel", "Icosiel"

10. Trithemius' "Armediel" and "Baruchas"

11. Trithemius' "Geradiel", "Bydiel", "Uriel", "Pyrichiel", "Soleviel
"Menadiel" and "Macariel"

12. Trithemius' 1st Mode, "Samuel"
2nd Mode , "Anael"
3rd Mode, "Vequaniel"
4th Mode, "Vathmiel"
5th Mode, " Sasquiel"
6th Mode, "Samiel"
7th Mode, "Barquiel"
8th Mode, " Osmodael"
9th Mode, "Quabriel"
10th Mode, "Oriel"
11th Mode, "Bariel"
12th Mode, "Berathiel"
13th Mode, "Sabrathan"
14th Mode, "Tartys"
15th Mode, "Serquanich"
16th Mode, "Jefischa"
17th Mode, "Abasdarhon"
18th Mode, "Zaazenach"
19th Mode, "Mendrion"
20th Mode, "Narconiel"
21st Mode, "Pamyel"


13. Trithemius' "Jasguarim"
First syllable consignificant

14. Trithemius' "Reserved Words Significant
1st Mode "Dardariel"
2nd Mode, "Sarandiel"

15. Trithemius' Unpublished Modes
Lost Manuscript

1st Mode, "Malchiedael"
2nd Mode, "Asmodel"
3rd Mode, "Ambriel"
4th Mode, "Muriel"
5th Mode, "Verchiel"
6th Mode, "Hamaliel"
7th Mode," Zuriel"
8th Mode, "Marchiel"
9th Mode, "Advachiel"
10th Mode, "Hanael"
11th Mode, "Gambiel"
12th Mode, "Barchiel"


16. Trithemius' "Mantissa"
Preface to his Third Book of the Steganography, wherein he describes a marvelous wordless cipher making use of the 7 Planets, 7 Angels, and the 21 Spirits

How it operates


Book IV. Ciphers by Preparation of Words

1. Subject considered Generically

2. By Nomenclature

3. Key by first two letters

4. Using last letter as Key

5. Letters marked by Points or Signs

6. Number and Grill Ciphers

7. Use of Fictitious Words

8. Trithemius' Polygraphia
His troubles and purposes
Germans famous for their
discoveries i.e. Trithemius
& Selenaus!

9. Use of prearranged Alphabet; Porta

10. How to Cloak a Cipher

Book V. On Interchange of Power in Letters

1. General Considerations
Vigenere "a store of information on remote subjects" (1586)
Collanges translated Trithemius' Polygraphy into French
and his own article on "De Cabala" (1561)
Johann Welch referred to

2. Direct Primary Transposition

3. Arbitrary Primary Transposition

4. Use of the Wheel in Ciphers

5. Fortuitous Simple Transposition

6. Mutual Transposition of the Letters of a single Alphabet

7. Mixed Transposition of Vowels and Consonants

8. Direct Transposition of two Letters taken together

9. Direct Transposition of three letters

10. Oblique Transposition in general,or the Transfusion
of the Alphabet into fewer letters; and, in particular, on
Transposition of Radical Letters

11. Oblique Transposition of Consonants representing
Vowels, and the first two Modes thereof

12. Oblique Transpostion into Consonants either or four
in number ; whereto is attached a key

13. Oblique Transpostion of Letters into combinations
of fewer Letters: the Simpler Form thereof

14. Oblique Transpostion in accordance with an Alphabetic
Arrangement of of Letters

15. Inverted Transposition

16.Simple Inverted Transposition: of two letters taken
by themselves

17.Simple Inverted Transpositions of three or more Letters

18. Artificial Inverted Transposition

19. Mixed Inverted Transposition: by Limitation of a Fixed Number

20. Mixed Inverted Transposition: Limitation of Fixed Letter

21. By the Distinctive Apposition of Small Notes

22. Mediate or Secondary Transmutation

23. Figurative or Accessory Transmutation


Book VI. Subduction of Form in Letters


1. General Considerations touching Subduction

2. Real Substitution of Ciphers, its first Class,
and the subdivisions thereof

3. Preparations of Letters which are Unused

4. Adoption of Ciphers into a Class of Letters

5. Fabrication of New Ciphers from Old Letters

6. Formation of New Ciphers from Virgules and
other Characters

7. Certain Admonitions which are in place at this point

8. Formation, or Substitution, of Similar Ciphers:
the Simpler Process

9. The Simpler arrangement of Points according to a Norm

10. The more Laborius Arrangemnets of Points

11. The Arrangement of Points by means of a Process of Reflection

12. Formation of Mixed Ciphers, and, first, on the Drawing of Lines

13. Various Forms of Symbolization, accomplished through Ciphers, of
an Ambigious Nature

14. Various Arrangements of the Parts of the Figue of the Cross

15. Transposition of Dissimilar and Mixed Ciphers

16. Transformation as Clothed in Direct Transpostion

17. Another kind of the present Transformation, Corresponding
to Chapters 8 & 9 of Book V.

18. Transformation on Oblique Transpostion

19. Oblique Transformation of Musical Notes

20. Transformation by Inverted Transpostion

21. Transformation of Dissimilar Ciphers by the
Artificial Scattering of Ciphers

22. Re-formation through the Introduction of a Second
Matter; and the first Class thereof

23. Reformation of Ciphers, performed with reference to Matter more
nearly related

24. Re-formation through the Superinduction of a Figure

25. Re-formation of Points by the Device of a picture

26.Connotations of Ciphers, designating, among a large
number of letters, certain definite Letters

27. Connotation of Ciphers or Points: General Considerations

28. Connotation with a Key

29. Figurative Connotation, used with reference to some external
piece of Writing, and performed by process of Direct Transpostion

30. Connotation of Points, performed after the manner of
Oblique Transposition

31. Connotation, performed after the manner of Inverted Transpostion

32.Annotation of Dissimilar Ciphers, soley designating


Book VII. On the Writing of Syllables and Words

1. Hidden Writing of Syllables

2. By the Inversion of Scattered Syllables, and the
Superinduction of Non- significant Syllables

3. Transposition of Syllables, and the process of
obtaining Secrecy thereby

4. Syllabic Concealment by the Subtraction of Forms

5. Hidden writing of Syllables by the presentation of Ciphers

6. Hidden Position of Words, taking place by Scattering
by Inversion of Scattered Words, and by Superinduction of
Other, Non-significant, Words

7. Interchange of Certain Words

8. Notation of Words

9. Notation of words accomplised by Abbreviations,
Straight or Curved, and Sigla

10. Connotaion and the first kind of Annotation

11. Second Method of Annotating: by means of all the
Accidents of Nouns and Verbs

12. Third Method of Annotating: by means of Words

13. Hidden Writing produced by Sense, and, first,
Figurative Sense

14. Hidden Writing by the Annotation of a Grammatical Note

15. Hieroglyphical Notation

16. Hidden Writing by Language

17. Third Method of Concealing a Secret by Language


Book VIII. Instruments etc., of Writing and on Quasi- Writing

1. Instruments of Writing and the Connections; also on Quasi- Writing in general

2. Hidden Writing taking place on the basis of the Material on Which ,or of the Subject;
and the first two Modes thereof

3. Third Particular Mode, taking place through an Unsuitable Material, or a
Thread of certain kind

4. Hidden writings by the use of Ink, Water, or some other Liquid, or the
Second General Mode

5. Second and Third Modes of Writings by Invisible Letters

6. Hidden writing by a Foreign Stylus; or the Third General Mode

7. Last mode, depending on, and happening by, the External, or Accessory,
Limitation of Writing, that is by the Connection; or on Secret Dispatch

8. Introduction to Semaeography or Hidden Symbolization of Letters

9. Hidden Symbolization of Epistolary Writing, Direct, Oblique and Compendious

10. Sympathetic, or Magic, Symbolization

11. Hidden Symbolization of Abecedarian Speech: the Simple Method

12. Compendious Symbolization of Abecedarian Speech

13. Subsidiary Symbolization of Abecedarian Speech

14. Symbolization of Abecedarian Speech from a Distance


Book 1X. On the Exercise -Book, or Practice, of my Cryptomenytices.

1. General Consderation relative to this Matter

2. Fit subject of Cryptomenytices and his Characteristics

3. The Object, or the Matters about which Practice is rightly concerned

4. The Act itself of Practising

5. On Imitation

6. On Interpretation in General

7. On Interpretation in Special

8. Logistical Discovery of a Hidden Act

9. Logistical Unlocking of the Buteonic Lock

To see the book in either English or Latin