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Della Porta Ciphers


Kate

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I mentioned this guy in my book.

Giambattista della Porta (Italian pronunciation):1535 –  1615), also known as Giovanni Battista Della Porta, was an Italian scholar, polymath and playwright who lived in Naples at the time of the Renaissance, Scientific Revolution and Counter-Reformation. (Wiki)

Here's his book on ciphers

De Furtivis Literarum notis, vulgo de Ziferis libri IIII

https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_sc-Zaq8_jFIC

He had a big impact on Bacon

cipherPortaCover.png.a5900f2e2847a6bf5b35e21b5ca4af75.png

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 "For nothing is born without unity or without the point." amazon.com/dp/B0CLDKDPY8

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DELLA PORTA, FRANCIS BACON AND SHAKESPEARE

In 1591 there appeared in London a Latin edition of a milestone work on cryptology by the Italian polymath and playwright Giambattista della Porta entitled De Fvtivis Literarvm Notis printed by John Wolfe with whom Bacon and his uncle Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley had a secret clandestine relationship.1 This is a reprint of the work that originally appeared with the same title at Naples in 1563.2 It is divided into four books: Book 1 deals with ancient ciphers; Book II gives 180 modern ciphers; Book III is a treatise on cryptanalysis or deciphering; Book IV provides linguistical tables of syllables and words to help cryptographic solution, and in it appeared ‘the first diagraphic cipher in cryptology, in which two letters were represented by a single symbol.’3 This rare book, observes Kahn, ‘encompassed the cryptologic knowledge of the time’,4 and for Dr Mendelson its author Porta ‘was, in my opinion, the outstanding cryptographer of the Renaissance. Some unknown who worked in a hidden room behind closed doors may possibly have surpassed him in a general grasp of the subject, but among those whose work can be studied he towers like a giant.’5 It is undoubtedly a very important landmark work in the history of cryptology which makes it all the more remarkable that the Fraudulent Friedmans only once referred to Porta in The Shakespeare Ciphers Examined delivered with a fishing metaphor that smelt to the high heavens, which I here quote in full:

...the numerologists have spread their nets wider than this. Among the odd fish they [the Baconians] have caught are the sixteenth-century Italian cryptographer Ioan Baptiste Porta, numerous seventeenth-century authors, and Elizabethan writers in shoals.6

The De Furtivis Literarum Notis has an interesting and revelatory history involving the printer John Wolfe assisted by Petruccio Ubaldini who worked closely with Bacon and his uncle Sir William Cecil, first revealed by W. T. Smedley more than century ago in an edition of Baconiana in 1910:

In 1591 John Wolf re-published Baptista Porta’s work on cyphers, published by Ioa Maria Scotus in Naples in 1563, but according to Spedding not en vente until 1568. This reprint was dedicated to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. After the edition had been printed off, the title-page was altered to correspond with the 1563 publication, the dedication was taken out and a copy of the original dedication was substituted, and over this was placed the AA headpiece. Then an edition was struck off which until to-day has been sold and re-sold as the first edition of Baptista’s work.7

Smedley owned a copy of each of the original genuine 1563 edition of De Furtivis Literarum Notis, the falsely dated edition published by Wolfe made to look like the original 1563 edition with a Baconian-Rosicrucian AA headpiece over the dedication page, and the 1591 edition of De Furtivis Literarum Notis republished by Wolfe with a dedication to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland:

The false-dated copy is annotated throughout in Francis Bacon’s handwriting. As was his invariable custom he went through the errata, altered each one, and as he did so ticked off the schedule [and] when I opened the 1591 copy I was surprised to find there also Bacon’s handwriting.8

 

1. Giambattista della Porta, De Fvrtivis Literarvm Notis Vvlgo. De Ziferis Libri IIII (Londini: Apud Johannem Wolphium. 1591); Denis B. Woodfield, Surreptitious Printing in England 1550-1640 (New York: Bibliographical Society of America, 1973), pp. 5-18, 24-33, 164-70; A. Phoenix, ‘An Unrecognised Francis Bacon Manuscript Written In The Hand Of The Bacon Family Scribe Petruccio Ubaldini, The Model For Petruccio In The Taming Of The Shrew, Whose Father In The Play Is Antonio, And Where Two Of His Household Servants Are Named Nicholas And Nathaniel, The Christian Names Of Anthony, Nicholas And Nathaniel Bacon’, pp. 44-48 notes 61-64.

2. Giambattista della Porta, De Fvrtivis Literarvm Notis Vvlgo. De Ziferis Libri IIII (Neapoli: Apud Ioa. Mariam Scotum, 1563).

3. Joseph S. Galland, An Historical And Analytical Bibliography Of The Literature of Cryptology (Evanston: Northwestern University, 1945), pp. 147; David Kahn, The Codebreakers The Story of Secret Writing (New York: Scribner, 1967, 1996), pp. 138-9; David Newton, Encyclopedia Of Cryptology (Oxford: ABC-CLIO, 1998), p. 220. 

4. David Kahn, The Codebreakers The Story of Secret Writing (New York: Scribner, 1967, 1996), p. 138.

5. Charles J. Mendelsohn, ‘Blaise de Vigenère and the “Chiffre Carre”’, American Philosophical Society, Vol. 82, 1940, p. 113; David Kahn, The Codebreakers The Story of Secret Writing (New York: Scribner, 1967, 1996), p. 143.

6. William F. Friedman and Elizebeth S. Friedman, The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined An Analysis Of Cryptographic Systems Used As Evidence That Some Other Author Than William Shakespeare Wrote The Plays Commonly Attributed To Him (Cambridge University Press, 1958), p. 181.   

7. William T. Smedley, ‘A False-Dated Book’, in Baconiana, Vol. VIII, Third Series, Oct 1910, pp. 187-8; William T. Smedley, The Mystery Of Francis Bacon (London: Robert Banks & Son, 1912), p. 134. Both Shulman and Kahn inform their readers that the 1591 edition is pirated but do not mention Smedley and the connection to it of Bacon, see David Shulman, An Annotated Bibliography of Cryptography (New York & London, Garland Publishing, Inc., 1976), p. 4 and David Kahn, The Codebreakers The Story of Secret Writing (New York: Scribner, 1967, 1996), p. 142/1014. Whereas Galland refers to Smedley’s article in the Baconiana but fails to mention Bacon or the handwriting of Bacon, see Joseph S. Galland, An Historical And Analytical Bibliography Of The Literature of Cryptology (Evanston: Northwestern University, 1945), pp. 147. STC 20118a.

8. William T. Smedley, ‘A False-Dated Book’, Baconiana, Vol. VIII, Third Series Oct 1910, pp. 187-88n.

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DELLA PORTA, FRANCIS BACON AND SHAKESPEARE

The 1591 dedication page of De Furtivis Literarum Notis republished by John Wolfe signed by ‘Jacobus Casteluiltrius’, a literary front for Bacon,1 to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland contains several Baconian/Rosicrucian ciphers. It will be observed that the dedication page contains a large capital C which represents the number 100 in Roman numerals: 100 Francis Bacon in simple cipher. The first line within the large capital C comprises 33 letters: 33 Bacon in simple cipher. Within the woodblock there are 234 letters which minus 1 large capital C 234-1=233, a triple cipher for Francis Bacon (100)/Francis Bacon (100)/Bacon (33) and in total within the woodblock there are 43 words comprising 234 letters: 43+234=277, a split cipher for Francis Bacon (100)/William Shakespeare (177) in simple cipher.

The dedication by Bacon to the Earl of Northumberland would seem an appropriate one. The Wizard Earl, the ninth Earl of Northumberland was a profound student of the

occult arts. His London residence was transformed into a scientific academy attracting all the great scientists and mathematicians of the day among them Dee and Bacon. Some two centuries later there was discovered at Northumberland House (at that time in the ownership of his ancestor Earl Percy, afterwards the Duke of Northumberland) what has come to be known as the Northumberland MSS that originally contained several of Bacon’s writings among them his Shakespeare plays Richard II and Richard III.2

1. A. Phoenix, ‘An Unrecognised Francis Bacon Manuscript Written In The Hand Of The Bacon Family Scribe Petruccio Ubaldini, The Model For Petruccio In The Taming Of The Shrew, Whose Father In The Play Is Antonio, And Where Two Of His Household Servants Are Named Nicholas And Nathaniel, The Christian Names Of Anthony, Nicholas And Nathaniel Bacon’, pp. 23-25.

2. James Spedding, ed., A Conference Of Pleasure, Composed For Some Festive Occasion About The Year 1592 By Francis Bacon. Edited, From A Manuscript Belonging To The Duke Of Northumberland (London: printed by Whittingham and Wilkins, 1870), pp. xxi-xxii and  Frank J. Burgoyne, ed., Collotype Facsimile & Type Transcript Of An Elizabethan Manuscript Preserved at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1904), pp. xii-xvi.

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1 hour ago, A Phoenix said:

DELLA PORTA, FRANCIS BACON AND SHAKESPEARE

In 1591 there appeared in London a Latin edition of a milestone work on cryptology by the Italian polymath and playwright Giambattista della Porta entitled De Fvtivis Literarvm Notis printed by John Wolfe with whom Bacon and his uncle Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley had a secret clandestine relationship.1 This is a reprint of the work that originally appeared with the same title at Naples in 1563.2 It is divided into four books: Book 1 deals with ancient ciphers; Book II gives 180 modern ciphers; Book III is a treatise on cryptanalysis or deciphering; Book IV provides linguistical tables of syllables and words to help cryptographic solution, and in it appeared ‘the first diagraphic cipher in cryptology, in which two letters were represented by a single symbol.’3 This rare book, observes Kahn, ‘encompassed the cryptologic knowledge of the time’,4 and for Dr Mendelson its author Porta ‘was, in my opinion, the outstanding cryptographer of the Renaissance. Some unknown who worked in a hidden room behind closed doors may possibly have surpassed him in a general grasp of the subject, but among those whose work can be studied he towers like a giant.’5 It is undoubtedly a very important landmark work in the history of cryptology which makes it all the more remarkable that the Fraudulent Friedmans only once referred to Porta in The Shakespeare Ciphers Examined delivered with a fishing metaphor that smelt to the high heavens, which I here quote in full:

...the numerologists have spread their nets wider than this. Among the odd fish they [the Baconians] have caught are the sixteenth-century Italian cryptographer Ioan Baptiste Porta, numerous seventeenth-century authors, and Elizabethan writers in shoals.6

The De Furtivis Literarum Notis has an interesting and revelatory history involving the printer John Wolfe assisted by Petruccio Ubaldini who worked closely with Bacon and his uncle Sir William Cecil, first revealed by W. T. Smedley more than century ago in an edition of Baconiana in 1910:

In 1591 John Wolf re-published Baptista Porta’s work on cyphers, published by Ioa Maria Scotus in Naples in 1563, but according to Spedding not en vente until 1568. This reprint was dedicated to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. After the edition had been printed off, the title-page was altered to correspond with the 1563 publication, the dedication was taken out and a copy of the original dedication was substituted, and over this was placed the AA headpiece. Then an edition was struck off which until to-day has been sold and re-sold as the first edition of Baptista’s work.7

Smedley owned a copy of each of the original genuine 1563 edition of De Furtivis Literarum Notis, the falsely dated edition published by Wolfe made to look like the original 1563 edition with a Baconian-Rosicrucian AA headpiece over the dedication page, and the 1591 edition of De Furtivis Literarum Notis republished by Wolfe with a dedication to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland:

The false-dated copy is annotated throughout in Francis Bacon’s handwriting. As was his invariable custom he went through the errata, altered each one, and as he did so ticked off the schedule [and] when I opened the 1591 copy I was surprised to find there also Bacon’s handwriting.8

 

1. Giambattista della Porta, De Fvrtivis Literarvm Notis Vvlgo. De Ziferis Libri IIII (Londini: Apud Johannem Wolphium. 1591); Denis B. Woodfield, Surreptitious Printing in England 1550-1640 (New York: Bibliographical Society of America, 1973), pp. 5-18, 24-33, 164-70; A. Phoenix, ‘An Unrecognised Francis Bacon Manuscript Written In The Hand Of The Bacon Family Scribe Petruccio Ubaldini, The Model For Petruccio In The Taming Of The Shrew, Whose Father In The Play Is Antonio, And Where Two Of His Household Servants Are Named Nicholas And Nathaniel, The Christian Names Of Anthony, Nicholas And Nathaniel Bacon’, pp. 44-48 notes 61-64.

2. Giambattista della Porta, De Fvrtivis Literarvm Notis Vvlgo. De Ziferis Libri IIII (Neapoli: Apud Ioa. Mariam Scotum, 1563).

3. Joseph S. Galland, An Historical And Analytical Bibliography Of The Literature of Cryptology (Evanston: Northwestern University, 1945), pp. 147; David Kahn, The Codebreakers The Story of Secret Writing (New York: Scribner, 1967, 1996), pp. 138-9; David Newton, Encyclopedia Of Cryptology (Oxford: ABC-CLIO, 1998), p. 220. 

4. David Kahn, The Codebreakers The Story of Secret Writing (New York: Scribner, 1967, 1996), p. 138.

5. Charles J. Mendelsohn, ‘Blaise de Vigenère and the “Chiffre Carre”’, American Philosophical Society, Vol. 82, 1940, p. 113; David Kahn, The Codebreakers The Story of Secret Writing (New York: Scribner, 1967, 1996), p. 143.

6. William F. Friedman and Elizebeth S. Friedman, The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined An Analysis Of Cryptographic Systems Used As Evidence That Some Other Author Than William Shakespeare Wrote The Plays Commonly Attributed To Him (Cambridge University Press, 1958), p. 181.   

7. William T. Smedley, ‘A False-Dated Book’, in Baconiana, Vol. VIII, Third Series, Oct 1910, pp. 187-8; William T. Smedley, The Mystery Of Francis Bacon (London: Robert Banks & Son, 1912), p. 134. Both Shulman and Kahn inform their readers that the 1591 edition is pirated but do not mention Smedley and the connection to it of Bacon, see David Shulman, An Annotated Bibliography of Cryptography (New York & London, Garland Publishing, Inc., 1976), p. 4 and David Kahn, The Codebreakers The Story of Secret Writing (New York: Scribner, 1967, 1996), p. 142/1014. Whereas Galland refers to Smedley’s article in the Baconiana but fails to mention Bacon or the handwriting of Bacon, see Joseph S. Galland, An Historical And Analytical Bibliography Of The Literature of Cryptology (Evanston: Northwestern University, 1945), pp. 147. STC 20118a.

8. William T. Smedley, ‘A False-Dated Book’, Baconiana, Vol. VIII, Third Series Oct 1910, pp. 187-88n.

GiambattistadellaPorta.jpeg.3680039d46b7b9c31e3e5347aa9af811.jpeg

 

Della Porta, Giovan Battista - HISTORY OF CAMPANIA.pdf

(Weirdly, this Google translation is in present tense.)

 

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I had to take notice of the top of the pyramid missing. 😉

I'm curious why the letter K is missing from any of the cipher tables, yet is used throughout the written content. Maybe this explains, but I don't read Latin very well. 😉

https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_sc-Zaq8_jFIC/page/n174/mode/1up

image.png.2a286504c2a9f8d4615aa17be806fb2e.png

 

EDIT: I believe the above is the actual 1563 edition. Notice the definite printed "j" in "Reijcimus". That j made it into the the 1591 version as well.

https://repository.ou.edu/uuid/bdfca33b-1f9d-54b4-af02-5f2ec32a0b35?ui=embed&width=900&height=450#page/177/mode/1up

image.png.e2e4acc0c060828fe3d422eb2410ce72.png

 

 

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T A A A A A A A A A A A T
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<-- 1 8 8 1 1
O 1 1 8 8 1 -->

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Why would they not possess the work and mull it over carefully if they had a professional interest in cryptography? The work contains a description of reliable methods and improvements on existing methods. The cipher wheel and the substitution cipher are treated, both perfectly valid types of rigid formalisms which yield unambiguous interpretations. There is nothing in this work that is advancing the use of things that do not constitute proper ciphers. An example of the latter would be subjectively practicing reverse gematria which can only ever be called signaling to pattern recognition if it was used. Signaling to point to a nearby cipher is possible.  Was it done? What do we have in Shakespeare which shows evidence of ciphering? Counting word values is not deciphering. Interpreting such values is akin to palm reading. Piling up coincidences is not ciphering either. That is suggestion strengthening. To be able to speak of ciphers is to be able to show them and not just allege they are there by association with ambiguous signaling.

This is more of the same guilty by association type of suggestion we typically see. Bacon read books on ciphers therefore he used invalid methods of ciphering? No, in fact he developed a very good form of that which has been shown to be very powerful and useful. Credit should go to any critical thinker who points out what tricks some of the suggestions naming this work are up to. It is an attempt to appear scholarly by reaching into what can be shown and taking from it possibilities to carve out a space for other suggestions to exist. To do valuable work is to falsify suggestions, not to enlarge the space of possibility for one's views. "We are going to show what is possible" means nothing as evidence. It should always be derided. It has no place in academia. Numerologists are not capable cipher decoders. If one was willing to disqualify everything used to suggest ciphers which are not ciphers I wonder what would be left? Probably just dog whistling among people who have their minds set about what they want to show. You have to really respect the people who critically oppose this sort of thing. Here they are mocked out of mathematical ignorance by the most simplistic of tribalism which wants to paint the critic as the fool, the enemy and the "other". There's a very good reason why this ciphering suggestion business has been going nowhere for over 175 years. You have to be able to show what you allege is there, and show how it works rigorously. The age of Victorian parlor tricks is well beyond us.  When a cipher gets produced the critical exercise will move on to verifying that it is in fact the case.  That can't be done at this point.

 

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17 minutes ago, RoyalCraftiness said:

Numerologists are not capable cipher decoders.

Yet in history we are very present. I respect your opinion, yet I also believe you close your eyes to a few ideas that might shake up your rigid viewpoints.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gematria

English

English Qabalah refers to several different systems[61]: 24–25  of mysticism related to Hermetic Qabalah that interpret the letters of the English alphabet via an assigned set of numerological significances.[62][63]: 269  The first system of English gematria was used by the poet John Skelton in 1523 in his poem "The Garland of Laurel".[64]

Shows a picture of a cipher with the English alphabet, missing the J, U, and W, but with 4 extra letters after the Z which appear as I, V, HI and HV.

The Agrippa Cipher, pg. 143 of De Occulta Philosophia 1533

The Agrippa code was used with English as well as Latin. It was defined by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa in 1532, in his work De Occulta Philosopha. Agrippa based his system on the order of the Classical Latin alphabet using a ranked valuation as in isopsephy, appending the four additional letters in use at the time after Z, including J (600) and U (700), which were still considered letter variants.[65] Agrippa was the mentor of Welsh magician John Dee,[66] who makes reference to the Agrippa code in Theorem XVI of his 1564 book, Monas Hieroglyphica.[67]

 

JOHN DEE is 58 Simple and 188 Kaye cipher.

MONAS is 58 Simple cipher.

MONAS HIEROGLYPHICA is 188 Simple cipher.

 

Of course, it is possible this is a coincidence and Dee was totally oblivious to the above fact even when it is suggested that gematria signatures were in use in England at the time. I doubt it is a coincidence myself. It would seem that Dee of all people would participate in this kind of play. 😉

 

 

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<-- 1 8 8 1 1
O 1 1 8 8 1 -->

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FRANCIS BACON AND CIPHERS

In The Advancement of Learning published in 1605  Bacon set out a series of the cipher systems which he later incorporated into his acknowledged writings and quarto and folio editions of his Shakespeare poems and plays:

For CYPHARS; they are commonly in Letters and Alphabets, but may bee in Wordes. The kindes of CYPHARS, (besides the SIMPLE CYPHARS with Changes, and intermixtures of NVLLES, and NONSIGNIFCANTS) are many, according to the Nature or Rule of the infoulding; WHEELE-CYPHARS, KAY-CYPHARS, DOVBLES, &c. But the vertues of them, whereby they are to be preferred, are three; that they be not laborious to write and reade; that they bee impossible to discypher; and in some cases, that they bee without suspition. The highest Degree whereof, is to write OMNIA PER OMNIA; which is vndoubtedly possible, with a proportion Quintuple at most, of the writing infoulding, to the writing infoulded, and no other restrainte whatsoeuer. This Arte of Cypheringe, hath for Relatiue, an Art of Discypheringe; by supposition vnprofitable; but, as thinges are, of great vse. For suppose that Cyphars were well managed, there bee Multitudes of them which exclude the Discypherer. But in regarde of the rawnesse and vnskilfulnesse of the handes, through which they passe, the greatest Matter, are many times carried in the weakest Cyphars.1

1. Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning, ed., Michael Kiernan (Oxford Clarendon Press, 2000), pp. 121-22.

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FRANCIS BACON & CIPHERS

Within days of the publication of his Shakespeare First Folio in November 1623 there appeared in Latin Bacon’s truly monumental De Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX that included several pages on his cipher systems including an expansive and detailed explanation of his Bacon-Shakespeare Bi-literal Cipher. His discussion on ciphers is deliberately formatted to commence on page 277: a double simple cipher for Francis Bacon (100)/William Shakespeare (177):1    

               A  B C  D  E  F G  H  I  K   L  M  N  O  P  Q   R  S   T U  W  X  Y   Z

               1   2  3  4  5   6  7   8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

 

Examples:       F  R  A N C I  S                  B  A C  O  N          

                       6  17  1 13 3 9 18=67           2  1  3  14 13=33   

 

                      W  I   L   L   I  A  M                          S  H A K  E  S  P   E A R E             

                      21  9  11 11  9  1  12=74                   18  8  1 10 5 18 15  5 1 17 5=103   

 

                        FRANCIS BACON/WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE= 277

1. Francis Bacon, Opera Francisci Baronis De Vervlamio, Vice-Comitis Sancti Albani; Tomvs Primvs: Qui continet De Dignitate & Augmentis Scientiarum Libros IX. Ad Regem Svvm (Londini, In Officina Ioannis Haviland, 1623), p. 277.

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FRANCIS BACON & CIPHERS

Let us now return to the Baconian-Shakespearean title page of the Cryptomenytices. As we are looking at it in the right hand picture we again see the actor Shakspere who is now wearing the hat on his head with a sprig in it riding on horseback and blowing his horn on his way to the city and the theatres in the distance, spreading the word of the Shakespeare poems and plays, secretly written by Bacon.

The top panel which frames and contextualises the whole of the title page is shown at night with its associated theme of secrecy and hidden identity in which the town, the harbour and boat, with its crew of Rosicrucian Brothers, are half-lit by four beacons, which reminds us of a passage in Bacon’s essay Of Simulation and Dissimulation: 

For if a man have that penetration of judgment as he can discern what things are to be laid open, and what to be secreted, and what to be shewed at half-lights, and to whom and when (which indeed are arts of state and life ….).1

As well as a passage from his Advancement of Learning:

Another diversity of Method there is, which hath some affinity with the former, used in some case by the discretion of the ancients…that is Enigmatical and Disclosed. The pretence whereof is to remove the vulgar capacities from being admitted to the secrets of knowledges, and to reserve them to selected auditors, or wits of such sharpness as can pierce the veil.2

In the sixteenth century and later Beacon was pronounced Bacon and Beacon contains an anagram of Bacon’s name. The panel pictorially concealing and revealing Bacon is surrounded by the three masks (to the right, left and below) of Tragedy, Comedy and Farce,3 subliminally conveying the secret message, repeatedly reinforced in the rest of the title page, that Bacon is Shakespeare.

He is a second Trithemius (father of modern cryptology) and responsible for both its authorship and production in conjunction with his fellow Rosicrucian Brother, the Duke of Brunswick (Gustavus Selenus), its editor and publisher, with now all its clear inextricable links to his Shakespeare First Folio. The work also usefully produced an illustration of Bacon’s Simple Cipher which Bacon used in both the Shakespeare First Folio and the De Augmentis Scientiarum.4 

Several experts including the cryptographer Charles Bowditch; the Dutch Professor of mathematics and sixteenth and seventeenth cipher expert Dr Speckman; Professor Pierre Henrion of Versailles University and member of the French Cipher Service in the Second World War; the Baconian code and cipher expert Thomas Bokenham; and Peter Dawkins, Founder-Director of the Francis Bacon Research Trust, a recognised expert on Bacon, Shakespeare and the Rosicrucians, as well as renowned authority on all aspects of Baconian cryptology; have identified and confirmed numerous ciphers relating to Bacon and his Shakespeare plays in Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiae.5

1. Spedding, Works, VI, p. 387; Michael Kiernan, ed., The Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall (Oxford Clarendon Press, 2000), p. 20; Brian Vickers, ed., Francis Bacon A Critical Edition Of The Major Works (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 349.

 2. Spedding, Works, III, pp. 404-5.

 3. Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, Bacon is Shakespeare (New York: The John  McBride, Co., 1910), p. 126.

 4. Gustavus Selenus, Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiae Libri IX. In quibius & planissima Stegnanographiae a Johanne Trithemio, Abbate Spanheymensi & Herbipolensi, admirandi ingenij Viro, magice & aenigmatice olim conscriptae, Encodatio traditur. Inspersis ubique Authoris ac Aliorum, non contemnendis Inventis (Exscriptum typis & impensi Johannis & Henrici fratrum der Sternen Bibliopolarum Lunaeburgensium. Anno M. DC. XIIII), Book IV, Chapter VI, p. 141.

 5. Charles P. Bowditch, The Connection Of Francis Bacon With The First Folio Of Shakespeares Plays and with the Books on Cipher Of His Time (Cambridge University Press, 1910), pp. 18-47; Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, Bacon is Shakespeare (New York: The John McBride, Co., 1910), pp. 103-112; Pierre Henrion, ‘Bacon, Selenus And Shakespeare A Revealing Link’, Baconiana, Vol. XXXIV, No. 136, 1950, pp. 135-46; Thomas Bokenham, ‘Trithemius, the Rosicrucians And “Shakespeare”’, Baconiana, Vol. LIII, No. 169, September 1969, pp. 20-29; Thomas Bokenham, ‘Cryptomenytices and the Shakespeare First Folio’, Baconiana, Vol. LIII, No. 170, November 1970, pp. 45-55; Peter Dawkins, The Shakespeare Enigma (London: Polair Publishing, 2004), pp. 326/445.

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selenus.jpg

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FRANCIS BACON & CIPHERS

The Shakespeare First Folio and De Augmentis Scientiarum which produced for the first time a detailed explanation of his bi-literal cipher (later discovered by Elizabeth Wells Gallup to have been inserted by Bacon in the Folio) and the Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiae published shortly, all derive from the same source. This was all again wonderfully encapsulated in the little known title page of Bacon’s later edition of the De Augmentis published in Holland in 1645. In this title page the figure representing Bacon on the title page of the Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiae is here again seated in front of a large Folio (his Shakespeare First Folio) with his left hand controlling his literary mask William Shakspere clad in an actor’s goat-skin, holding a clasped book, like the old Masonic Rituals symbolising his Rosicrucian-Freemasonry Brotherhood closely guard and watch over Bacon’s secret life and writings including his concealed authorship of the Shakespeare works.

1645.png

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FRANCIS BACON & CIPHERS

Following the death of Bacon's private secretary and Rosicrucian Brother Dr Rawley in 1667, the vast collection of Bacon’s writings in his possession directly or via his son also named William Rawley passed to Thomas Tenison (1636-1715), with secrets about Bacon’s secret life and writings. In 1679 Tenison (afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury) published from these manuscripts the collection entitled Baconiana. It was also the case, that like his Rosicrucian predecessor Dr Rawley, his second editor Dr Tenison was also familiar with Bacon’s cipher systems discussed in the 1623 De Augmentis Scientiarum published within weeks of the Shakespeare First Folio:

The fairest, and most correct Edition of this Book in Latine, is that in Folio, printed at London, Anno 1623. And whosever would understand the Lord Bacon’s Cypher, let him consult that accurate Edition. For, in some other Editions which I have perused, the form of the Letters of the Alphabet, in which much of the Mysterie consisteth, is not observed: But the Roman and Italic shapes of them are confounded.1

He was privy to the secret that Bacon wrote works anonymously and pseudonymously including his concealed authorship of the Shakespeare works:

And those who have true skill in the Works of the Lord Veralum, [Bacon] like great Masters in Painting, can tell by the Design, the Strength, the way of Colouring, whether he was the Author of this or the other Piece, though his Name be not to it.2

Cognisant with the secret application of Bacon’s kay cipher Dr Tension doffs his hat to his authorship of the Shakespeare works in a simple, elegant, and ingenious way. On page 259 of his edition of Baconiana the numerical equivalent in kay cipher for Shakespeare, it is so contrived that the first line on the page reads

                                                   That is, Francis Bacon.3

1. Thomas Tenison, Baconiana. Or Certain Genuine Remains Of Sr. Francis Bacon, Baron of Verulam, And Viscount of St. Albans; In Arguments Civil and Moral, Natural, Medical, Theological, and Bibliographical; Now the First time faithfully Published. An Account of these Remains, and of all his Lordships Works, is given by the Publisher, in a Discourse by way of Introduction (London: printed by J. D. for Richard Chiswell, 1679), pp. 27-28.

2. Ibid., p. 79.

3. Ibid., p. 259.

 

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4 hours ago, RoyalCraftiness said:

Why would they not possess the work and mull it over carefully if they had a professional interest in cryptography? The work contains a description of reliable methods and improvements on existing methods. The cipher wheel and the substitution cipher are treated, both perfectly valid types of rigid formalisms which yield unambiguous interpretations. There is nothing in this work that is advancing the use of things that do not constitute proper ciphers. An example of the latter would be subjectively practicing reverse gematria which can only ever be called signaling to pattern recognition if it was used. Signaling to point to a nearby cipher is possible.  Was it done?

Love this prompt. Are you AI prompting me a human for a response? LOL

The key sentence here is, "The cipher wheel and the substitution cipher are treated, both perfectly valid types of rigid formalisms which yield unambiguous interpretations."

I agree 100%, in fact most cipher methods we read about from Bacon and others during his time are very rigid and unambiguous teachings. There is NO room for anyone to not get the same result. Or it is not a good cipher. Right?

That is the joke. While there may be a purpose for a rigid unambiguous cipher, especially in a very short or urgent period, ciphers should only be interpreted by whoever is in the loop, whatever that is.

No serious secret should ever be encoded with cipher where the solution is unambiguous. That could be a confession and possibly suicide in front of everybody you know. If there is no way out, it is a trap that no reasonable person would ever be a part of. Bacon was no fool.

Shakespeare is the most amazing example of a known cipher method demonstrated and shared among those inside the loop who can read what was left for us. 😉

 

 

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The 22 letter alphabet is something I worked with at the beginning of my seeking when Francis Carr was my inspiration back in 1998 and 1999. His was a 21 letter alphabet, but he mentioned others (if I remember right). My first cipher attempts were filling in pads of graph paper starting with a line from Shakespeare writing the 21, 22, or 24 letter alphabets down in pencil using a Caesar method so I could see various counts. Then I'd stare at the filled out sheets looking for "BACON". I still have some of those sheets that I enjoy looking at, but two years in or so and nothing ever rocked me. But I think the work itself opened the doors for me. 🙂

https://repository.ou.edu/uuid/bdfca33b-1f9d-54b4-af02-5f2ec32a0b35?ui=embed&width=900&height=450#page/157/mode/1up

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There is also the edition of the Book published in 1602 ...

image.jpeg.a1780e9105b4c494caca6d53c77ad3c1.jpeg

 

Notice that page 195 is followed by page ... 287 (Kay cipher of FRA ROSI CROSSE)

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And the last numbered page of the book is page ... 314 😉 

(It remains one last leaf but the two last pages are not numbered)

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After page 287, there are 33 pages.

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49 minutes ago, Allisnum2er said:

Notice that page 195 is followed by page ... 287 (Kay cipher of FRA ROSI CROSSE)

image.jpeg.95ea7f1606a4aafcea6dadc397d89ead.jpeg

Nice!

I also see new tables and a different alphabet. There is no Y or Z.

e-q is 287. 😉

 

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18 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

FRANCIS BACON & CIPHERS

Let us now return to the Baconian-Shakespearean title page of the Cryptomenytices. As we are looking at it in the right hand picture we again see the actor Shakspere who is now wearing the hat on his head with a sprig in it riding on horseback and blowing his horn on his way to the city and the theatres in the distance, spreading the word of the Shakespeare poems and plays, secretly written by Bacon.

The top panel which frames and contextualises the whole of the title page is shown at night with its associated theme of secrecy and hidden identity in which the town, the harbour and boat, with its crew of Rosicrucian Brothers, are half-lit by four beacons, which reminds us of a passage in Bacon’s essay Of Simulation and Dissimulation: 

For if a man have that penetration of judgment as he can discern what things are to be laid open, and what to be secreted, and what to be shewed at half-lights, and to whom and when (which indeed are arts of state and life ….).1

As well as a passage from his Advancement of Learning:

Another diversity of Method there is, which hath some affinity with the former, used in some case by the discretion of the ancients…that is Enigmatical and Disclosed. The pretence whereof is to remove the vulgar capacities from being admitted to the secrets of knowledges, and to reserve them to selected auditors, or wits of such sharpness as can pierce the veil.2

In the sixteenth century and later Beacon was pronounced Bacon and Beacon contains an anagram of Bacon’s name. The panel pictorially concealing and revealing Bacon is surrounded by the three masks (to the right, left and below) of Tragedy, Comedy and Farce,3 subliminally conveying the secret message, repeatedly reinforced in the rest of the title page, that Bacon is Shakespeare.

He is a second Trithemius (father of modern cryptology) and responsible for both its authorship and production in conjunction with his fellow Rosicrucian Brother, the Duke of Brunswick (Gustavus Selenus), its editor and publisher, with now all its clear inextricable links to his Shakespeare First Folio. The work also usefully produced an illustration of Bacon’s Simple Cipher which Bacon used in both the Shakespeare First Folio and the De Augmentis Scientiarum.4 

Several experts including the cryptographer Charles Bowditch; the Dutch Professor of mathematics and sixteenth and seventeenth cipher expert Dr Speckman; Professor Pierre Henrion of Versailles University and member of the French Cipher Service in the Second World War, the Baconian code and cipher expert Thomas Bokenham, and Peter Dawkins, Founder-Director of the Francis Bacon Research Trust, a recognised expert on Bacon, Shakespeare and the Rosicrucians, as well as renowned authority on all aspects of Baconian cryptology; have identified and confirmed numerous ciphers relating to Bacon and his Shakespeare plays in Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiae.5

1. Spedding, Works, VI, p. 387; Michael Kiernan, ed., The Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall (Oxford Clarendon Press, 2000), p. 20; Brian Vickers, ed., Francis Bacon A Critical Edition Of The Major Works (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 349.

 2. Spedding, Works, III, pp. 404-5.

 3. Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, Bacon is Shakespeare (New York: The John  McBride, Co., 1910), p. 126.

 4. Gustavus Selenus, Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiae Libri IX. In quibius & planissima Stegnanographiae a Johanne Trithemio, Abbate Spanheymensi & Herbipolensi, admirandi ingenij Viro, magice & aenigmatice olim conscriptae, Encodatio traditur. Inspersis ubique Authoris ac Aliorum, non contemnendis Inventis (Exscriptum typis & impensi Johannis & Henrici fratrum der Sternen Bibliopolarum Lunaeburgensium. Anno M. DC. XIIII), Book IV, Chapter VI, p. 141.

 5. Charles P. Bowditch, The Connection Of Francis Bacon With The First Folio Of Shakespeares Plays and with the Books on Cipher Of His Time (Cambridge University Press, 1910), pp. 18-47; Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, Bacon is Shakespeare (New York: The John McBride, Co., 1910), pp. 103-112; Pierre Henrion, ‘Bacon, Selenus And Shakespeare A Revealing Link’, Baconiana, Vol. XXXIV, No. 136, 1950, pp. 135-46; Thomas Bokenham, ‘Trithemius, the Rosicrucians And “Shakespeare”’, Baconiana, Vol. LIII, No. 169, September 1969, pp. 20-29; Thomas Bokenham, ‘Cryptomenytices and the Shakespeare First Folio’, Baconiana, Vol. LIII, No. 170, November 1970, pp. 45-55; Peter Dawkins, The Shakespeare Enigma (London: Polair Publishing, 2004), pp. 326/445.

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https://www.brandeis.edu/library/archives/essays/special-collections/renaissance-cryptography.html

 

 

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11 hours ago, Light-of-Truth said:

Nice!

I also see new tables and a different alphabet. There is no Y or Z.

e-q is 287. 😉

 

Hi Rob

Interesting that you mention the absence of the Y & Z. In one of Della Porta's cipher tables the X & Y are missing ( V = U & W ) 

ScreenShot2024-03-25at10_43_57pm.png.5f870f8579b12eb7b4dbb4cd0563c013.png

Edited by Eric Roberts
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On 3/25/2024 at 11:56 AM, Light-of-Truth said:

Yet in history we are very present. I respect your opinion, yet I also believe you close your eyes to a few ideas that might shake up your rigid viewpoints.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gematria

English

English Qabalah refers to several different systems[61]: 24–25  of mysticism related to Hermetic Qabalah that interpret the letters of the English alphabet via an assigned set of numerological significances.[62][63]: 269  The first system of English gematria was used by the poet John Skelton in 1523 in his poem "The Garland of Laurel".[64]

Shows a picture of a cipher with the English alphabet, missing the J, U, and W, but with 4 extra letters after the Z which appear as I, V, HI and HV.

The Agrippa Cipher, pg. 143 of De Occulta Philosophia 1533

The Agrippa code was used with English as well as Latin. It was defined by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa in 1532, in his work De Occulta Philosopha. Agrippa based his system on the order of the Classical Latin alphabet using a ranked valuation as in isopsephy, appending the four additional letters in use at the time after Z, including J (600) and U (700), which were still considered letter variants.[65] Agrippa was the mentor of Welsh magician John Dee,[66] who makes reference to the Agrippa code in Theorem XVI of his 1564 book, Monas Hieroglyphica.[67]

 

JOHN DEE is 58 Simple and 188 Kaye cipher.

MONAS is 58 Simple cipher.

MONAS HIEROGLYPHICA is 188 Simple cipher.

 

Of course, it is possible this is a coincidence and Dee was totally oblivious to the above fact even when it is suggested that gematria signatures were in use in England at the time. I doubt it is a coincidence myself. It would seem that Dee of all people would participate in this kind of play. 😉

 

 

 

I like it better when you describe yourself as a simple person without much education, because that, at least, contains the seed of truth which explains the error or your judgement. You are ripe for being snagged by this sort of game. It's appeal is that it is accessible to you. You see many instances of what you show and assume that it must have some legitimacy, but you' re not alone in your condition. Mimetics is guiding you. We know this because you took to this sort of thing. You did not invent it 

I, on behalf of everyone who recognizes the common effort to give precise meaning to words, resent the idea that words are carriers of my opinions. They existed before you or I existed. You are twisting the meaning of well defined words and opening those up to muddying opinion in order to protect your vested interests again. If I stated my opinion it would be much more damaging to your cause. Opinions are of zero use. I'm going to stick with what can be shown to be abusive of defined terms.

Weakening definitions is not working towards knowledge. It is trying to lessen what we know are the meaning words to destroy certainty in order to inject possibility.  If a cipher is anything that is open to any interpretation (i.e. 100 must decode back to FRANCIS BACON) then there is no use to even suggest that they can be treated mathematically as formalisms. A cipher, by definition, is a strict formalism. That means it follows two-way encoding and decoding rules. Francis Bacon equals 100 is a useless statement, but it is a fine signal IF it was intended to have been used. What does it mean? A signal is not something that comes with one possible interpretation. 33 is a possible signal and 40 is a possible signal. The many hundreds of uses of 40 in the Bible is something that anyone could have simply copied without giving you a meaning beyond what a well entrenched belief might have to say about it.  Attempts to pin a meaning to signals are examples of suggestions trying to get themselves accepted. This has been going since forever. If I give you 3 I am not encoding anything with that, and I am only possibly pointing you to a trinity concept. The interpretation games are not an attempt at decoding what I mean. They are attempts at reading minds. Only I can confirm what you think if you are trying to read my mind. 

In showing what people here have put an emphasis on by quoting him, the Truth for Bacon is completely given and non negotiable in the religious sense and separate from the study of everything else under the Sun FOR HIM.  This is beyond troublesome to those who would allege he is not signaling for those Truths he believes are unassailable. There's evidence that it is what keeps being signaled, but we do not know that. 

Please stop misusing the word cipher. It is as maddening as the statements that are made to suggest Bacon gave us the scientific method. 

On the matter of insulting and at laughing people who have every legitimate reason to point of the folly of the statements being made and the "tricks" being attempted,  it's not scoring anyone any points in their favor. Its childish polarizing behavior that will get you marginalized even more. All these feeble Baconian shenanigans were put in their place a long time ago for being subjective. Its now time to play by the rules and show the world the strict ciphers you allege are there AND to call things that are possibly signals just that.  After you have established what you think they are pointing to, you have to go about showing the world something which implies something or admit that you are still just guessing. 

The only people that matter in the quest of the betterment of our knowledge are those who can falsify the falsifiable. Dabbling in the rest is a fool's errand of trying to operate on the unfalsifiable as if that was scientific reasoned behavior. Who can disprove someone's imagination? Science refuses to touch the unfalsifiable, with good reason. The unfalsifiable is unfalsifiable.  Bacon never died is unfalsifiable. Bacon was Samuel de Champlain is unfalsifiable. Quoting people who may have believed that in order to suggest evidence is not scholarship. 

A statement made about a cipher is opening yourself up to a beat down if you are playing fast and loose with the meaning of that. And  beat downs is exactly what theorists are entitled to by virtue of wanting to play games with unfalsifiable claims. There's no way to build up to knowledge without falsifying statements. You destroy your way to better understanding of statements you attempt. If you can't you try harder. Mere efforts to convince will create nothing but a cornucopia of beliefs and positions like what Bacon harbored about the existence of God.

What is opinion is that there should be an authorship question. There's a fork there which divides two opinions. 

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2 hours ago, RoyalCraftiness said:

I like it better when you describe yourself as a simple person without much education, because that, at least, contains the seed of truth which explains the error or your judgement.

Did I suggest otherwise? 😉

I do have a BA in Multi-Media Design with a 4.0 GPA.

2 hours ago, RoyalCraftiness said:

I, on behalf of everyone who recognizes the common effort to give precise meaning to words, resent the idea that words are carriers of my opinions. They existed before you or I existed. You are twisting the meaning of well defined words and opening those up to muddying opinion in order to protect your vested interests again.

I'm sorry to mess up your foundation, speaking on behalf of everyone who is not in that rigid scholarly world you and the Strats are required to live in.

Really, does any word have only one meaning? What is "Truth" for example?

2 hours ago, RoyalCraftiness said:

A cipher, by definition, is a strict formalism.

I disagree with you.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/cipher

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But in your defense, and yes I am well aware and know you do not need nor want me to defend you, but I have been thinking about your, ummm, "position" when it comes to your meaning of a cipher. So let me ask, are acrostics, anagrams, gematria, or any number counts a part of the cipher definition? I expect you to say, "NO!"

I can work with that. I'll confess to everyone in your walled in world of rigid rules that I can admit and accept that a cipher is a "strict formalism." It has rules and requirements. Let's say on a Friday night a military leader needs to send a coded message that contains a specific time and location to attack to read by every team of soldiers in the field. "We all meet at five am at location such-n-such loaded and ready to attack." Gematria won't work, anagrams and acrostics would not work, at all. What would it take?

  1. Strict rules on how to decode (No room for error)
     
  2. All parties need to have the Key to decode (No time to figure out the Key)
     
  3. The plain text should appear as a normal communication to not attract attention (Timing is always a flag, so there is a need to make a communication seem typical)
     
  4. So on and etc.

In my opinion, the above rules will work when needed, but have too many risks to be secure. Number 2 requires everyone who has a key to be trusted. Leaks, spies, accidents, idiots, ugh. Security is a high risk when Keys are involved. I'll defer to Ben F:

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So if we all agree on a strict definition of a cipher, what about the other things which are very popular? What are they called? Is there a word, CJ? Will you say, "Suggestion Method"?

I do seek a real cipher even by your definition that says, "Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare." It may be discovered some day, using Bacon's methods. I have a chance of being a person to find one. Better chance I'll know whoever does find one.

If I were part of the Bacon circle in the First Folio days, I might bring up that using numbers, anagrams, acrostics, and all the techniques that Yann sees so well, might be the way Bacon can tell his life story for "Future Ages" while being ambiguous enough to be easily dismissed if need be. Yet hoping there will be a day when those with eyes to see and minds to comprehend, Bacon's life may be revealed to at least those who care.

2 hours ago, RoyalCraftiness said:

On the matter of insulting and at laughing people who have every legitimate reason to point of the folly of the statements being made and the "tricks" being attempted,  it's not scoring anyone any points in their favor. Its childish polarizing behavior that will get you marginalized even more. All these feeble Baconian shenanigans were put in their place a long time ago for being subjective. Its now time to play by the rules and show the world the strict ciphers you allege are there AND to call things that are possibly signals just that.  After you have established what you think they are pointing to, you have to go about showing the world something which implies something or admit that you are still just guessing. 

I am being "marginalized even more"? By who? Do I give a hoot?

I am marginalized by many Baconians. I accept that. As for as the rest of the world, on a clear day I think I can see the margin of acceptance way down the valley and I don't think about going back down there as I like being up here with a view. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WILLIAM F. FRIEDMAN ON  ENCIPHERMENT AND DECIPHERMENT

In the introduction to An Introduction to Methods for the Solution of Ciphers William Friedman in arguably the most concise explication and summary of the principles underlying the process of encipherment and decipherment ever written unambiguously and emphatically states that there are no hard and fast rules in the process of encipherment/decipherment, no mathematical certainties, no incontrovertible scientific methods and principles, and as for some kinds of ciphers, Friedman was also perfectly aware that no two decipherers would in every single instance independently arrive at exactly the same decipherment:

    AN INTRODUCTION TO METHODS FOR THE SOLUTION OF CIPHERS
ON THE FLEXIBIITY OF MIND NECESSARY IN CIPHER WORK

Deciphering is both a science and an art. It is science because certain definite laws and principles have been established which pertain to it; it is also an art because of the large part played in it by imagination, skill, and experience. Yet it may be said that in no other science are the rules and principles so little followed and so often broken; and in no other art is the part played by reasoning and logic so great. In no other science, not even excepting the science of language itself, grammar, does that statement, “The exception proves the rule,” apply so aptly. Indeed it may be said, and still be within the limits of the truth, that in deciphering, “The rule is the exception.”

    The reason for this is not hard to see. If one is dealing with a problem in physics, for example, a problem dealing with the temperature, pressure, and volume of gas, the solution of the problem may be attained directly and with almost absolute accuracy, because the underlying laws are invariable and unchanging in their application. Because of this, the problem resolves itself into a problem in mathematics. From the very nature of mathematics, the results are absolutely predetermined. The data having been given, the solution is reached by a series of definite and unerring steps, subject to no modification whatever, because the results, being dependent upon nothing but the data, are fixed from the start. Each step follows inevitably from the preceding. No imagination is at all necessary; no assumptions need be made, which may prove to be untenable and therefore must be rejected and replaced by others.

Contrast this situation, on the other hand, with that which confronts the decipherer at the very beginning of his attempts to solve a problem. Many times the cipher carries with it not even so much as an indication of the particular language in which it is written. Granted, however, that he knows the language, the foundations of any language are so unstable, so variable, and so uncertain, that no absolutely fixed laws can be made to hold. This does not refer to the innumerable variations in inflection, conjugation, etc., with which every language has to contend, but refers particularly to the very roots from which a language springs-the elementary sounds, the elementary syllables, and the words, phrases, and sentences. There is no rule, and there can be no rule, to determine the sequence of sounds-there can be no law which says that sound “ay,” for example, must always be followed by sound “em,” or any other sound. There can be no rule which determines how many letters shall compose a syllable, how many syllables shall constitute a word; nor what words shall follow any given word. Indeed, the characteristics which distinguish a good writer or speaker from a poor one, are exactly those which are concerned with the flexibility with which the former employs and manipulates the words, phrases, and sentences. A single idea may be expressed in a multiplicity of ways, all differing markedly from each other. Furthermore, the nature of the text as a whole varies. For example, scientific text differs materially from literary text or military text.

   All such conditions affect the raw material with which the decipherer must work-the letters themselves. Therefore, only the most generalized rules can ever apply to deciphering operations; and there can only be a few guiding principles, which the decipherer should always be ready to modify…It is the facility and ease with which a decipherer is able to modify his methods and discard his assumptions, which differentiates the good decipherer from the poor one. Deciphering is not a process for a “one-cylinder mind.

    Likewise the part played by imagination and intuition can hardly be overestimated. The knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the interception of a message, of the correspondents etc., furnishes a wide field for the exercise of the intuitive powers; and a shrewd “guess” will often result in more progress than a whole day's painstaking labor. This faculty, so essential in deciphering, can be developed and trained. The exercise of the imaginative powers by attempting to assume whole words, given only two or three letters and their positions, will result in the stimulation of all the faculties concerned in the expression of ideas, will thus enlarge the decipherer’s vocabulary, and otherwise arouse those qualities of mind which are peculiarly needed in cipher work.

Persistency is absolutely necessary for deciphering. Results are often secured only after seemingly endless experiment, and concentrated effort. It may be said that even after one has a thorough grasp of the underlying principles, patience and perseverance are the key-notes to success….

    To summarize then, the qualities upon which success depends in deciphering are interrelated-reasoning from laws must be balanced with facility in modifying those laws; imagination must go hand in hand with discretion; and intuition can never wholly take the place of concentration and perseverance. Finally, let it not be forgotten that many times the greatest ally the mind has is that indefinable, intangible something, which we would forever pursue if could - luck.1

 

1. William F. Friedman, An Introduction to Methods for the Solution of Ciphers  (Riverbank Laboratories, Department of Ciphers, Riverbank, Geneva, Illinois, 1918) reprinted in The Riverbank Publications Volume I (Laguna Hills, California: published by Aegean Park Press, 1979), pp. 3-5. 

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10 minutes ago, A Phoenix said:

Contrast this situation, on the other hand, with that which confronts the decipherer at the very beginning of his attempts to solve a problem. Many times the cipher carries with it not even so much as an indication of the particular language in which it is written. Granted, however, that he knows the language, the foundations of any language are so unstable, so variable, and so uncertain, that no absolutely fixed laws can be made to hold. This does not refer to the innumerable variations in inflection, conjugation, etc., with which every language has to contend, but refers particularly to the very roots from which a language springs-the elementary sounds, the elementary syllables, and the words, phrases, and sentences. There is no rule, and there can be no rule, to determine the sequence of sounds-there can be no law which says that sound “ay,” for example, must always be followed by sound “em,” or any other sound. There can be no rule which determines how many letters shall compose a syllable, how many syllables shall constitute a word; nor what words shall follow any given word. Indeed, the characteristics which distinguish a good writer or speaker from a poor one, are exactly those which are concerned with the flexibility with which the former employs and manipulates the words, phrases, and sentences. A single idea may be expressed in a multiplicity of ways, all differing markedly from each other. Furthermore, the nature of the text as a whole varies. For example, scientific text differs materially from literary text or military text.

So what Friedman did not mention is any kind of number clue. 😉

Funny the void is so loud.

 

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