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Spain cracks King Ferdinand's 500-year-old secret code
BBC ^ | February 3, 2018 | unattributed

Posted on 02/04/2018 1:16:14 PM PST by SunkenCiv

A 500-year-old secret code used in letters between one of Spain's most famous monarchs and a military commander has been cracked.

Ferdinand of Aragon's letters have tantalised historians for centuries.

Constructed using more than 200 special characters, they were deciphered by the country's intelligence agency.

He was behind the final recapture - Reconquista - of Spain from the Moors in 1492 and Columbus's journeys to the Americas.

The letters between Ferdinand and Gonzalo de Córdoba include instructions on strategy during military campaigns in Italy in the early 16th Century. They were written using secret code in case they fell into enemy hands.

The letters are on display at Spain's Army Museum in Toledo and it took intelligence services almost half a year to decipher four of them, some of which went on for over 20 pages.

The code-cracking has been described by some as a "Rosetta Stone" moment, amid hopes that it could lead to more coded letters being deciphered.

Details outlined in the letters range from instructions on troop deployments to admonishing the commander for not consulting the king before launching diplomatic initiatives...

The mysterious coding system used by Ferdinand of Aragon and Gonzalo de Córdoba was highly complex. It was constructed using 88 different symbols and 237 combined letters.

For each letter there were between two and six figurative characters such as triangles or numbers.

To complicate matters even further, the symbols used in the letters were written without separating words and phrases...

Spain wrested control of Naples from France in 1504 and ruled it until 1647.

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.com ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: code; epigraphyandlanguage; ferdinand; ferdinandofaragon; godsgravesglyphs; gonzalodecordoba; king; kingferdinand; reconquista; spain
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The letters were written by Ferdinand of Aragon, who was the first king of what became modern-day Spain. [© Radio Television Espanola]

[© Radio Television Espanola]

1 posted on 02/04/2018 1:16:14 PM PST by SunkenCiv
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...
Thanks yefragetuwrabrumuy.

2 posted on 02/04/2018 1:16:51 PM PST by SunkenCiv (www.tapatalk.com/groups/godsgravesglyphs/, forum.darwincentral.org, www.gopbriefingroom.com)
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To: SunkenCiv

This is exciting. Thank you.


3 posted on 02/04/2018 1:21:18 PM PST by mairdie
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To: SunkenCiv

4 posted on 02/04/2018 1:22:42 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: SunkenCiv

“Espere amigos, neccista tu beber sus Owal-teen”


5 posted on 02/04/2018 1:25:57 PM PST by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either satire or opinion. Or both.)
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To: dfwgator

BESURETODRINKMOREOVALTINE

Classic, one of the best TV movies of all time.


6 posted on 02/04/2018 1:30:21 PM PST by WMarshal ("IN AMERICA WE DON’T WORSHIP GOVERNMENT — WE WORSHIP GOD." POTUS tweet 2017)
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To: SunkenCiv

The Spartans had a system of wrapping a message around a rod so that it showed letters exposed by certain sections. The recipient would have an identical one.

It was supposed to be pretty good but it doesn’t sound very sophisticated to me.


7 posted on 02/04/2018 1:30:56 PM PST by yarddog
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To: SunkenCiv

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.


8 posted on 02/04/2018 1:41:37 PM PST by Pray All Day ("Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
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To: SunkenCiv

Tome mas Ovaltino!


9 posted on 02/04/2018 1:49:18 PM PST by TigersEye (Where is the Trump/Russia collusion memo? ... Mueller? Mueller? Anybody?)
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To: SunkenCiv

The International Spy Museum has exhibition on Queen Elizabeth I’s spy ring.

Her main spy guy when sending her correspondence from abroad would sign them “007”.


10 posted on 02/04/2018 1:57:07 PM PST by lizma2
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To: dfwgator
Espere amigos, neccista tu beber sus Owal-teen”

Helen Thomas is easy

11 posted on 02/04/2018 1:59:33 PM PST by Doogle (( USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand....never store a threat you should have eliminated)))
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To: SunkenCiv

The brains in Spain fall mainly on the reign.


12 posted on 02/04/2018 2:04:27 PM PST by bunkerhill7 ((((("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione.")))))))
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To: SunkenCiv

Always felt the best code was two copies of the same large random book using the pages, lines, and letters. I’m sure that with all the digital scans and crunching power now that this isn’t as good as it once would have been though.


13 posted on 02/04/2018 2:05:37 PM PST by reed13k
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To: reed13k

That is the exact code Admiral Semmes of the Confederate Ship, Alabama, used.

He bought two identical dictionaries. Random books would be more secure but that would be pretty good.


14 posted on 02/04/2018 2:08:39 PM PST by yarddog
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To: reed13k

A - Z Of London was in a newer Sherlock episode.


15 posted on 02/04/2018 2:17:23 PM PST by wally_bert (I didn't get where I am today by selling ice cream tasting of bookends, pumice stone & West Germany)
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To: SunkenCiv

BTW, Ferdinand and Isabella were the parents of Catherine of Aragon, tragic first queen of Henry the Eighth.


16 posted on 02/04/2018 2:34:06 PM PST by Ciexyz (I'm conservative & traditionalist, a nationalist and patriot.)
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To: yarddog
Yes, the celebrated Spartan skytale.

You'd think it would take a reasonably intelligent person no more than 10 minutes to work out the possible combinations of letters and be able to read the message.

17 posted on 02/04/2018 3:04:30 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

It seems like that to me too but there must have been more to it than that. Those people were very intelligent.


18 posted on 02/04/2018 3:20:07 PM PST by yarddog
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To: TigersEye
"Tome mas Ovaltino!"

That is actually a common mistake from casual non native western Spanish speakers. In proper Castilian form, Ovaltine is properly female gendered, so the proper translation is...

Tome mas Ovaltina
19 posted on 02/04/2018 3:30:41 PM PST by dsrtsage (For Leftists, World History starts every day at breakfast)
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To: Ciexyz

BTW, Ferdinand and Isabella were the parents of Catherine of Aragon, tragic first queen of Henry the Eighth.


Which is why the Pope was between a rock and a hard place when it came to granting Henry VIII a divorce. Piss off Henry or piss off the Catholic church’s richest patrons.


20 posted on 02/04/2018 3:47:32 PM PST by hanamizu
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