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Connection between Sforza and cryptography...
In the notes I took on Tranchedino a while back (from Lidia Cerioni's
heavily cross-indexed book), I wrote down details on only two people:
Tristano Sforza and Cecco (Cicco) Simonetta.
But it turns out that Cecco Simonetta was not only one of the key figures
in the theory of cracking ciphers from the time... he was also the key
Sforza family advisor while Caterina Sforza was growing up.
When the death of Caterina Sforza's father left a power vacuum, it was Bona
de Savoy (who then adopted her late husband's daughter Caterina, ie, going
from her half-mother to stepmother) and Cecco Simonetta (trusted family
advisor) who took control and decided who went where.
Later on, one of the banished sons came back to Milan to take his revenge:
this, ultimately, was the reason for Simonetta's execution in 1480.
But Simonetta was right at the heart of the Sforza family: so there seems
little doubt that he was one of the key people that helped form and
influence Caterina Sforza was one of the top crippies of the day.
The references to him I took down from Cerioni:-
Biblioteque de l'ecole des Chartes 51 (1890) 516-525, P.-Michel Perret.
"Les regles de Cicco Simonetta pour le dechiffrement des ecritures secretes
(4 Juillet 1474)".
Alfio Rosario Natale, "I diario di Cicco Simonetta" in ArchStorLomb Ser
VIII 7 (1957) 281f.
"Registro della cancelleria Sforzesca acquisito per L'Archivio di Stato in
Milano", in ArchStorLomb Ser. V 48 (1921) 610-611
Lidia Cerioni, "La cancelleria Sforzesca durante il rotorno del Moro
(Gennaio - Aprile 1500)" ArchStorLomb Ser. IX 5-6 (1966-67) pp.140-172.
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....