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VMs: Venezia's Giovanni Soro
Both David Kahn and Simon Singh make reference to Giovanni Soro:
"Arguably the first great European cryptanalyst was Giovanni Soro, appointed
as Venetian cipher secretary in 1506." (Singh). Kahn calls him "perhaps the
West's first great cryptanalist".
It seems that he ran THE cryptanalisis operation under the control of the
mysterious Council of the Ten, to which even the Vatican was second. In
1542, his offices, according to Kahn in 'The Codebreakers', were in "the
Doge's Palace, above the Sala di Segret".
His treatise on cryptology, written in the early 1500s is one of the Lost
Books of cryptology... something like the Amber Room of the Cinquecento
Nick, do we know if this man ever corresponded with Mr Simonetta from the
I just bring up the subject because I fail to see him mentioned in the mail
archives, and thought it noteworthy. On reflection, maybe he never saw the
VMS, but being the foremost *acknowledged* Italian authority on codes at the
time... there is a remote chance that he may have been consulted on it.