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VMs: Re: Venezia's Giovanni Soro

At 09:59 16/05/02 -0400, Luis Vélez wrote:
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
Milano Sforzas?

Cicco (Cecco) Simonetta was executed by Ludovico Sforza in 1480, but I don't know Soro's dates by way of comparison. :-(

If their dates do overlap (though I have to say it seems unlikely), it is certainly possible that correspondence between them - if such ever happened - still exists in a Milanese state archive. I've noted a number of references to (older) books and papers on Simonetta - if you're intrigued, these might be a sensible place to start looking. :-)