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Re: VMs: Re: Cicco Simonetta (for Jeff)...

Hi Jeff,

At 01:39 06/11/2003 +0000, Jeff wrote:
To be a code breaker you first need to intensively study the current coding
methodologies. From this the code breaker would get a great insight into the
developments of new codes. It is not necessary for Simonetta to be the
actual code maker. Simply to be the mastermind of the operation. If he was
the actual code maker then this would mean he was devoting a lot of his time
to matters that would not necessarily protect his position. Keeping an eye
on developments around him would have been of paramount importance in the
political climate of his time.

Why, after they took over Milan, would the Sforza's entrust building a new Chancery to Cicco Simonetta - unless he'd already worked in one before? My best guess is that Simonetta started off as a code-breaker in a small Chancery (possibly in Naples, possibly elsewhere in Northern Italy).

In the absence of theoretical machinery, I'd suggest that the only practical way to understand the whole code-making mentality would have been to make some codes yourself.

Of course, by the middle of his career (say, 1460) he had become a rich power player within the Sforza court, and would have been likely to delegate most practical code-related matters to others within the Chancery.

Maybe as a means of gaining a stronger footing in the political heirarchy he
comissioned the VMS to contain information that may have become useful at a
time of instability. However, if this was the case it did not help him in
the end. Maybe it was even the reason for his death perhaps.

AFAICT, it was simply because of a Sforza family feud that Simonetta got stuck in the middle of. The big question is: why didn't he simply get out of Milan, rather than, erm, hang around to be executed? I haven't yet found a convincing answer to this. :-o

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling......

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