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VMs: Translating Cicco Simonetta's "Regule"...?
If you want something short, meaty, yet extraordinarily relevant to
translate, may I suggest Cicco Simonetta's "Regule ad extrahendum litteras
ziferatas sine exemplo"?
A while back, I mentioned P.-M. Perret's French-language article on Cicco
Simonetta's cryptologic rules, from Bibliotheque de l'ecole des Chartes
(1890), pp. 516-525. I'm now pleased to note that a scanned PDF version of
these pages is now freely accessible online on the BNF website. The article
includes a clean (though scanned) Latin transcription of Simonetta's
original set of rules (pp. 523-525), and this is what I'd suggest would be
good to translate.
If you go to the following page, and click on  in the left-hand frame,
the arrow navigation buttons at the top will then take you through all the
pages of the paper. Alternatively, you can just enter 516 (or any other
page number) in the "Aller a la page [ ]" dialog box at the top and press
Enter (or click on "Aller...").
Also, if someone wants to take on a job to help Philip out, transcribing
the scan into a document or a web page would probably be a good assistance
- it would be excellent to be able to put the two side by side on a final
BTW, the original document's full title is:-
"Regule ad extrahendum litteras ziferatas, sine exemplo", Paris,
Biblioteque Nationale, Fonds Italien, Cod. 1595,
There are also some (poor resolution) microfilm pictures of the document
itself from the Vincent Ilardi Collection at Yale:-
Perret also mentions (p.517) that Simonetta prepared a treatise on
Francesco Sforza's Chancellery in 1465 entitled "Constitutiones et ordines
cancellariae secretioris illustrissimi principis et excellentissimi d. d.
Francisci Sfortiae Vicecomitis ducis Mediolani", which was catalogued by
Filippo Argelati (in "Bibliotheca scriptorum mediolanensium", Milan 1745,
Vol II, col. 2167) - but he does not know what became of it. Intriguingly,
Perret then suggests that the "Regule" might well have formed part of that
earlier document, but were never been made public. If true, that would push
the starting date for modern cryptology back by at least seven years.
And according to...
...Simonetta wrote the "Costitutes et ordines" [sic] in 1456 (which would
be a further 8 years' earlier), so tracking these down might well be a good
task for me to take on. There have actually been some recent seminars
focusing on Simonetta, so this might prove easier than you might imagine. :-o
FWIW, to my eyes, the "Regule" seems less like a work in progress, and more
like a neat copy (or slight development) of earlier work: but that's just a
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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