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VMs: Trithemius & VMS?
Hi Dennis and all,
Here are some thoughts of mine which are both T. and V. oriented. I have again first to repeat that I am not a cryptanalyst and I am therefore not in a position to scholarly comment on the method of a cipher text study.
When I recently criticised a bit the issue of the "attack" of VMS by a distinguished professor, which resulted in an article in the latter published Cryptologia, I just wanted to show that his demonstration at the end was only that VMS possibly is a hoax.
Jim Reed s work on T. is different, since he proved ( also in Cryptologia ) if I well understood that the IIId book of T. is ciphered and he proposed both a key and a plaintext.
What is especially interesting for me in the article I read thanks to Dennis ( thanks again Dennis ) is that Jim honestly admits that the copy he studied is uncomplete.
I am not that surprised. I have here with me my copy of a French study on our abbot ( don t smile, the copy is garbled and I had to order it again today! ). This book is well known I think to U.S. cryptology:
The author is Paul Chacornac ( he was a learned bookdealer of the XXth century, specialised in esoterica ) and the title in French is Grandeur et adversité de Jean T. ( in fact the simplest English translation is for a lazy me Life and works ).
Page 133 of my edition (1973) I read in English a footnote by the author: "We ( P.C.) had the opportunity to read a ms copy of Steganographia dated 1737 which was entirely different of the well known text".
This is not unsual in those fields of magic, alchemy, and so on where even after the Middle Ages period you had on the one hand the public print ( I would tentatively say exoterica ) and the ms one on the other ( esoterica ).
And now we are not that far away of VMS IMHO since we know that for sure one part of the book is missing and that probably or possibly it s a copy ( since for instance there are hands A and B, because of the rude drawings of the illustrations...).
Which certainly explains in T. s case the strange meaning of Jim s plain text; and now for me the question is, frankly, why, why T. would have ciphered such a text? I know Jim rose the same one, and he is right, and that is a reason why he correctly states that his copy is uncomplete.
Perhaps and now back to VMS it should be worth reminding us of Newbold s plaintexts of it. What a strange feeling too! Why R.B. or anybody should have ciphered at least part of those texts? It s difficult to imagine for me anyway.
As an elder student on that alchemical matter I have too to tell the list that Newbold even "succeeded" in deciphering a genuine alchemy ( truly plain if allegorical ) text and turned it into some I would say incredible or unprobable historical package. I have to add that his work is very much valuable however; there is no offense in my point; there is even a French theory ( Jacques Bergier is the name ) that N. really succeeded but that this man which had too an occultist culture did not want to give more than clues on it. I am however personally doubtful on this point.
Thus and I apologize for being that verbous perhaps Steganographia is not ciphered magic and VMS is not ciphered alchemy but what is it? I hope it is not just bla bla.
Back to T. he too was a distinguished and learned man even if he could have been called yesterday for instance by L.Thorndike a pre-scientist. Even a pre-scientist does not elaborate a sophisticated cipher just for a gibberish plaintext. Or perhaps T. turned mad as Toresella would say, or was hit by an access of glossolalia, who knows?
Dennis <tsalagi@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
Thanks! Jean-Yves will like this (still haven't got
his message, my mail client chokes on it, I don't know
"James A. Reeds" wrote:
> Dennis wrote:
> > Your e-mail addy is a bit puzzling.
> It's a guest account. Read all about it on http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~reedsj
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