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Emperor Charles V's secret code cracked after five centuries


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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

A team of researchers has cracked a five century-old code which reveals a rumored French plot to kill the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V.

Charles was one of the most powerful men of the 16th century, presiding over a vast empire that took in much of western Europe and the Americas during a reign of more than 40 years.

It took the team from the Loria research lab in eastern France six months to decipher the letter written in 1547 by the emperor to his ambassador in France.

The tumultuous period saw a succession of wars and tensions between Spain and France, ruled at that time by Francis I, the Renaissance ruler who brought Leonardo da Vinci from Italy.

The letter from Charles V to Jean de Saint-Mauris had languished forgotten for centuries in the collections of the Stanislas library in Nancy.

https://phys.org/news/2022-11-emperor-charles-secret-code-centuries.html

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A coded letter signed in 1547 by the most powerful ruler in Europe has been cracked by French scientists, revealing that he lived in fear of an assassination attempt by an Italian mercenary. Sent by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to his ambassador at the French royal court - a man called Jean de Saint-Mauris - the letter gives an insight into the preoccupations of Europe's rulers at a time of dangerous instability caused by wars of religion and rival strategic interests. The three-page letter - consisting of about 70 lines - is mainly written using about 120 encrypted symbols, but there are also three sections in plain contemporary French. The team has not yet issued a full translation, which they are saving for an academic paper. But this week they set out the themes.

Cryptographer Cecile Pierrot first heard a rumour of the letter's existence at a dinner party in Nancy three years ago. After lengthy research she tracked it down to the basement of the city's historic library. Simply putting it into a computer and telling the computer to work it out would literally have taken longer than the history of the universe!" Finally the breakthrough came when historian Camille Desenclos pointed the team to other coded letters to and from the emperor. On one of these, kept at Besançon, the recipient had made an informal translation.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/decoding-an-emperor-s-secret-500-year-old-letter/ar-AA14AFxc?cvid=e1ade44084cf442ea2d088c994e12ff8

 

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