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The First Multi-Alphabetic Cypher

Leon Battista Alberti is known as an architect and his books will be required reading well into the 18th century, but he is also a mathematician. He has developed the first cypher code based on multi-alphabetic substitution using a code disk. The code key changes every four words so that the enciphered text is resistant to frequency analysis. (That is... looking for the most frequently used letter such as 'e' won't help to break the code.) Of course, one must send the code disk to the people who receive your messages. This type of coding will continue into the 20th century and the Enigma machine that the Nazis used to encrypt their messages is an example of a rotating disc code. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The problem with any system using a code disk is that once someone gains possession of the disk, your encrypted messages will be readable. George Washington and his Culper Ring of spies had a much easier method, writing down a page number and the position of a word on that page rather than writing the word itself. As long as you both had duplicate books, it worked. Possession of a book would not mark you as a spy the way possession of a code disk would.[7]

The Great Brotherhood War

Galacia is north of Portugal in modern day Spain. At the end of the Middle Ages the king has not extended his influence that far, so law and order, such as it is, has been left to the local nobles. They have been fighting amongst each other and plundering from each others lands so the people have risen up to put a stop to the chaos. A few knights have joined with the peasants to attack various castles in the region. They are using trebuchets and fire to bring down the castles and chase out the nobles. Eventually Queen Isabella will establish the rule of law in the region. Galacia won't like her interference, but she will chase out some of the worst of the nobles. [8] [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In the modern day, Galacia sponsors the world largest civil war reenactment. I assume the Brotherhood War reenactment is run similar to American civil war reenactments. A type of musket does exist during the time of the Brotherhood War. It is called an arquebus but it has been used mostly by the Black Army of Hungry, so it probably wasn't used in this war. Those smokey charges of civil war battles are probably not part of this particular reenactment in Galacia.[11] [12]

Inuyasha and the Warring States Period

The end of the Middle Ages for Japan is called the Warring States period. It begins with the Onin War but this war between two individuals will expand to become a nation-wide war that will last 10 years. Many wars will follow until 1568 when three powerful figures will rise up and bring stability to Japan. In the modern day when the people of Kyoto talk about the time "after the war" they aren't talking about World War 2. They are talking about the time after the Warring States. [13] [14] [15]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I mentioned the cartoon character, Inuyasha, because the premise of the Japanese anime TV show of the same name is that a modern Japanese girl falls down a magic well and goes back in time to the Warring States period in Japan where she meets a magical creature named Inuyasha. The show makes such a point of the Warring States, that I remembered it, but beyond that, the cartoon itself bears little resemblance to any reality, past or present. Several video games are set during this period, including Shogun Total War and Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties. Occasionally the film Seven Samurai (1954) will show up on the TCM channel. It is actually a good movie.[16] [17]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1467, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Double-edged secrets (BOOK), Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0870211625. 
  2. Alberti cipher disk - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 17 November 2014.
  3. Polyalphabetic cipher - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 16 November 2014.
  4. Sharp, Dennis (1991). Leon Battista Alberti. Great Buildings Online. Retrieved on 16 November 2014. “"Alberti's two main architectural writings are 'De Pictura' (1435), in which he emphatically declares the importance of painting as a base for architecture and 'De Re Aedificatoria' (1450) his theoretical masterpiece. [...] "De Re Aedificatoria" remained the classic treatise on architecture from the sixteenth century until the eighteenth century."”
  5. Leon Battista Alberti - Biography and Gallery of Art. artist-biography.info (2014). Retrieved on 16 November 2014. “"He was an excellent mathematician and geometrician, and wrote a Latin work on architecture in ten books, published by him in 1485. It may be read today in the translation by the Rev. M. Cosimo Bartoli, provost of S. Giovanni in Florence."”
  6. Pope Paul II - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 16 November 2014.
  7. staff writer (2014). Spy Techniques of the Revolutionary War. George Washington's Mount Vernon. Retrieved on 17 November 2014.
  8. Trebuchet - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 17 November 2014.
  9. Irmandiño: The Great War - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 17 November 2014.
  10. Galicia (Spain) - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 17 November 2014.
  11. Arquebus - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 17 November 2014.
  12. Black Army of Hungary - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 17 November 2014.
  13. Onin War - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 16 November 2014.
  14. Sengoku period - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 16 November 2014.
  15. staff writer (2014). Sengoku Period. Japan Reference (JREF). Retrieved on 16 November 2014.
  16. Inuyasha - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 16 November 2014.
  17. Seven Samurai (1954). imdb.com (2014). Retrieved on 17 November 2014.

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