Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Cryptography (“secret writing”; French cryptographie, German Kryptographie, also “cryptology”; from Greek kryptós, “hidden”) concerns the methods of enciphering and deciphering secret written communication. The term was coined in 1641 as the Latin cryptographia to denote “secrecy in writing” by John Wilkins [6. 5]. Unlike in the procedure known since time immemorial and called “steganography” (from Greek steganós, “concealed”), in which a message is conveyed in secret - within a false bottom or hollow receptacle, or written in invisible ink -…

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Beyrer, Klaus, “Cryptography”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 28 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_022833>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206

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