Some Interactive Tools for Examining Renaissance Ciphers

Alexander Boxer
Proceedings of Bridges 2016: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Education, Culture (2016)
Pages 561–564


This paper describes interactive tools for exploring the ciphers in Johannes Trithemius’ Steganographia (1500). These tools have been implemented on the website Trithemius Redivivus ( and provide capabilities to (1) apply Trithemius’ cryptographic techniques on any text, (2) display letter-frequency histograms of the output, and (3) rank the outputs according to their relative entropy, computed with respect to a reference text.