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Cryptography

Post  yonderboy on Mon May 25, 2009 2:38 am

Any insight into the co-occurance of magic and cryptography? I'm specifically puzzled by Trithemius' Steganographia -- scholars are of the opinion that the surface meaning was nonsense constructed to cover its cryptographic content, but if I'm not mistaken its surface content was a vital part of the development of the Western occult tradition. Any thoughts?

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Re: Cryptography

Post  Khephra on Wed May 27, 2009 12:31 pm

I'm not sure I could make informed comment on this, but I might be able to help from another angle...

Which scholars, and on what basis?

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Re: Cryptography

Post  yonderboy on Wed May 27, 2009 12:36 pm

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3926/is_199810/ai_n8820687/

[Edit] - The article is also available here in a more readable PDF format:

http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~reedsj/trit.pdf

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Re: Cryptography

Post  Khephra on Sat May 30, 2009 1:13 pm

Yes, a pdf would help substantially! I've been working through the online version bit-by-bit, but it might be easier to print the pdf. From the looks of it several pages in, it seems to me as though it would be irresponsible to assume the primary function of the Steganographia was cryptographic. There certainly doesn't seem to be any room to deny its role in the development of cryptography, but that was probably the means, not the end. I'll follow-up when I get through reading the article... whenever that is... Wink

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Re: Cryptography

Post  yonderboy on Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:32 pm

the first few pages are really the only interesting stuff, unless you're really into the mechanics of the cryptography. his basic argument is that the book is either a book of magic or a book about cryptography, and having proved it's a book about cryptography, ergo it's not about magic. that's the gist of it...

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Re: Cryptography

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:29 pm

yonderboy wrote:the first few pages are really the only interesting stuff, unless you're really into the mechanics of the cryptography. his basic argument is that the book is either a book of magic or a book about cryptography, and having proved it's a book about cryptography, ergo it's not about magic. that's the gist of it...

Yeah, that's about what I get out of it too. It seems a lot like a naive reading of the source material.
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Re: Cryptography

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