"The Code Book by Simon Singh"

Essay by greendayrocks7Junior High, 9th gradeA, May 2004

download word file, 10 pages 0.0

By reading the book "The Code Book" by Simon Singh, I have learned a lot about codes, and how people have hidden messages. This book talks about: the history codes, how the codes were made and broken, and the many types of codes there are. "The Code Book" explains the difference between cryptography and cryptology. I have also learned many terms that are associated with codes and code breaking.

Cryptography has been used as early as the Greek Empire. The main difference between then and now was the cipher or method used to code or hide information. Ancient people used concealment methods as opposed to coding methods like we do today. An example of this was a piece of leather being wrapped around a wooden staff and a message being written on it. The piece of leather would then be unwrapped, showing only a string of letters but the message would be concealed.

The leather could be worn as a belt. This way the message would not be known until the receiver wrapped the piece of leather around a wooden staff of the same diameter as the original. This method was used by the Spartans in the military and was know as a scytale.

Another method that was used by ancient people would be to conceal the message by hiding it. Demaratus, a Greek who had been expelled and was living in Persia witnessed Persia's build up of arms and wanted to send a secret message to the Greek so they would be ready for the attack. Demaratus scraped all the wax off a wooden folding tablet and wrote his message on it, then recovered it in wax so the message was concealed and could not be seen. This secret message received by Athens and Sparta,