At a time when most could not even write this guy was inventing codes.
Cryptography is the technical name given to the craft of concealing messages with codes. It has been used throughout history for various purposes, especially military ones. For example, in the fifth century BCE, Spartan soldiers communicated with their field generals during battle by concealing a message across a strip of parchment wrapped spirally around a staff called a scytale. In 1917, during World War I, British naval intelligence intercepted and deciphered a cable telegram written in code by the German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmermann. The message outlined plans for unrestricted submarine warfare. The decoded information caused President Woodrow Wilson and the Congress to declare war on Germany. During World War II, British Intelligence hired thousands of people to break codes, including the renowned mathematician Alan Turing, a pioneer in computer theory. Because of security restrictions, Turing’s role as a military cryptographer was not known until long after his death.
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The English medieval friar Roger Bacon was among the first to write systematically about cryptography in his Secret Works of Art and the Nobility of Magic (13th century). But the first known comprehensive treatise on cryptography was written by a German abbot named Johannes Trithemius in 1510. Today, banks, corporations, governments, and other institutions have become dependent on this science for security reasons, since they routinely send confidential information from one computer to another.