(ORDO NEWS) — French cryptographers have deciphered a letter from the King of Spain, Charles V, in which he shared fears about the preparation of an assassination attempt almost 500 years ago. This was reported on November 24 by the portal 20minutes.
In 1547, a letter was sent by the king to his ambassador in Paris, Jean de Saint-Maury. The document is stored in the library of the city of Nancy in Lorraine.
The transcript revealed the relationship between the French kingdom, then led by François Yer, and the Holy Roman Empire.
Cryptographers from the Lorraine Computer Research Laboratory worked on the letter for six months. The work was carried out with the help of a computer.
As experts admitted, the code used by Charles V was “devilish”, in addition, the letter contained words encrypted with one character, and vowels were marked with special signs. In addition, the emperor used “null characters” which meant nothing.
The mediaeval historian Camille Desanclos played a decisive role in reading the text. She told cryptographers about the existence of another letter written using the same code.
As it turned out, Charles V expressed concern in a letter about the aggravated relations with France and its King Francis I.
In one of the parts, he mentioned rumors of an attempt on himself, which was allegedly prepared by Piero Strozzi, a Florentine who was in the French service.
The deciphered letter “showed a rather degraded state” in 1547 of the relationship between François Hier and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who had signed the peace treaty three years earlier.
Despite this peace, both monarchs maintained an “extremely strong” mutual “distrust” and sought to mutually “weaken” each other, the publication says.
Charles V led the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 to 1558. At that time it was the largest state in Europe, located on the territory of modern Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, western Poland, northern Italy and eastern France.
At the same time, he was the king of Spain and its overseas possessions, which made the monarch the most powerful man in Europe.
In 2018, the Spanish intelligence services cracked a secret military cipher that was used by King Ferdinand II of Aragon in correspondence with the commander of his troops, Gonzalo de Cordoba.
The Spanish monarch used this cryptography during military campaigns in Italy at the beginning of the 14th century.
It took six months to decipher only four letters.
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