King Ferdinand’s Secret Code

Alton Parks, Writer

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King Ferdinand was one of Spain’s most famous military commanders and monarchs. During his military campaigns in Italy in the early 16th century, Ferdinand and his military commander Gonzalo de Cordoba sent multiple encrypted letters to each other. Each letter that was sent would take 15 days to send and receive.

Nearly six hundred years later, the Spanish National Intelligence Center deciphered what the letters read. Why did it take so long you may ask? Well the letter contained a very complex coding system which contained 88 different symbols and 237 combined letters. To make the letter even more complex, there weren’t any spaces between phrases and words.

The first couple of letters that were deciphered contained military strategies and multiple instructions. The letters were sent during a battle for control of the Mediterranean between Spain and France. Since the coding system was figured out, the rest of the letters sent can be deciphered as well. With this recent success of decipherment, many mysterious and questions have been put to rest for good.