Mittwoch, 25. Januar 2023, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Geschichte am Mittwoch


Marco Vito (Wien/Salerno): History of Secret Writing in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modernity (Writing and Re-Writing Cryptography in the Renaissance)

Moderation: Meta Niederkorn

Hörsaal 30 (HS) im Hauptgebäude der Universität Wien
Universitätsring 1, 1010 Wien


The aim of this lecture is to analyze the art of cryptography in History as a key element of the intellectual and diplomatic developments that originated in Italy and spread throughout Europe between the late Middle Ages and the early modern age of the Renaissance.

Starting from the sources to be analyzed in the study, we will have to stick out the elements of interest of some European realities (political matters) which made it necessary to use cryptography to avoid reading by those who shouldn't know. There were different codes – which means different strategies – to send protected and secure messages, to conceal information readable only by the direct addressees.

Cryptography touches different areas of research such as the study of writing, paleography, and the history of warfare.

Leon Battista Alberti, John Trithemius, Francesco Simonetta and Giovanni Battista della Porta are some examples of the importance of this practice in the 15th and 16th centuries. They wrote about cryptography to make the sending of messages more secure.

Medieval cryptography laid the foundations for modern and contemporary cryptography before the invention of computers and allows us to look for unexplored elements of knowledge of human actions, thinking and the consequences of such decisions throughout history.

Zum Vortragenden:

Marco Vito is currently a PhD student in Historical Studies at the University of Salerno and a co-doctoral student in Historical and Cultural Studies at the University of Vienna. Graduated with honours from the University Post Graduated-Master's Degree Level II in Public History at Unimore, Bachelor's degree in History and Master's Degree in Historical Sciences from the University of Naples Federico II.

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Institut für Geschichte


Martina Fuchs
Institut für Geschichte
0043 1 4277 40842