Blaise de Vigenère
French diplomat/cryptographer, Blaise de Vigenère, worked as an official engaged in international negotiations from the year 1540 to 1570. It was during this period that he developed an inclination for cryptography, as it had a firm connection with diplomatic activities. Slowly, this interest morphed into passion as he started studying works by famous cryptographers like Leon Alberti and Della Porta . And finally, his passion materialized to form what is today known as the Vigenère Cipher, which started out as a proposition made from the court of Henry the Third during the sixteenth century. Based on polyalphabetic substitution, this cipher went unsolved for several years. The first ever written documentation of the conquering of the Vigenère cipher is by Kasiski, even though rumor had it that Charles Babbage had arrived at a similar strategy earlier. This cipher was an improvised version of Caesars cipher. He authored a series of books, some of the more popular ones being "Traicte de Cometes", "Traicte de Chiffres" and "Traicte du Fev et du Sel". He is known to have also voiced his opinion about how comets were not the signs of ill fate as people believed them to be. But he, unfortunately, did encounter ill fate, in 1596 as he died due to throat cancer.
- The figure of Vigenre (translated)
- Picture (public domain)