Conference article

Matching Keys and Encrypted Manuscripts

Eva Pettersson
Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, Sweden

Beáta Megyesi
Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, Sweden

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Published in: Proceedings of the 22nd Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics (NoDaLiDa), September 30 - October 2, Turku, Finland

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 167:26, p. 253--261

NEALT Proceedings Series 42:26, p. 253--261

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Published: 2019-10-02

ISBN: 978-91-7929-995-8

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


Historical cryptology is the study of historical encrypted messages aiming at their decryption by analyzing the mathematical, linguistic and other coding patterns and their historical context. In libraries and archives we can find quite a lot of ciphers, as well as keys describing the method used to transform the plaintext message into a ciphertext. In this paper, we present work on automatically mapping keys to ciphers to reconstruct the original plaintext message, and use language models generated from historical texts to guess the underlying plaintext language.


historical cryptology NLP for historical text digital humanities


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