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Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214816.1999.x


[Gk κρνπτóς ‘hidden’ + γραφoς ‘writing’] The various methods for concealing the meaning of what is written by using arbitrarily designed letters or a system of ciphers for substituting and interchanging letters or other units of writing. Texts produced in such a manner are called ‘cryptograms’ ( figure 26 ). They can be read by means of a key or, in the absence of such, can be made readable by ‘cryptanalysis’, a procedure which relies mainly on statistical methods of distribution and frequency analysis. See also cipher ; code ; decipherment . Reading Devos and Seligman 1967. Figure 26 Cryptograms designed by the earliest Christians who were forced to keep their meetings secret. Many used the chi-rho sign, made from the first two letters of Gk χρνστoς Christos, X and p ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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