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Scytale Cipher

Tool to decrypt/encrypt using a scytale. Scytale is a very simple transposition cipher used in ancient Greece and by spartans. A band is wrapped around a rod, a message is written, and when the band is unrolled a ciphertext appears.

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Scytale Cipher -

Tag(s) : Cryptography, Transposition Cipher

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# Scytale Cipher

## Scytale Encoder

Tool to decrypt/encrypt using a scytale. Scytale is a very simple transposition cipher used in ancient Greece and by spartans. A band is wrapped around a rod, a message is written, and when the band is unrolled a ciphertext appears.

### How to encrypt using a Scytale ?

Scytale Encryption uses a cylinder and a band characterized by its number of turns L of the band around the cylinder.

Example: Code DCODE with a band L=3.

The message is written along the cylinder, one letter per band, and when the end is reached, go to a new line.

If needed, the last line can be completed with another character, e.g. X or _.

Example:

 DCO DE_

The ciphered message is the band unrolled, (i.e the message read by column).

Example: The cipher text is DDCEO_

### How to decrypt a Scytale ciphertext?

Scytale Decryption requires to know the number N of letters by turn of the band (the size of the cylinder), or L the number of turns around the cylinder.

Example: The ciphertext is DDCEO_ (6-character long) and the band is L=3, then N=2 (because 6/3=2).

Write the message on the band and wraps the band around the cylinder (of correct size) and the plain text should appear.

Example:

 DCO DE_
the original plain text is DCODE.

### How to recognize Scytale ciphertext?

As it is a transposition cipher, the ciphered message has an index of coincidence similar to the language of the plain text.

### How to decipher Scytale without the size?

One can crack Scytale by testing all possible size of the rectangle.

### What are the variants of the Scytale cipher?

Scytale is a practical application of the Caesar Cipher.

### When Scytale have been invented?

8 to 6 centuries BC