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Caesar Box Cipher

Tool to decrypt/encrypt with Caesar Box, a Roman version of the scytales for ciphering text by transposition.

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Caesar Box Cipher -

Tag(s) : Transposition Cipher

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# Caesar Box Cipher

## Caesar Box Encoder

### What it the Caesar Box cipher? (Definition)

Caesar Box is a transposition cipher used in the Roman Empire, in which letters of the message are written in rows in a square (or a rectangle) and then, read by column.

### How to encrypt using Caesar Box cipher?

Caesar Box Encryption uses a box, a rectangle (or a square), or at least a size W characterizing its width (that corresponds to the number of column of text)

Example: Take W=3 and the message to encrypt DCODE.

The message is written by rows and every W characters, add a new row. This will delimitate a box of characters.

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

Example: DCO
DE_

The encrypted message is obtained by reading the box by column.

Example: The cipher text is DDCEO_

### How to decrypt Caesar Box cipher?

Caesar Box decryption requires to know the dimensions of the box (width W by height H)

Example: Take W=3, and the ciphertext is CSAAER which is 6-character long, then H=2 (as 6/3=2).

Write the text in column in the box. The plain text appears by reading each row.

Example: CAE
SAR

Example: The original plain text is CAESAR.

### How to recognize Caesar Box ciphertext?

The Caesar box is a transposition cipher, so the coincidence index is the same as that of the plain text.

If the length of the message is a perfect square, it is a good clue.

This cipher appears in many movies or books, the most known are the scytale (parchment / ribbon from Sparta, Greece), the cipher used in Journey to the center of the Earth from Jules Verne (Arne Saknussemm's cryptogram), etc.

### How to decipher Caesar Box without the size?

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

Sometimes the message has a square number of characters (16 = 4.4 or 25 = 5 * 5 or 36 = 6 * 6, etc.), which makes it possible to deduce the size of the square, but sometimes it is a totally different number of characters.

### What are the variants of the Caesar Box cipher?

When the box is a perfect square, encryption and decryption are identical.

The scytale is the other name of this cipher.

### When was Caesar Box invented?

This encryption is similar to that of the scytale cipher, which have appeared in Greece, between the 10th and 7th centuries B.C., a long time before romans and Caesar (Caius Iulius).

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