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The Cipher of Simeone Levi
« on: October 30, 2014, 06:29:44 PM »
A clever cipher and an elegant solution -- except for one sentence.

The Ciphered Autobiography of a 19th Century Egyptologist
by Emanuele Viterbo, AT&T Research

Accessed 30 October 2014 via Klaus Schmeh’s List of Encrypted Books
E. Viterbo: “The Ciphered Autobiography of an 19th Century Egyptologist”, CRYPTOLOGIA, vol. XXII, n. 3, pp. 231-243, July 1998

Abstract: Simeone Levi was an Italian Egyptologist who lived in Turin during the second half of the 19th century. His major work is an eight volume hieroglyphic dictionary. He left a ciphered autobiography which remained a mistery [sic.] for about three generations in his family. We present here the procedure used to decipher the text and the structure of the code invented by Simeone Levi.

*[13 pages; the PDF has pp. 193-205]

Quotes from page 7, marked 199:
"Simeone quotes a sentence in a mysterious foreign language:
Ma pecuglie ri sifafanu cecumucela o queanru ytagno fu a pecutagno pecu nicagenu.
I consulted various linguists in Ancient Egyptian, Sanskrit, Coptic and Hebrew, but the language of this sentence still remains a mystery. I leave it as a challenge for the interested readers."
In context. English translation and undeciphered sentence.

Autobiography of Simeone Levi [1843-1913]
Why does telling about one's own sorrows soothe one's torments? I believe the effect is produced by the same thing which causes a continuous noise to end up inducing sleep. Ma pecuglie ri sifafanu cecumucela o queanru ytagno fu a pecutagno pecu nicagenu. Nevertheless, people prefer telling about their enjoyed happiness rather than about their suffered sorrows, because most of the times people envie [sic.] other people's victories and mock other people's sufferings, and seldom does someone else show contentment for our good and feel sympathy for our pains. But I will tell about the good and the bad, my merits and my faults, when I was right and when I was wrong, my triumphs and my failures, my good deeds and my bad deeds.

.2 .......8 .2 .......8 ........10 . ......7 .....6 .2 . ........9 ...4 .......8

If the following are combined, all words have an even number of letters.
O QUEANRU     8 letters
A PECUTAGNO  10 letters

But could be 1:1 pre-ciphered Italian or Latin.


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Re: The Cipher of Simeone Levi
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2014, 07:59:37 PM »
Interesting that they managed to get most of that except for the one sentence. Usually I just see things stick to a single cipher throughout.