Concept

Scytale

Summary
In cryptography, a scytale (ˈskɪtəliː; also transliterated skytale, σκυτάλη skutálē "baton, cylinder", also σκύταλον skútalon) is a tool used to perform a transposition cipher, consisting of a cylinder with a strip of parchment wound around it on which is written a message. The ancient Greeks, and the Spartans in particular, are said to have used this cipher to communicate during military campaigns. The recipient uses a rod of the same diameter on which the parchment is wrapped to read the message. Encrypting Suppose the rod allows one to write four letters around in a circle and five letters down the side of it. The plaintext could be: "I am hurt very badly help". To encrypt, one simply writes across the leather:
   |   |   |   |   |   |  |
   | I | a | m | h | u |  |
 __| r | t | v | e | r |__|
|  | y | b | a | d | l |
|  | y | h | e | l | p |
|  |   |   |   |   |   |

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