Concept

Polybius square

Summary
The Polybius square, also known as the Polybius checkerboard, is a device invented by the ancient Greeks Cleoxenus and Democleitus, and made famous by the historian and scholar Polybius. The device is used for fractionating plaintext characters so that they can be represented by a smaller set of symbols, which is useful for telegraphy, steganography, and cryptography. The device was originally used for fire signalling, allowing for the coded transmission of any message, not just a finite amount of predetermined options as was the convention before. Basic form According to Polybius' Histories, the device was invented by Cleoxenus and Democleitus, and further developed by Polybius himself. The device partitioned the alphabet into five tablets with five letters each (except for the last one with only four). There are no surviving tablets from antiquity. Letters are represented by two numbers from one to five, allowing the representation of 25 characters using o
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