4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

Timeline Outline ViewEra: All Eras   |   Theme: Codes / Cryptography / Cryptanalysis


Circa 1,450 BCE – 1953Linear B and its Decipherment: Records of Mycenaean Civilization Circa 650 BCEThe Skytale: An Early Greek Cryptographic Device Used in Warfare 350 BCE
Polybius (View Larger)
The Hydraulic Telegraph
196 BCE – 1822The Rosetta Stone: Key to the Decipherment of Egyptian Hieroglyphs Circa 810
One of the most outsanding illumated manuscripts of De luadibus sanctae crucis, preserved in the Vatican Library, depicting Christ. (View Larger)
Carmina Figurata Word Pictures
Circa 850The First Treatise on Cryptanalysis Circa 1404 – 1438
Several pages from the indecipherable Voynich Manuscript. (View Larger)
The Voynich Manuscript: Uncrackable Code or Great Written Hoax? Progress…
Circa 1420
Folio 2r of Bellicorum instrumentorum liber, showing an 'Oriental siege machine.' (View Larger)
One of the Earliest Surviving Italian Manuscripts on Technology and War…
An engraved portrait of Leon Battista Alberti. Engraved by G. Benaglia and published in the 18th century.
Leon Battista Alberti Describes "The Alberti Cipher"
July 1518
 The 'square table' of abbot Johannes Trithemius’s 'Polygraphiae libri sex. - Clavis polygraphiae' was an example of how a message might be encoded through the use of multiple alphabets. (View Larger)
Johannes Trithemius Issues the First Book on Cryptography
Table of reciprocal alphabet from a 1555 book by Giovan Battista Bellaso.
Giovan Battista Bellaso Describes the First "Unbreakable" Text Autokey Cipher
1563Giambattista della Porta Publishes the First Known Digraphic Substitution Cypher 1586Blaise de Vigenère Describes What is Later Known as the Vigenère Cipher July 6, 1599Christophorus Guyot Issues the Earliest Surviving Catalogue of a Book Auction 1629Descartes Discusses the Idea of an Artificial Language 1750Raimondo di Sangro Issues the First Extensive Treatise on the Peruvian Knot-Based Counting Language, the Quipu 1754Jean-Jacques Barthélemy Achieves the First Significant Decipherment of an Ancient Script: Palmyrene 1758Barthélemy Deciphers the Phoenician Language Circa 1760 – 1780The Copiale Cipher is Decrypted: Initiation into a Secret Society of Oculists September 22, 1822Champollion Deciphers Egyptian Hieroglyphs 1823The Contributions of Thomas Young Toward Deciphering Egyptian Hieroglyphs 1832Rafinesque Deciphers the Mayan System of Counting 1837Origins of the Morse Code May 24, 1844Morse Transmits the First Message by Morse Code 1862Abraham Lincoln's Surveillance of Telecommunications During the American Civil War 1870 – 1874Émile Baudot Invents the Baudot Code, the First Means of Digital Communication 1872Charles Babbage's Library: the First Catalogue of a Library on Computing and its History 1919Early Versions of the Enigma 1922The Index of Coincidence Method of Code-Breaking 1923The Enigma Machine is Introduced 1924A Logarithmic Law for Communication 1936 – 1939The Voder, the First Electronic Speech Synthesizer: a Simplified Version of the Vocoder Circa September 1939 – 1945Highlights of Alan Turing and Colleagues' Cryptanalysis Work at Bletchley Park 1945 – 1949Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems March 4 – May 9, 1947Warren Weaver Suggests Applying Cryptanalysis Techniques to Translation 1950The Hamming Codes November 4, 1952The National Security Agency is Founded 1953 – 1954The Idea of a Genetic Code 1955The First Amino Acid Sequence of a Protein September 1957Crick's "On Protein Synthesis" 1961Crick & Brenner Propose The Genetic Code 1963ASCII is Promulgated 1976Public Key Cryptography is Suggested August 29, 1988The Unicode Universal Character Set is Introduced November 3, 1990An Encoded Sculpture, Still Not Decoded 1994Formulation of Shor's Algorithm for Quantum Computers August 12, 2005
Gary Urton with some khipu
The First Intelligible Word from an Extinct South American Civilization?
October 5, 2005
The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology logo
The Genetic Code of Avian Flu Virus H5N1 is Deciphered
October 19, 2005
The Electronic Frontier Foundation logo
Decoding Printer Tracking Dots
September 11, 2007 – June 6, 2013
A BoundlessInformant global heat map of data collection. The color scheme ranges from green (areas least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (areas most subjected to surveilance).
The PRISM Surveillance Program
June 2014The Enigma Database for Deciphering Difficult to Read Words in Medieval Latin Manuscripts October 21, 2014"How Edward Snowden Changed Journalism"