Quia cum illos magna praecaeteris hominibus proprio studio [iii] excogitasse considero, meipsum quadam violentia confricans, vt incalescam, ad aliqualem vel cum nouissimis imitationem praecedentium impello. Et huius secretissimae artis ad inuentionem nouam ad instantiam Serenissimi Principis, Dom. Si vero non intellexerint quod multis scimus futurum discant prius, quam reprehendant. Enimuero temerarium se iudicem ostendit, qui priusquam causae veritatem agnouerit, profert de ea sententiam. Eos autem, quibus familiarius est sapientiam spernere, quam didicisse, nec opto nec vellem haec mystica nostra penetrare.
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Early life[ edit ] The byname Trithemius refers to his native town of Trittenheim on the Moselle River , at the time part of the Electorate of Trier.
When Johannes was still an infant his father Johann von Heidenburg died. His stepfather, whom his mother Elisabeth married seven years later, was hostile to education and thus Johannes could only learn in secret and with many difficulties. He learned Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. When he was 17 years old he escaped from his home and wandered around looking for good teachers, travelling to Trier , Cologne , the Netherlands , and Heidelberg. He studied at the University of Heidelberg.
Career[ edit ] Travelling from the university to his home town in , he was surprised by a snowstorm and took refuge in the Benedictine abbey of Sponheim near Bad Kreuznach. He decided to stay and was elected abbot in , at the age of twenty-one.
He set out to transform the abbey from a neglected and undisciplined place into a centre of learning. In his time, the abbey library increased from around fifty items to more than two thousand. Trithemius wrote extensively as a historian, starting with a chronicle of Sponheim and culminating in a two-volume work on the history of Hirsau Abbey. His work was distinguished by mastery of the Latin language and eloquent phrasing, yet it was soon discovered that he inserted several fictional passages into his works.
His work as a historian has been tainted ever since, the invented passages proved by several scholars. He remained there until the end of his life. It was damaged in the firebombing of , and subsequently restored by the workshop of Theodor Spiegel. Legacy[ edit ] Notably, the German polymath , physician, legal scholar, soldier, theologian, and occult writer Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa — and the Swiss physician, alchemist, and astrologer Paracelsus — were among his pupils. Since the publication of the decryption key to the first two volumes in , they have been known to be actually concerned with cryptography and steganography.
Until recently, the third volume was widely still believed to be solely about magic, but the "magical" formulae have now been shown to be covertexts for yet more cryptographic content. The preface to the Polygraphia equally establishes, the everyday practicability of cryptography was conceived by Trithemius as a "secular consequent of the ability of a soul specially empowered by God to reach, by magical means, from earth to Heaven".
The full title is Annales hirsaugiensis It was first printed in Some consider this work to be one of the first humanist history books. Compendium sive breviarium primi voluminis chronicarum sive annalium de origine regum et gentis Francorum, c.
Jeugd[ bewerken brontekst bewerken ] Trithemius werd geboren als Johann Heidenberg en was de eniggeborene van zijn ouders. Zijn vader, een wijnboer, stierf toen de jongen amper een jaar oud was. Zijn moeder droeg het weduwschap zeven jaar alvorens te hertrouwen. Met haar nieuwe man kreeg ze verscheidene kinderen maar slechts een hiervan bereikte volwassenheid, Trithemius halfbroer Jacob.
Furter and A. Polygraphiae libri sex. Small folio [ Bound in near contemporary south German stamped calf dated on upper cover see below , manuscript title label laid to spine, slots for straps, red edges, indexing tabs to fore edges, 18th-century? Rubbing, edge wear, and small restorations to spine and boards, remnants of gilding to tooling, minor worming. Early modern ownership inscriptions on front flyleaf and title page see below , many early annotations in several hands some of which lightly trimmed at fore edge , minor abrasions to first title page, mend to second title page, occasional minor marginal hand soiling and water staining, occasional minor staining and worming, the occasional minor marginal loss r5 or tear p4, 2B2.
Review[ edit ] It is composed of five books, the work consists of five books and a collarbone Book I, contains no less than alphabets called "minutiae" by the author of 24 letters or "degrees" : each letter corresponds to a Latin word noun, verb, adjective, etc. Book II, presents 1, alphabets in three columns which are 3, dictions of a "universal language" where each letter is equivalent to an invented word for example "a" could be farax, basacha, damalo, salec, etc.. Example alphabet. Book III shows invented alphabet dictions, from which one must remove the second letter of each word to write coded messages.