Unsolved: Two encrypted inscriptions mentioned in an old Masonic book
The monograph “Masonic Writings” from 1862 describes numerous Masonic ciphers. Among them are two enigmatic inscriptions. Can my readers solve them?
My blog readers have once again sent me some interesting tips. If you want, you can try the “Egyptian Pharaoh Cipher Riddle” by Michelle Barette. It’s a crypto challenge involving an encrypted message with 1922 letters. 1922 was the year Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun. In fact, if you look closely, you will find a Carter quote written in Morse code in the background. 1922 is also double 31×31, which should play a role in the solution. According to Michelle, a transposition of the ciphertext is necessary for the solution, but it is not sufficient.
Göpel’s “Maurerische Chiffren”
After my article about a ciphered book of the Freemasons, Peter Raabye, Grand Archivist of the Danish Order of Freemasons, also drew my attention to an extremely interesting monograph from 1862: “Maurerische Chiffren” by C. A. Göpel. This 65-page publication presents several dozen Masonic ciphers. It is available for download here, here and here (I had to split it into three parts due to size).
I have never seen such a comprehensive listing on the subject of Masonic ciphers. It is all the more astonishing that this monograph is apparently completely unknown. I have not found a single web page in a Google search that even mentions this publication.
A few examples
Of course, some examples of Pigpen ciphers appear in “Maurerische Chiffren”. This method was so common among the Freemasons that it is sometimes called a Masonic cipher. Here are two examples (p. 46):
It would be wrong, of course, to think of Masons only in terms of the Pigpen cipher. Here is another example (p. 10):
Can someone decrypt the encrypted message (lower half) with the key given in the upper half of the figure?
An encrypted diary?
I became especially alert when I read about a diary in “Maurerische Chiffren” (p. 14). After all, encrypted books are one of my favorite topics. At this point it is about the “Tagebuch seines mit J. G. Schrepfer gepflogenen Umgangs” by Johann Samuel Benedikt Schlegel. This book is available on the Internet, but I did not discover anything coded at first glance. From the entry to this work in “Maurerische Chiffren” I do not become unfortunately completely clear:
Maybe a reader knows what is meant here?
I can’t figure out the following passage in “Maurerische Chiffren” (p. 45):
What do these long columns of symbols mean? Is this a coded message? Again, I would appreciate any enlightening comments.
Two enciphered inscriptions
And finally “Maurerische Chiffren” offers two coded inscriptions whose plaintext is not given (p. 47):
Can a reader say something about this? Unfortunately, the two cryptograms are very short and therefore difficult to analyze.
An exciting monograph
No doubt, “Maurerische Chiffren” by C. A. Göpel (unfortunately I have no idea who this person was) is an extremely interesting literature source, to which I will certainly publish one or the other blog article. Many thanks to Peter Raabye for making this monograph available to me. I hope my readers will help me understand a little more about the excerpts shown from this work.
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Further reading: Verschlüsselte Inschrift auf Freimaurer-Medaille gelöst