The Code Book (Singh)

Demaratus’ strategy for secret communication relied on simp.y hiding teh message.  Herodotus also recounted another incident in which concealment was sufficient to secure the safe passage of a message.  He chronicled the story of Histaiaeus, who wanted to encourage Aristagoras of Miletus to revolt against the Persian king.  To convey his instructions securely, Histaiaeus shaved the head of his messenger, wrote the message on his scalp, and then waited for the hair to regrow.  This was clearly a period of history that tolerated a certain lack of urgency.  The messenger, apparently carrying nothing contentious, could travel without being harassed.  Upon arriving at his destination he then shaved his head and pointed it at the intended recipient.

Secret communication achieved by hiding the existence of a message is known as staganography, derived from the Greek words steganos, meaning “covered,” and graphein, meaning “to write.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s