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Steganographie - The Adventure of the Dancing Men

Written by  Fabrice
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The Adventure of the Dancing Men

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The Adventure of the Dancing Men

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


In the novel «The Adventure of the Dancing Men» Sherlock Holmes, the heros of Conan Doyle, ehe is confronted with the code of "Dancing Men". It's actually a simple substitution monoalphabetic, each letter being represented by a small stick figure. This figure, designed for use in the street with chalk drawing short messages on the walls, had an obvious interest: a person uninitiated might confuse it with children's drawings. It is therefore a form of steganography.

Les hommes dansant 1

Les hommes dansant 2

Fille d'Agammemnom, c'est moi qui la premiere,
Seigneur vous appelai de ce doux nom de pere;
Jean Racine (Iphigenie)

Above is an implementation of the code of "Dancing Men".

Compared to figures like Pigpen or the Templars, the only originality that of men - apart from his childlike appearance - that is to represent the last letter of each word, add a small flag in his face.

Cryptography has inspired many other writers. One can certainly think the "Gold Bug" by Edgar Allan Poe but also to the "Code Rebecca" by British author Ken Follett.

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Dernière modification le 17/2/111

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 16:35

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