French scientists have successfully deciphered the secret code of a letter signed in 1547 by the most powerful ruler in Europe at that time, king Charles V.
King Charles V of Spain presided over European empires including what is now Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, parts of Italy and central Europe, and large areas in the Americas during a reign of more than 40 years.
The tension between Francis 1 and Charles V grew when Charles forced Francis to surrender Naples, and Milan as well as Burgundy territories. Francis reneged on the deal which resulted in the Italian war.
During the war break out, King Charles V sent a coded letter to Jean de Saint-Maris, his ambassador in France. Charles V used "distinct families" as symbols in his message, and fake symbols which made it impossible for anyone to read for the past five centuries. The feud between Charles V of Spain and Francis I of France led to many speculations about the content of the letter.
After breaking the code, historians discovered that King Charles V was particularly concerned about a rumor that Italian military leader Pierre Strozzi under Francis I leadership – was planning to assassinate him.
The letter contained three pages – consisting of around 70 lines, mostly written using around 120 encrypted symbols, but there are also three sections in ordinary contemporary French.
Upon request by the Empire of Spain, Jean de Saint-Mauris conducted a critical investigation and his reports refuted rumors about the assassination.
Charles V spent much of his reign reforming the Roman Catholic Church and fighting the two greatest threats to his power- Islam and Protestantism.
The Spanish Empire inherited numerous titles and lands, a legacy that brought with it both power and frustration during his reign. Charles considered himself the leader of Christianity. He hoped to drive Muslim invaders out of Europe and put an end to Protestant challenges to Catholicism.
Despite the objections from France and England's Emperors, Charles V was unanimously elected Holy Roman Emperor. After a long and tumultuous reign, Charles V became frustrated, He abdicated Netherlands and Spain to his son and surrendered the title of Holy Roman Emperor to his brother.
Carlos V had a great passion for art, especially music. His chaplain singer accompanied him on all his travels and also in his retirement. While many of his European goals fell short, King Carlos V oversaw large Spanish companies abroad.
Deciphering the encrypted letter was initially considered too complicated by the decryption software, but a team of researchers eventually managed to interpret the message. Now that it has been deciphered, more will be revealed.
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