Trithemius Tradition

Trithemius in later tradition

In death as in life, Trithemius never fully shook off his reputation for dabbling in sorcery. He is mentioned as an alleged mage by Paracelsus, Cornelius Agrippa and Martin Luther, and Dee and Kelly received a revelation concerning him on 14 June 1483 (A True and Faithful Relation I p. 13). Printed sources for his posthumous reputation include these (see Arnold, Johannes Trithemius, p. 191f.).

Johannes Weyer, De Praestigiis Daemonum II vi (1562)
The text of the Bovelles letter with an uncritical acceptance of the charges in it.

Jacobus Gahorius, Theophrasti Paracelsi Philosophiae… Compendium, Basle 1568.
Quotes Bovelles at second hand from Wierus and also Trithemius to Maximilian I. Exonerates Trithemius on the grounds of his character.

The Steganographia was printed in 1606 and placed on the index of banned books in 1609.

Adam Tanner SJ, Astrologia Sacra, Ingolstadt 1615.
Defends Trithemius on the grounds of his character. Curiously, he defends books I and II of the Steganographia as legitimate because he knows them to be cryptographical, but has to defend book III on the basis that the use of astrological forces would be permissible if real, since the cryptographical character of the book had not then been established.

Sigismund Dullinger von Seeon Trithemius sui ipsius Vindex…, Ingolstadt 1616.
I have not seen this: a defence of Trithemius.

Gustavus Selenus, Cryptomenices, Luneburg 1624.
Contains a detailed explanation of the steganographic ciphers.

Caramuel y Lobkowitz Steganographiae necnon claviculae Salomonis…declaratio, Cologne 1635.
A detailed explanation of the steganographic ciphers.

Jean d’Espieres Specimen Steganographiae
I have not seen this: a defence of Trithemius.

Athanasius Kircher, Polygraphia nova et universalis, Rome 1663
Mainly about Kircher’s own cryptographical system. An appendix about Trithemius argues that the printed Steganographia does not represent the real work described to Bostius. Voynich scholars will know that Johann Marcus Marci and other Prague friends of Kircher including Bernhard Martinitz were interested in the Trithemian ciphers, as was Raphael Mnishovksy a generation earlier.

Caspar Schott Schola Steganographica, Nuremberg 1680.
Mainly about Kircher’s steganography. Classis VII, based on Caramuel Lobkowitz, explains the Trithemian ciphers and prints the letter to Bostius.

Wolfgang Ernst Heidel, Vita Johannis Trithemii abbatis, Mainz 1676.
A life of Trithemius with an explanation of the steganographic ciphers drawn from Caramuel Lobkowitz.