- Encryption is a concept that has existed since ancient times. Although most people probably perceive encryption as a more modern concept, the truth is that it has roots dating all the way back to the Spartan Empire. The Spartans used a system called scytales in which they would wrap ribbon around a cylinder, and then proceed to write the hidden message horizontally along the cylinder. By rolling the ribbon around the cylinder, only someone with generally the same size cylinder would be able to accurately read the message.
Below are examples: