USC Scientist Cracks Mysterious "Copiale Cipher"
USC's Professor Kevin Knight is part of an international team that finally cracked the "Copiale Cipher," a strange, 105-page message handwritten in abstract symbols and Latin letters revealing the rituals and political leanings of a 18th-century secret society in Germany.

Secret society's code cracked
25 Oct 2011
By Alan Boyle
Translation by Autumnson Blog
What the manuscript says
The text, apparently written in the 1760-1780 time frame, is "obviously related to an 18th-century secret society, namely the 'oculist order,'" the researchers say. The volume is inscribed "Phillipp 1866," perhaps suggesting that it passed into the hands of an owner named Phillipp in that year.
文本顯然地寫於一七六0年至八0年的時框,是“明顯地與一個 18世紀的秘密社團有關,名稱是'眼科醫生秩序,'”研究人員說。該卷被題寫為“菲利蒲 1866年,”或許表明它當年被傳遞到一位名叫菲利蒲的擁有者手中。
The manuscript, available in several formats from Uppsala University's website, describes the procedure for initiating new members of the society. At one point, candidates are asked to read the writing on a blank piece of paper. When they can't, they're told to put on eyeglasses, and then they undergo an "operation" that involves plucking a hair from the eyebrow. After the operation, the blank paper is replaced by a document laying out "the entire teaching for the apprentices."
Later, "the left part of the chest and the right knee get uncovered, the eyes are being tied, and all sorts of words of comfort are spoken, which raise even more fear." The candidates are told, "Prepare yourself to die" — but that's just a scare tactic. No injuries are inflicted in the course of the ceremony.
其後,“胸部的左邊部分和右膝被敞開,眼睛被捆綁,及所有種種安慰的話被說出,那提升甚至更多的恐懼。”考生被告知,“準備自己會死” - 但那衹只一種嚇唬人的策略。在儀式的過程中是沒有人造成受傷的。
Another section of the book describes how members can recognize each other. When one member asks how "Hans" is, the other should respond by mentioning a name that begins with the second letter of the first name — for example, "He's with Anton."
書的另一部分描述會員如何可以互相認知,當一名成員詢問“漢斯”如何,其他人應回應以提到一個名字,是以第一個名字的第二個字母開始的 - 例如,“他與安東在一起。”
Other passages discuss how much members at various levels of the secret society should know about the codes and customs. The manuscript notes that secret societies were established in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, "but because they practiced more evil than good, they have been destroyed." In Germany, societies in different cities are associated with different hand signs: a forefinger on the mouth for Berlin; the middle finger on the right eye and a thumb on the ear for Frankfurt; a forefinger on the chin for Marburg.
Some passages even take on political issues, referring to a three-headed monster as symbolizing "rule and governance which, by means of power and perfidy, deprive man of his natural freedom and enjoyment of the timely things and [that which] we human beings need." Such passages could help historians trace the influence of secret societies on the political movements of the time, which were notable for their focus on natural rights. The natural-rights concept set the stage for the American Revolution as well as the French Revolution.

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世界上最著名的未破解十大密碼 (上)