Two Swedish linguists and an American scientist have succeeded in translating a 280-year-old secret code from Germany with previously incomprehensible characters. Swedish media reported this on Thursday.

The 105-page so-called Copiale writings were discovered in East Berlin in the early 1990s and consists of 75,000 letters. According to two linguists from Uppsala University and a California professor of language technology, the document describes the rituals and ideals of the secret Order of Okulis from Germany around 1730.

The Copiale is written in German, Latin letters turn out to be spaces and other characters indicate that a consonant should be read twice. The society paid a lot of attention to eye diseases and how the human eye works, the scientists said. | © 2011 Marcel Burger for ANP News Agency (original in Dutch, 27 October 2011, previously unpublished)