Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Did Masonry Exist In Pompeii?

Original version published 12/3/2011

Pompeii mosaic altar top (circa A.D. 79)
Did Masonry exist in Pompeii?  According to what I've read, at least some form may have!  Now before everyone goes nuts like the last time I posted this, lets remember that Freemasonry evolved over time, it didn't come from a single source, and it incorporates an amalgamation of wisdom and symbolism from many ancient cultures.  This looks very familiar to us all, but it is unlikely it was Masonry as we know it today--in fact it's likely that it looks familiar because our Fraternity adopted symbolism and traditions from ancient operative Masonic Lodges.

What archaeologist found was an ancient lodge room when they were excavating Pompeii in 1896.  You have to remember that Pompeii was destroy when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, so we're talking about a long time ago.

What archaeologist found was a large mosaic altar top in the center of a rectangular room, much the same way that Masonic altars have always been set up.  The mosaic was of a remarkable quality, and depicted a large square over a deaths head.  There was a plumb line from the angle of the square to the middle point of the crown of the head.  Robes were suspended from each of the arms of the square--one red, and one purple.  Those are distinctive colors associated with the Royal Arch Degrees. 
Masonic working tools found in Pompeii in 1896
Along with some other well-known Masonic symbology on the mosaic, some working tools were also found in the room.  These included a setting maul, trowel, a spade, a small chest (thought to represent the Ark of the Covenant), and a pot of manna.  As if all these objects weren't confirmation enough, the inscription over the door of the house read "DIOGENE SEN."  That translates to "Diogenes the Mason."

So how long has Freemasonry been around?  We may never know, but there is certainly evidence that something very similar and easily recognizable was alive and well in 79 A.D.

~Todd E. Creason

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...