|Pompeii mosaic altar top (circa A.D. 79)|
I read a piece over the weekend on Bro. Steve Harris' blog The One Minute Mason I thought was interesting. It was a little historical footnote that I didn't know, and as Steve's blog entries so often do, it lead me to look into it a bit further.
According to what I've read, archaeologist found 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|
So how long has Freemasonry been around? We may never know, but there is certainly evidence that it was alive and well in 79 A.D.
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