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ancient secret societies

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posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 12:07 AM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
He is referring to the Eleusinian Mysteries, of which he himself was a Greater Initiate. The Mysteries were divided into the Lesser, or first degree, which accepted all citizens, and the Greater Mysteries, or second degree, which was the Grade of Adepti Mystagogue, of which only a relatively select few were admitted.

The ceremonial ritual of the Mysteries was witnessed only by the initiated, and they did indeed take the form of an allegorical drama. Modern Freemasonry has inherited much from these Ancient Mysteries.


Thank you for pointing that out Masonic Light, I am so used to dealing with Plato himself, and his philosophy, that I often forget to consider the social context.

I have a huge favor to ask you. I know little or nothing about the Masons, but I do know that some of what they do is secret. Soooo, could you outline for me what the point of the organization is? Without the "secret" mysteries part, I am not interested in the esoteric knowledge, the secret stuff. What they stand for, what they hope to accomplish, etc?

Also, what is the oldest direct text or document they have? Not something "reclaimed" but a direct link backwards in time. Is it the one Kilgore posted? And you say that the Masons link themselves to the mysteries of ancient Greece. How? Just tradition? Not that that isnt enough, but I mean as in comparison to actual texts from that time that have been handed down. Is there are family tree so to speak with continuity or are there "gaps" of lost time?

I know I could google this that and the other, but there is so much rubbish out there, and I am so ignorant of any Masonic facts, I would not know how to tell the difference. (Except for the obvious, ie Websites with flying pink Masonic unicorns and new age music, etc.) I do however have a high level of respect for your opinions and facts, and would be most grateful for anything you could share without violating your code of ethics. If you dont feel like typing and could just supply some links you find reliable that would be very kind.




posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
I do however have a high level of respect for your opinions and facts, and would be most grateful for anything you could share without violating your code of ethics. If you dont feel like typing and could just supply some links you find reliable that would be very kind.


I am sure that Masonic Light will be able to help you but I have a few links that may be of interest. I am not a Freemason, but I would not be ashamed to be one, my interest though is in the origins of the fraternity as opposed to what they do and don't do behind closed doors.

I live in York (England), there has been a city of sorts here for almost 2000 years (Romans settled here circa 68AD). A number of different people's have lived in this place and it is filled with remanents and reminders of that - even of the Brigants who preceded the Romans and civilisation. Within a set radius, plunge a spade in the ground and with little effort you will uncover some evidence of previous inhabitants - in one particular area, it will usually be a Roman skeleton - lots of those in recent years.

Central to York since 600AD has been York Minster, she stands on the site of the Roman Fort. It is most likely that much of the stone cut by the Romans was reused by later occupants of the city including the builders of the Minster. The Minster has taken many forms and been added to over the centuries, the most impressive work having taken place in the 9th to the beginning of the 14th century (I really must dig out the Plato reference to the guilds and secrecy, I am sure that it wasn't the same one ML posted).

From the 12th century onwards Operative Masons (that is Master Masons, Carpenters, Roofers etc) were permanently based in the city. There were many religious buildings constructed in this period (Minster, St Mary's Abbey and additions to the fortifications being the major works) but there was a growing wealth in the area and following the Norman conquest with the introduction of the Frankish system of reward for service (Land ownership and title) many new lords needing castles of their own.

York was the second city of England, a major trade post and baille (taxation, banking and credit) due to the influence of the Knights Templar. Due to the presence of the Templars who offered a bureau d'change system for pilgrims to the Holy Land it became an important stop gap for the faithfull - on the way out and on return laden with tales.

I find little wonder that some of the earliest evidence of Freemasonry can be found here and this was really my first route into realising that there does not have to be continuity, sometimes you just brush up against something without realising, it marks you and you it. I have always enjoyed being in and around the Minster and by studying the ancient guilds and there descendants the story that the building itself holds comes to life.

("Fishers of men" - the up-side-down boat that holds those caught www.salvonet.com...)

This is a very good article I don't agree with all that the writer has to say but he at least approaches the relationship between the operative and speculative branches of masonry.

www.canonbury.ac.uk...

Speculative versus operative comparison

www.takver.com...

Regulations

www.grandlodgeofallengland.org...

I'll throw this one in too for good measure - I have a personal bug bear over gender segregation and personally feel it was a later adaptation rather than a historical progression.

www.geocities.com...

A few more if you are still interested, more speculative but still illuminating (I particularly like the first one).

www.canonbury.ac.uk...

www.robertlomas.com...

I would also be grateful if you could take a look at this for me, see if it means anything to you....



It is in the "Mason's Lodge", mentioned in the first link I think.

www-users.york.ac.uk...



posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 07:11 PM
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reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 


Thank you for all of those links, Kilgore. I am still going through all of the information.
I have been participating in a debate, and so have been a bit distracted, that eats up more time than I would have guessed.

So far the information has been VERY useful. I see some very obvious similarities between the information on the Masons and Plato's work, but so far it seems like "Neo-Platonism" or "Christian Platonism" rather than Plato's work itself, which would make perfect sense considering the time frame in which Masonic tradition seems to appear. It would also seem to indicate a lack of direct descent from the "Greek Mysteries" although clearly they borrowed very heavily.

So far, it doesnt seem as if there is a very strong "historical" lineage, at least not one that every scholar agrees on, past the actual stopping point of 1717 CE. At least there seems to be a lack of any sort of provable continuity. Prior to that date it seems like it is a "shot in the dark" with different scholars and groups making claims that range from the probable to the highly improbable, but none that are certain. Of course I am not through with the reading yet. There is a lot of information there, and I have been stopping to check other things as I wade through it.

Clearly you have spent quite a bit of time on this subject.
I would have asked you first had I realized how much scholarship you had invested in this.

I will be asking you a bit more and sharing my observations about the Platonic connection later. It appears to me that a great deal of their symbology has come directly from the "Republic." The focus on the "three" for instance, and the need for "three to be present to know Divine truth." All seem to be derived from Plato's "tri-partite soul." As does the focus on "Geometry" as a path to knowledge. Also IMHO, the acknowledgement that the lower "degrees" are to be miselad about the actual purposes. All of those have corollaries in the Republic.

The post 1717 versions, are clearly heavily influenced by Christianity, and I know Plato was not well thought of by all the church fathers of the time, but he was treasured by some few, who simply "rejected" his pagan religious statements and decided that his "Form of the Good" was a code word for their "God." I wonder, seeing the combination of the two, if that might actually make the "root" more traceable. Looking for the Neo-Platonist Christian philosophers and religious figures of the time, I mean.

www.sullivan-county.com...

This man could be a candidate, he seems to hold an interesting mix of the appropriate ideas, and was in England for a time (and in an appropriate time frame) and associated with influential people. In fact mid 1600's is a time frame that often arises and that would be shortly after his death. Even if he wasnt an inspiration for post 1717 Masonry, you can see how some of those ideas were "circulating" prior to the formation of the Grand Lodge. The ywould hardly have required an unbroken chain of "secret" information handed down continuously for those ideas to appear where they did when they did.

en.wikisource.org...(1913)/Giordano_Bruno



posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 04:45 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


I'm glad that you found the links useful, my own knowledge is somewhat limited to the UK for the reasons I described in my previous post. Freemasonry seems to exhibit geographical and cultural adaptations so obviously the information that I have has quite limited scope in that respect. I do though have more links that I have collected and if there is anything else you may need please feel free to ask, I will do my best


I am also sure that if you have any more specific questions that the Freemasons who frequent ATS would be willing to help - I am purely an outsider looking in. There are a number of threads that are specifically geared to answering questions - such as this one

www.abovetopsecret.com...

I don't want to rush you and look forward to your insight regarding Plato's Republic - but I also wanted to add that I also felt that there was some aspects of Vitruvius in modern Freemasonry too. As I am sure you know, Vitruvius's ten books of architecture were rediscovered in the early 1400s, fortuitously for Da Vinci...


Vitruvius is most famous for asserting in his book De architectura that a structure must exhibit the three qualities of firmitas, utilitas, venustas — that is, it must be strong or durable, useful, and beautiful. According to Vitruvius, architecture is an imitation of nature. As birds and bees built their nests, so humans constructed housing from natural materials, that gave them shelter against the elements. When perfecting this art of building, the ancient Greek invented the architectural orders: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. It gave them a sense of proportion, culminating in understanding the proportions of the greatest work of art: the human body. This led Vitruvius in defining his Vitruvian Man, as drawn magnificently by Leonardo da Vinci: the human body inscribed in the circle and the square (the fundamental geometric patterns of the cosmic order).

en.wikipedia.org...

I'm not a classics scholar as you know and therefore do not know how Vitruvious fits in to classical Greek thought or in relation to Plato therefore I would be interested in your thoughts...I kind of work on a gut reaction (for want of a better term) obviously the highly enlightened Da Vinci gained much from this 'discovery', but also I think that if you read the following lectures (which I found highly enjoyable), you will see why I see the influence, I am unsure though whether the influence is direct access to Vitruvius's work or via Da Vinci's???

www.brad.ac.uk...


Q - As we have no noble Order of Architecture known by the names of Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty, to which do they refer?
A - The three most celebrated, which are the Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian.


And also from the second lecture the influence of Euclid is explicit


A - Geometry, the first and noblest of sciences, is the basis on which the superstructure of Masonry is erected. By Geometry we may curiously trace nature through her various windings to her most concealed recesses. By it we may discover the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Grand Geometrician of the Universe, and view with amazing delight the beautiful proportions which connect and grace this vast machine. By it we may discover how the planets move in their different orbits, and mathematically demonstrate their various revolutions. By it we may rationally account for the return of seasons, and the mixed variety of scenes which each season produces to the discerning eye. Numberless worlds are around us, all formed by the same Divine artist, which roll through the vast expanse, and are conducted by the same .unerring law of nature. While such objects engage our attention, how must we improve, and with what grand ideas must such knowledge fill our minds! It was a survey of nature, and an observation of her beautiful proportions, which first induced men to imitate the Divine plan, and study symmetry and order. This gave rise to society, and birth to every useful art. The architect began to design and the plans which he laid down having been improved by time and experience, have produced some of those excellent works which have been the admiration every age.

www.brad.ac.uk...

Sorry to burden you with more reading, but I felt that given your obvious interest, combined with my own ignorance of the classics that we may be in a position to help each other.

All the best



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 06:28 AM
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I was reading through this in connection with another thread but when I read this particular passage I felt that it was much more relevant here.


From the picture it was clear to him that the knowledge of the medieval masons had its roots in ancient Egypt. For the next fifteen years, until 1951, Schwaller de Lubicz remained in Egypt, investigating the evidence for what he believed was an ancient system of psychological, cosmological, and spiritual knowledge.



Schwaller believed Luxor was a kind of living organism, a colossal compendium of esoteric truth, whose every detail, from its total design down to its very materials, voiced one central revelation: that Conscious Man was the goal of cosmic evolution. "Each individual type in Nature is a stage in the cosmic embryology which culminates in man," he wrote. Different species, Schwaller believed, developed various "functions"—what the Egyptians called "Neters" and we translate as "gods"--which have their apotheosis and integration in Conscious Man.

The essence of Schwaller's evolutionism has to do with what he calls "functional consciousness," an idea we can benefit from understanding, regardless of our opinions of elites or theocracies. And although Schwaller developed his ideas about functional consciousness in an Egyptian context, that context is ultimately not necessary. The essence of those ideas goes back to Bergson and intuition. Needless to say, Schwaller took this basic insight and, with his Egyptian revelations, developed an original, powerful, and imaginatively thrilling symbolic system.

"Functional consciousness" is a way of knowing reality from the inside. Schwaller believed ancient Egypt was based on this inner knowing, very unlike our own outer-oriented one. The ancient Egyptians, he argued, were aware of the limitations of purely cerebral consciousness, the Set mind that "granulates" experience into fragments of time and space and is behind our increasing abuse of nature and of each other. Granulated experience produces our familiar world of disconnected things, each a kind of "island reality." From this perspective, when I look at the world, I see a foreign, alien landscape, which I can know only by taking it apart and analyzing it. As the poet Wordsworth wrote, "We murder to dissect."

www.unitedearth.com.au... (bold mine)

Quite an interesting individual, I came across his work through my interest in Hess' and his role in the creation of Hitlerism...


R. A. Schwaller was born in 1887. In his youth he worked as a chemist and studied art and theosophy. The aristocratic Lithuanian poet and occultist Oscar Milosz conferred the title of de Lubicz on Schwaller. At around the same time, Schwaller de Lubicz claims to have met the enigmatic alchemist Fulcanelli. Fulcanelli later became famous for his book ''Le Mystere des Cathedrales'' (1925), an alchemical reading of the symbolism of Gothic cathedrals.


Hess evidently met de Lubicz in Paris in 1919 and joined Les Veilleurs.


After World War I, de Lubicz was largely responsible for the formation of the Veilleurs (the Watchmen), a group dedicated to preserving higher values in a demoralized postwar world. The higher values were those of hierarchy and discipline. The elite of the Veilleurs sought to evolve to a higher state of being. The group's ambitions were esoteric and protofascist.

query.nytimes.com...



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 08:33 AM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander


I have a huge favor to ask you. I know little or nothing about the Masons, but I do know that some of what they do is secret. Soooo, could you outline for me what the point of the organization is? Without the "secret" mysteries part, I am not interested in the esoteric knowledge, the secret stuff. What they stand for, what they hope to accomplish, etc?


Similar to what Plato stated concerning the Mysteries in the Timeaus, Freemasonry promotes a science of ethics through ritual and symbolism. Outside of this, different Masons have different views. Although you stated that you are not interested in the esoteric side of the institution, this part is historically important. For example, many Masonic scholars have believed that the fundamental purpose of the organization was to preserve the doctrines of the Kabalah and Hermeticism during the time when people were persecuted for studying such things. This also explains the secrecy aspect.

Traditionally, the organization has been very much involved with different charities, which leads some people, even some Masons, to believe that the Society has its basis charitable work. I would argue, however, that the charity aspect is simply a side effect of Masonic doctrine, and not its primary reason for existence.


Also, what is the oldest direct text or document they have? Not something "reclaimed" but a direct link backwards in time. Is it the one Kilgore posted?


I missed Kilgore's post to that effect, so sorry if I'm repeating what he already said. The oldest known document is known as the Regius Manuscript, dated circa 1390 A.D.


And you say that the Masons link themselves to the mysteries of ancient Greece. How? Just tradition? Not that that isnt enough, but I mean as in comparison to actual texts from that time that have been handed down. Is there are family tree so to speak with continuity or are there "gaps" of lost time?


Most modern Masonic historians agree that there is no direct lineage between the mysteries of antiquity and modern Masonry. What seems to have happened is that, in the 17th century, non-stonemasons began to be admitted into the craft guild, and they quickly began to outnumber the professional masons, turning the guild into a sort of social club for Enlightenment-era heretics. These new "Accepted" Masons found the hint of mysticism that was already apparent in the abovementioned Regius Mss., and added to it what they knew of the ancient mysteries, Kabalah, etc., perhaps in an attempt to revive the mysteries, at least to some degree.

There are also theories that Freemasonry was founded either by the Knights Templar or the Rosicrucians. Historians generally agree that the Templars had little or nothing to do with the formation of Freemasonry, but there is circumstantial evidence that the Rosicrucians, or at least people inspired by the Rosicrucian documents, played a role in forming modern Freemasonry.



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 12:40 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
Similar to what Plato stated concerning the Mysteries in the Timeaus, Freemasonry promotes a science of ethics through ritual and symbolism.


I am going to have to re-read the "Timeaus," to refresh for myself what you are referring to. Plato, as an underlying theme in his work, does not himself promote "ritual" as a means achieving KNOWING, or "Wisdom." Often in his works, "Sophist" comes to mind, he is showing somthing other than the "obvious" interpretation. For instance, in the Sophist, he argues explicitly against the writing and teaching of Parmenides. Many modern and historical scholars believe that this is "proof" that Plato could not have had similar views to Parmenides. However, I argue that that wasnt what he was doing at all. He calls Parmenides "father" and points out that he "may be accused of Parricide," but indicates that this a misconception.

en.wikipedia.org...

In the Sophist, he points out what a Sophist does, mechanically he explores rhetoric, and then he applies that exact technique to Parmenides work. Plato loathed the use of Rhetoric, he felt Truth was more important than the end of "winning" an argument. He also felt, as he does clearly state in the "Seventh Letter" that the mystic Truths did not "lend themselves to exposition as the other branches of knowledge do." (A loose quote, it is quoted exactly in some of my previous posts in context.) Also, consider, if you are trying to show that Sophistry can be used to undo truth, what better way than to use something you hold to be True, and then use Sophistry to tear it apart? Since Plato himself never left "exposition" on the Truth, he choose Parmenides very good attempt at exposition. In short, although many scholars today operate under the assumption that Plato disagreed with Parmenides, they are incorrect in my carefully considered opinion. The Sophist, in short, says nothing explicit about the view of Plato on Parmenides. Only obliquely can we discern the opinion of Plato via this work, in the "clues" he left us in the title and text.

How does this relate to the Timeaus? Well it may not. I havent worked that extensively with that text, and it has been a long time since my read of it. But through long study of Plato, and "that to which he devotes himself" I will have to give it a careful second read before I can agree that he is stating what he is thought to be stating in the work. Not that I am saying your view of his view is "wrong" I am only stating that I have to examine that before I can accept it. It runs counter to many of his strong and consistent arguments in his other works.


Originally posted by Masonic Light
Outside of this, different Masons have different views. Although you stated that you are not interested in the esoteric side of the institution, this part is historically important.


I only meant that I did not expect you to divulge and "secrets" you may have access to. I know there are vows of secrecy involved, and I do not know your personal involvement and feelings about those "secrets." I just didnt need the"Secrets" to understand the part I was looking for. That the "modern" masons (1717 etc) have some version of the "Secrets" at the heart of the mysteries does not alone lend support to the idea that they have access to the real "mystery" at the heart of the "Mysteries." I am very certain in my own mind that they are talking about the "mystery" that lies at the heart of the "Mysteries." I am trying to discern whether or not they have had access to any "lineage" where person to person transmission may have occurred, rather than just "bumping into" the ideas and then constructing some elaborate story and ritual around them that may have little to do with the core "Mystery."

Wicca, for instance, (and please dont jump all over me Wiccans, it isnt an attack on the "source" belief system at all) is a modern attempt at recreating a tradition where no written guides exist. And the way it is "played out" ranges from the sincere and insightful, to the laughable. Christianity in practice is much the same, with some people following rather closely the explicits teachings of Jesus and some not even coming close. So understand, I am not picking on one tradition. In terms of Masonry, I am trying to get a feel for where on this scale they fall, or if the whole thing is so diverse, like the traditions above that one cannot generalize.


Originally posted by Masonic Light
For example, many Masonic scholars have believed that the fundamental purpose of the organization was to preserve the doctrines of the Kabalah and Hermeticism during the time when people were persecuted for studying such things. This also explains the secrecy aspect.


That is what I am sensing. Hence my looking among the "Neo Platonists" of the time. Many were executed as heretics, and so there was good reason to maintain "secrecy" in the common use of the word. However the church of the time did not discriminate between Initiates, those who actually "Knew" the "Mystery" at the core of the "mysteries" and "initiates" with a small "i" or those who simply had "knowledge" of the "Mysteries" themselves. I was trying to discern if there was such a Knower involved. I would argue that the "real" and deeper reason for "mystery" or "secrecy" (unrelated to persecution) is the one outlined by Plato. The "Truth" can be hinted at, but not directly spoken. In order for the "Truth" to be KNOWN, the "Initiate" must be able to "see" it themselves. All the tradition can do is try to put in place the conditions that make "seeing" more likely.

Thank you for that. Your scholarship on the issue is apparent. There is no doubt in my mind that some important things have been preserved in that tradition, I just wonder if they have had a real impact on the people preserving them. In your opinion, has the order devolved into a social organization only? Or is there some core in some of the "chapters" that makes good use of the "mystery" at the heart of the "Mysteries?"



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 12:52 PM
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reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 


Kilgore, lol, you are amazing. And please dont assume that I have anywhere NEAR your talent for analyzing architecture. I will assure you I do NOT.

However, I do have a few little bits to add that may be of use to you. One is this article, it was in this months issue of "Smithsonian" magazine, and it has some interesting little "clues" that help to link your line of study with my own.

www.smithsonianmag.com...

One is the method of construction. How construction proceeded. Very important in understanding the link between the "physical" manifestation of the "mystery" which you seem to really enjoy, and the "philosophical" aspect which is the area my skill is limited to. I even worked in construction and have no where near the affinity for architecture that you seem to.

Another is the use of "illusion." That is something Plato discusses.

Thirdly and briefly, what you pointed out, "wisdom, strength, beauty" is so very important in Plato. And the "mystery." It is his tri-partite soul. Let me read your links before I go off on a tangent, and I hope you enjoy the article . One of your previous links actually had something about the "plans for the structure being inscribed on the floor" just as one of these ancient temples did. It seems some "tradition" or practical expression of the "mystery" WAS passed down in the process of building itself, which would explain why modern masonry is so "different." That process may have been the person to person transmission of the "mystery" that allowed "understanding" rather than just the memorization of the "words" and "knowledge" with a lower case "k."



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 02:09 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
In your opinion, has the order devolved into a social organization only? Or is there some core in some of the "chapters" that makes good use of the "mystery" at the heart of the "Mysteries?"



For a very long time, the Craft has indeed been viewed as a social club by the majority of its members. This seems to be changing, a little at a time. For the first time in decades, most of our new initiates are under the age of 35, are college educated, and have an interest in the more abstract metaphysics symbolized in the ritual.

However, for the most part, the "good old boy" network that currently governs Freemasonry tends to be almost wholly ignorant of any deeper meanings within Freemasonry, and more or less view it as a civic society. As these Masonic leaders continue to grow old and pass on, they are replaced by younger, more scholarly brethren. It will be interesting to see where it goes from there (providing I'm not one of the old farts purchasing the proverbial farm).



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 04:58 AM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
www.smithsonianmag.com...



Fascinating article thank you (funnily enough the accompanying tv programme aired on my birthday it seems
). And as you point out highly interesting that the methods of 'drafting' remained throughout the centuries - if it ain't broke why fix it...

This is the tracing floor found in the Mason's lodge above the vestibule of the Chapter House.

www-users.york.ac.uk...



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 05:46 AM
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Illusions/Kilgore/MasonicLight:

Your pleasant, civil, intelligent, referencing, philosophical, historical conversation sets an excellent example of what the secret societes forum could look like. Impressive.



Side-note (Question): Would any one of you know where it is in the greek Timaios that there is a reference to the earth/world being "round" or "a ball"?



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 09:58 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


According to Wikipedia it is at 33b in an annotated version, I checked and indeed it is:


"As for the figure, the demiurge created the world in the geometric form of a globe. Indeed, the round figure is the most perfect one, because it comprehends or averages all the other figures and it is the most omnimorphic of all figures: "he [the demiurge] considered that the like is infinitely fairer than the unlike" (33b)."


I could not find an annotated version online so I have located the passage and reproduced it for you here. My copy of the Timaeus reads;


33b: "And he gave the world the figure which was suitable and also natural. Now to the animal which was to comprehend all animals, that figure would be suitable which comprehends within itself all other figures. Wherefore he made the world in the form of a globe, round as from a lathe, having its extremes in every direction equidistant from the center, the most perfect and most like itself of all figures, for he considered that the like is infinitely fairer than the unlike."


This is only one example of Plato and the ancient Greeks speaking of the world as a "sphere" or "globe." Contrary to popular conception, the ancients were well aware of the fact that the Earth was round, it wasnt until the Christian church gained power that this bit of information was "lost" or suppressed.

Hope that helped. And thank you for your kind comments about this thread. It has been enormously helpful to me, and thank you to all who are contributing. It is amazing to me how much information we have collectively, and it is wonderful to have it shared so freely.



[edit on 7-2-2008 by Illusionsaregrander]



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 10:05 AM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


Excellent. So much for "the ancients thought the earth was flat". I will be using this in later arguments on other threads.



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


Excellent. So much for "the ancients thought the earth was flat". I will be using this in later arguments on other threads.


There is also evidence that the Celtic peoples of the druidic type mythologies used lunar messurments to determine distances far greater then the land they knew.. suggesting that they not only knew that the Earth was round.. but also how to measure great distances over this round surface.

essentially, their system was not all to different then our current Longitude and Latitude system.

I want to say it was the Egyptians who at about the same time used a system not unlike that of the Celtic people.. it could be said Native nations of the Americas also had a system to measure great distances using a solar system proving the round was round.

And if you ask me, this also helps prove the theory that ancient people where all connected.. technology has passed distances we determine is impossible..

Then again, we are pretty ignorant on history in general.



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 10:58 AM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


Just finished browsing This thread of yours...yet another thread that should have received so much more attention.



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 01:32 PM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
Then again, we are pretty ignorant on history in general.


The problem is that there is so much of it, how do you decide what should and should not be taught. I assume that it must be even harder in the US with so many ethnic groups that need to be represented by that taught history.

In my opinion though it is a lack of teachers with real passion for history that is the real problem, you have to whet the appetite to learn more and hope that the students will pursue the subjects that interest them. If you teach it as an after-thought or just to fulfill curriculum requirements few will bother to explore it for themselves.



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 




In my opinion though it is a lack of teachers with real passion for history that is the real problem, you have to whet the appetite to learn more and hope that the students will pursue the subjects that interest them. If you teach it as an after-thought or just to fulfill curriculum requirements few will bother to explore it for themselves.


So true.. I hated History class.. but I loved history.. then again no one is interested in all aspects of history.. in school its about the Revolution, Civil War, Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Civil Rights, State History, Civil Rights..

Nothing against Civil Rights.. but every year it was the same subjects.. Civil War adn Civil Rights. Not interesting at all.

I personally love Celtic history, be it Northern France, Irish, Welsh, Scot, what ever.. none of which is taught in schools.

Also, History is taught at its bare minimum.. this happened at this time on this year by this person. Not why, how or what outcomes where caused or anything, no speculitive history at all either..

Essentially, as you said, no feeling.. because history teachers are not Historians, and only know what is in the book, and besides that probably don't give history a second thought..

The only History teachers I ever liked and some consider friends, are those who have partaken in actual historic investigations.. when a Teacher teaches Rome .. they had better have BEEN TO ROME .. bring back personal stories, artifacts, pictures..

I think that is to much to ask though. Don't want to ruin summer vacation for teachers.. takes out of sitting by the pool.



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 05:21 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


Later than St Augustine, but I think this shows a much more direct lineage and certainly a continuation of Plato's work

en.wikipedia.org...


In the words of Henry Chadwick, “If the Consolation contains nothing distinctively Christian, it is also relevant that it contains nothing specifically pagan either...[it] is a work written by a Platonist who is also a Christian, but is not a Christian work.”[6]


What is also significant in my mind is the fact that it serves to bring together Plato, Christianity and Paganism.


The philosophical message of the book fit well with the religious piety of the Middle Ages. Readers were encouraged not to seek worldly goods such as money and power, but to seek internalized virtues. Evil had a purpose, to provide a lesson to help change for good; while suffering from evil was seen as virtuous. Because God ruled the universe through Love, prayer to God and the application of Love would lead to true happiness.[8]


From the text itself....


'How many are they, think you, who would think themselves raised to heaven if the smallest part of the remnants of your good fortune fell to them? This very place, which you call a place of exile, is home to those who live herein. Thus there is nothing wretched unless you think it to be so: and in like manner he who bears all with a calm mind finds his lot wholly blessed. Who is so happy but would wish to change his estate, if he yields to impatience of his lot? With how much bitterness is the sweetness of man's life mingled! For even though its enjoyment seem pleasant, yet it may not be surely kept from departing when it will. It is plain then how wretched is the happiness of mortal life which neither endures for ever with men of calm mind, nor ever wholly delights the care-ridden. Wherefore, then, O mortal men, seek ye that happiness without, which lies within yourselves? Ye are confounded by error and ignorance. I will shew you as shortly as I may, the pole on which turns the highest happiness. Is there aught that you value more highly than your own self? You will answer that there is nothing. If then you are master of yourself, you will be in possession of that which you will never wish to lose, and which Fortune will never be able to take from you.

etext.lib.virginia.edu.../modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=2&division=div

The (Wheel of) Fortune (Rosa Fortuna) that Boethius writes of is associated in Gothic Architecture with the Rose Window...but the form is much older. This is very interesting...



The basis of many churches is geometry and proportion. Numbers had a metaphysical significance, and were thought to have occult power. Every aspect of the medieval cathedral utilized that significace: the number of pillars in the choir, the ratio of the levels of in the triforium, etc. Rose windows are no exception to this rule

1: the unity of all things, symbolized by a circle

2: duality and the paradox of opposites

3: the triangle, stability transcending duality

4: the square, matter, elements, winds, seasons, directions

5: the pentacle, man, ,magic, Christ's wounds

6: equiliubrium and balance of the soul, Solomon's Seal

7: the mystic number, the ages, planets, virtues, gifts of the Spirit, and the liberal arts

8: the octagon, baptism and rebirth

12: Perfection, universe, time, the apostles, the Zodiac, tribes of Israel, and the precious stones in the foundations of New Jerusalem

dragon..._azure.tripod.com/UoA/Med-Arch-Rose-Window.html

At the time Boethius wrote this, there was an influx of Germanic tribes to Britain - the Saxons (settled in the South), the Angles and the Jutes (both in the North). They were primarily seeking Lebensraum but they were also escaping forced conversion to Christianity and overlordship by the Ostrogoths. This exodus occurred over a period of 300 years, eventually culminating in settlement in Britain as they were pushed out of the european continent.

Boethius was executed for treason by Ostrogothic King Theodoric and I cannot help but wonder if this may be indicative of the overall persecution of the Germanic tribal people's and whether Neo-Platoism and Platonic thought itself eventually found sanctuary in England. That would be classed as highly 'speculative' though and I should clarify that it is only my opinion.







Edit to try and fix links - failing miserably

[edit on 7-2-2008 by KilgoreTrout]



posted on Feb, 10 2008 @ 07:37 AM
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Originally posted by KilgoreTrout


At the time Boethius wrote this, there was an influx of Germanic tribes to Britain - the Saxons (settled in the South), the Angles and the Jutes (both in the North). They were primarily seeking Lebensraum but they were also escaping forced conversion to Christianity and overlordship by the Ostrogoths. This exodus occurred over a period of 300 years, eventually culminating in settlement in Britain as they were pushed out of the european continent.


Excellent thread ppl, Kilgore you got your Germanic tribes mixed up instead of Ostrogoths it should read Franks or latinised Franks as the main protagonists in forcing migration, just for accuracies sake



posted on Feb, 10 2008 @ 11:25 AM
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reply to post by carslake
 


Thanks for the correction carslake I was a little unsure if the Franks had formed that early on - nasty, nasty bunch that they were...they certainly helped shape the greedy, elitist world that we live in today. What is often forgotten when the English are blamed for this and that, is that we were conquered first and have been used to fight their wars ever since.



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