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The Impact of Freemasonry on Elizabethan Literature

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posted on Jan, 11 2003 @ 11:13 AM
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The enthusiasm among Renaissance men for classical and Hebrew texts brought in its train a revival, and encouraged a sophisticated and creative apprehension, of numerous mystical, alchemical, hermeticist and occultist tendencies. But it was a revival that inevitably encountered resistance from powerful vested interests, especially in theological circles. Compelled to adopt strategies for survival, seekers after "higher truths" sought immunity from reprisal and persecution in the sub-culture of the occult "underground". Thus the secret society began to proliferate.

Early in the 16th century Henry Cornelius Agrippa visited England and his friends among the Oxford Humanists - John Colet and Thomas More in particular. Some academics have deduced from his own words that he formed a society in England at this time (circa 1510). The author is led to believe that there still exist "Books of Shadows" (membership books) of witches' covens, for which the earliest entries date back to the 16th century.

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posted on Jan, 11 2003 @ 02:43 PM
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