From the Syro-Chaldaic, meaning field of blood, so called because it was purchased with the blood-money which was paid to Judas Iscariot for betraying his Lord (see Matthew xxvii, 7-10; also Acts 1, 19 ). The reader will note that the second letter of the word is sounded like k. It is situated on the slope of the hi1ls beyond the valley of Hinnom and to the south of Mount Zion. The earth there was believed, by early writers, to have possessed a corrosive quality, by means of which bodies deposited in it were quickly consumed; and hence it was used by the Crusaders, then by the Knights Hospitaler, and afterward by the Armenians, as a place of sepulture, and the Empress Helena is said to have built a charnel-house in its midst. Doctor Robinson (Biblical Researches, volume 1, page 524) says that the field is not now marked by any boundary to distinguish it from the rest of the field, and the former charnel-house is now a ruin. The field of Aceldama is referred to in the ritual of the Knights Templar.
The Encyclopedia Masonica exists to preserve the wealth of information that has been generated over the centuries by numerous Masonic authors. As Freemasonry is now Speculative and not Operative, the work of a Mason is now conducted in the quarries of symbolism, literature, history and scholasticism. Freemasonry encourages intellectual exploration and academic achievement in its members and many Masons over the years have taken up this calling. The result has been that an incredible amount of philosophy, symbolic speculation and academic insights have been created. However, as Freemasonry teaches, human knowledge is frail and fragile. It is easily lost in the turnings of the ages and unforeseen catastrophes can result in great setbacks to human knowledge.
For too long these great works have sat on forgotten shelves, gathering dust and concealing the light that could be shed on the darkness of our ignorance. The Encyclopedia Masonica has been created to act as an ark, sailing through time, to ensure that future generations of Freemasons have access to the same knowledge that inspired the Brethren that came before them. It will contain the works of such Masonic Luminaries as Albert G. Mackey, Manly Palmer Hall, G.S.M. Ward, Albert Pike and many others. The Encyclopedia Masonica is a living work and the volunteers of Universal Co-Masonry will continue to labor until the most comprehensive Masonic reference work the world has ever seen has been created. The Encyclopedia Masonica is open to any who wish to use it and will remain open so that the treasures contained within may increase the wealth of all those who seek its wisdom.
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