A scholastic philosopher of the Middle Ages, of great learning, but who had among the vulgar the reputation of being a magician.
He was born at Lauingen, Swabia, in 1205, of an illustrious family, his subtitle being that of Count of Bollstadt. He studied at Padua, and in 1223 entered the Order of the Dominicans. In 1249 he became head-master of the school at Cologne. In 1260 Pope Alexander VI conferred upon him the bishopric of Ratisbon. In 1262 he resigned the episcopate and returned to Cologne, and, devoting himself to philosophic pursuits for the remainder of his life, died there in 1280. His writings were very voluminous, the edition published at Lyons, in 1651, amounting to twenty-one large folio volumes.
Albertus Magnus has been connected with the Operative Freemasonry of the Middle Ages because he has been supposed by many to have been the real inventor of the German Gothic style of architecture.
Heideloff, in his Bauhhutte des Mittelalters, says that "he recalled into life the symbolic language of the ancients, which had so long lain dormant, and adapted it to suit architectural forms. " The Freemasons were said to have accepted his instructions, with a system of symbols which was secretly communicated only to the members of their own body, and served even as a medium of intercommunication. He is asserted to have designed the pian for the construction of the cathedral of cologne, and to have altered the Constitution of the Freemasons, and to have given to them a new set of laws.
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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