One of the oldest Lodges in Germany is the Lodge of Archimedes of the Three Tracing Boards, or Archimedes zu den drei Reissbrettern, in Altenburg. This Lodge was instituted on January 31, 1742, by a Deputation from Leipzig. In 1775 the Lodge joined the Grand Lodge of Berlin, but in 1788 attached itself to the Eclectic Union at Frankfort-on-the-Main, which body it left in 1801, and established a Directorate of its own, and installed a Lodge at Gera and another at Scheeberg. The Lodge published a Book of Constitutions in the year 1803 in a folio of 244 pages, a work which is now rare, and which Lenning says is one of the most valuable contributions to Masonic literature. Three Masonic journals were also produced by the Altenburg school of historians and students, one of which -the Bruderblatter, Fraternal Periodical-continued to appear until 1854. The Lodge struck a medal in 1804 upon the occasion of erecting a new hall, ln 1842 the Lodge celebrated its centennial anniversary.
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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