"The Oldest Fraternity in the World"

Discussion in 'History and Research' started by Bloke, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,469
    3,151
    133
    "The Oldest Fraternity in the World" - Freemasons say it so often. Is it really true ?

    I generally say "Freemasonry is one of the oldest and is the largest Fraternity in the World. We cannot say exactly when Freemasonry started, but we do know that 4 existent lodges founded the Modern Grand Lodge System in a pub in London in 1717"

    What would evolve into UGLE is dated at 1717, formed from 4 lodges, yet groups like The Order of Free Gardeners ("a fraternal society that was founded in Scotland in the middle of the 17th century - that puts it mid 1600's and "The most ancient evidence of the order is a record of the minutes of the Haddington lodge, opened 16 August 1676, which begins with a compilation of fifteen rules called Interjunctions for ye Fraternity of Gardiners of East Lothian.") predate the establishment of the modern GL system, as indeed do the four lodges which formed the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster.

    We can cite things like the Regius Poem (aka Halliwell Manuscript) of ca. 1390, as the basis of the claim that "Freemasonry is the oldest Fraternity in the World" ?

    Do others Monastic Orders like the Benedictines, founded in 529 by Benedict at Monte Cassino, count as Fraternities ?

    Further
    "The earliest phases of monasticism in Western Europe involved figures like Martin of Tours, who after serving in the Roman legions converted to Christianity and established a hermitage near Milan, then moved on to Poitiers where a community gathered around his hermitage. He was called to become Bishop of Tours in 372, where he established a monastery at Marmoutiers on the opposite bank of the Loire River, a few miles upstream from the city. His cell was a hut of wood, and round it his disciples, who soon numbered eighty, dwelt in caves and huts. His monastery was laid out as a colony of hermits rather than as a single integrated community. The type of life was simply the Antonian monachism of Egypt"

    Or does it rest in something like this
    "The minutes of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) No. 1 in Scotland show a continuity from an operative lodge in 1598 to a modern speculative Lodge.[42] It is reputed to be the oldest Masonic Lodge in the world.[43]"

    Can we really say Freemasonry is the Oldest Fraternity in the world ?
    What is the argument that it is ?
     
    Raymond Walters and Warrior1256 like this.
  2. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

    776
    587
    93
    Actully there is a few diffrent forms of orders that are only partly related.

    I dont think masons would like to renounce all their worldly possesions to become closer to god wich basicly is what you do in a monastic order.

    In a non-masonic chilvaric order the investment cermony is done much more publicly. The religious orders does it in the middle of a mass and is more of an hounor then anything.

    So is freemasonry the oldest fraternity?

    Well we are the oldest fraternity that works with self-development.
     
    Adrian Martinez and Bloke like this.
  3. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    7,424
    3,379
    183
    Points to ponder......
     
    Adrian Martinez and Bloke like this.
  4. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,469
    3,151
    133
    I just heard people say this all the time.. and when you ask why the say it.. they don't know and that annoys.. some will come back with "in 1717" but are simply parroting others. I don't want to be a parrot.. pretty as they are :)
     
  5. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,807
    561
    113
    I suspect that Chinese fraternal societies are much older than similar British societies. Egyptian societies may also be of interest. Also some American Indian tribes have societies similar to Freemasonry. Australian aboriginals used to (and may still) induct candidates under an arch of white wands, just as I entered a chapter of Holy Royal Arch.

    More information may be found here:

    https://www.amazon.com/Freemasonry-Ancient-Gods-J-Ward/dp/1162560231?tag=duckduckgo-d-20
     
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  6. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,469
    3,151
    133
    While some of these might share traditions, I cannot see that being linear..

    I would assume you have read this ?
    http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/chinese-masonic-society.html
     
  7. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

    776
    587
    93
    The problem though is when we come to native people we have a bit of another things to considerd.
    In sweden we had during the vikings whats known as the "Männerbund" wich where secret societies within the overarching norse religion, however they are not related to freemasonry.
    In reality neither aboriginals or the native americans practice are in general considerd esoteric initiatory societies.

    The egyptian schools of mysteries have not survived, certain similar things have been used for various reason. In many cases what we have is our own interpitation. Most likley we never had any egyptian designs or ideas prior to the whole egyptian fever in Europe.
     
  8. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,469
    3,151
    133
    I would have to disagree Brother.. the Australian First Nations are definitely said to have esoteric Initiation Rites - but I do not seem them directly related to Freemasonry in any way..
     
  9. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

    1,657
    1,563
    113
    My question would be of all active fraternities, Orders or groups, is Freemasonry the oldest that is still active? Maybe this was touched upon and I missed that. When the term "The Oldest Fraternity in the World" is stated, I think of current fraternities to be honest. If they are not existing anymore then they aren't 'in the world' anymore? I don't mean that in a condescending tone but just how I read that statement. :)
     
    Adrian Martinez and Bloke like this.
  10. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,807
    561
    113
    >the Australian First Nations are definitely said to have esoteric Initiation Rites - but I do not see them directly related to Freemasonry in any way..

    Although there are various accounts of ship wreck survivors giving a Masonic sign of distress to aboriginals that recognized the sign and passed the brethren from tribe to tribe along the coast to the nearest town.
     
  11. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

    775
    913
    113
    Got a cite for one of those accounts? I'd love to read them.

    Transmitted via R5 astromech using Tapatalk Galactic
     
  12. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,807
    561
    113
  13. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

    775
    913
    113
    I'll have to look at the source document they reference. The site you linked, Above Top Secret, is absolute garbage and filled with conspiracy theories and unverified pseudo-science nonsense.
     
  14. Luigi Visentin

    Luigi Visentin Registered User

    136
    37
    28
    According to Regius Poem, the Broterhood existed already in the fourth century (Legend of Quatuor Coronati) . The other versions basically confirms this period but refers also that Masonry existed before (and I'm not referring to biblical Solomon etc.).
     
  15. Luigi Visentin

    Luigi Visentin Registered User

    136
    37
    28
    Immagini iphone 27-08-2013 351.jpg
    This fresco is in Italy and is dated around 1365. It is not an official date but I have made a research about this fresco, discovering that in 1365 the church were it is was destroyed and it has been rebuild immediately after. The fresco has a style which indicates that has been done by a painter of a painting school which existed in that period and and places. Likely the person depicted there are those who financed the rebuild of the church.
     
  16. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    2,122
    2,106
    133
    ^^THIS^^
    Morgan.jpg
     
  17. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,807
    561
    113
    Brethren believe what they wish to believe.
     
  18. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

    775
    913
    113
    Has nothing to do with what "I" believe. The website Above Top Secret has zero credibility. This is a fact, not a personal opinion.
     
    Glen Cook likes this.
  19. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    2,122
    2,106
    133
    Yes. Some even exemplify this to the extreme and to the point of absurdity.
     

Share My Freemasonry