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HISTORY INDEX
HISTORY THEORIES
PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS
MASONRY IN NONFICTION
MASONRY IN FICTION
Building the Great Pyramid
THE CONNECTION WITH FREEMASONRY
As the eighteenth century drew to a close, the imminent explosion of Egyptological studies was gathering momentum. One last, curlous episode in this story should be noted before moving on, however, and that is the rise of Freemasonry as a political and cultural force. Although the story is clouded by cranks and obsessives, a few details are beyond dispute. Whatever it’s precise origins, Freemasonry undeniably played an extremely significant role in the eighteenth-century scientific, political and cultural advances which we now call the Enlightenment, and in the social and nationalistic upheavals which are a major dimension of that Enlightenment. Most of the major figures of the Enlightenment were either masons or influenced by Freemasonry; and the masons were all Egyptophiles, in some cases claiming that they drew their traditions from secret Egyptian texts, in other cases actually asserting an unbroken lineage back to Egyptian priesthoods.
The masons saw their lodges as Egyptian temples and decorated them with all manner of Egyptian symbols, including the still misunderstood hieroglyphs: hence, among other phenomena, the image of the pyramid and the eye, placed on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States and reproduced on the one-dollar bill. And although it remains uncertain whether Napoleon himself was a mason, it is a matter of record rather than conspiratorial theory that he was involved in certain masonic affairs, that some of his imperial emblems were masonic-Egyptian, and that Freemasonry flourished under his rule. [p. 128.]
THE OCCULTISTS
From the early eighteenth century all manner of secret societies and cults, from the Rosicrucians to the Freemasons, seized eagerly on the trappings (often poorly understood) of ancient Egyptian culture and religion, either by way of conferring a kind of instant antiquity on their invented practices, or in more extreme cases claiming direct succession from Egyptian priesthoods. [p. 121.]

Building the Great Pyramid, Kevin Jackson (1955 - ) and Jonathan Stamp. Toronto : Firefly Books Ltd., 2003 ISBN : 1-55297-721-8.

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