Esoteric Legend: the Rosicrucians were founded by Pharaoh Thothmes III in the fifteenth century BC. The Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne was said to have founded a Rosicrucian lodge at Toulouse in the 9th century AD, and in 898 AD a second lodge was founded. Around 1000 AD a group of heretical Catholic monks established the first Rosicrucian college which flourished until the 16th century. It has also been claimed that the Brotherhood of the Rose Cross was founded by Templars after their order was disbanded by Pope Clement.
Historical story: The Fama Fraternitatis appeared in 1614 (written in 1610), describing the foundation and purpose of the Society (Brotherhood) of the Rose Cross. This related that a Father CRC, born in 1378, a German, poor but from a rich and noble family, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He remained at Damascus through ill-health, and studied there. He later traveled to Damcar, where he was trained by the Arabs, and translated the book "M" into the Latin tongue. He then traveled to Fez, and after two years to Spain, where meeting with ridicule, he returned to Germany.
After five years he called three of his brethren to him, bound them by an oath, and then founded the "Fraternity of the Rose Cross". They later initiated another four members, and decided to spread the word to other countries. Their by-laws were that they should heal the sick without charge; wear the clothes of the country they visited; every year upon a certain date should meet, or be represented, in the "House of the Holy Spirit"; each should search for a worthy replacement for when he dies; that the letters R.C. would be their mark; that the Order would remain secret for 100 years. It was later also decided that burial places would be kept a secret.
It is known that Johann Valentin Andreae, a German theologian, wrote at least one of the so-called Rosicrucian documents, but how much can be laid at his door is not known. It is also an esoteric legend (with some grounds in fact) that whilst an historical character called Andraea did in fact exist, that the Rosicrucian writings attributed to that person were in fact the work of Sir Francis Bacon. The three major objects of the Rosicrucian Fraternity are:
In 1646 Elias Ashmole and astrologer William Lilly founded a Rosicrucian lodge in London based upon a utopian ideal of the creation of a new Atlantis.
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