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Da Vinci Code in the Light of Free Masonry

Dr. Asaf Durakovic

Washington, D.C. March 5, 2008


Freemasonry should have very little concern about the best seller Da Vinci Code
if it was not for the specific suggestion that it might be associated with the ancient secret
societies like the Priory of Sion, Knights Templar, Rose Croix, and Illuminati.
Furthermore, the book contains the allusions of Freemasonry being a part in preserving
the mystery of the Holy Grail in the light of the proposed suggestion that the issue of the
physical descendency of Jesus of Nazareth continued after the crucifixion to the present
time through the line of Merovingian dynasty culminating in the Knights Templar
bringing the records of Mary Magdalene to France from the Holy Land during the first
Crusade.
While it appears to be of some historical fact that the Priory of Sion started in
Jerusalem in 1099, there is no evidence of any records of physical descendency of Christ
through Mary Magdalene that is not shrouded in the myth and legend. The Priory of Sion
was founded by the French King Godefroi de Bouillon in 1099 after his conquest of
Jerusalem during the first Crusade. It was a secret society whose sole purpose was the
search for the Holy Grail. From the Priory another secret society was formed - the Order
of the Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, commonly known as the
Knights Templar. Contrary to the historical belief that their purpose was to protect the
pilgrims to the Holy Land, they have been associated from their very beginning with the
secret mission not known to anybody beyond their circles, as they were sworn to secrecy.
King Godefroi initially appointed nine knights who applied to the Pope for the
permission to have the quarters at the site of King Solomon’s Temple, which was also the
site of a subsequent temple rebuilt by Herod the Great. That group of knights ceaselessly
worked under the protection of their pope-granted conclave, not being intruded upon by
any covens or eavesdroppers excavating in the hard rock foundation for the documents
leading to the Holy Grail. Their privacy was assured not only by the Pope, but also by
King Baldwin of the second Crusade, so that their presence and privacy were protected
within the confines of the temple ruins. The Templars believed that the records leading
to the Holy Grail were located at the point of the temple’s location of Kodosh Kodoshim
– Holy of Holies – of Solomon’s Temple. The result of their toil was well-rewarded,
according to the old legends because by being a law to themselves they were permitted to
transfer their findings in six great metal caskets to France. A mysterious Papal edict was

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issued by the Pope Innocent II almost simultaneously after their findings were disclosed
to the Vatican. It appears that their secret was not disclosed in full because of the
amazing power they acquired since the very beginning of the 12th century.
The Knights Templar expanded all over Christendom, and their presence was also
maintained in the Holy Land, extending also to the Saracens, with whom they had
recorded secret meetings. It is well known that the secret societies existed and flourished
in the World of Islam as secret brotherhoods with the rituals of the entrance, acceptance,
fellowship, masters, and grandmasters, which were collectively known as the Secret
Society of Builders (al-Bana). Some records indicate that King Richard the Lionheart
was connected to the Templars in some way, which extended to his unusually cordial
relationship with victorious Saracen king, who was the mortal enemy of the crusaders.
His influence and legacy eventually eliminated all of the eight crusades from the map of
the world. It was a logical response to the first crusade, which demonstrated its
intentions in the holy land by the ruthless massacre of the entire Muslim and Jewish
populations at the capture of Jerusalem in 1099. As the result, Jerusalem and the entire
holy land were transferred to the Muslim rule for eight centuries.
It is not only a legend but a historical fact that King Richard and King Salahudin
were engaged in hand to hand combat in the view of the crusade and Saracen army with
extremely chivalrous conduct by King Salahudin stating to Richard, “Your Majesty must
be tired, so I suggest that we break our combat and go for some refreshment and resume
it later.” King Salahudin was obviously right because the steel armor and the heat of the
sun in the Middle East was probably weighing on Richard much heaver than on
Salahudin, who fought without heavy armor, on much swifter horse, and less exhausted
than his opponent. The chronicles also reveal that King Richard was attended by
Salahudin’s personal physician when he fell ill in the second crusade. We have to
remember that the crusaders were facing the enemy on their own territory with the
mighty, well-organized civilization and the cities with population in the millions such as
Damascus, Baghdad, Basra, Alexandria, and Cairo, so the medical help to Richard was
much better provided through the hands of Salahudin than through the unskilled hands of
frequently illiterate physicians among the crusaders.

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By the end of the 13th century, the Knights Templar became so powerful that they
were challenging the authority of the Vatican itself. A well-known historical fact is the
massacre of Templars on the fatal Friday, October 13, 1307, by a raid organized by the
French King Philip the II Le Bele and Pope Clement the V, who superbly managed the
meticulous execution of their order in one single night. While some legends consider the
reason for the massacre of the Templars being their enormous wealth much needed by the
kings and the popes, the other theories point to the secrets of the Temple of Jerusalem
contained in the safe-keeping of Templars was the real fact behind that tragic event.
King Philip and Pope Clement were extremely well-organized and wise but not wise
enough to match the Templars. A night before the raid, several ships left Calais and
likewise several ships left the Port of Marseilles carrying the Templars’ treasure. Yet, it
did not redeem the painful death by burning at the stake of the last grandmaster of the
Templars, Jacques de Mollay and Duke of Normandy in the year 1314, at the bridge Pont
Neuf in Paris. The curse of the grandmaster of the Templars pronounced on King Philip
materialized by his untimely death soon after the grandmaster’s execution by the fire, and
the curse upon Pope Clement followed. In the last decade of the 18th century, when the
guillotine administered the justice of the French Revolution over Queen Marie Antoinette
and King Louis the XVI, a legendary dramatic event took place. A man jumped from the
crowd to the scaffold, lifted the blood covered head of the king, and loudly announced to
the stunned crowd, “This is revenge for Jacques de Mollay.” The Templars waited for
nearly five centuries.
Both temporal and spiritual powers overseeing the extermination of the Knights
Templar had to have some explanation of their actions because naturally, neither their
desire for Templars’ wealth nor for the secret documents of the Temple of Jerusalem
could be used as the reason for their actions. Pope Clement claimed that he had a
revelation in his dream of Templars being involved in the heresy and blasphemy against
the Church and God. They were accused that, among the other crimes, they were
worshipping a demon called Bahomet and were trying to undermine the legacy of the
Church. The Templars’ treasure, according to the legend, was focused to the secret of
Sangreal – the Holy Grail.

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The Holy Grail, Priory of Sion, Knights Templar, Freemasons, and Leonardo Da Vinci

An attempt has been made by the Da Vinci Code to imply that Freemasons are
somewhat a part of the puzzle of Sangreal kept as the innermost secret of freethinking
fraternities, based upon Templars’ excavations in order to secure the dominant position
over the Church and the entire world, culminating in the transfer of the secrets of the
Alumbrados, an ancient secret society, which survived three edicts of excommunication
by the holy inquisition to the subsequent Illuminati, which by no means ended in Bavaria
at the end of the 19th century but went into the deeper secrecy until our time aiming for
the New World Order. The controversy of Leonardo is far too complex to be focused just
on the mysterious outline of Christ and his apostles at the Last Supper. Have we not all
heard the theories that Mona Lisa was in fact a man? While it is true that on the right
side of Christ, one of the apostles resembles delicate female features with a tunic and
robe being in the reverse color of the tunic and robe of Christ, and the positions of the
bodies forming the letter v, interpreted by the book as the symbol of the chalice, there is
an obvious question. Where is Saint John the Beloved in the fresco? The original
number of twelve apostles was maintained even after the betrayal of Judas Iscariot, when
Jesus appointed another apostle Mathias to keep the number twelve. There is no
substitute for John suggested in the fresco at the refectory wall of Santa Maria de le
Grazie, in Milan, which mysteriously survived bombing raids of American pilots at the
end of the Second World War. We will come to the issue of Mary Magdalene later.
It is well-known that ever so many details were identified in the fresco of the Last
Supper while Leonardo worked on it, that his very life was at risk by the ever-watchful
eyes of the Holy Inquisition. Those details are so minor that they present no challenge to
the magnitude of the proposed interpretation of Mary Magdalene being substitute for
John that they escaped scrutiny and attention of permanently monitored Leonardo’s work
in the Catholic sanctuary. The absence of the Holy Grail from the table of the Last
Supper was not even considered a major transgression. Regardless of the Papal personal
liking to Leonardo, such iconoclastic detail of his fresco would have been his death
sentence if any, even the slightest detection, was recorded by the ever-present scrutiny
during its creation. Not even the knife pointed toward Christ in a threatening position,

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nor Bartholomew turning away from the Master, nor multiple glass cups with no chalice
amounted to any significant challenge. The Last Supper survived five centuries of
scrutiny, as well as the bombing raid of the Second World War.
The Priory of Sion had never claimed the insinuation brought up in Da Vinci
Code that one of the thirteenth, Christ included, was a woman. But, the book goes on
about the grave and sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene, initially in Arcadia, Southern
France, Remes le Chauteau, subsequently traced to Roslin Chapel, south of Edinborough,
was a secret protected among the others by the Freemasons. Masonic symbology was
found in the Templar Church of London, England, in the Roslin Chapel and innumerable
edifices of the cathedrals of Europe throughout post-Crusade Middle Ages long before
the speculative Freemasonry. This is an interesting detail because Freemasonry of today
frequently considers itself an autonomous secret society with no links to the operative
freemasonry before 1717. I am trying to prove them otherwise.

Mary Magdalene, Holy Grail, Priory of Sion, Templars, and Freemasons

The suggestion of Mary of Magdala being united in secret marriage with Christ
and resulting in his physical progeny does not even qualify to be considered a
controversy particularly among the scholars and historians. The question remains
whether Leonardo wanted to ultimately reveal the secret known since the temple
excavation in Jerusalem. We have to remember that Leonardo himself was a grandmaster
of the Priory of Sion and a free spirit beyond comparison who simply wanted to codify a
well-hidden secret in the way that it could be accessible by the superior curiosity and
skills. The Da Vinci Code does not reveal the final answer as to what was the secret
message in the coded vile that traced the Holy Grail to Roslin Chapel, Southern France,
and the escape of Mary Magdalene from Jerusalem to the Jewish community of Gaul,
assimilated to Roman Empire by Julius Caesar one hundred years before Christ.
Mary Magdalene is explicitly mentioned in the Gospel of Luke (8:2) as a
companion of Jesus and the apostles who provided for their well-being and sustenance.
Her origins are from the town of Magdala, about five kilometers North and West from
Tiberias. It is well-documented not only by the Gospels, but by Josephus, “History of

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Rome,” that she accompanied Jesus on his last visit to Jerusalem at the Passover, was
present at the Crucifixion, claimed his body together with John and Mary Mother of
Jesus, participated in the burial, and witnessed the open tomb. “Why do you seek Jesus
among the dead when he is alive?” Does the Da Vinci Code expand merely on the
statement of the two apparitions in white at the site of the tomb or does it contain an
implication that Mary of Magdala may indeed be a part of continuous legacy of Christ
through his physical progeny?
Mary of Magdala, although poorly represented in the world’s history and world
encyclopedias, has certainly been a point of curiosity among countless historians and
writers trying to separate the myths from the facts about this extraordinary woman.
There is a viable theory that she was a young woman of exceptional physical beauty,
grace, and artistic talents which she displayed in her matchless dancing skills while being
in the employ of a ruthless businessman who was at the same time a captain of the
Temple Guard and who earned his fortune greatly due to the talents of Mary Magdalene.
The legend of the two Roman physicians appointed by the Emperor Tiberias to
investigate the causes of leprosy in the Eastern provinces of the Roman Empire claims
that Roman doctor, young Marcus Sejanus, after witnessing her dancing, became
hopelessly in love with her and followed her from Tiberius to Cessarea and to Jerusalem,
eventually proposing marriage to her. Another similar legend claims that Mary of
Magdala married a wealthy Roman aristocrat who made a fortune of manufacturing
purple dyes for the clothing extracted from the sea shells of the Mediterranean and who
became one of the richest citizens of the Roman Empire. After he was healed from
leprosy by Christ, he followed Mary Magdalene and eventually was united with her in
marriage. Yet another legend among many states that she decided to follow Christ with
the vow of never getting married.
Thus, the legend claiming to be a secret of the Priory of Sion about Mary
Magdelene being the secret wife of Christ faces considerable competition. Nothing
definitive is known about Mary Magdalene after crucifixion of Christ, and the Da Vinci
Code claim of her being a symbolic Holy Grail remains nothing but a conjecture. A fact
that is well-known is that she has been identified in the line ascending to Benjamin, thus
being of the same noble blood of Jacobites, to which Christ himself belongs by being of

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the house of David. Mary Magdalene was a beautiful woman with numerous historical
accounts agreeing to her dancing skills, physical beauty, flowing red hair, and a free way
of life much misinterpreted by the Christian churches, and who in the house of Simon
anointed the feet of Christ. In other history books, she was portrayed as a fallen woman
brought before Christ by the priests of the temple of Jerusalem to test his adherence to the
law of Moses by passing judgment on the issue of adultery. In those legends, her name
was Neemah, which was changed to Mary and while answering to Christ that she was
from Magdala, was called Magdalene.
Whichever of these theories is true, the fact remains that she was very close
companion of Christ and his apostles, testifying to her dedication by the adherence to the
Master beyond his apparent physical grave. Whether or not the Prior of Sion had any
other verifiable secrets, it never stepped out of the veil of historical darkness, obscurity,
and legend.

Mary Magdalene, Holy Grail, and Merovingian Dynasty

A century before Christ, an indelible historic record was presented to the world in
the book De bello gallico (On Gallic War) by Gaius Julius Caesar, the emperor of Rome.
It describes in considerable detail the Roman Empire campaigns in the country of Gaul,
the vast territories of contemporary France fragmented in the tribal and clan domains and
united into a formidable force by Gaelic King Vercingetorix, a brave and noble warrior.
The war ended in the defeat of Gaul, where Vercingetorix was brought in chains and
paraded through the triumphant arch in Rome and subsequently executed for his
unwillingness to collaborate with Rome. The Gaul contained no Jewish community long
after the conquest by the Roman Empire. While Rome was a pragmatic polytheistic
society with a Greek legacy and Jupiter being the head deity with the pleyad of lesser
gods and goddesses, the Gaelic tradition was the religion of the forces of nature
perpetuated by the druid priests, and instead of temples their worship and meeting places
were in the sacred oak groves.
The Da Vinci Code suggests that Mary Magdalene escaped to Gaul with her
unborn child and being recognized as of the tribe of Benjamin with connection with

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Christ of the House of David, was adopted by the Jewish community of Gaul. The only
Jews in the time of Emperor Tiberius and subsequent less fortunate emperors of Rome in
the province of Gaul were wine and olive oil merchants skillful in storage of their
merchandise in the stone jars. The strong and sizeable Jewish community was mainly
present in Rome itself and settled on the other side of Aventine, across the Tiber River,
who got special benefits from the government, particularly favored during Nero’s reign
by his wife Popaea, to practice their religion and laws within reason. Thus, there is no
supportive evidence of Mary Magdalene being a part of the Jewish community of Gaul,
which in the Da Vinci Code is called France. France, in fact, did not exist at that time.
The book then makes a jump of several centuries claiming that after the birth of
Mary Magdalene’s daughter Sarah and her descendants, the line carried out until the time
of the Merovingian kings. The secret of the Holy Grail during this obscure time period
was kept by the family, being kept in hiding until the Merovingian kings when it became
a secret of the royal dynasty. The Merovingians are the first dynasty of France, the name
of which was taken from the legendary Meroveh, the fifth-century early king of the
Salian Franks, successor of legendary Clodio. They were a part of the Roman Empire as
a logical consequence of the Gaelic integration into the Roman armies in the time of
Julius Caesar. The Merovingian King Atius, in fact, stopped the progress of the Huns in
the year 451.
After the fall of the Roman power in France, the Archbishop of Reims converted
all Gauls to Christianity, which resulted in the tribal wars with Clovis being appointed as
king in 511, the founder of the Merovingian dynasty that lasted for two and a half
centuries. They were known as the founders of Paris. It vanished from the history in the
middle of the eighth century, previously weakened by the war with Pipin of Herestil.
They were succeeded by Carolingians when Charlemagne succeeded his father Pipin.
Half barbarian, by his pragmatic intelligence and service to the Church, he united the
whole of his domain under the banner of the Church of Rome.
The Merovingians therefore had no power after the last King Dagobert was
murdered in his sleep. The legend suggests that his son Sigisbert secretly carried the
legacy of the Holy Grail to the time of the king Godefroi de Bouillon who had some
blood line with the Merovingians. The Priory of Sion and Knights Templar carried the

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secret to the modern age through very much alive secret societies, allegedly including the
Freemasons and Illuminati.

What Does It All Have to Do With Freemasonry?

While some theories, particularly in the United States, adhere that the origins of
speculative Freemasonry did not start in the operative guilds of the medieval, ancient, and
archaic times, I have a different view. Some Masonic historians associate speculative
Masonry to Euclides, some with Charles Martel, some with English Atheltan, others link
it with the Roman cult of Mithras, originating in Iranian ancient sun worship, others with
Essenes, with whom, according to some sources, Jesus spent most of his adult life. The
other numerous theories associate operative masons with the architects of the Temple of
Jerusalem, while even more obscure theories associate stone masons with the merging of
the people of archaic times in the symbol of the Tower of Babel. While the others go
farther back in history to Noah’s ark and even more ancient theories of Gilgamesh and
the keeper of the secrets Utnapishtim, or with Jabal, son of Lamech, and other landmarks
of history and legend. In the midst of all of these theories, penetrating throughout human
history and philosophy, the common denominators of freemason questions remain in the
realm of duality of life and death, time and eternity, good and evil, as well as the
fraternity of mankind, brotherly love, truth, charity, and other noble symbols of
humanity. It all relates to the ancient past.
I propose speculative masonry to be considered a part of medieval operative
Masonry from which it slowly evolved through the German Steinmetzen. Although it is
linked in the universal denominators to the freethinking and secret societies of ancient
civilizations of Egypt and Greece, as well as non-Occidental cultures, the speculative
freemasonry has no claim of descent from these grand epochs and cultures with an
exception of the medieval guild of the operative masons with grand heredity from
Collegium Romanum. It is essential to become thoroughly familiar with the volumes of
the history of Freemasons by Findel and Gould of the late 19th century to understand the
transition of the operative Masons from the Roman College to the cathedral builders of
medieval Europe. It is equally essential to get familiar with Charles Squires book on the

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connection between the Roman college of Artificers and Middle Ages operative masonry.
They all suggest the Hametic influence on Mediterranean Civilization legendarily linked
to Noah’s progeny of Ham, Shem, and Yaphet. Anthropological origins of Hametic
advent suggests that they were the first inhabitants of the Nile Valley, spreading to Asia
Minor and the Middle East. I respectfully disagree to some extent with some of these
classic Masonic texts with the well-researched suggestion that Semitic and Yaphetic
influence was a contemporary historic tide leading to the current Western World. If we
agree with the classical Masonic text written under the pseudonym Leader Scott of 1906
about the Hametic predominance of the origin of the Western Civilization and the
merging of the other cultures and civilizations, the Tower of Babel is a well taken
illustration of the confusion of mankind at the clash point of different cultures, each
bringing new elements into the ever-changing equation of the cultural evolution of
mankind. Such dramatic antecedents are exemplified by the Hiksos invasion of the
Empire of Egypt, King Kambiz of the Hittites against Pharaoh Mamose, bringing the
knowledge of the horse and chariot and steel weapons against water travel and bronze
weapons of the Egyptians, Ethiopian steel swords against the copper weapons of Egypt,
and bringing the knowledge of science and art of Egypt to the invading barbarian tribes,
including the knowledge of the building of the temples. The knowledge of the temple
building was preserved in the standing civilizations of Mesopotamian Kingdoms, Egypt,
Greek, Etruscan, and Roman culture. The most ancient operative Masons of the Egyptian
and Middle East origin advanced to the North, most likely by the Hellenic culture in
Greece, also known as Pellasgoi. They migrated to the Apenine Penninsula and mixed
with Etruscans, similar to the earlier mixing of the Hebrews and Hittites in the Middle
East. These migrations of the people and also of their knowledge of building continued
to the North and West, reaching Spain, France, Britain, and as North as Scandinavia,
bringing the knowledge of the building skills. Most of the classic Masonic texts agree
about their Hametic origin in Egypt. This is supported by the studies of D. G. Hoggart,
who published his summary in London Review in 1908 that the Hittites are predecessors
of Hellenic culture, not only as a geographic focus, but also a seed of the art and science
of the times antiquity. The building of King Solomon’s Temple can be historically
placed to the era of one millennium before the Christians. The founding of Rome is

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generally agreed upon as 755 B.C., both being contemporary with grand civilizations of
Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Greece, Etruria, Egypt, as well as barbarian invading tribes
such as Hittites. These views are supported by the correct observations of Dr. Hugo
Winkler that the art of temple builders in antique civilizations was intercultural. Further
support is given by Professor Sayas and his study of the treaty between the king of the
Hittites and Pharaoh Ramses II, the King of Egypt in the time of the Exodus of the Jews.

Today’s Descendants of the Hittites

While the origins of the Hittites still remain shrouded in history, it is well
documented that their kingdom extended from the Black Sea, Mediterranean, Aegean,
and Adriatic Sea. The contemporary Druzes of Lebanon claim Hittite ancestry,
originating from Hiram King of Tyre (Hasket Smith, 1891). They were the original
builders of King Solomon’s Temple. Although the current Druzes have largely joined
Islam, they have always been viewed by Muslims with suspicion because of their secret
rituals. They bear a close resemblance to the Masonic initiation ceremonies of the
transition from youth to manhood similar to entered apprentice and fellow craft degrees.

The Etruscans

All of the early Roman Emperors were Etruscans. They were present in the
Apenine Penninsula long before actual founding of Rome in 755 B.C. The Romans of the
Virgil’s Aeneid originated in Asia Minor and appear on the Apenine grounds after the fall
of Troy. Even the name of Roma was an Etruscan word, not associated with Romulus.
Roman Empire learned its building skills from the Etruscans who were earlier settlers of
the Apenine Peninsula and had nothing in common with subsequent language or culture
of the Roman Empire. Incidentally, the Latin language has largely evolved by the strong
influence of Etruscans and subsequent influence of the vulgar Latin language spoken by
the Roman Gaelic legionaries of the time of Julius Caesar. The Etruscans have no
association with the Latin language nor do they have common roots with Indo-European
languages (Lindsey; Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria).

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The Architects of Rome

While the historical evidence of the Etruscan operative Masonry is well-


documented, there are many contradictory theories about the origins of the operative
Western Freemasonry. The single most important evidence of the non-Egyptian origins
of the Etruscan masons was discovered in the late 18th century on the mummified
remnants of a housewife Shepehun, whose burial cloth contains the Etruscan ritual
currently at the Archeological Museum of Zagreb, Croatia. It contains the burial
procedure in the Etruscan language. It has to be remembered that Etruria and Rome
existed as contemporary civilizations at least at the beginning of recorded Roman history.
Rather primitive Rome derived its learning of the temple building from the Etruscans,
who were the architects of the grand temple of Jupiter Maximus on the Roman Capitol.
According to Professor Dennis the origins of the Etruscans are the same as Pelasgoi of
Greece, who migrated to the Italian Peninsula, mixing with Iliric tribes and evolving into
the culture called Etrusci, being well settled in Italy long before the building of King
Solomon’s Temple, preceding it at least by 200 years. The appearance of the Hittites in
Asia Minor is contemporary with the Etruscan Kingdom and the Kingdom of Israel.
One thing in common among these early builders suggests the analogy of the
Etruscan, Hellenic, and Egyptian art of temple buildings. The Roman operative Masons
undoubtedly have some origins with the Hittites, who were influenced by the builders of
Mesopotamia and Egypt.

Collegium Romanum and the Origins of Operative Masonry

The Roman College of Architects was constituted within the Empire as a free and
accepted entity with privileges of their own, having their own legal administration and
their own constitution within the state. The members supervised by the Aediles were the
free-born men known as free thinkers with an extensive formal education and skills in the
building arts. The records of their activities are the best preserved in the writing of
Vitruvius in the era of Augustus. The fall of the Roman Republic and the Age of the
Empire, which dissolved most of the corporations of the republic did not affect the

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Roman College. It retained its rights and privileges including the right to secret
meetings, their own system of education and training, own rituals, own initiations, and
the seals of authority. The membership contained the registers of record keepers,
treasurers, fellow crafts, wardens (decurion), masters (magister), similar to the
contemporary Masonic structures.

Is There Any Connection Between the Roman College, Steinmetzen of Germany, and
English Freemasons of 1717?

The Roman College had lasted throughout the Roman Empire until its fall at the
end of the 5th century A.D. The operative Masons were not only an integral part of the
building of roads, viaducts, temples, and infrastructure of the Empire, but also a part of
each legion of the Roman army. In Britain alone, in the 4th century of the Christian era
there were 55 cities with the established Masonic fraternity (Collegia Febrorum). There
is no historical evidence of their connection with the English medieval guild of artificers.
Their origins are lost in the speculations and legends, such as a legend of Quatuor
Coronati (Claudius, Castorius, Semphorianus, and Nicostratus) stone cutters who, as
Christians, refused to participate in the Roman idol worship and were executed by the
order of Emperor Diocletian in 298 A.D., only 27 years before Christianity was declared
the official religion of the Roman Empire. Towards the decline of Rome, sometime in
the last decade of the 5th century, the College of Builders dissolved when Ostrogoth
Emperor Zeno ruled over destroyed Rome.
The reappearance of the Roman College of Builders was recorded in the 5th
century on the island Comacina in the Lake Como, in Northern Italy, during the
successful victory of General Narses over the Goths, Vandals, and Huns. The island
assumed the name of Christopolis until the advent of the Holy Roman Empire in the time
of Charlemagne. The island was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist in 1160. The early
connection between the Roman College Masons and Mary Magdalene is found in the
Masonic Fraternity of Comacines.
The masons of the Roman College became entirely Christian by 460. They
persisted at the Isola Comacina until the 12th century when the island was destroyed by

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Frederick Barbarosa. The Dark Ages of operative masonry lasted for 700 years (500-
1200 A.D.). Nevertheless, the Christian edifices contained a strikingly consistent
connection between the Roman College and the Crusades, guided by the master masons
who had preserved their secret knowledge of operative masonry throughout the Dark
Ages. The identifiable mark of the Roman College was a round arch of Germany,
France, England, and Italy lasting until 12th century, succeeded by the pointed Italian
arches afterwards, the later identified in the grand cathedrals of Europe too numerous to
mention in this text. The earliest trace of the French gothic associated with Comacine
pointed arch is still present in France, the church commissioned by Charleman at Aix le
Chapelle. The masters of Como appear the original germ of the great society of
Freemasons who were commissioned to build edifices for Lombards who had no skills to
build anything beyond a tent or long house (Scott, 1891). Their presence continued from
the basic Roman style to the round arches, real columns, barrel vaults, dome, Byzantine
and Saracine ornamentation, to the Gothic pointed styles of the grand cathedrals
subsequently extending to Baroque and following styles ending in the modern decline.
The operative masons in the Middle Ages congregated in lodges guided by the
principles and symbols of strength, force, and beauty, dedicated to common good,
charity, secrecy, and fidelity. These masons were given protection by the kings and
benediction by the Church. The edifices of Christendom contain the symbols of lions,
griffins, gargoyles, as well as the endless knot, three-standards cord going to pre-
Christian time, lion of Judah, and Lion Gates of Mikonos, as the oldest testimony of the
occidental masonry. Likewise pentalpha and sexalpha similarly reach back to the pre-
Christian times.
Freemasons under such name (Liberi Muratori) were recorded in 604 when Saint
Augustine asked Pope Gregory for assignment of some architects in his mission of
building churches which were provided by Rome. One of them, Master Polonius, was
both a missionary and Freemason under the title of Master Murator.

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Conclusion

The speculative Freemasonry of today was probably built upon the remodeling of
the German Steinmetzen who can be traced to Collegium Romanum through Northern
Italian enclaves of the masons who preserved their secrets and reexerted their influence in
the building of the post-Roman legacy of building grand edifices of Christianity under
special dispensations as free traveling men. They were becoming more speculative and
less operative until the final form of free and accepted speculative masons in 1717. Its
formal constitution in England is a logical site of Roman College in the British Isles
because it is a historical fact that Papal Bull was given to a group of the Italian operative
masons to build the churches in England in the time of Henry III. These masons
identified themselves by the certain secret signs, grips, and the passwords. They were
free to travel anywhere bypassing bondage of the feudal system and were bound by the
oath of secrecy. Ultimately, the term freemason first appeared in the city of London in
1375 identifying free operative masons who were exempt of taxes and restrictions of
movement. They closely resemble the categories of freemasons recorded during the
building of King Solomon’s Temple and Collegium Romanum.

What Does It All Have To Do With The Da Vinci Code?

The sum of my argument is that Freemasons existed centuries and millennia


before Christ. Originally the builders of Hametic descent, their influence can be traced to
the Mediterranean Basin, Asia Minor (Hittites), Greece (Pelasgoi), Etruscan, and Roman
times. The presence of ancient operative masons is also evident in the building of the
Temple of King Solomon, being the basis of modern freemason ritual. They are further
traced to the Roman College, Middle Ages operative masons, Comacines, German
Steinmetzen, and speculative freemasonry. The last phase was not an overnight event,
but the slow evolution of an ancient craft through the history present as a secret society
and most likely associated to a certain extent with Priory of Sion and Knights Templar.
The grandmasters of the secret societies of the Middle Ages, including Leonardo
Da Vinci, were not bound by the loyalty by any temporal or spiritual power that limited

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the mind of man. While Leonardo Da Vinci, with his incomparable genius extended to
not only challenging the Church, but also kings and potentates, as well as the forces of
nature with some accounts of working on elixir to postpone the process of aging and
death, it is hardly surprising that the last supper contains a presence among the apostles
being Mary Magdalene. There is no proof of any kind that it is the case. All theories are
conjectures and speculations. Furthermore, the Priory of Sion claim of Mary Magdalene
continuing with the physical progeny of Christ was protected by Merovingian secret has
no historical base. There is more evidence of the disappearance of Joseph of Arimathea
from the Gospels than of the disappearance of Mary Magdalene. Furthermore, there is
almost five centuries gap between Mary Magdalene and first Merovingian kings. There
was no identifiable Jewish community of any size or influence in the Gaelic provinces of
the Roman Empire that would account for the possible asylum of Mary Magdalene after
her alleged escape from Jerusalem.
Freemasonry needs not be concerned about possible misunderstandings of this
dramatic challenge to the doctrine of Christianity and universal legacy of Jesus of
Nazareth. Freemasons are removed from this controversy by preceding Christianity as an
ancient, independent, and universal fraternity dedicated to the glory of God and the
universal principles of freedom of the mind of men.

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