ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FREEMASONRY AND ITS KINDRED SCIENCES
by ALBERT C. MACKEY M. D.
COUVRIR LE TEMPLE
A French expression for the English one to close the Lodge. But it has also another signification. To cover the Temple to a Brother, means in French Masonic language, to exclude him from the Lodge.
COVENANT OF FREEMASONRY
As a covenant is defined to be a contract or agreement between two or more parties on certain terms, there can be no doubt that when a man is made a Freemason he enters into a covenant with the Institution. On his part he promises to fulfil certain promises, and to discharge certain duties, for which, on the other part, the Fraternity bind themselves by an equivalent covenant of friendship, protection, and support. This covenant must of course be repeated and modified with every extension of the terms of agreement on both sides.
The covenant of an Entered Apprentice is different from that of a Fellow Craft, and the covenant of the latter from that of a Master Mason. As we advance in Freemasonry our obligations increase, but the covenant of each Degree is not the less permanent or binding because that of a succeeding one has been super-added. The second covenant does not impair the sanctity of the first.
This covenant of Freemasonry is symbolized and sanctioned by the most important and essential of all the ceremonies of the Institution. It is the very foundation-stone which supports the whole edifice, and, unless it be properly laid, no superstructure can with any safety be erected. It is indeed the covenant that makes the Freemason.
A master so important as this, in establishing the relationship of a Freemason with the Craft-this baptism, so to speak, by which a member is inaugurated into the Institution-must of course be attended with the most solemn and binding ceremonies. Such has been the case in all countries. Covenants have always been solemnized with certain solemn forms and religious observances which gave them a sacred sanction in the minds of the contracting parties. The Hebrews, especially, invested their covenants with the most imposing ceremonies.
The first mention of a covenant in form that is met with in Scripture is that recorded in the fifteenth chapter of Genesis, where, to confirm it, Abraham, in obedience to the Divine command, took a heifer, a she-goat, and a ram, “and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another” (see Genesis v, 10). This dividing a victim into two parts, that the covenanting parties might pass between them, was a custom not confined to the Hebrews, but borrowed from them by all the heathen nations.
In the Book of Jeremiah it is again alluded to , and the penalty for the violation of the covenant is also expressed.
And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof.
The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land which passed between the parts of the calf.
I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their live; and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth” (Jeremiah xxxiv, 18, 19, 20).
These ceremonies, thus briefly alluded to in the passages which have been quoted, were performed in full, as follows. The attentive Masonic student will observe the analogies to those of his own Order.
The parties entering into a covenant first selected a proper animal, such as a calf or a kid among the Jews, a sheep among the Greeks, or a pig among the Romans. The throat was then cut across, with a single blow, so as to completely divide the windpipe and arteries, without to touching the bone. This was the first ceremony of the covenant. The second was, to tear open the breast, to take from thence the heart and vitals, and if on inspection the least imperfection was discovered, the body was considered unclean, and thrown aside for another. The third ceremony was to divide the body in twain, and to place the two parts to the north and south, so that the parties to the covenant might pass between them, coming from the east and going to the west. The carcass was then left as a prey to the wild beasts of the field and the vultures of the air, and thus the covenant was ratified (see Hand, also Oath and Penalty).
COVERING OF THE LODGE
As the lectures tell us that our ancient Brethren met on the highest hills and lowest vales, from this it is inferred that, as the meetings were thus in the open air, the only covering must have been the overarching vault of heaven. Hence, in the symbolism of Freemasonry the covering of the Lodge is said to be a clouded canopy or starry-decked heaven. The terrestrial Lodge of labor is thus intimately connected with the celestial Lodge of eternal refreshment. The symbolism is still further extended to remind us that the whole world is a Freemason’s Lodge, and heaven its sheltering cover.
This is a purely Masonic term, and signifies in its technical meaning an intruder, whence it is always coupled with the word eavesdropper. It is no t fo und in any of the old manuscripts of the English Freemasons anterior to the eighteenth century, unless we suppose that lowen, met with in many of them, is a clerical error of the copyists. It occurs in the Schaw Manuscript, a Scotch record which bears the date of 1598, in the following passage: “That no Master or Fellow of Craft receive any cowans to work in his society or company, nor send none of his servants to work with cowans.” In the second edition of Anderson’s Constitutions, published in 1738 (page 146), we find the word in use among the English Freemasons, thus : ”But Free and Accepted Masons shall not allow cowans to work with them ; nor shall they be employed by cowans without an urgent necessity; and even in that case they must not reach cowans, but must have a separate communication.” There can be but little doubt that the word, as a Masonic term, comes to us from Scotland, and it is therefore in the Scotch language that we must look for its signification. Now, Jamieson, in his Scottish Dictionary, gives us the following meanings of the word: Cowans.
- A term of contempt ; applied to one who does the work of a mason, but has not been regularly bred.
- Also used to denote one who builds dry walls, otherwise denominated a dry diker.
- One unacquainted with the secrets of Freemasonry.
And he gives the following examples as his authorities:
A boat-carpenter, joiner, cowan (or builder of stone without mortar), get ls. at the minimum and good maintenance. P. Morven, Argyles. Statistic, Acct., X, 267. N.
Cowans. Masons who build dry-stone dikes or walls. P. Halkirk, Carthn, Statistic. Acct., XIX, 24. N. In the Rob Roy of Scott, the word is used by Allan Inverach, who says:
She does not value a Cawmill mair as a cowan.
The word has therefore, in the opinion of Brother Mackey, come to the English Fraternity directly from the Operative Freemasons of Scotland, among whom it was used to denote a pretender, in the exact sense of the first meaning of Jamieson.
There is no word that has given Masonic scholars more trouble than this in tracing its derivation. By some it has been considered to come from the Greek meaning a dog; and referred to the fact that in the early ages of the Church, when the mysteries of the new religion were communicated only to initiates under the veil of secrecy, infidels were called dogs, a term probably suggested by such passages as (Matthew vii 6), “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs”; or (Philippians iii 2), “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision” (see also Revelations xxii 15). This derivation has been adopted by Oliver, and many other writers.
Jamieson’s derivations are from the old Swedish kujon, kuzhjohn, meaning a silly fellow, and the French coion, coyon, signifying a coward, a base fellow. No matter how we get the word, it seems always to convey an idea of contempt. .The attempt to derive it from the chouans of the French Revolution is manifestly absurd, for it has been shown that the word was in use long before the French Revolution was even meditated.
However, Brother Hawkins points out that Doctor Murray in the New English Dictionary says that the derivation of the word is unknown.
Notwithstanding the above reference by Brother Hawkins we may venture to consider another objective.
There is a possibility of the word common presenting an explanation of our word cowan. Common is found frequently in use by the trade Gilds. Usually it means the citizens as a body. Today the English Commons is the assembled representatives of the people.
Several instances of its use are to be found in Jupps’ History of the Carpenters Company. Sometimes it is spelled Coen and then Comon, and so on as the habit or fancy of the writer moved him. About half a dozen of them are given in the book by Jupp.
To the Masonic student of philology we would submit these considerations as it is just possible that cowan is but a variant of common. Workmen raised by a skilled knowledge of their trade above the ordinary level could not directly stigmatize those not in their class by any more descriptive word than that which briefly scored them as of merely ordinary qualifications. Do the contemptuous not still so speak of the common herd, and has not the outraged “cullud pussun” been reported by the freely descriptive novelist as retorting on occasion with the saying of “common white trash?”
Deputy Grand Master, 1726-7, under Lord Inchiquin.
It is from the Saxon craft, which indirectly signifies skill or dexterity in any art. In reference to this skill, therefore, the ordinary acceptation is a trade or mechanical art, and collectively, the persons practicing it. Hence, the Craft, in Speculative Freemasonry, signifies the whole body of Freemasons, wherever dispersed.
CRAFT MASONRY, ANCIENT
See Ancient Craft Masonry
A word sometimes colloquially used, instead of the Lodge term passed, to designate the advancement of a candidate to the Second Degree.
A Freemason. The word originally meant anyone skillful in his art, and is so used by our early writers. Thus Chaucer, in his Knights’ Tale (v 1897), says:
For in the land there was no craftsman,
That geometry or arsmetrike can,
Nor pourtrayor, nor carver of images,
That Theseus ne gave him meat and wages.
The theatre to make and to devise.
CRAFTSMEN, CLEVELAND FEDERATION OF
See Universal Craftsmen Council of Engineers
See Egyptian Priests, Initiations of the.
In chivalry, when anyone received the order of knighthood, he was said to be created a knight. The word dub had also the same meaning. The word created is used in Commanderies of Knights Templar to denote the elevation of a candidate to that Degree (see Dub).
Preston (Illustrations of Masonry, Book I, Section 3) says: “From the commencement of the world, we may trace the foundation of Masonry.
Ever since symmetry began, and harmony displayed her charms, our Order has had a being.” Language like this has been deemed extravagant, and justly, too , if the words are to be taken in their literal sense. The idea that the Order of Freemasonry is coeval with the creation is so absurd that the pretension cannot need refutation. But the fact is, that Anderson, Preston, and other writers who have indulged in such statements, did not mean by the word Masonry anything like an organized Order or Institution bearing any resemblance to the Freemasonry of the present day.
They simply meant to indicate that the great moral principles on which Freemasonry is founded, and by which it professes to be guided, have always formed a part of the Divine government, and been presented to man from his first creation for his acceptance. The words quoted from Preston may be subject to criticism, because they are liable to misconstruction. But the symbolic idea which they intended to convey, namely, that Freemasonry is truth, and that truth is coexistent with man’s creation, is correct, and cannot be disputed.
CREED, A FREEMASON’S
Although Freemasonry is not a dogmatic theology, and is tolerant in the admission of men of every religious faith, it would be wrong to suppose that it is without a creed.
On the contrary, it has a creed, the assent to which it rigidly enforces, and the denial of which is absolutely incompatible with membership in the Order, This creed consists of two articles: First, a belief in God, the Creator of all things, who is therefore recognized as the Great Architect of the Universe ; and secondly, a belief in the eternal life, to which this present life is but a preparatory and probationary state. To the first of these articles assent is explicitly required as soon as the threshold of the Lodge is crossed. The second is expressively taught by legends and symbols, and must be implicitly assented to by every Freemason, especially by those who have received the Third Degree, which is altogether founded on the doctrine of the resurrection to a second life.
At the revival of Freemasonry in 1717, the Grand Lodge of England set forth the law, as to the religious creed to be required of a Freemason, in the following words, to be found in the Charges approved by that body.
In ancient times, Masons were charged in every country to be of the religion of that country or nation, whatever it was; yet it is now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves (see Constitutions, 1723, page 50). This is now considered universally as the recognized law on the subject.
An open lamp formerly having a crosspiece filled with combustible material, such as naphtha, and recognized as the symbol of Light and Truth.
CREUZER, GEORG FRIEDERICH
George Frederick Creuzer, who was born in Germany in 1771, and was a professor at the University of Heidelberg, devoted himself to the study of the ancient religions, and, with profound learning, established a peculiar system on the subject. His theory was, that the religion and mythology of the ancient Greeks were borrowed from a far more ancient people – -a body of priests coming from the East-who received them as a revelation. The myths and traditions of this ancient people were adopted by Hesiod, Homer, and the later poets, although not without some misunderstanding of them ; and they were finally preserved in the Mysteries, and became subjects of investigation for the philosophers. This theory Creuzer has developed in his most important work, entitled Symbolik und Archäologie der alten Völker, besonders der Griechen, which was published at Leipsic in 1819–21. There is no translation of this work into English; but Guigniaut published at Paris, in 1829, a paraphrastic translation of it, under the title of Religions de l’Antiquité considerées principalement dans leur Formes Symboliques et Mythologiques (Religions of Antiquity, considered principally under their Symbolical and Mythological Forms). Creuzer’s views throw much light on the symbolic history of Freemasonry. He died in1858.
In Freemasonry, every offense is a crime, because, in every violation of a Masonic law there is not only sometimes an infringement of the rights of an individual, but always, superinduced upon this, a breach and violation of public rights and duties, which affect the whole community of the Order considered as a community.
The first class of crimes which are laid down in the Constitutions, as rendering their perpetrators liable to Masonic jurisdiction, are offenses against the moral law. “Every Mason,” says the Old Charges of 1722, “is obliged by his tenure to obey the moral law.” The same charge continues the precept by asserting, that if he rightly understands the art, he will never be a stupid atheist, nor an irreligious libertine. Atheism, therefore, which is a rejection of a supreme, superintending Creator, and irreligious libertinism, which, in the language of that day, signified a denial of all moral responsibility, are offenses against the moral law, because they deny its validity and contemn its sanctions ; and hence they are to be classed as Masonic crimes.
Again: the moral law inculcates love of God, love , of our neighbor, and duty to ourselves. Each of these embraces other incidental duties which are obligatory on every Freemason, and the violation of any one of which constitutes a Masonic crime.
The love of God implies that we should abstain from all profanity and irreverent use of his name. Universal benevolence is the necessary result of love of our neighbor. Cruelty to one’s inferiors and dependents, uncharitableness to the poor and needy, and a general misanthropical neglect of our duty as men to our fellow-beings, exhibiting itself in extreme selfishness and indifference to the comfort or happiness of all others, are offenses against the moral law, and therefore Masonic crimes.
Next to violations of the moral law, in the category of Masonic crimes, are to be considered the transgressions of the municipal law, or the law of the land.
Obedience to constituted authority is one of the first duties which is impressed upon the mind of the candidate; and hence he who transgress the laws of the government under which he lives violates the teachings of the Order, and is guilty of a Masonic crime.
But the Order will take no cognizance of ecclesiastical or political offenses. And this arises from the very nature of the society, which eschews all controversies about national religion or state policy. Hence apostasy, heresy, and schisms, although considered in some governments as heinous offenses, and subject to severe punishment, are not viewed as Masonic crimes Lastly, violations of the Landmarks and Regulations of the Order are Masonic crimes. Thus, disclosure of any of the secrets which a Freemason has promised to conceal; disobedience and want of respect to Masonic superiors; the bringing of “private piques or quarrels” into, the Lodge; want of courtesy and kindness to the Brethren ; speaking calumniously of a Freemason behind his back, or in any other way attempting to injure him, as by striking him except in self-defense, or violating his domestic honor, is each a crime in Freemasonry. Indeed, whatever is a violation of fidelity to solemn engagements, a neglect of prescribed duties, or a transgression of the cardinal principles of friendship, morality, and brotherly love, is a Masonic crime.
Crimoysin is Old English. A deep-red color tinged with blue, emblematical of fervency and zeal; belonging to several degrees of the Scottish Rite as well as to the Holy Royal Arch.
A large stone resting on two or more stones, like a table. Cromlechs are found in Brittany, Denmark, Germany, and some other parts of Europe, and are supposed to have been used in the Celtic Mysteries.
The Abb‚ Larudan published at Amsterdarn, in 1746, a book entitled Les Francs Maçons Ecrasés, meaning the Freemasons Crushed, of which Klos says in his Bibliographie der Freimaurerei No. 1874, that it is the armory from which all the abuse of Freemasonry by its enemies has been derived.
Larudan was the first to advance in this book the theory that Oliver Cromwell was the founder of Freemasonry. He says that Cromwell established the Order for the furtherance of his political designs; adopting with this view, as its governing principles, the doctrines of liberty and equality, and bestowed upon its members the title of Freemasons, because his object was to engage them in the building of a new edifice, that is to say, to reform the human race by the extermination of kings and all regal powers. He selected for this purpose the design of rebuilding the Temple of Solomon. This Temple, erected by Divine command, had been the sanctuary of religion. After years of glory and magnificence, it had been destroyed by a formidable army. The people who there worshiped had been conveyed to Babylon, whence, after enduring a rigorous captivity, they had been permitted to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. This history of the Solomonic Temple Cromwell adopted, says Larudan, as an allegory on which to found his new Order. The Temple in its original magnificence was man in his primeval state of purity; its destruction and the captivity of its worshipers typified pride and ambition, which have abolished equality and introduced dependence among men; and the Chaldean destroyers of the glorious edifice are the kings who have trodden on an oppressed people.
It was, continues the Abbé, in the year 1648 that Cromwell, at an entertainment given by him to some of .his friends, proposed to them, in guarded terms, the establishment of a new society, which should secure a true worship of God, and the deliverance of man from oppression and tyranny. The proposition was received with unanimous favor; and a few days after, at a house in King Street, and at six o’clock in the evening, for the Abbé is particular as to time and place, the Order of Freemasonry was organized, its Degrees established, its ceremonies and ritual prescribed, and several of the adherents of the future Protector initiated.
The Institution was used by Cromwell for the advancement of his projects, for the union of the contending parties in England, for the extirpation of the monarchy, and his own subsequent elevation to supreme power. It extended from England into other countries, but was always careful to preserve the same doctrines of equality and liberty among men, and opposition to all monarchical government.
Such is the theory of the Abbé Larudan, who, although a bitter enemy of Freemasonry, writes with seeming farness and mildness. But it is hardly necessary to say that this theory of the origin of Freemasonry- finds no support either in the legends of the Institution, or in the authentic history that is connected with its rise and progress.
CROMWELL, THOMAS, EARL OF ESSEX
Doctor Anderson says that Thomas Cromwell was Grand Master of England, 1534-40 (see also William Preston’s Illustrations of Masonry, section iv).
The staff surmounted by a cross carried before a bishop on occasions of solemn ceremony. They are generally gilt, and made light; frequently of tin, and hollow. The pastoral staff has a circular head.
We can find no symbolism of the cross in the primitive Degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry. It does not appear among the symbols of the Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, the Master, or the Royal Arch. This is undoubtedly to be attributed to the fact that the cross was considered, by those who invented those Degrees, only in reference to its character as a Christian sign. The subsequent archeological investigations that have given to the cross a more universal place in iconography were unknown to the old rituals. It is true, that it is referred to, under the name of the rode or rood, in a manuscript of the fourteenth century, published by Halliwell; this was, however, one of the Constitutions of the Operative Freemasons, who were fond of the symbol, and were indebted for it to their ecclesiastical origin, and to their connection with the Gnosties, among whom the cross was a much used symbol. But on the revival in I7I7, when the ritual was remodified, and differed very greatly from that meager one in practice among the medieval Freemasons, all allusion to the cross was left out, because the revivalists laid down the principle that the religion of Speculative Freemasonry was not sectarian but universal. And although this principle was in some points, as in the lines parallel, neglected, the reticence as to the Christian sign of salvation has continued to the present day so that the cross cannot be considered as a symbol in the primary and original Degrees of Freemasonry.
But in the advanced Degrees, the cross has been introduced as an important symbol. In some of them – those which are to be traced to the Temple system of Ramsay-it is to be viewed with reference to its Christian origin and meaning.
Thus, in the original Rose Croix and Kadosh-no matter what may be the modern interpretation given to it-it was simply a representation of the cross of Christ. In others of a philosophical character, such as the ineffable Degrees, the symbolism of the cross was in all probability borrowed from the usages of antiquity, for from the earliest times and in almost all countries the cross has been a sacred symbol.
It is depicted on the oldest monuments of Egypt, Assyria, Persia, and Hindustan.
It was, says Faber (Mysteries of the Cabiri 11, 390), a symbol throughout the Pagan world long previous to its becoming an object of veneration to Christians.
In ancient symbology it was a symbol of eternal life.
M. de Mortillet, who, in 1866, published a work entitled Le Signe de la Croix avant le Christianism (The Sign of the Cross before Christianity), found in the very earliest epochs three principal symbols of universal occurrence: namely, the circle, the pyramid, and the cross. Leslie (Man’s 0rigin and Destiny, page 312) quoting from him in reference to the ancient worship of the cross, says: “It seems to have been a worship of such a peculiar nature as to exclude the worship of idols.” This sacredness of the crucial symbol may be one reason why its form was often adopted, especially by the Celts, in the construction of their temples.
Of the Druidical veneration of the cross, Higgins quotes from the treatise of Schedius, De Moribus Germanorum xxiv, the following remarkable paragraph:
The Druids seek studiously for an oak tree, large and handsome, growing up with two principal arms in the form of a cross, beside the main, upright stem. If the two horizontal arms are not sufficiently adapted to the figure, they fasten a cross beam to it. This tree they consecrate in this manner. Upon the right. branch they cut in the bark, in fair characters, the word Hesus; upon the middle or upright stem, the word Taramis; upon the left branch, Belenus; over this, above the going off of the arms, they cut the name of God, Thau. Under all the same repeated, Thau. This tree, so inscribed, they make their kebla in the grove, cathedral, or summer church, towards which they direct their faces in the offices of religion.
Brinton, in his interesting work entitled Symbolism; The Myths of the New World (page 95) has the following remarks:
The symbol that beyond all others has fascinated the human mind, the cross, finds here its source and meaning. Scholars have pointed out its sacredness in many natural religions, and have reverently accepted it as a mystery, or offered scores of conflicting, and often debasing interpretations. it is but another symbol of the four cardinal points, the four winds of heaven. This will luminously appear by a study of its use and meaning in America.
Brinton gives many instances of the religious use of the cross by several of the aboriginal tribes of this continent, where the allusion, it must be confessed, seems evidently to be to the four cardinal points, or the four winds, or four spirits of the earth. If this be so, and if it is probable that a similar reference was adopted by the Celtic and other ancient peoples, then we would have in the cruciform temple as much a symbolism of the world, of which the four cardinal points constitute the boundaries, as we have in the square, the cubical, and the circular.
The Latin is Viri Crucigeri. A name sometimes assumed by the Rosicrucians. Thus, in the Miracula Naturae of the year 1619, there is a letter addressed to the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross, which begins with a Latin phrase: Philesophi Fratres, Viri Crucigeri, meaning Brother Philosophers, Cross-Bearing Men.
See Cross, Patriarchal
CROSS, JEREMY L
A teacher of the Masonic ritual, who, during his lifetime, was extensively known, and for some time very popular. He was born June 27, 1783, at Haverhill, New Hampshire, and died at the same place in I86I. Cross was admitted into the Masonic Order in 1808, and soon afterward became a pupil of Thomas Smith Webb, whose modifications of the Preston lectures and of the advanced Degrees were generally accepted by the Freemasons of the United States. Cross, having acquired a competent knowledge of Webb’s system, began to travel and disseminate it throughout the country. In 1819 he published The True Masonic Chart or Hieroglyphic Monitor, in which he borrowed liberally from the previous work of Webb.
In fact, the Chart of Cross is, in nearly all its parts, a mere transcript of the Monitor of Webb, the first edition of which was published in 1797. Webb, it is true, took the same liberty with Preston, from whose Illustrations of Masonry be borrowed largely. The engraving of the emblems constituted, however, an entirely new and original feature in the Hieroglyphic Chart, and, as furnishing aids to the memory, rendered the book of Cross at once very popular; so much so, indeed, that for a long time it almost altogether superseded that of Webb. In 1820 Cross published The Templars Chart, which, as a monitor of the Degrees of chivalry, met with equal success. Both of these works have passed through numerous editions.
Cross received the appointment of Grand Lecturer from many Grand Lodges, and traveled for many years very extensively through the United States, teaching his system of lectures to Lodges, Chapters, Councils, and Encampments.
He possessed few or no scholarly attainments, and his contributions to the literature of Freemasonry are confined to the two compilations already cited. In his latter years he became involved in an effort to establish a Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Rite. But he soon withdrew his name, and retired to the place of his nativity, where he died at the advanced age of seventy-eight.
Although Cross was not a man of any very original genius, yet a more recent writer has announced the fact that the symbol in the Third Degree, the broken co1umn, unknown to the system of either Preston or Webb, was invented by him (see Monument).
A Greek cross between four crosslets. It was adopted by Baldwyn as the arms of the kingdom of Jerusalem, and has since been deemed a symbol of the Holy Land. It is also the jewel of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher. Symbolically, the four small crosses typify the four wounds of the Savior in the hands and feet, and the large central cross shows forth his death for that world to which the four extremities point.
A cross of eight points, worn by the Knights of Malta. It is heraldically described as “a cross pattée, but the extremity of each pattée notched at a deep angle.” The eight points are said to refer symbolically to the eight beatitudes (see Matthew v, 3 to II ).
CROSS OF CONSTANTINE
CROSS OF SALEM
Called also the Pontifical Cross, because it is borne before the Pope. It is a cross, the upright piece being crossed by three lines, the upper and lower shorter than the middle one. It is the insignia of the Grand Master and Past Grand Masters of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States. The same cross placed on a slant is the insignia of the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
The cross on which Jesus suffered crucifixion. It is the most common form of the cross. When rayonnant, or having rays issuing from the point of intersection of the limbs, it is the insignia of the Commander of a Commandery of Knights Templar, according to the American system.
A cross, the upright piece being twice crossed, the upper arms shorter than the lower. It is so called because it is borne before a Patriarch in the Roman Church.
It is the insignia of the officers of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States. The same cross placed on a slant is the insignia of all possessors of the Thirty-third Degree in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
CROSS, SAINT ANDREW’S
A saltier or cross whose decussation or crossing of the arms is in the form of the letter X. Said to be the form of cross on which Saint Andrew suffered martyrdom. As he is the patron saint of Scotland, the Saint Andrew’s cross forms a part of the jewel of the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, which is “a star set with brilliants having in the center a field azure (blue), charged with Saint Andrew on the cross, gold this is pendant from the upper band of the collar, while from the lower band is pendant the jewel proper, the Compasses extended, with the Square and Segment of a Circle of 90, the points of the Compasses resting on the Segment, and in the center, the Sun between the Square and Compasses.” The Saint Andrew’s cross is also the jewel of the Twenty-ninth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, or Grand Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew.
The cross on which Saint Anthony is said to have suffered martyrdom. It is in the form of the letter T (see Tau).
André Favin, a French heraldic writer, says that the original badge of the Knights Templar was a Patriarchal Cross, and Clarke, in his History of Knighthood, makes the same statement, but this is an error. At first, the Templars wore a white mantle without any cross. But in 1146 Pope Eugenius III prescribed for them a red cross on their breasts, as a symbol of the martyrdom to which they were constantly exposed. The cross of the Hospitalers was white on a black mantle, and that of the Templars was different in color but of the same form, namely, a cross pattée, pattée meaning the arms broad and spreading at the outer ends. In this it differed from the true Maltese Cross, worn by the Knights of Malta, which was a cross pattée, the limbs deeply notched so as to make a cross of eight points. Sir Walter Scott, with his not unusual heraldic inaccuracy, and Godfrey Higgins, who is not often inaccurate, but only fanciful at times, both describe the Templar cross as having eight points, thus confounding it with the Cross of Malta. In the statutes of the Order of the Temple, the cross prescribed is that depicted in the Charter of Transmission, and is a cross pattée.
The cross formerly worn by the Teutonic Knights. It is described in heraldry as “a cross potent, sable (or black), charged with another cross double potent or (or gald), and surcharged with an escutcheon argent (or silver), bearing a double-headed eagle sable (or black). ” It has been adopted as the jewel of the Kadosh of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in the United States, but the original jewel of the degree was a Latin or Passion Cross.
CROSS, THRICE ILLUSTRIOUS ORDER OF THE
A Degree formerly conferred in this country on Knights Templar, but now extinct. Its meetings were called Councils, and under the authority of a body which styled itself the Ancient Council of the Trinity.
The Degree is no longer conferred.
See Cross of Salem
In referring to the philosophic triads and national crosses, there will be found in a work entitled The Celtic Druids, by Godfrey Higgins, the following: “Few causes have been more powerful in producing mistakes in ancient history than the idea, hastily formed by all ages, that every monument of antiquity marked with a cross, or with any of those symbols which they’ conceived to be monograms of Christ the Savior, was of Christian origin. The cross is as common in India as in Egypt or Europe.”
The Rev. Mr. Maurice remarks (Indian Antiquities): “Let not the piety of the Catholic Christian be offended at the assertion that the cross was one of the most usual symbols of Egypt and India. The emblem of universal nature is equally honored in the Gentile and Christian world. In the Cave of Elephanta, in India, over the head of the principal figure may be seen the cross, with other symbols.”
Upon the breast of one of the Egyptian mummies in the museum of the London University is a cross upon a Calvary or mount. People in those countries marked their sacred water-jars, dedicated to Canopus, with a Tau cross, and sometimes even that now known as the Teutonic cross. The fertility of the country about the river Nile, in Egypt, was designated, in distance on its banks from the river proper, by the Nilometer, in the form of a cross.
The erudite Dr. G. L. Ditson says: “The Rabbins say that when Aaron was made High Priest he was marked in the forehead by Moses with a cross in the shape of that now known as Saint Andrew’s. ”
Proselytes, when admitted into the religious mysteries of Eleusis, were marked with a cross
CROSSING THE RIVER
The Cabalists have an alphabet so called, in allusion to the crossing of the river Euphrates by the Jews on their return from Babylon to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. It has been adopted in some of the advanced Degrees which refer to that incident. Cornelius Agrippa gives a copy of the alphabet in his Occult Philosophy.
In the Middle Ages it was the custom to bury the body of a Knight Templar with one leg crossed over the other; and on any monuments in the churches of Europe, the effigies of these knights are to be found, often in England, of a diminutive size, with the legs placed in this position. The cross-legged posture was not confined to the Templars, but was appropriated to all persons who had assumed the cross and taken a vow to fight in defense of the Christian religion. The posture, of course, alluded to the position of the Lord while on the cross.
A name given to the Knights Templar, who, in the sixteenth century, united themselves with the Masonic Lodge at Sterling, in Scotland. The allusion is evidently to the funeral posture of the Templars, so that a cross-legged Mason must have been at the time synonymous with a Masonic Knight Templar.
One of the most prominent cities of the Greek colonists in Southern Italy, where, in the sixth century, Pythagoras established his celebrated school. As the early Masonic writers were fond of citing Pythagoras as a Brother of their Craft, Crotona became connected with the history of Freemasonry, and was often spoken of as one of the most renowned seats of the Institution. Thus, in the Leland Manuscript, whose authenticity is now, however, doubted, it is said that Pythagoras “framed a grate Lodge at Groton, and made many Maconnes,” in which sentence Groton, it must be remarked, is an evident corruption of Crotona.
An iron implement used to raise heavy stones. It is one of the working-tools of a Royal Arch Mason, and symbolically teaches him to raise his thoughts above the corrupting influence of worldly-mindedness.
A portion of Masonic regalia worn by officers who represent a king, more especially King Solomon. In Ancient Craft Freemasonry, however, the crown is frequently displaced by the hat.
CROWN, KNIGHT OF THE
See Knight of the Crown
CROWN, PRINCESSES OF THE
The French phrase is Princesses de la Couronne. A species of androgynous or female Freemasonry established in Saxony in 1770 (see Thory, Acta Latomorum 1, 303). It existed for only a brief period.
See Four Crowned Martyrs
CROWNING OF MASONRY
The French expression is Le couronnement de la Maçonnerie. The Sixty-first Degree, seventh series, of the collection of the Metropolitan Chapter of France (see Thory, Acta Latomorum 1, 303).
As the result of considerable classification, Brother Robert Macoy presents nine principal crowns recognized in heraldry and symbolism:
- The Triumphal Crown, of which there were three kinds—a laurel wreath, worn by a General while in the act of triumph; a golden Crown, in imitation of laurel leaves ; and the presentation golden Crown to a conquering General.
- The Blockade Crown of wild flowers and grass, presented by the army to the Commander breaking and relieving a siege.
- The Civic Crown of oak leaves, presented to a soldier who saved the life of his comrade.
- The Olive Crown, conferred upon the soldiery or commander who consummated a triumph.
- The Mural Crown, which rewarded the soldier who first sealed the wall of a besieged city.
- The Naval Crown, presented to the Admiral who won a naval victory.
- The Vallary Crown, or circlet of gold, bestowed on that soldier who first surmounted the stockade and forced an entrance into the enemy’s camp.
- The Ovation Crown, or chaplet of myrtle, awarded to a General who had destroyed a despised enemy and thus obtained the honor of an ovation.
- The Eastern or Radiated Crown, a golden circle set with projecting rays.
The crown of Darius, used in Red Cross knighthood and in the Sixteenth Degree, Scottish Rite, was one of seven points, the central front projection being more prominent than the other six in size and height.
CRUCEFIX, ROBERT T.
An English Freemason, distinguished for his services to the Craft. Robert Thomas Crucefix, M.D., I. D., was born in Holborn, England, in the year 1797, and received his education at Merchant Tailors’ School. After leaving school, he became the pupil of Doctor Chamberlayne, a general and celebrated practitioner of his day, at Clerkenwell; he afterward became a student at Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital and was a pupil of the celebrated Abernathy.
On receiving his diploma as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, in 1810, he went out to India, where he remained but a short time; upon his return he settled in London, and he continued to reside there till the year 1845, when he removed to Milton-on-Thames, where he spent the rest of his life till within a few weeks before his decease, when he removed, for the benefit of his declining health, to Bath, where he expired February 25, 1850.
Doctor Crucefix was initiated into Freemasonry in 1829, and during the greater part of his life discharged the duties of important offices in the Grand Lodge of England, of which he was a Junior Grand Deacon in 1836, and in several subordinate Lodges, Chapters, and Encampments. He was an earnest promoter of all the Masonic charities of England, of one of which, the Asylum for Aged and Decrepit Freemasons, he was the founder. In 1834 he established the Freemasons Quarterly Review, and continued to edit it for six years, during which period he contributed many valuable articles to its pages.
Brother Mackey says that in 1840, through the machinations of his enemies, for he was too great a man not to have had some, he incurred the displeasure of the ruling powers; and on charges which, undoubtedly, were not sustained by sufficient evidence, he was suspended by the Grand Lodge for six months, and retired from active Masonic life. But he never lost the respect of the Craft, nor the affection of the leading Freemasons who were his contemporaries. On his restoration, he again began to labor in behalf of the Institution, and spent his last days in advancing its interests.
The belief of Brother Mackey was founded upon evidence that however satisfactory to him is not wholly in agreement with that given by Brother Hawkins, whose account in his Concise Cyclopedia of Freemasonry (page 60), is as follows:
Brother Crucefix set on foot a movement in favor of a charity for Aged Freemasons; he advocated the erection of an asylum, while others urged that a system of annuities was a preferable scheme. The matter was keenly discussed for several years, and at a meeting on November 13, 1839, at which Doctor Crucefix was presiding some intemperate language was employed, as to which a complaint was made to the Board of General Purposes, and Crucefix was suspended for six months for not having checked the speakers; his suspension was confirmed at a Grand Lodge in June, 1840, and he then wrote a vehement letter to the Grand Master and published it in the Freemasons’ Quarterly Review with many improper editorial observations; the letter was laid before the Board of General Purposes, and he was summoned to show cause at a Special Grand Lodge why he should not be expelled from the Craft; accordingly, on October 30, he attended and made a very. humble apology, which was accepted. Doctor Crucefix died in 1550, in which year also the Asylum and Annuity Funds for Aged Freemasons and their Widows were amalgamated.
To his character, his long-tried friend, the venerable Oliver, pays this tribute:
Doctor. Crucefix did not pretend to infallibility, and , like all other public men he might. be sometimes wrong ; but his errors were not from the heart, and always leaned to the side of virtue and beneficence. He toiled incessantly for the benefit of his Brethren, and was anxious that all inestimable blessings should be conveyed by Freemasonry on mankind. In sickness or in health he was ever found at his post, and his sympathy was the most active in behalf of the destitute brother, the widow, and the orphan. His perseverance never flagged for a moment; and he acted as though he had made up his mind to live and die in obedience to the calls of duty.
A cross with the image of the Savior suspended on it. A part of the furniture of a Commandery of Knights Templar and of a Chapter of Princes of Rose Croix.
Master of the Lodge at Florence, Italy, victim of the Inquisition, arrested in 1739, in Florence, on the charge of having held a Masonic Lodge in his house in spite of the Roman Catholic edict against Freemasons. He was tortured ans sentenced to a long imprisonment. The Grand Lodge of England transmitted to him twenty pounds to provide the necessities of life, and exerted every effort toward securing his liberation, which they succeeded in doing in December of that year (see Roman Catholicism and Freemasonry, Dudley Wright, London, 1922, page 27).
There was between Freemasonry and the Crusades a much more intimate relation than has generally been supposed. In the first place, the communications frequently established by the Crusaders, and especially the Knights Templar, with the Saracens, led to the acquisition, by the former, of many of the dogmas of the secret societies of the East, such as the Essenes, the Assassins, and the Druses.
These were brought. by the knights to Europe, and subsequently, as was believed by Brother Mackey, on the establishment by Ramsay and his contemporaries and immediate successors of Templar Freemasonry, were incorporated into the high degrees, and still exhibit their influence. Indeed, it is scarcely to be doubted that many of these degrees were invented with a special reference to the events which occurred in Syria and Palestine. Thus, for instance, the Scottish Degree of Knights of the East and West must have originally alluded, as its name imports, to the legend which teaches a division of the Freemasons after the Temple was finished, when the Craft dispersed-a part remaining in Palestine, as the Assideans, whom Lawrie, citing Scaliger, calls the Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem, and another part passing over into Europe, whence they returned on the breaking out of the Crusades.
This, of course, is but a legend, yet the influence is felt in the invention of the advanced Degrees rituals. But the influence of the Crusades on the Freemasons and the architecture of the Middle Ages is of a more historical character. In 1836, Westmacott, in a course of lectures on art before the Royal Academy, remarked that the two principal causes which materially tended to assist the restoration of literature and the arts in Europe were Freemasonry and the Crusades.
The adventurers, he said, who returned from the Holy Land brought back some ideas of various improvements, particularly in architecture, and, along with these, a strong desire to erect castellated, ecclesiastical and palatial edifices, to display the taste they had acquired; and in less than a century from the first crusade about six hundred buildings of the above description had been erected in Southern and Western Europe. This taste was spread into almost all countries by the establishment of the Fraternity of Freemasons, who, it appears, had, under some peculiar form of brotherhood, existed for an immemorial period in Syria and other parts of the East, from whence some bands of them migrated to Europe, and after a time a great efflux of these ingenious men-Italian, German, French, Spanish, etc.-had spread themselves in communities through all civilized Europe; and in all countries where they settled we find the same style of architecture from that period, but differing in some points of treatment, as suited the climate.
This signifies, in Latin, the cross with a handle. It is formed by a Tau cross surmounted by a circle or, more properly, an oval. It was one of the most significant of the symbols of the ancient Egyptians, and is depicted repeatedly on their monuments borne in the hands of their deities, and especially Phtha. Among them it was the symbol of life, and with that meaning it has been introduced into some of the advanced Degrees of Freemasonry.
The Crux Ansata, surrounded by a serpent in a circle, is the symbol of immortality, because the cross was the symbol of life, and the serpent of eternity.
From the Greek, Ke meaning to hide. A concealed place, or subterranean vault. The caves, or cells underground, in which the primitive Christians celebrated their secret worship, were called cryptae; and the vaults beneath our modern churches receive the name of crypts. The existence of crypts or vaults under the Temple of Solomon is testified to by the earliest as well as by the most recent topographers of Jerusalem. Their connection with the legendary history of Freemasonry is more fully noticed under the head of Vault, Secret.
The degrees of Royal and Select Master. Some modern ritualists have added to the list the Degree of Super-excellent Master ; but this, although now often conferred in a Cryptic Council, is not really a Cryptic Degree, since its legend has no connection with the crypt or secret vault.
That division of the Masonic system which is directed to the investigation and cultivation of the Cryptic Degrees. It is, literally, the Freemasonry of the Secret Vault.
Greek, Ke”. The female personification of the productive principle. It generally accompanied the phallus, as the Indian yoni did the lingam; and as a symbol of the prolific powers of nature, was extensively venerated by the nations of antiquity (see Phallic Worship).
The Historia de la Masoneria Cubana by Ricards A. Byrne, quoted freely in Symbolisme, November, 1925, and translated by us for the Builder, April, 1926, page 115, indicated that an Irish military Lodge was working at Havana from 1762. The 1798 insurrection drove some French Brethren to Santiago de Cuba from Santo Domingo where Lodges existed since 1748. These immigrants erected Lodges, Perseverance and Concord, Friendship and Benevolent Concord, in 1802 and 1803. Next year the Lodge Le Temple des Virtus Theologales was instituted at Havana by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania but the Franco-Spanish War in 1809 forced the French to leave for Louisiana.
On March 27, 1818, a Grand Lodge was organized, and April 2, General Louis de Clonet, a Frenchman, founded at Havana a Grand Consistory, Princes of the Royal Secret. But Masonic progress was hindered in 1823 by the arrest and execution of many Brethren, victims of the bloody persecutions ordered by Ferdinand VII. Masonic meetings were forbidden and only allowed after many years, in 1859. Again the War of Independence exposed Freemasonry once more to the attacks of the authorities and it survived in secret to resume open freedom on March 26, 1899, through intervention by the United States. Lodges resumed labor, others were organized, and the Gran Logia de la Isla de Cuba, founded in 1859, of which Brother Byme has been Grand Master, thrived accordingly. There is also recorded by the Annual an Oriental Grand Lodge, dating from I921, with headquarters at Santiago de Cuba but this is not mentioned in the data credited to Brother Byrne.
This symbol is called by the French Freemasons pierre cubique, and by the German, cubik stein. It is the Perfect Ashlar of the English and American systems (see Ashlar).
A measure of length, originally denoting the distance from the elbow to the extremity of the middle finger, or the fourth part of a well-proportioned man’s stature. The Hebrew cubit, according to Bishop Cumberland, was twenty-one inches ; but only eighteen according to other authorities. There were two kinds of cubits, the sacred and profane—the former equal to thirty-six, and the latter to eighteen inches. It is by the common cubit that the dimension of the various parts of the Temple are to be computed.
Hastings Dictionary of the Bible (page 967) declares that ”we have at present no means of ascertaining the exact dimensions of the Hebrews ordinary and royal cubits. The balance of evidence is certainly in favor of a fairly close approximation to the Egyptian system.” This being the case, we may take the common cubit as 17.52 inches and the royal cubit as 20.67 inches as in the Egyptian system of measurements, these dimensions being taken from actual measuring rods. Hastings points out a curious result of the Rabbinical tradition being subjected to scientific experiment, the traditional dimension being that a cubit equaled so many grains of barley. This number, 144 of grains of barley of medium size were laid side by side carefully and measured as accurately as possible, the result being 17.77 inches long or equal in length substantially to the Egyptian common cubit.
Another suggestion that has been offered is that Josephus when giving Jewish measures, which differ from the Greek or Roman, is usually careful to explain that fact to his readers, but this he does not do in the case of the cubit, thus arousing a conviction that he regarded the Roman and the Hebrew as the same, the Roman Attic cubit being 17.57 inches according to Hastings. But it is well to remember that we are dealing with a period in which handbreadths and finger spans were probably the common units of length, and the decimal parts of inches and perhaps the inches themselves mentioned in the above comments need to be deemed mere approximations, an average sort of survey of a situation not likely to have had in the ancient times any close accuracy about it.
When Saint Augustine came over, about the beginning of the sixth century, to Britain, for the purpose of converting the natives to Christianity, he found the country already occupied by a Body of priests and their disciples, who were distinguished for the pure and simple apostolic religion which they professed. These were the Culdees, a name said by some to be derived from Cultores Dei, or worshipers of God ; but by others, with perhaps more plausibility, from the Gaelic, Cuildich, which means a secluded corner, and evidently alludes to their recluse mode of life. The Culdees are said to have come over into Britain with the Roman legions; and thus it has been conjectured that these primitive Christians were in some way connected with the Roman Colleges of Architects, blanches of which Body, it is well known, everywhere accompanied the legionary armies of the empire.
The chief seat of the Culdees was in the island of Iona, where Saint Culumba, coming out of Ireland, with twelve Brethren, in the year 563 A.D., established their principal monastery. At Avernethy, the capital of the kingdom of the Picts, they founded another in the year 600 A.D., and subsequently other principal seats at Dunkeld, St. Andrew’s, Brechin, Dunblane, Dunfermline, Kirkaldy, Melrose, and many other places in Scotland.
A writer in the London Freemasons Quarterly Review (1842, page 36) says they were little solicitous to raise architectural structures, but sought chiefly to civilize and socialize mankind by imparting to them the knowledge of those pure principles which they taught in their Lodges. Lenning and Gädieke, however, both state that the Culdees had organized within themselves, and as a part of their social system, Corporations of Builders; and that they exercised the architectural art in the construction of many sacred edifices in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, and even in other countries of Northern. Europe. Gädicke also claims that the York Constitutions of the tenth century were derived from them. But neither of these German lexicographers has furnished us With authorities upon which these statements are founded. It is, however, undeniable, that Masonic writers have always claimed that there was a connection—it might be only a mythical one—between these apostolic Christians and the early Freemasonry of Ireland and Scotland. The Culdees were opposed and persecuted by the adherents ofi Saint Augustine, and were eventually extinguished in Scotland. But their complete suppression did not take place until about the fourteenth century.
CUMBERLAND, HENRY F., DUKE OF
Grand Master of England, 1782-90, being initiated in 1767. He was own brother of King George III.
CUMULATION OF RITES
The practice by a Lodge of two or more Rites, as the American or York and the Ancient Accepted Scottish, or the Scottish and French Modern Rites. This accumulation of Rites has been practiced to a considerable extent in France, and in Louisiana in the United States. The word comes from the Latin comulus, a heap.
Used by old English writers in the sense of skillful. Thus, in First Kings (vii, 14), it is said of the architect who was sent by the King of Tyre to assist King Solomon in the construction of his Temple, that he was “cunning to work all works in brass.”
CUP OF BITTERNESS
The French expression is Calice d’Amertume. A ceremony in the First Degree of the French Rite. It is a symbol of the misfortunes and sorrows that assail us in the voyage of life, and which we are taught to support with calmness and resignation.
Priests of ancient Crete, whose mysteries were celebrated in honor of the Mother of the Gods, and bore, therefore, some resemblance to the Eleusinian Rites. The neophyte was initiated in a cave, where he remained closely confined for thrice nine days. Porphyry tells us that Pythagoras repaired to Crete to receive initiation into their rites.
It is a very general opinion among Freemasons that a candidate should not be actuated by curiosity in seeking admission into the Order. But, in fact, there is no regulation nor landmark on the subject, An idle curiosity is, it is true, the characteristic of a weak mind. But to be influenced by a laudable curiosity to penetrate the mysteries of an Institution venerable for its antiquity and its universality, is to be controlled by a motive which is not reprehensible, an impulse to be esteemed and welcomed. There are, indeed, in legends of the advanced degrees, some instances where curiosity is condemned; but the curiosity, in these instances, led to an intrusion into forbidden places, and is very different from the curiosity or desire for knowledge which leads a profane to seek fairly and openly an acquaintance with mysteries which he has already leamed to respect.
The Latin word is curious, from cura, meaning care. An archaic expression for careful. Thus in Masonic language, which abounds in archaisms, an evidence, indeed, of its antiquity, Hiram Abif is described as a curious and cunning workman, that is to say, careful and skillful.
The figure of a man with the head of a dog. A very general and important hieroglyphic among the ancient Egyptians. It was with them a symbol of the sun and moon; and in their mysteries they taught that it had indicated to Isis the place where the Body of Osiris lay concealed. The possessor of the advanced Degrees of Freemasonry will be familiar with the symbol of a dog, which is used in those Degrees because that animal is said to have pointed out on a certain occasion an important secret.
Hence the figure of a dog is sometimes found engraved among the symbols on old Masonic diplomas.
Cyrus, King of Persia, was a great conqueror, and after having reduced nearly all Asia, he crossed the Euphrates, and laid siege to Babylon, which he took by diverting the course of the river which ran through it. The Jews, who had been carried away by Nebuchadnezzar on the destruction of the Temple, were then remaining as captives in Babylon. These Cyrus released 3466 AM., or 538 B.C., and sent back to Jerusalem to rebuild the house of God, under the care of Joshua, Zerubbabel, and Haggai.
Hence, from this connection of Cyrus with the history of Freemasonry, he plays an important part in the rituals of many of the advanced Degrees. But from late discoveries of inscriptions pertaining to Cyrus as mentioned in the excellent little London work called Fresh Light from the Ancient Monuments (pages 166-86), A. H. Sayce, M.A., it would appear that this king was a polytheist, and that he was not a king of Persia, although he acquired that country after his Conquest of Asiyages, 559 B.C., between the sixth and ninth years of Nabonidos. Cyrus was king of Elam. The empire he founded was not a Persian one; Darius, the son of Hystaspes, at a subsequent period, was the real founder of that kingdom. Professor Sayce continues: ”It was only as the predecessor of Darius, and for the sake of intelligibility. to the readers of a later day, that Cyrus could be called a king of Persia” (see Ezra1, 2).
The original words of his proclamation ”King of Elam,” have been changed into the more familiar and intelligible “King of Persia.” Elsewhere in the Bible (Isaiah xxi, 1-10), when the invasion of Babylon is described, there is no mention of Persia, only of Elam and Media, the ancestral dominions of Cyrus. This is in strict accordance with the revelations of the monuments, and testifies to the accuracy of the Old Testament records.
Cyrus Dever besieged Babylon, a city fifteen miles square. It opened its gates to his general without battle, 538 B.C. The description by Herodotus belongs to the reign of Darius. Bosanquet asserts that the Darius of the Book of Daniel is Darius the son of Hystaspes.
Cyrus had learned that a disaffected conquer people imported into a kingdom was a constantly menace and danger, and he returned the Jewish exiles to Jerusalem to rebuild their city and be a fortress and check upon Egypt. The nations which had been brought from East and West were restored to their lands along with their gods. So it was with the captives of Judah. His dominions extended from the Hellespont almost to India. Cyrus was a worshiper of Merodach, originally the Sun-god, who is mentioned and intended by the name Bel, and Nebo, his prophet (see Isaiah xlvi, 1). His first act after acquiring Babylonia was to restore the Babylonian gods to their shrines, from which they has been removed by Nabonidos, and further asks for their intercession. The theory that Cyrus believed in but one supreme god—Ormudz-must be abandoned. God consecrated Cyrus to be His instrument in restoring His chosen people to their land, not because the King of Elam was a monotheist, but because the period of prophecy, “ten weeks of years,” was closing. These statements are made upon the authority of the three inscriptions among the clay documents lately discovered in Babylonia by Rassam, and translated by Sir Henry Rawlinson and Pinches. The first of these is a cylinder, inscribed by order of Cyrus ; the second a tablet, which describes the conquest of Babylonia by Cyrus; while the third is an account given by Nabonidos of his restoration of the temple of the Moon-god at Haran, and of the temples of the sun-god and of Anunit at Sepharvaim.
Cyrus ascended the throne 559 B.C., and was slain in battle against the Massagetae, 529 B.C. He was followed by Cambyses, his son, until 521 B.C., when he was succeeded by Smerdis, a Magian usurper, who reigned sev CZECHO-SLOVAKIA. en months. Darius I, son of Hystaspes, a nobleman, conspired with six others and murdered Smerdis, when, by device, Darius obtained the throne over his companions, 521 B.C. The celebrated siege of Babylon lasted two years; the city finally succumbed to the strategy of General Zopyrus, in the year 516.
Darius reigned 36 years, died 485 B.C. This article is mainly due to the industrious researches of Brother Charles T. McClenachan to whom the subject made an especial appeal (see also Zendavesta).