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HISTORY

of the
ROSICRUCIAN ORDER

AMORC
V

Issued By

Department

of

Publications

SUPREME GRAND LODGE


A.M.O,R.C.

(This booklet may be shared with other members and nonmembers as well.)

The Cover Our cover depicts an early Rosicrucian ritualistic


assembly held

in a glade, a maiestic setting in the beauty

and tranquillity of a forest. There is no more inspiring environment than the splendors o[ nature. There is

nothing that instills admiration for the working of cosmiclaws like the magnificent displays of nature. It is for this reason that many early Rosicrucian functions were performed beneath the canopy of the heavens within a temple of which nature was the architect.

Copyright, 1963, by the Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC' Inc.

All rights reserved.

Introduction
[-{rsronr is a prese,ntation of past events. But history I Ifirst begins with,human thought, eventually expressed in action.,-When we read history, we read of

the aspirations, efforts, achievements, and mistakes of man. He who reads history learns his relationship to.
the past and is often better prepared to face the fuiure.. It is said that history repeats itself. This is because human nature tends to follow certain inherent trends. By reading history, we can often intelligently guide our lives. We can review the events of the past and avoid its pitfalls. The Rosicrucian history will acquaint you lvith the -It facts of the antiquity of this organiiation. will reveal to you the fact that this organization has for centuries s-ouglrt t-o advance mankind by first developing fully the faculties and powers of the individual. The history of the Rosicrucian Order. AMORC, may be divided into two general classifications. First, there is the traditional. -[his consists of tales and fascinating legends that have been passed down for centuries by word of mouth. Second, there are the chronological accounts arranged by specific date and veriftable fact. Rosicrucian historical literature is voluminous. In this romantic traditional and chronological history. You will be told where a more complete history may be had, if you desire to pursue the subject further.

brochure, however, we can only sketch briefly the

'fhe Great Pyramid of Cheops, Egypt. Tradition relates that ihis was used, not ars ar tomb, but as a place of initiation.

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The Mystery Schools ,Ttnr word, mystery, in antiquity, as in ancient Egypt, I Greece, and Rome, did not have the connotation which it does today. It did not allude to that which is mysterious, weird, or strange. Rather it referred to a special gnosis, a secret wisdom. In Egypt there were
formed ielect bodies, as schools, to probe the mysteries of life. Consequently, the term has been applied to them and they were called Mystery Schools. "of Myitery' Schools is known as the

the first One Osirian. It concerned'the iegendary birth, death, and rebirth of the Egyptian god, Osiris. These events were enacted as a ritual-drama. Only persons displaying a desire for knowledge and meeting certain tests were
considered worthy of being inducted into these mysteries. These Mystery Schools, over centuries of time, gradu-

ally evolved into real centers of learning. It was Thutmose III (who-ruled as a Pharaoh from 1500 to 1447,8.C.) who organized the first real Secret Brotherhood of Initiates with specific rules similar to those the Rosicrucian Order perpetuatcs today. by the (heri Hebs, the high Thutmose *"r his father priests, to succeed "ppoi.rted upon the throne., The event was a mystical experience for him as well, revealing that he was qualified later to become the organizer of the Secret Brotherhood. History actually relates that, upon this occasion, Thutmose felt "raised," as though he had ascended to the heavens.
was born

Nearly seventy years later, Pharaoh Amenhotep IV in the royal palace at Thebes, Egypt. He was destined to be the most enlightened man of his time. He was inducted into the Secret Brotherhood at an early
his name from the former pagan one to Akhnaton. He also brought about a revolution in the religion. art, and culture of Egypt. He proclaimed for the first time in history that there was a sole God, this at a time when polytheism, the belief in many gods, prevailed in the world. He struggled against the darkness of ignorance to further the ideals of the Brotherhood. Centuries later, Greek philosophers, such as Thales and Pythagoras. journeyed to Egypt and were initiated in these Mystery Schools. They then brought their advanced learning and wisdom to the Western World. These events are the first records of what

age. He was so inspired by its teachings that he changed

eventually grew and blossomed into the Rosicrucian Order. The name of the Order,
Pharaoh Akhnaton, Grand Master of the Secret Brotherhood.
Page Two

as it is now known, was to come much later. However, the Rosicrucian Order always perpetuated its heritage of the ancient symbolism and principles.

Christian Rosenkreuz fr eeerans from many ancient writings that, in the I first centuries preceding the Christian era, the Rosicrucian organization complied with the regulation established centuries before. This called for a periodicity of active and inactive cycles of one hundred eight years. As the time approached for each jurisdiction or country to have its new birth of the Order, arrangements were made for the issuance of a manifesto or pamphlet setting
forth the beginning of the new cycle. This manifesto or decree announced the opening of a "tomb" in which the "body" of a great master, C. R-C., was found, together with rare jewels and secret writings which empowered the discoverers to establish the secret organization once again. To the world at large which knew nothing of the tradition, the event was accepted as a Iiteral happening. Especially was this so at the time
when printing was a recent discovery. The organization was wrongly thought to be new and to have come into existence for the first time. Many histories thus falsely related the date of origin of the Order. It must be apparent to the readers of this historical account that the discovery of a "body" in a "tomb" of a person known as C. R-C., was allegorical, symbolical, and not to be taken in a literal sense. In fact, the initials of the so-called body of C. R-C., were not those of an actual person but were a symbolic title. They did not mean Chrisf ian Rosenkreuz. Other officials have had a similar title conferred upon them in the Rosicrucian Order. It is, therefore, an erroneous idea to believe that the Rosicrucian Order came into existence in the l4th century and was founded by a man named Christian Rosenkreuz. The Order existed long prior to that date as more detailed history delineates.

The revival of the Order in Germany in the 17th century was heralded by the issuance of a mysterious publication called the Fama Fraternitatis. It was subsequently published in many lanquaqes guages but the authorship of this this ryruurw
Rosicrucian work was veiled with a symbolic name. Historians made many guesses as to the authorship of the pamphlet.
This is an artistts conception of rhe legendary Christian Rosenkreuz. Remember this is not the name of an actual person but merely a symbolic title.
Page Three

At the top is :r photographic reproduction of an early title page of the Famc Fratentitatis. [t is in this work that the first announcement of the rebirth of the Rosicrucian Order in Europe rlas made. Below is the title page of another edition of the Fama also showing rhe iitle of the Conlessio Fraternitatis, R. C., another work. This purports to announce the principles and rules of the Order.

IAMA TRAT}RNITfTlS;

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Page Four

The Alchemists
ALCHEMTsTs played a tremendous part in the early history of the Rosicrucian Order; so a reference to alchemy is appropriate. Alchemy,-in the narrowest sense, means the transmutation of baser metals into the more noble ones of gold and silver. The origin of alchemy is obscured by the veil of time. Tradition, however, says it had its origin in ancient Egypt. In fact, according to Plutarch, the word may be traced back to khemie, meaning black earth and referring to the rich alluvial soil carried by the Nile in its annual inundation of Egypt. Plutarch also refers to alchemy as an "Egyptian art." However, alchemy, as an art and the forerunner of il chemistry, came into prominence with the Alexandrine Greeks, was then introduced to the Arabs and by them later transmitted to Europe. The theory of alchemy, succinctly stated, is that underlying all the elements and manifestations of nature, there is a prima materia, that is, a first matter. This was believed to be the key by which all else came into existence. To discover this first matter meant that man would be able to create all thc forms of the

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physical world at will. This prima materia was subsequently called the "philosopher's stonc," a secret key by

which all of nature's physical forms could be created and


man's nature controlled. Later there came into existence what is known as the transcendental alchemists. These alchemists were mystics and philosophers. They only used alchemical teiminology and symbols to represent esoteric principles. They sought to transmute the base elements of man's chaiacter lnto the more noble virtues and to release the wisdom of the divine self u,ithin man. It is this transcendental alchemy with which most of the Rosicrucians were concerned. Some of the renowned alchemists u'ho u,ere also Rosicrucians were Albertus Magnus, Roger Bacon, Paracelsus, Cagliostro, Nicholas Flamel, and Robert Fludd. In their
covered much concerning the physical laws

il laboratories they dis-

of the universe and. in their meditations, came

his relation to
Cosmic.

to understand man and

the

An artist's conception of the alchenrist Paracelsus


(I

493 ?-154r).

Page Five

Sir Francis Bacon


FnaNcrs Becox (1561-1626) was an English philosopher. Lord Chancellor, and Imperator of the Rosicrucian Order in England. The title, Imperator, is the traditional one conferred upon the highest executive official of the Rosicrucian Order. Sir Francis Bacon has been recognized as one of the world's greatest literary geniuses. In fact, there are many scholars who sincerely believe, from their research, that he was the author of the so-called Shakespearean plays. Rosicrucian history states that Sir Francis Bacon was actually the author of the pamphlets that brought about the revival of the Order in Germany. Bacon's book, The New Atlantis, admittedly his own work, indicates his connection with the Rosicrucian publication issued in Germany between

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1610 and 1616.

Michael Maier (1568-1622), noted philosopher and Grand Master of the Rosicrucians in Germany, visited England and initiated Dr. Robert Fludd into the Order. Sir-Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, was influenced by his friend, Robert Fludd, and by him initiated into the Order, later to attain the high office of Imperator.

Sir Francis Bacon. Reproduction of

an original

etching.

Page Six

The Rosicrucians Come To America


European branches to America. They were not only to found a colony but to establish the Rosicrucian arts and sciences. The plan had its incentive in the book, The New Atlantis, written by Sir Francis Bacon while he was Imperator of the Rosicrucian Order. In the fall of 1693, the colonists started out in a specially chartered vessel called the Sarah Maria under the leadership of Grand Master Kelpius who was connected with the Jacob Boehme Lodge of the Rosicrucians in Europe. They reached the city now known as Philadelphia in the Iirst months of 1694. They built many buildings in what is known as Fairmount Park. Later they moved farther west in Pennsylvania. They established their own printing plant and many of their documents printed there are preserved as historical literary
works.

I uovrurNT was started in Europe in l693-as a I \ result o[ a previous plan-to send a colony of leaders in the Rosicrucian work from the principal

It is here that many important American institutions were likeRosicrucians were first introduced in America.

In this center the genuine secret teachings of the

wise established and valuable contributions made to the

scientific and art foundations of the United States. Eminent persons, as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas ]efferson, made intimate contact with this national headquarters of the Rosicrucians. As one historian says: "In that retired valley beside the flowing brook, the secret rites and mysteries of the tiue Rosicrucian philosophy flourished unmolested for years until the state
of affairs brought about by the American Revolution. . . ."

was, however, active in France, Germany, England, Switzerland, Russia, Spain, and the Orient. In 1909, Dr. H. Spencer Lewis made a visit to France for the purpose of receiving instruction about the Rosicrucian Order. He had been a scholar in the field of metaphysical and esoteric sciences for a number of years. After many tests and trials, Dr. Lewis was permitted to FIe was duly initiated in Toulouse, France, and instructed to begin the preliminary foundation for reactimeet one of the officials of the French Rosicrucian Order.

It

Order went into its cycle of outer silence

In

accordance

with the rules then

established, the

in

America.

The picturesque old dormitory and assembly hall of the Rosicrucian colony first established over two centuries ago at Ephrata, Pennsylvania, in the United
States. Page Seven

vating the true Rosicrucian Order in America. After further qualifications and preparations, the first official public Manifesto was issued in the United States, announcing the birth of a new cycle of the Order. Dr. H. Spencer Lewis was duly appointed by the American Supreme Council as Imperator. In this capacity, Dr. Lewis served well, perpetuating the ancient traditions of the Order and extending its activities throughout the jurisdiction. He passed through transition (the Rosicrucian term for death) on August 2, 1939. He was succeeded by his son, Ralph M. Lewis, in the office of Imperator, the latter being duly elected by the Board of Directors of the Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC. He is the incumbent chief executive of the AMORC of this world-wide jurisdiction.

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EIL INTEIINATIONAL
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r ClRDItliS ORIENTALIX
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of the International Council of the Rosicrucian Order for the world, decreed that AMOR(I is the authorized sector of the anr:ient Rosicrur:ian fraternity. (Right) Another

highest dignitaries

(Left) Manifesto, ssued by the

!l 9rnrethJl 5 r'16lrri. I rhr-h,leu of drn Ju$q rh, !nlq aurhorrrr r<cr*rt rfic anrirnr frer rrritu ot ltLrcifturinil6 !.r!.!trinq ih" r.ur.di'idr.inluri"rirlir df th.S{'Uirrlorth.hl ur,h i"th.nri{ ir9 r,.!91!rl L!rll ih, ft.Lit ,oqlhrthdrirr Jnt;.iil" u.n,r{ r.rnil',q -if;i;;i.;".;*i;- rl'i, cdh.![ ],i."niri.nrli^. a,Lh.1 ' , r.n,r.ri,n,a \i .fka:.tltn-r l'2 C t ro':"i . i)- 1- ?"tr?, ,*ftr-^ 'L--

trl o tl ( uitl'itni (nlit'rrrir,;,

International Council, conferring upon AMORC the authority to extend its jurisdiction further throughout the world.
Page Eight

decree by the

Reference Works tTtnr following are but a few of the old literary works I relating to the Rosicrucians directly or to the sources
from which they had their origin. Many of these works are no longer available except in reference sections of some of the largest public libraries of the world. For a modern complete history of the Rosicrucians, refer to -Rosicrucian the volume, Questions and Answers with Complete Histont of the Rosicrucian Order, by Dr. H. Spencer Lewis. This may be obtained from the Rosiciucian Supply Bureau, San Jose, Calif. 95191, U. S. A.

ArsEnrus MacNus, I 193?De Alchimia Rocrn BacoN,


RavMoNo
1214?

1280:

-1294:

Opus Maius

'

LuuY,

1235?-13i5:
1235?-?1312:

Anima artis transmutationis or Clauicula

Anrvcro

or VrtuNov+

Rosarium PhilosoPhor um

Nrcnores Frat'lur, I330?- 14I8: Exposition of the Hiero';,lyphical Figures Panecrrsus,


1493?- 1541
:

Archidoxa

Dr. Jouw Dre,

1527-1608:

Hieroglgphic Monad
SrnoN Sruptom, 1543?- 1605: Naometria manuscriPt Herrunrcn Knuruneru, 1560- 1605 : Amphitheatru m S ap ientiae Aeterrwe

Mrcnarr MetEn,
Rorenr Ftuoo,
T
r

1568-1622:

Themis Aurea
157 4-1637
:

actatus Ap olo ge ticus


:

Tnorvras VaucHaN, 1622-1665

Euphrates and Lumen de Lumine G. W. YoN LEIBNIrz,lM6-1716: On the True Theologia Mgstica

iEGISTERED IN U.9. PATENT OFFTCE (ALSO RECIsTERED THROUGXOUT THE WARLD) FRI NTEO I N U. 3. A.

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