ORIGIN & HISTORY OF MASONRY
The answer to the question of the origin of Freemasonry is difficult to give, but at the same time it is an occasion for a revealing search in space and time. in the times and human cultures that from time to time seized the baton of spiritual search and carved elements that the Brotherhood adopted, or were the inspiration to forge in the workshops of the Brotherhood the rules and principles that govern it.
Freemasonry, being universal and a cosmopolitan body from the beginning, has its roots at the same time in the traditions of the mysteries of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Rome and the cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean, the Knightly Orders of the Middle Ages and Philosophy. Antiquity as well as the Renaissance and the era of the European Enlightenment. Being a living organism in time, it receives and evolves the works of the human spirit, bearing them as a legacy of the future.
Masonry as a Brotherhood represents the direct or indirect evolution of the professional lodges (Operative Lodges) of the medieval stonemasons, builders (or practical masons). Historical research has highlighted from the calendars of Medieval Buildings but also from surviving Tectonic texts (with the earliest Regius Manuscript in 1390 AD) the existence of Lodges and the development of rules and ceremonies for both admission to a Lodge and the acquisition of levels of professional skill. . At the same time, the use of privacy rules aimed at protecting the professional activities of the members of a Lodge and the use of recognition rules as a means of proving the status of a Lodge member and as a certificate of adequate training in art are recorded.
At the beginning of the 17th c. Professional galleries began to allow members who had nothing to do with the profession to enter - the so-called "accepted" or "non-manual" Masons, who gradually became the majority, turning the Galleries into Free and Acceptable or Theoretical Galleries Masonry.
Soon, at the beginning of the 18th c. "organized" Freemasonry will exist. On June 24, 1717, four London Lodges assembled at the Goose and Gridiron Ale House in St. Paul's London, forming a Grand Lodge and electing a Grand Master (Anthony Sayer).
In 1723 James Anderson wrote and published the Freemasons' Constitution for the Use of the Lodges of London and Westminster. In this work, the rules of fraternal governance were set out and the "History of Freemasonry" was narrated.
After England, Freemasonry spread in 1728 to France, where it was closely associated with the Enlightenment movement and from there, at a relatively rapid pace, throughout Europe.
In Greece, Freemasonry appeared at the end of the 18th century. in the Ionian Islands although there are records of the existence of Masonic Lodges in Mainland Greece (eg Ampelakia) or in places with a strong Greek presence (eg Istanbul). After the founding of the Greek state, Masonry developed steadily, maintaining a flourishing course and action in the social fabric to this day.