Old books were carefully printed and bound with care so their value may be appreciated. The first book of the work of Euclid in the English language is now 550 years old. Details of its value to Masonry are in an article I wrote that will be published in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (AQC) 133, due out in November. Subscribe at www.quatuorcoronati.com
Marshall Kern with a copy of the first English-language Euclid — in the rare book room of McGill University, Montreal Quebec.
In 1570 Sir Henry Billingsly (not a Freemason) gave our English language a new word that is now used by Freemasons to describe the form of the lodge. An article with all the details is forthcoming in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum 133. Subscribe at www.quatuorcoronati.com
It was a Wednesday according to the Julian calendar in use at the time. Middle of the week. 1274, March 7. Thomas was travelling with friends to Rome. He was badly injured when a tree branch struck his head. And he died.
We remember him now as St. Thomas Aquinas.
Why mention this in a blog regarding Freemasonry? There are two reasons. First, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote of ‘cardinal virtues’ and ‘theological virtues’. Every Mason will have an understanding of these virtues from his own experience and from our Ritual. I encourage you to make an advancement in your knowledge today by searching for a bit more understanding of these virtues. Even checking Wikipedia for an explanation will either reinforce your own power of intellect, or give you something for earnest consideration.
The second reason is, in fact, reason. St. Thomas Aquinas believed and taught that reason is found in God. I’ve read a biography of his life and I understand that St. Thomas Aquinas studied the ancient philosophers including Aristotle, Plato, and Euclid(!), to appreciate the beauty of reason. He wrote extensively to draw together Christian spirituality and natural reason. I’ve read several parts of his Summa Theologica, particularly his proofs of the existence of God, and his use of simple principles of logic make for very strong proofs.
So as today marks 1876 years since his death, let’s remember his soul, and thank him the next time we hear mention of virtues in our Ritual.
One of the world’s first ‘pop-up’ books was also the first English translation of Euclid’s work. And it was the first time the world knew the definition of a parallelepipedon! All the details are forthcoming in AQC 133. Subscribe at www.quatuorcoronati.com
The Master’s Emblem has been called a ‘tau’, the nineteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, and similar to the letter T. Why is it inverted or upside down on the Apron? Where is a tau relevant in the ritual of regular Craft Masonry? These can’t be answered because the Master’s Emblem is not a Tau. Buy the book and find the correct answer. Visit http://www.mastersemblem.com to order the book.