Notable Western Influences – Templars to Theosophists
Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem Veram Medicinam (Visit the interior of the Earth; by rectification thou shalt find the hidden stone),” states an alchemical motto.
The revival of such interest as in these pioneers and inquirers, will come from individuals of the same mystical inclination.
This timeline is not complete, but will suffice. Offer suggestions.
*Main credit goes to a site called Alpheus, although, I’ve edited it.
|1075-1275||The period of the Templars, Crusades during the time of Frankish Knight Godfroi de Bouillon, Rashi (1040-1105) heads an esoteric rabbinical kabbalist school in Troyes, Champaign; Comte de Champagne, Peter the Hermit and Bernard of Clairvaux of the Cistercian Order, Raymond de Saint Gilles are notables in the mid 1090’s. The Prieuré de Sion, Carmalites, and Calabria networks.|
|1099||Capture of Jerusalem; and Founding of Prieuré de Sion|
|1113-1115||Saint Bernard joins the Order of Cistercians at Cîteax. Becomes founding abbot of Clairveaux.|
|1118||Official Founding of the Order of the Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon.|
|1128||Vatican council officially recognized and incorporated the Templars. Hugues de Payens is the first Grand-Master. Eulogy and Rule is composed by Saint Bernard.|
|1139||Papal bull by Pope Innocentius II (protégé of Saint Bernard and former Cistercian monk) declares Templars’ sole allegiance is to the Pope.|
|1140-1170||Flourishing of the Gnostic Cathars in Languedoc. Their mystic doctrines showed up in the poems of the Troubadours.|
|1130-1220||Troubadours flourish between 1170-1209, inspiring the north French Trouvères and German Minnesinger.|
|1187||Beginning of end of Frankish presence in the Holy Land. Grand Master of the Templars Gérard de Ridefort responsible for the debacle.|
|1180-1200||Publication of the esoteric Grail Romances. Chrétien de Troyes (sponsored by Marie, Contesse de Champagne), Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Robert de Borron. Some having a strong Cathar, Templar or Cistercian influence.|
|1210||Establishment of the order of Franciscans by St. Francis of Assisi. Approved by Pope Innocentius III (same pope who went after the Cathars).|
|Notables||Rashi (1040-1105). Kabbalist and Rabbi. Founder of an esoteric school in Troyes, France.
Godfroi de Bouillon (c. 1060-1100). Duke of Lower Lorraine. Leader of First Crusade. First western ruler of Jerusalem. Brother of Baldwin I, first western King of Jerusalem. Founder of the Order of Notre Dame de Sion, later named the Prieuré de Sion.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153). a) Abbot of Clairvaux, b) patron of the Templars, c) religious conscience of Europe, d) spokesman of Catholic Christianity, e) nephew of André de Montbard, f) lived in the domains of the Comte de Champagne, e) presided over the council of Troyes in 1128 to incorporate the Templars.
André de Montbard: a) uncle of Saint Bernard, b) member and later Grand Master of the Priory of Sion 1153-1170 , c) Founding member of the Templars with Comte de champagne + 1114, d) third Grand Master of the Templars 1153-1170 , e) lived in the domains of the Comte de Champagne.
Comte de Champagne: a) Overlord of Saint Bernard and de Montbard, b) gave land to Bernard to build the abbey of Clairvaux, c) Founding member of the Templars with de Montbard, d) hosted the council of Troyes in 1128,
Hugues de Payens: a) Templars first Grand Master, b) cousin of the Comte de Champagne, c) initiated by Theocletes, Grand-Pontiff of the Order of the Temple of the Nazarene sect.
Roger Bacon (ca. 1220- ca. 1292). English philosopher, scientist and reformer. An adept according to H.P.B (BCW 11: 546).
|Beginnings of the Rosicrucians||Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). Italian poet inspired by the Provencal troubadours. “His ‘Inferno’ a true Occult Revelation in verse.” (BCW14:45).
Rulman Merswin (1307-1382). Founder of the Friends of God, a Christian esoteric movement.
Blanche d’Evruex (1332-1398). Wife of Philippe VI, king of France. Immersed in Alchemical studies and experiments; had laboratories in some of her castles. Personal patron of Nicolas Flamel.
Nicolas Flamel (1330-1418). French Alchemist with interest in Kabbalistic and Hermetic thought. Sponsored by Blanche d’Evreux. Life transformed by Alchemical text found in 1362.
Christian Rosencreuz (1378?-1484?). German Magus. Alleged founder of the Order of the Rosy Cross, which aim was the study and application of ancient science, numerology and cosmic law.
Cardinal Nicolas de Cusa (1401-1464). German Cardinal, scientist and Cabalist. Cusa was an Adept (BCW14:377). Published De Docta Ignorantia, which “contains theosophical ideas throughout.” (BCW14:538).
|1444||Founding of the Library of San Marco by Cosimo de Medici.|
|1448||Founding of the Order of the Crescent by René d’Anjou.|
|1471||Hermetic corpus translated by Ficino.|
|1475||End of the Hundred Years’ War turning point.|
|Founded after the Council in Florence in 1439||Founding of the Platonic Academy in Florence by Cosimo de Medici.|
|Notables of Occult Renaissance in Italy, Germany, & England||
George Gemistus Pletho (1355-1452). Byzantine scholar and philosopher. Inspired Cosimo de Medici to found the Platonic Academy. Promoted Greeks Philosophers, and had a profound influence on the Renaissance.
Cosimo de Medici (1389-1464). Virtual lord of Florence and patron of the arts. Influenced by René d’Anjou. Patron of Marsilio Ficino. Protector of the Platonic Academy in Florence. Founder of Europe’s first public library, the San Marco Library.
Rene D’Anjou (1408-1480). King of Naples and Sicily, and King of Jerusalem. Prompted Cosimo de Medici to acquire and translate Platonic, Kabbalistic, Gnostic and Hermetic works. Founder of the Order of the Crescent. Sponsored Mantegna. Accompanied Joan of Arc (1412-1431) to Chinon, Orléans and Reims.
Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499). Italian philosopher, scholar (EB 9:237) and magus. Head of the Platonic Academy in Florence (1462). Translated the Hermetic corpus (1471), Plato (1484) and Plotinus (1492). Sponsored by Cosimo de Medici. Teacher of Lorenzo de Medici.
Andrea del Verrocchio (1435-1488). Italian sculptor and painter. Alchemist and hermeticist. Taught Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli.
Botticelli (1444-1510). Italian painter. Studied under alchemist and hermeticist Verrocchio and Mantegna. Patronized by de Medici. Well acquainted with Leonardo da Vinci.
Lorenzo de Medici (1447-1492). Virtual lord of Florence and patron of the arts. Patron of Verrocchio, Botticelli, Pico della Mirandola.
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506). Spanish or Italian navigator and explorer. In the service of René of Anjou in 1472-73. Married to daughter of a former Knight of Christ. Sailed under the red pattée cross of the Knights of Christ, the renamed Knights Templars of Portugal.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). Italian artist, inventor and universal genius. Sponsored by de Medicis and Ludovico Sforza, son of Francesco Sforza, close friend of René d’Anjou. Member of the Order of the Crescent.
John Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494). Italian philosopher, scholar and magus. Sponsored by Lorenzo de Medici. Connected with the Platonic Academy. Strongly influenced by Ficino. Explored Kabbalist magic.
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527). Philosopher and social scientist. Worked with da Vinci on modern science and study of politics and human nature. Founder of the philosophy of history and first to understand the doctrine of historical cycles. A highly misunderstood luminary.
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543). Polish astronomer, skilled medical practitioner, An adept according H.P.B. Studied at Bologna, Italy.
Agrippa von Nettesheim (1486-1535). German writer, physician and magus. Influenced by Pico della Mirandola. Influenced Giordano Bruno. An adept according to H.P.B (BCW 3:264).
Paracelsus (1490-1541). Swiss physician, alchemist, chemist and magus. Influenced Giordano Bruno. An adept according to H.P.B (BCW 4: 607).
Henry Kunrath (ca. 1560-1601 or 1605). German alchemist and Hermeticist. Follower of Paracelsus. An adept according to H.P.B (BCW 3: 264).
Thomas More (1478-1535). Pioneering English Neoplatonist.
John Colet (1466?-1519). English Neoplatonist. Worked with Thomas More and his circle.
John Dee (1527-1608). English Mathematician, scientist and astrologer.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626). English philosopher of science and politician.
Giordano Bruno (1548-1600). Philosopher, writer and magus.
Tommaso Campanela (1568-1639). Italian philosopher, poet and magus.
|1612||Publication of the Fama Fraternitatis.|
|1612||Publication of The Aurora by Jakob Boehme.|
|1615||Publication of the Confessio Fraternitatis.|
|1616||Publication of The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz.|
Robert Fludd (1574-1637). England’s leading exponent of Kabbalist-Hermetic thought. Highly defended Rosicrucians. Published two booklets (in 1616 and 1617) in order to get in contact with them. An adept according to H.P.B. (BCW 4: 607).
Johann Valentin Andrea (1586-1654). Possible author of the Fama, the Confessio and The Chemical Wedding.
Michael Maier (1566-1622?). Germany’s leading exponent of Rosicrucian thought. Connected with Fludd.
Jakob Boehme (1575-1624). German philosophical Mystic and Theosophist. Speculative Alchemist influenced by Paracelsus.
Frederick V, Elector Palatine (1596-1632). His brief reign was a Hermetic Golden Age, during which the Rosicrucian furor took place.
|1637||Publication of Discourse on Method by Descartes|
|1663||Founding of The Royal Society in London|
|1683||Opening of the first public museum, the Ashmolean Museum by Elias Ashmole.|
|1687||Isaac Newton publishes The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy|
|1679||Two Treatises on Government by John Locke; and Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke the following year.|
|Notables||Marin Mersenne (1588-1648). French mathematician and theologian. Friend and supporter of Descartes. Clearinghouse for French philosophers, scientists, theologians, mathematicians etc. (like Hartlib in England). Educated at Jesuit college La Fléche. Critical of Renaissance Occultism.
Johann Comenius (1592-1670). Bohemian educator, writer and possibly Rosicrucian. Studied at Heidelberg with professors close to Frederick. Member of the Bohemian Brethren. Inspirer of the Royal Society. Corresponded with Andrea.
René Descartes (1596-1650). French philosopher, mathematician and Rosicrucian. During winter quarters in Bohemia D. had his famous dreams, “leading him towards the conviction that mathematics were the sole key to the understanding of nature.” Heard about the Rosicrucians and was seen as one of them. Friend of Mersenne and connected with the Hartlib Circle. Educated at Jesuit college La Fléche. (Article about Descartes’ status as a Rosicrucian and Rosicrucian connections)
Samuel Hartlib (1600-1662). German educational and agricultural reformer, Rosicrucian. Center of the Hartlib Circle of esotericists and scientists. Connected with Andrea, Descartes, Boyle and Newton.
Thomas Vaughn (1622-1666). English alchemist. Wrote under the pseudonym of Eugenius Philaletes. An adept according to H.P.B (BCW 4: 607).
Robert Boyle (1627-1691). English natural philosopher and pioneering chemist. Member of the Invisible College and the Royal Society. Taught Alchemy to Newton. Friends with John Locke.
John Locke (1632-1704). English philosopher, initiator of the Age of Enlightenment and Reason in England and France, inspirer of the American Constitution. Friend of Newton. Did research on Mary Magdalen, Alchemy, and the Cathars.
Isaac Newton (1642-1727). English scientist and mathematician. President of the Royal Society. Strong interest in Alchemy and Hermeticism. Friends with leading Masonic figure Jean Desagulier, who was connected with pioneering Freemasons Chevalier Ramsay, James Anderson and Charles Radclyffe.
Elias Ashmole (1617 -1692). English antiquarian, collector and expert on chivalric orders. Freemason (1646). Founder of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. The last of Rosicrucians and alchemists, according to H.P. Blavatsky.
|1773||Boston Tea Party. Mostly Freemasons involved.|
|1775-1781||American War of Independence. American army led by Freemason Washington. International diplomatic support organized by Freemason Benjamin Franklin.|
|1776||Declaration of Independence. Majority of signers were Freemasons|
|1789||George Washington elected first President of the United States of America. Inaugurated with Masonic honours.|
|Notables, a Period of Political Revolutions||George Washington (1732-1799). General, statesman, first President of the USA. Freemason. Influenced the elaborate esoteric geometry governing the layout of the capital.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826). Third President of the USA. Principle author of the Declaration of Independence. Political philosopher.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). American author, freemason, inventor, scientist and diplomat. One of the best known and admired man of his time. Member of the Royal Society. Master of the influential French Lodge ‘Neuf Soeurs.’
Emmanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). Swedish scientist, mystic, philosopher and theologian.
Karl Gotthelf von Hund (1722-1776). German Freemason. Introduced the Strict Templar Observance.
|Nineteenth-century||Beginning of Spiritualism in America with Fox sisters in 1848, revives interests in Occultism.
Eastern influences begin to enter the world scene. Eastern Adepts step out, particularly of Indo-Tibetan influence, as part of Je Tsongkhapa’s centennial effort, to aid and enlighten the West; then they retire into seclusion before the 1900’s.
It is evident, they sensed, their mission mostly failed, offering final advice. They did not run the Theosophical Society, but were only helpful as advisers in times of emergency, according to Damodar K. Mavanlankar. Control and responsibility was fully in the hands of management.