In , Thomas Vaughan translated the work into English. An Italian edition was published as an appendix of the 77th Advertisement part , under the title Generale Riforma dell' Universo Universal Reformation of Mankind , from a German translation of Bocallini's Ragguagli di Parnasso Advertisements from Parnassus. The Fama was soon published in separate form. The Fama tells the story of the "Father C. It is thought in occultism that Rosenkreuz's pilgrimage seems to refer to transmutation steps of the Great Work.
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Not only Postel but other thinkers in different countries had designed schemes for a universal monarchy. De Mas It was in this climate, then, that in , there appeared an anonymous tract written in German: Allgemeine und general Reformation der gantzen weiten Welt.
Though this was only discovered later, the first part was largely a re-elaboration of a satire written by Traiano Boccalini and published in , called Ragguagli di Parnaso. The second part, however, took the form of a manifesto, entitled Fama fraternitatis R. In this, the mysterious confraternity of the Rosicrucians openly declared its existence, supplying details concerning its own history as well as that of its mythical founder, Christian Rosencreutz.
In the following year, , the German manifesto was republished together with a second manifesto, written this time in Latin, with the title Confessio fraternitatis Roseae crucis. Both the manifestos emphasized the secret character of the confraternity and the fact that their members were not permitted to reveal its true aims and nature. It was a call, addressed to the learned of Europe, beseeching them to make contact with the writers of the manifesto; this made the final appeal of the Fama even more ambiguous:.
Immediately, from almost every corner of Europe, responses to the Rosicrucian appeal were written. No one claimed to be a Rosicrucian. Almost no one claimed even to know who the Rosicrucians were. Yet almost everyone tried to claim that his own programme was synonymous with that of the Rosicrucian brotherhood. Some authors professed an extreme humility. In his Themis aurea , for example, Michael Maier insisted that though the brotherhood really existed, he was too humble an individual to be admitted as a member.
Yet, as Yates observed, this was typical of the behavior of Rosicrucian authors: not only did they deny being Rosicrucians, they claimed never to have encountered a single member of the confraternity. Thus when, in , a set of —naturally anonymous—manifestos appeared in Paris, announcing the arrival of the Rosicrucians, a furious polemic ensued in which the common opinion emerged that the Rosicrucians were worshippers of Satan.
It was said of Descartes that, in the course of a trip to Germany, he had tried unsuccessfully of course to make contact with the brotherhood.
On his return to Paris, he even fell under suspicion of being a member. He readily found a logical argument to exculpate himself, however; since it was well known that the Rosicrucians were invisible , Descartes showed up making himself visible in public places and on public occasions see A. Baillet , Vie de Monsieur Descartes , It would be tedious to recount here the entire story of books and tracts contradicting each other in an endeavor to reveal the truth about the Rosicrucians it has sometimes been claimed, for instance, that the same author, using two different pseudonyms, was responsible for two or more tracts pro- and anti-Rosicrucians: see Arnold ; Edighoffer It means that, when conditions are ripe, it takes but one spark—be it an obscure and ambiguous appeal for the spiritual reform of all humanity—to set off unexpected reactions.
It almost seemed that everyone had been waiting for the Rosicrucian manifesto to appear as the missing piece in a polemic in which all sides—Catholic and Protestant—were waiting to join. Thus, although the Jesuits were soon in the forefront of the battle against the Rosicrucians, there were not lacking those who insinuated that behind the Rosicrucians was the Society of Jesus itself, seeking to smuggle Catholic dogma into the Protestant world see Rosa jesuitica , The most intriguing aspect of the whole story was that the people immediately suspected of being the authors of the manifestos— Johann Valentin Andreae and his circle of friends in Tubingen—spent the rest of their lives either denying their involvement, or minimizing it as nothing more than a literary exercise.
As one might expect, given the spirit of the time, it was impossible to offer to the people of all lands a new philosophy without also offering them a perfect language in which to express it. The manifestos, of course, spoke of this language; yet its perfection was mirrored by its secrecy Fama , So, the secret hid Writings and Characters are most necessary for all such things which are found out by Men: Although that great Book of Nature stand open to all Men, yet there are but few that can read and understand the same [.
The Characters and Letters, as God hath here and there incorporated them in the Holy Scripture the Bible, so hath he imprinted them most apparently into the wonderful Creation of Heaven and Earth, yea in all Beasts [. From the which Characters and Letters we have borrowed our Magick writing, and have found out, and made a new Language for our selves, in the which withall is expressed and declared the Nature of all Things; so that it is no wonder that we are not so eloquent in other Languages, the which we know that they are altogether disagreeing to the Language of our forefathers, Adam and Enoch, and were through the Babylonical Confusion wholly hidden.
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Not only Postel but other thinkers in different countries had designed schemes for a universal monarchy. De Mas It was in this climate, then, that in , there appeared an anonymous tract written in German: Allgemeine und general Reformation der gantzen weiten Welt. Though this was only discovered later, the first part was largely a re-elaboration of a satire written by Traiano Boccalini and published in , called Ragguagli di Parnaso. The second part, however, took the form of a manifesto, entitled Fama fraternitatis R. In this, the mysterious confraternity of the Rosicrucians openly declared its existence, supplying details concerning its own history as well as that of its mythical founder, Christian Rosencreutz. In the following year, , the German manifesto was republished together with a second manifesto, written this time in Latin, with the title Confessio fraternitatis Roseae crucis.
THE translation of this manifesto which follows the Fama in the edition accredited by the great name of Eugenius Philalethes is prolix and careless: being made not from the Latin original but from the later German version. As a relic of English Rosicrucian literature I have wished to preserve it, and having subjected it to a searching revision throughout, it now represents the original with sufficient fidelity for all practical purposes. Wesselius, a , Quarto. Verily, it requires no small pains to induce any one to believe what doth not yet appear, but when it shall be revealed in the full blaze of day, I suppose we should be ashamed of such questionings. And as we do now securely call the Pope Antichrist, which was. Whatsoever you have heard, O mortals, concerning our Fraternity by the trumpet sound of the Fama R. It is Jehovah who, seeing how the world is falling to decay, and near to its end, doth hasten it again to its beginning, inverting the course of Nature, and so what heretofore hath been sought with great pains and dayly labor He doth lay open now to those thinking of no such thing, offering it to the willing and thrusting it on the reluctant, that it may become to the good that which will smooth the troubles of human life and break the violence of unexpected blows of Fortune, but to the ungodly that which will augment their sins and their punishments.
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