Thursday, January 29, 2009

Livingston Masonic Library

Last Friday, I crawled out of bed at 2:45 AM so I could drive 4.5 hours to New York City to assist other Trustees as well as the Staff of the Chancellor Robert R Livingston Masonic Library with an assessment project for the American Historical Association.

The ability to make the journey was dubious from the get- go: it's January in CNY so bad weather can stop everything in its tracks, my wife & son had the flu so I was worried about leaving them and I never know these days when I am going to wake up with vertigo. The stars aligned and everything worked out. Two Mountain Dew Amps later and I was in Manhattan. The meeting went well and we are moving forward with the project.

Something that many people miss who visit the Library's website is the Artifact Collection, which includes a large number of items that the Library's Curator, Catherine Walter, has photographed and posted.

I hope to make these artifacts a part of my blog by highlighting the new items as they are posted to the site as well as by showing some off from the collection.

Today's piece is "a Grand Master's jewel that was sculpted by Brother Gutzon Borglum, who also made Mount Rushmore."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Templars: The Secret History Revealed

Remember Processus Contra Templarios- a reproduction of Vatican documents relating to the Trial of the Templars, that I reported about way back when? Well the person who came across those documents in the Vatican's Secret Archives has written a book.


Product Description
At its height, the Order of the Knights Templar rivaled the kingdoms of Europe in military might, economic power, and political influence. For 700 years the tragic demise of this society of warrior-monks amid accusations of heresy has been plagued by controversy, in part because the transcript of their trial by the InquisitionÑwhich held the key to the truthÑhad vanished.

Templar historian Barbara Frale happened to be studying a document at the Vatican Secret Archives when she suddenly realized that it was none other than the long-lost transcript! It revealed that Pope Clement V had absolved the order of all charges of heresy. Using this sensational new information, Frale chronicles the TemplarsÕ spectacular rise and fall against a sweeping backdrop of war, religious fervor, and the struggle for dominance, and finally lifts the centuries-old cloak of mystery surrounding one of the worldÕs most intriguing secret societies.

About the Author
Barbara Frale is a historian on staff at the Vatican Secret Archives. A specialist on the Templars, the Crusades, and the papacy, she earned her Ph.D. at the University of Venice. She lives in Viterbo, Italy.

This looks like it may be of interest. My copy is on the way...

Missing in Action

A very belated "Happy New Year" to all - I apologize for being away for so long. I came down with a case of vertigo a few weeks before Christmas and I have been fighting it ever since. Hasn't been terribly bad since that first spell but I have been a bit "fuzzy around the edges." I am feeling a bit better these past few days so I hope to begin posting again.

Since my last post the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library held another of its Library Diner Series, this one being entitled "Freemasonry and the Arts". I didn't get a chance to attend but Fellow Blogger, "The Magpie Mason" was there and has some great photos and commentary starting here. Check it out.

I haven't been saying much about the conflict between my Grand Lodge of New York and the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia because, as far as I know, there still hasn't been any sort of resolution. It is a pain but I am trying to respect our Grand Master's Decree and since I am not privy to the discussions, I will not comment.