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C.2.11 The Legend of Charles Martel and Namus Grecus

This legend, according to the Dowland manuscript, deals with the introduction of Masonry in France by Namus Grecus, one of the masons who participated in the erection of the Temple of Solomon. There he taught the science of Masonry to the local people. as well as to Charles Martel himself who, once on the throne, employed many masons and gave them a Charter. A similar text appears in all the other manuscripts until 1714. The Halliwell poem does not mention it but the Cooke M.S. does it in more or less the same language, but without any mention of Namus Grecus. Dr. Anderson in the eighteenth century also omitted any reference to Namus Grecus in his modern Legend of the Craft.

Namus Grecus, an unknown Mason, is seen here as living at the same time as King Solomon and Charles Martel and this, of course, is impossible. Most probably it is not the same person in both historical events. Namus Grecus lived probably at the time of King Solomon, and a Greek artist who had been to Jerusalem introduced the principles of Byzantine architecture in France at the time of Charles Martel.

In any case French Masonry regards Charles Martel as the patron of Architecture, and the founder of Masonry in France.