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C.2.8 The Legend of Nimrod

The present day Masons believe that King Solomon was their first Grand Master, even if the Legend of the Craft ascertained long before that the first one was King Nimrod of Babylonia and Assyria. He was said to have written the first charges, or Constitutions, for the fraternity of operative masons whom he sent to help the King of Nineveh building his cities. This story from the Legend of the Craft is, of course, in complete contradiction with the present doctrine of Freemasonry.

According to Josephus, Nimrod was a tyrant, a hater of God, and the builder of a tall tower through which he wanted to take revenge from God for having destroyed the world. It has been said that he invented idolatry. In any case the Craft classified Nimrod as a great Mason, the founder of nations and the builder of cities.

Some discoveries made in the end of the nineteenth century allowed the scholars to know more about Nimrod. On these basis he appears to have been a great leader, a great soldier, and the unifier into the first empire of Asia of the many small kingdoms of the Euphrates valley. The legend of the Craft described him as the founder of the Sciences, especially Architecture.