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4.3 First Generation up to the 17th Century

The “Rose-Croix” has some roots in the remote past. In the medieval time the Gnose and alchemy were thought to be the best way to explain the most hidden mysteries. Alchemy has certainly influenced strongly the “Rose-Croix”. As far away as 1200 the various “Romans de la Rose” were making fun of the Nobles and the Church and contained some reference to alchemy. Near 1250 there must have been some communities of the “Rose-Croix” useful to the alchemists to exchange ideas and help each other in a kind of privacy and out of touch of the public and religious powers. Rosicrucian communities existed in Italy in 1410, in Flanders in 1430 and in Germany in 1459. Some references indicate that such communities existed already in Germany in 1413. Their symbolic jewels were a rose with a cross. Beauty is the main power that leads to the mystical love after going through physical and spiritual love. The success of the Rosicrucian communities is linked to the results obtained with alchemy where the transformation of the metals is only the material representation of the whole story. The Brothers were searching for the immortal beverage that would bring complete and permanent health of the people. The wise men tried to materialise their soul and to spiritualize their body. In 1614, long after the death of Luther and Calvin, a war started between the reformers and the Anti-reformers, the thirty year war of religion. Alchemy and Occult or hermetic philosophies were at their best. During that time many books are written on alchemy and the “Rose-Croix”. Among the best known authors we can mention Johan Valentin Andreae (1586-1654) even if it is not clear if he was really a true Rosicrucian, Théophraste Bombast von Hohenheim better known as Paracelse (1483-1541), Barnaud (1531-1601), Heinrich Khunrath (1560-1605), Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Michel Maier (1568-1622), Robert Fludd (1574-1637), Comenius (1592-1670), René Descartes (1596-1650), Thomas Vaughan (1612-1665 or 1666), Von Ratichs Brotoffer and Spinoza (1632-1677). (q)

In simple words it can be said that the original Rose-Croix of the Fama and La Confessio was an invisible college, an internal Church and a fraternity without any organisation or hierarchy. In it one could find predestined men or self assumed as such, to whom God had given a mission. They rarely met but they were united by a mutual great regard for each other, the prayers and the common aspiration. They communicated in a language unknown to the common people.