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Naymus Grecus

The Grand Lodge Manu, script, No. 1, contains the following passage: "Yt befell that their was on curious Masson that height [was called] Naymus Grecus that had byn at the making of Sallomon's Temple, and he came into ffraunce, and there he taught the science of Massonrey to men of ffraunce." Who was this Naymus Grecus? The writers of these old records of Freemasonry are notorious for the way in which they mangle all names and words that are in a foreign tongue. Hence it is impossible to say who or what is meant by this word. It is differently spelled in the various manuscripts.

Namas Grecious in the Lansdowne, .Nayrnus Graecus in the Sloane, Grecus alone in the Edinburgh-Kilwinning, and Maymus Grecus in the Dowland. For a table of various spellings, there are about twenty-five, see Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge (volume iii,page 163). Doctor Anderson, in the second edition of his Constitutions (1738, page 16), calls him Ninus. Now, it would not be an altogether wild conjecture to suppose that some confused idea of Magna Graecia was floating in the minds of these unlettered Freemasons especially since the Leland Manuscript records that in Magna Graecia Pythagoras established his school, and then sent Freemasons into France.

Between Magna Graecia and Maynus Grecuns the bridge is a short one, not greater than between Tubal-cain and Wackan, which we find in a German Middle Age document. The one being the name of a place and the other of a person would be no obstacle to these accommodating record writers; nor must we flinch at the anachronism of placing one of the disciples of Pythagoras at the building of the Solomonic Temple, when we remember that the same writers make Euclid and Abraham contemporaries. Just so do we find w this "Curious Masson" flourishing at the widely different periods of King Solomon and Charles Martel, a claim not easily explained on historical grounds.

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