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Latomus

By Masonic writers used as a translation of Freemason into Latin; thus, Thor entitles his valuable work, Acta Latomorum, meaning the Transactions of the Freemasons. This word was not used in classical Latinity. In the Slow Latin of the Middle Ages it was used as equivalent to lapmda. Du Cange defines it, in the form of lathomus, as a cutter of stones, Caesor lapidum. He gives an example from one of the ecclesiastical Constitutions, u here we find the expression "carpentarii ac Latomi," which may mean Carpenters and Masons or Carpcnters and Stonecutters. Du Cange also gives Latomus as one of the definitions of Maonetus, which he derives from the French Maon. But Maonetus and Latomus could not have had precisely the same meaning, for in one of the examples cited by Du Cange, we have "Joanne de Bareno, Magoneto, Latonio do Gratianopolis," or in English, "John de Bareno, Mason and Stone-Cutter (?) of Grenoble." Latomus is here evidently an addition to Maonetus, showing two different kinds of occupation. Mile have abundant evidence in medieval documents that a Magonetus was a builder, and a Latomus was most probably an inferior order, what the Masonie Constitutions call a Rough Mason. The propriety of applying it to a Freemason seems doubtful. The word is sometimes found as Lathomus and Latonius.

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